By A.T. Jones
A question has been handed up. Question: Can the States logically refuse to fall into line with the Supreme Court decision, defining the national constitution in its relation to religion?
Elder Jones: No sir. As a matter of fact the States do not need to do it. The Supreme Court of the United States has fallen into line with the States. That is the way the thing has already been done. That is the mischief of it.
I begin the lesson tonight by reading Rev. 14:9. "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand." I need not present any other evidence tonight to show that we are in the time when that verse is fulfilled than merely to refer to the points we mentioned last night. Three distinct points that were noticed last night shut us up to that one thing. Now that is the warning which we are to give to the world. And no man can give the third angel's message without giving it just exactly as it reads. But what is the consequence of disregarding the message in that verse? The unmingled wine of the wrath of God. Then what is the next thing that comes in that respect? I mean in the fulfilment of this prophecy, what is the next thing we are to look for? [Audience: "The wrath of God!"] Yes.
Now we have come to the loud cry, haven't we? That part of the prophecy is reached. We have come to the image of the beast; that part is reached; that prophecy is fulfilled. Now, of course, in the workings of the image of the beast there are many things to come in fulfilment of that, but all these things--persecutions, deceiving miracles, etc.--are simply the consequence of what has been done: simply the speaking and acting of the image that is already made. We are not to look now for any great, wondrous, marked movement in legislation or government to fulfil that part of the prophecy, because the image is made. That is fulfilled. What comes in the future in legislation and in the strifes and contentions and the rioting and warring, with the evil that will come, is simply the inevitable outcome and consequence of this. Then what next will there be in the line of this prophecy which is here before us? Rev. 14:9,10. [Audience: "The wrath of God."] Yes.
I might put the question in another way now, to make it a little plainer. Is there any piece of legislation, any special move of this government for which we are now to look as the fulfilment of this prophecy in connection with the making of the image of the beast? What have we been looking for all the time? We have been looking for legislation--some move to be made or something to be done in or by the government that would make the image of the beast. That was what our eyes were upon all the time. But now do we look for that any more? [Audience: "No sir."] Truth. Now then that having been done, isn't all that pertains to the image of the beast in that? And all that comes henceforth respecting the image of the beast and its work, is it anything more than the consequences of what is now here? Is not all that the image is to do, in the image when it is made to begin with? Then all that comes henceforth pertaining to the image of the beast being in that which is done, what great point in the words of the message stands next? [Audience: "The seven last plagues."] Yes. The next thing that follows the working of the image of the beast in that prophecy is, The seven last plagues.
Now put the three things together. We were looking for the image of the beast, then the seven last plagues, and then the coming of the Lord. The image of the beast has come, hasn't it? The coming of the Lord is in the future, isn't it? But the seven last plagues are between them. Then what is the next great, marked thing in the history of this world and of mankind and of salvation? The seven last plagues. That being so, it becomes us to think very seriously where we are living, doesn't it? It becomes us also to think seriously how we are living.
Someone in the audience: Is it necessary to amend the Constitution?
Elder Jones: The Constitution, nothing! No, we have no Constitution any more. It is set aside. It is taken clear out of the way. We can't use it any more. What could an amendment do more than has been done? Don't you see they have put aside the Constitution? What could anybody want with an amendment?
But the thought which I want just now to get before you is that the next great and marked event in the history of this world and in the work of salvation, is what is spoken of here in the text. This shows it on the face of it. Look at it again. We are to give this warning to the world: "If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand." That is the warning we are to give. Well, in view of what is it that the warning is given? [Audience: "The wine of the wrath of God."] What is the wine of the wrath of God? [Audience: "The seven last plagues."] Rev. 15:1. Then doesn't it follow on the face of it, that the seven last plagues are the next thing after that warning? And that the warning will wind up with the seven last plagues? And we are now where that warning begins with a loud voice in its very words. Then doesn't that which is now begun and the work which is now in our hands, end with the bringing of us face to face with the seven last plagues? [Audience: "Yes, sir."] When that work of warning is done, where will we be? [Audience: "At the pouring out of the plagues."]
