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Chapter 22

Come Out of Her My People

 

THE final divine call to humanity provides the urgent invitation to separate from the Roman Catholic Church and the fallen Protestant churches which have adopted her apostasy.

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. (Revelation 18:4, 5)

This call comes with the everlasting gospel that is proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the earth. Jesus gave His disciples a precious promise when they asked Him when the end of the world would be.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

That promise has always been the dynamic force that has motivated Christís true followers to proclaim His message of love, salvation, and soon coming to this world. Jesus was not dealing in general terms, for He said "this gospel," not just "a gospel." Evidently, this gospel was not temporary or transitory. It is most clearly defined, in Revelation 14, in what is frequently referred to as the first angelís message, which is part of the other two messages that follow.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6, 7)

It is one thing to be called out of Babylon; it is another thing to know where to go. When the Jews were given the opportunity to leave literal Babylon, many remained. So it will be when the final invitation is given. God will have an authentic church with His true believers. The book of Revelation frequently refers to the pure woman at the end time. Such symbolism is always representative of Godís true, pure church.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1, emphasis added)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17, emphasis added)

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17, emphasis added)

It is self-evident that it will be this church which will give the invitation of Revelation 18:4 to the world. It will present the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14:6, 7 to earthís inhabitants. Those honest souls who reach the conviction that they are members of a church from which God is calling them now have the opportunity to join that group of people who will take this everlasting gospel to the world.

It is essential that we discover the message of the everlasting gospel, and discern which church espouses it in its fullness. A review of Revelation 14:7 reveals that there are four interwoven elements of this message:

1. Fear God.

2. Give glory to Him.

3. The hour of His judgment is come.

4. Worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

An understanding of these principles will reveal the church that has accepted these truths. It is possible that some readers will not possess a thorough understanding of the meaning of each of these components. We will use the good Protestant principle of biblical interpretation as we explore the Scriptures because the Bible surely is its own best expositor, the only flawless guide to its own meaning.

1. Fear God. John, the author of Revelation, undoubtedly was a great student of the Old Testament, for he frequently quoted from it. The book of Revelation, in many places, parallels the book of Daniel and other Old Testament prophecies. John acquired his concept of godly fear from what he read in the Old Testament. Consequently we must turn to the Old Testament to discover the broad scope of the command to fear God.

The experience of Abraham, when he was about to offer Isaac on Mount Moriah, clarifies the meaning of implicit and unwavering obedience to Godís command.

And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. (Genesis 22:12, emphasis added)

These words are of major significance, for they were spoken by Christ Himself. Since the book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1), consistence requires that we apply the same meaning to the use of the same term in each passage.

Abrahamís faith was so firm that he obeyed Godís awesome request, and believed that God could and would raise his boy from the dead. He believed it despite the fact that there is no inspired record that a single human had ever been raised from the dead prior to the Mount Moriah experience. This, in reality, was absolute faith that was manifested by unquestioning obedience to our God.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Hebrews 11:17Ė19)

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses explained the meaning of the requirement to fear God.

That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee. (Deuteronomy 6:2)

Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:6)

And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? (Deuteronomy 10:12, 13)

These passages call Godís people to obey the law of God and His Word. To fear God is to so implicitly trust God that our lives will not reflect our own fallible, human judgment. Instead, we will be ready to follow Godís leading whatever it may be. Only such a people will be able to be used by God to take the everlasting gospel to every nook and cranny of this world.

They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)

The Roman Catholic Church is not the only church that refuses to acknowledge Godís power to keep His people from falling into sin. Most Protestant churches today deny that Godís people will possess perfection of character before Christ returns. The Bible is replete with assurances that, in His power, Christís humble flock will overcome all sin. In confirmation of this fact, we cite a selection of passages from Holy Writ.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3, 4)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. (Titus 2:11, 12)

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1, 2)

Many have a form of godliness but do not possess the genuine love of God essential for those who are seeking to serve Him.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5)

Such will not receive the crown of life. It must be remembered that we cannot, by our human effort, have day-by-day victory over sin. It is the grace of God that provides such strength.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. (Titus 2:11)

Only Christ, the victorious One, can keep us from falling.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy . . . (Jude 24)

He has promised that those who have submitted their will to Him will not be tested above their endurance.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

A daily commitment of our lives to Jesus requires us to truly fear God. Freedom from the enslavement of sin is the greatest blessing that God desires to give us.