Now are you satisfied that this is so? Are you satisfied that the seven last plagues is the next thing that comes after we give this warning to the world? [Audience: "Yes, sir."] Then as we go about to give that warning, isn't it in the nature of the case that we are to do it in view of the plagues that are to fall upon those to whom we speak of it? And that we must be faithful to that message ourselves, which we are giving, if we want to be shielded when the plagues do fall, of which that message speaks? But who will be shielded in that time? Those who have "the covering of the Almighty" drawn over them. And that covering of the Almighty is the covering that the prophet Isaiah spoke about, saying "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Isa. 61:10. That is the covering that God draws over His people, which shields every one from the wrath of God, now and forever. Have you that robe of righteousness?
Now another thing right there. We are living in view of another fearful fact, that is, if that message which we are now to give, is not received, it has attached to it the fearful consequences that the wine of the wrath of God will be received; so that when that message finishes, the wrath of God succeeds it. I say we are living in the presence of that fact. And the work which is to bring all face to face with that fact, as it is there recorded, is now begun. Therefore, will not that give a power to the health reform that it has not yet had? When the health reform was given to the people of God, it was defined as that which is to fit the people for translation. That is the meaning of health reform. The leading thing, the great thing, that God intends health reform to do, is to prepare His people for translation. But we have to go through the seven last plagues before we are translated, and if a man's blood is impure and full of gross material will he be able to pass through that time, when the air is sick with pestilence? Indeed he cannot.
That brings us face to face with some more solemn experiences doesn't it? And some more solemn truth. A great many solemn questions have already been presented to us. And brethren, there are a great many more that are still to come to us. We are in the most solemn time we ever saw. Let us consider it.
Now let us take the points that have already been presented in the different lessons that have been given, the searching thoughts and solemn experiences in our religious profession to which we have been brought face to face. I want to know now how on earth it is ever possible for any one of us to meet these experiences without Jesus Christ in the full? I would like to have somebody tell. [Audience: "We can't do it."] Of course we can't do it. Then brethren let us have Him come in in His fullness as quickly as possible. We need Him every moment, and each succeeding lesson brings to view more and more our need of Him.
Now as there are two other points that I want to present tonight, for the present purpose we will just sketch through what the further lesson of the plagues is.
When the first plague falls, it falls upon the men that "had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image" (Rev. 16:1,2)--the very people to whom the warning of this message is given. Then the plagues follow each other in direct succession, unto the sixth, under which the evil spirits gather "the kings of the earth and of the whole world," to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Rev. 16:14-16. This battle is fought when the Saviour comes, for "I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war upon him that sat upon the horse and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image." Rev. 19:11, 19, 20. And at that time the seventh angel pours out his vial in the air and there comes a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne saying, It is done. And there are voices, and thunderings, and lightnings; and there is a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth so mighty an earthquake and so great. Every island flees away and the mountains are not found. The heavens depart as a scroll and every mountain and island are moved out of their places. Rev. 16:17, 18, 20; 6:14. And the beast and his image "the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming." 2 Thess. 2:8. And the remnant of the wicked world who went not up to the battle of Armageddon, "were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth." Rev. 19:21. The sword of him that sits upon the horse is the brightness of the Lord's coming.
Then the events that are directly and inseparably connected with the end of the world are the events that follow the work, to the doing of which we are now completely shut up. That is the living fact now.
Brethren, do you believe that the seven last plagues are coming, just as certainly as the image of the beast has come" [Audience: "Yes, sir."] Honest now? [Audience: "Yes."] Now we looked for the image to the beast to come. It has come. Now what are we to look for? The seven last plagues. Do you believe that the end of the world is coming, with the seven last plagues, just as certainly as that the image to the beast is made? [Audience: "Yes."] Do you believe that the end of the world comes when that seventh plague comes? [Audience: "Yes."] Then brethren, these things mean something to us just now.
We will leave that point there now and take up another thought with reference to our government and what the consequences must be and can only be of what the government has now done; that is, the consequences to the government itself.
Let us begin with Acts 17:26, 27. Paul is calling the attention of the people to God and he says "And [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the time before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." Then God made this nation of men to dwell on the earth, and He determined the bounds of the habitations of the people of this nation and how much space this nation should occupy. And He has given a portion of time to this nation. What did He do it for? The next verse reads: "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, though he be not far from every one of us!" If they might feel after Him and haply find him? No, there is no hap about that. If they feel after Him, what then? They would find Him. If anybody feels after Him, he will find Him.
In the fourth chapter of Daniel we learn that God rules in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will. God's idea concerning the nations is that they shall seek Him. Well then when a nation rejects the Lord what use has He for it? None. But will He reject a nation as long as the nation will seek Him? No, sir. Will He cut off a nation, so long as there are any people there to seek the Lord? He will not. He didn't before the flood. Neither did He in Sodom and Gomorrah. If He could have found ten people that would seek the Lord in Sodom and Gomorrah He would not have destroyed those cities. But He couldn't find them.
When He made the promise to Abraham, He said to him, "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Gen. 15:13-16. Had God established bounds to their habitation? Yes. What did He do it for? That they should seek the Lord. As long as there was any possibility of their seeking the Lord, they held the place where God put them. And the Lord would not give the land to Abraham, His friend, nor to Abraham's seed as long as there were people there who would seek the Lord. The Lord's people could not occupy, because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. But when the iniquity of the Amorites was full, there was no use for them any more.
When the Lord establishes a people on earth to seek the Lord and they will not seek Him, what then is the use of their staying any longer on the earth? To let them stay on earth after that was only to perpetuate iniquity for no possible use. So the Lord brought His people in there at that time and drove out the Amorites. He told His people not to do as the Amorites did lest the land spew them out as it had spewed out the Amorites. But His people did the very thing He told them not to do. And the land did empty them out and He gave them into the hands of the king of Babylon.
He had established the kingdom of Babylon for a purpose; He set the bounds of their habitation. What was that for? It was that they should seek the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar sought the Lord in His day and He proclaimed the glory of the Lord, the honour of the Lord, and the existence of the Lord, to all the nations of the earth. You remember that proclamation He made in Daniel 4th chapter: "I thought it good to tell what the Most High hath done for me." And he told his experience. Let us read how far his proclamation reached:
"Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew signs and wonders that the most high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation."
The Lord had said unto Nebuchadnezzar that He had given him all these lands round about and all the nations and that they should serve Him, and his sons and his son's son until the very time of his land came, and then what? Many nations shall serve themselves of him. God had determined the time before appointed as well as the bound of his habitation, so that when the time of his land came, many nations would serve themselves of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar's son succeeded him, then his grandson. Instead of Belshazzar seeking the Lord and honouring the Lord, he took the vessels of the house of the Lord and used them in his lascivious feasts, thus turning his back upon God completely. Then what use did the Lord have for him or his nation any more? He had no more use. That same hour there came the fingers of a man's hand and wrote upon the wall in the presence of the king. And the meaning of the words that were written is this: "God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
Thus the Lord brought up the Medes and Persians. Did they seek the Lord too?
God had called Cyrus by name before he came up there. Cyrus did not then know the Lord. The Lord said: "I have surnamed thee, thou hast not known me." But Cyrus found the Lord and proclaimed his name to all the nations. God's prophet in Babylon took the word of God to Cyrus, and then see what Cyrus did. First chapter of Ezra, first verse to the third:
"Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem."
Cyrus found the Lord and proclaimed him to all the nations of the earth. It had been done even before Cyrus came in. Darius succeeded Belshazzar. We read in Daniel 6:26, 27 what Darius did: "I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."
That is a splendid proclamation of God and his glory and his power. It sounds like the words of the prophet Daniel himself. Well, the Medes and Persians sought the Lord and found Him. But turn now to the 11th chapter of Daniel and there we read: "Also I [that is, the angel Gabriel] in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand up, and shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven."
That is Grecia. Now read in Daniel 10:20, "Then said he [Gabriel], Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come."
The angel would stay there as long as he could bear it, and when they had got so far along, that they would not seek the Lord, the angels would go, and when the angel went, Persia went too. And Grecia came. But what did the Lord establish Grecia for? That they might seek the Lord. Now read in the eighth chapter, verses 21-23:
And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up."
So you see every time, it is because transgression has come to the full that a nation falls, and transgressors come to the full when they set themselves against the Lord. It is because the measure of their iniquity is filled at last that another kingdom comes. So you can see the philosophy of the whole matter is contained in that verse, that God establishes nations that they shall seek the Lord, and when they refuse to do it and turn their backs upon him, then the next thing is, that that nation leaves the world. There is nothing else for it.
The nation that followed Grecia was Rome. And Christ came in Rome's day, and the gospel of Christ was preached to Rome, although it was fearfully corrupt. And then that gospel of Christ was professed as an outward form by an apostate church, and she seized the power of the Roman government to compel people to recognise the Roman religion, to compel men to disobey the Lord. Then what became of the Roman government? It was swept from the earth.
As bad as the government was in the days of Tiberius, as bad as it was in the days of Claudius and in the days of Nero, yet God preached the gospel to Rome and brought multitudes of souls to the light and knowledge of His gospel. Even to Nero himself the gospel was twice preached by the apostle Paul, and there was opened to him the joys of heaven. But when the gospel was perverted as it was and made only a cloak to sanction ungodliness and instead of seeking the Lord indeed, perverted the very means that God offered for salvation. What could the Lord do for a people like that? The gospel is the only means that God has to save a person. But when that gospel is taken and used simply as a cloak for wickedness, how can the Lord possibly save the person who thus uses it? Then there is nothing that can touch him at all.
When that was done in the Roman empire by the power of an apostate church, then how could it stand any longer? It had to be swept away from the earth. And now this nation has been captured by the very same kind of iniquity. Here is an apostasy. The churches have turned away from God and have seized upon the power of this government. It has sold itself to them, and now compels people to dishonour God. Then what is the next thing for this nation? [Audience: "Destruction."] Yes, but before the Lord overthrows it, He will send a message to whoever will be saved. What is that message? [Audience: "The third angel's message."] Yes. Then does not that shut us up again tonight, face to face, to that one thing, that the third angel's message as it reads is the only thing to be given under the sun, and it is to be given to save such people as will be saved from the ruin that hangs over this devoted nation that has been inveigled and carried captive by an apostate professed Protestant church?
Well, then the end of the world is the next thing. Then are we not right now in the things that we are to preach; held, wrapped up, and concerned, daily and hourly, with the events that bring the end of the world? Is it any difficulty, brethren, to get people of the world even to see that? Is it any difficulty to get people of the world to see what has become of the nations that have gone before? Is there any difficulty in getting worldlings themselves to see that there is a union of church and State here, that the church has carried captive the government of the United States? Any difficulty to get them to see that? I tell you, brethren, when we go with the power of God and state the positive facts as they are before their faces and tell them what is to come out of these facts, they will begin to think.
Brethren, there is more power, there is more convincing power, there is more moving power, in the plain declaration, by faith in God, and the consequences of these things as a literal fact before the people, than in tons of argument. You and I go with these things that are before the eyes of all people and call attention to them and show what is in the future, and tell them in the fear of God and by His grace and His power as He gives it to us, the things that are coming--tell them by actual facts and by our earnestness and devotion to God- -show them that we believe the things ourselves and there will be more conviction than in tons of argument on doctrinal questions. Then let us preach the message as it is today.
Now another thought. God had a church in the world and a nation in old time, did He not? Christ came to that church and that nation. He preached the gospel of God, revealed in its living principles--the mystery of God, God with men, God in the flesh, God in men the hope of glory. He revealed that to them; they would not receive it. They rejected Him. They wanted to kill Him. They prosecuted Him for blasphemy, before Pilate, but Pilate could not take judicial notice of the offence of blasphemy, because that was an offence against Jewish law only. So Pilate said, "Take him, and judge him according to your law." But they said, "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die." But they could not put Him to death without a decree from the Roman empire. Pilate said, "What shall I do with him?" They said, "Crucify him." Pilate: "Shall I crucify your king?" They replied: "We have no king but Caesar."
When they said that, did they not in that reject the Lord absolutely and join themselves to Caesar? They had to join themselves to Caesar to do against the truth of God what they could not do without it. When they turned their backs upon God, deliberately rejected Him and took Caesar for their king and allied themselves to earthly power in the face of the power of God, then what more could the Lord do for them as a people, as a church, as a nation? Nothing. There were individuals in the nation; there were individuals in the church, that feared God and had no part in this thing, but these, the representative men of the nation, the representative men of the church, they did that thing. They did join themselves, and in themselves they joined the nation and the church unto Caesar and turned its back upon God. Then the Lord could do no more for them as a church or as a nation. All he could possibly do, before its absolute and irretrievable ruin swept it out of the world, was to call out of it such as would receive Him. Then He sent His message, His gospel, to those people in that day, and there were many who came from that apostate church to the knowledge of God. He called out of them a people for His name. By the gospel which Christ sent to that apostate church, people were gathered out, such as would be saved, and then He gave them a warning that they were to flee when the whole combination would be destroyed.
Then the preaching of the gospel went on. But there are those prophecies--"The mystery of iniquity doth already work"; "of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." In Romans 1:8 it is said that the genuine faith of the church at Rome, was "spoken of throughout the whole world." And so when she went in the way of apostasy she became famed for that throughout the world. The apostate church was opposed to the Sabbath of the Lord and was determined to destroy it and put the false sabbath in its place, but she could not do that of herself, and what did she have to do? In order to do it she had to join herself to Caesar. Just as the Jewish church did to get Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, out of the way, so did the apostasy do to get the Sabbath of the Lord out of the way. Then that made her Mystery, Babylon the Great. That is the next thing that is said of her: "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." That is the church of Rome.
Then there came the Reformation; God called people out of Rome by Luther, others after him. But every one of those churches joined themselves to Caesar after the example of the mother, in every place where they had a chance, except the Baptist church in Rhode Island. All these others joined themselves to Caesar after the example of the mother, and thus became her daughters. Then arose the new republic and by its total separation of the church from all connection with the State established a new order of things, which is only the order of things prescribed by the Lord for government. Thus by her fundamental and constitutional principles this nation shut away all the churches from a union with the State. Thus it stood until 1892. But in A.D. 1892, the professed Protestant churches in the United States followed the example of the original apostasy of the church of Rome. And in order to get rid of the Sabbath of the Lord and exalt the false sabbath in its stead, these churches joined themselves to earthly power to the kingdom of men--to Caesar. They turned their backs upon the Lord; they forsook the Lord, and joined themselves to another; they turned away from the power of God and put their trust in the power of men and earthly government. These professed Protestant churches of the United States have turned their backs upon the Lord and joined themselves to Caesar, as certainly as did the Jewish church and the Romish church before them, and for the same reasons and for the same purpose. What then? This as certainly makes them the daughters of Babylon as certainly as the first great apostasy made Rome Babylon the mother. And they have even said it. "The Catholic Church the Mother of us all," and "the Protestant Episcopal church the beautiful daughter of a beautiful mother" is what a leading Presbyterian paper published, from the pen of a "doctor of Divinity, sometime ago; and not one of them has ever denied it so far as I have seen or heard.
They say it, and it is so. Until now these churches had not joined themselves to the powers of the earth. They had many bad ways; they were doing many things that were out of harmony with the gospel; they had fallen away from Christ; but a woman may leave her husband, and yet not be joined to another man; there is hope for her still to come back to her husband. But when she has joined herself to another man, what then? -- She is gone completely; she is an adulteress indeed; she can not be brought back. Although they had wandered away from Christ, yet they had not joined themselves to another until 1892. Then they deliberately joined themselves to another, -- to the government of the United States, and seized upon the power of the nation. They made this their husband, their dependence, and source of help, instead of the Lord. Are not these churches just as truly apostate as the Papal church herself when she did it? Is not Babylon the mother and daughters complete? What is she the mother of? -- "Harlots and abominations of the earth"; (Rev. 17: 4, 5) and so they themselves are the daughters, -- it has been said for them, and not one of them has disputed it.
Then what comes next? "I saw another mighty 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. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."
And see the seventh plague. "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a voice out of the temple in heaven, from the throne saying, It is done. And there were voices; and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three part, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the sup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
Then where are we in that line? What comes next upon Babylon? The judgements of God. Then by the direct work of the message, the next thing is the seven last plagues, after our work in that line is done.
By the direct line of the history of God’s dealings with the nations, our nation stands to-day exactly where the other nations of the world have stood when they turned their backs upon God and refused to seek him any longer. We know what came upon them. And as certainly as ruin comes upon those nations, so certainly ruin awaits this nation. And the influence of this nation reaches all the world.
Therefore when ruin comes upon this nation, it comes also upon all the world. When these churches which should call the people and nations to seek the Lord, have followed the example of apostasy and forsaken the Lord and taught men to depend upon earthly power, then what is the use of them any longer in the world? None. Then what hangs over the churches? Destruction only, by the judgements of God. But there are people of God in them, and before the final fall and ruin God will call them out. But that which calls them out is the third angel’s message, the loud cry of the third angel’s message. Then where are we, brethren? We are in the loud cry. Oh, then let that loud voice be heard. Then there are three more lines to-night just as distinct as the three we had last night, which shut us up to the third angel’s message as it reads.
I will read a passage that belongs right with that one that we read last night: --
"When God’s people humble the soul before his, individually seeking his Holy Spirit with all the heart, there will be heard from human lips such a testimony as is represented in this Scripture: ‘After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory’."
Now I read the other one, which connects directly with this: --
"Jesus longs to bestow the heavenly endowment in large measure upon his people. Prayers are ascending to God daily for the fulfilment of the promise, and not one of the prayers put up in faith is lost. [Prayers are ascending daily for it. Are your prayers amongst them?] Christ ascended on high, leading captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. When after Christ’s ascension, the Spirit came down as promised, like a rushing, mighty wind, filling the whole place where the disciples were assembled, what was the effect? Thousands were converted in a day. We have taught, we have expected that an angel is to come down from heaven, that the earth will be lightened with his glory. Then we shall behold an ingathering of souls similar to that witnessed on the day of Pentecost.
"But this angel comes bearing no soft, smooth message, but words calculated to stir the hearts of men to their very depths. That angel is represented a crying 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.’ ‘Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’ Are we indeed as human agencies to co-operate with the divine instrumentalities in sounding the message of this mighty angel who is to lighten the earth with his glory?"
Where are we? In the loud cry of the third angel’s message. That angel’s message is to go, to call God’s people out of Babylon. But the angel comes down having great power. Then are we not brought face to face with the demand for that power that we must have, to be clothed with power from on high, the power that is brought by God’s Holy Spirit? Are we not there? [Audience: "Yes."] Well, then, brethren, let us stay there. Let us stay there, calling for that power, and depending wholly upon it when it comes.