2. Give glory to Him. At first thought, it would seem impossible that fallen humans could give any glory to the God of the universe. God possesses infinite glory, and we innately possess none. Glory represents character. Adam and Eve lost their garments of light when their characters were marred by sin. The all-perfect One surely possesses infinite glory. We must trust the Lord that somehow we will be empowered to "give glory to Him." The Bible does not leave us in ignorance. Jesus Himself addressed the issue.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Righteous characters reflect works of righteousness. Our works must always be for the glory of God, and never for ourselves. Paulís writings add another dimension to this command to "give glory to Him."

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Even in our daily food and drink, our dietary habits, we need to reflect the glory of God. Paul also tells us that we are the temple of God.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17)

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:16, 17)

Note the striking relationship between 2 Corinthians 6:16, 17 and idolatry. The image worship of the Roman Catholic Church can never lead to God dwelling in the human temple.

1 Corinthians 10:31 makes evident the fact that our health habits need to reflect the glory of God. Many churches have given little heed to the relationship of biblical health habits to Christian character; also they have not taken a stand against alcohol or tobacco. They do not educate their members in those dietary principles which will enhance their Christian commitment, service, and honor to God. It is evident that Godís faithful church will practice these true health principles.

Godís true end-time church will teach the commandments of God and claim Christís provision to keep His faithful servants from falling into sin. They will also honor God with their habits of a healthful lifestyle. Sadly, most churches of Protestantism do not measure up to these requirements.

3. The hour of His judgment is come. This judgment-hour message is little understood in Christendom. It cannot be understood by most Christians, for they have accepted the Greek-pagan concept of immediate life after death that has been consistently taught since the time of the ancient city of Babylon. The Bible consistently teaches that death is a dreamless sleep. Each deceased person awaits the call of the Life-give at His second coming.

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking rest in sleep. (John 11:11Ė13)

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51)

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Job recognized that he would see God in his (Jobís) flesh instead of in a spirit body.

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19:26)

Godís reference to souls means living humans who sin and will be destroyed if they do not repent of their sins. There is no indication of eternal punishment in Scripture.

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

The Bible plainly states that only God possesses immortality.

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. (1 Timothy 6:16)

The Word of God teaches that the faithful receive immortality only at the resurrection of the righteous dead.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51Ė53)

The Bible teaches that man is presently mortal.

Jesus wished to give His disciples the hope of eternal life. He did not point them to the moment of their deaths; instead, He directed their minds to His second comingóthe time when they would be resurrected. Study this passage carefully.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Fatherís house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1Ė3)

God, in His infinite wisdom, allows His fallen creation to rest in the grave until He calls them forth in the resurrection; thus Godís redeemed are spared the agony of observing the effects of sin upon their living loved ones. In His justice, God allows the unfallen angels of the universe to review the records of the human race before one soul is saved.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9, 10)

John identifies these myriads of beings as multitudes of angels who are present at the judgment.

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand of thousands. (Revelation 5:11)

This judgment is presently in progress in heaven. It takes place just prior to the return of Jesus. Daniel refers to the establishment of Christís kingdom that is immediately after the judgment of the beast power.

And there was given him [Christ] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)

In this judgment, all who have claimed loyalty to God are judged. God formally declares who are His faithful people. It is important to note that this judgment begins just after the end of the medieval reign of the Papacy. Daniel mentions the papal power.

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (Daniel 7:25, 26)

The 1260 days were indeed symbolic of the 1260 years of papal dominance over Europe. (See chapter 5, entitled "The Medieval Reign of the Papacy.") This time period began in 538 when Pope Vigilius exercised the role of Pontifex Maximus, and concluded with Pope Pius VIís imprisonment in 1798. This prophecy, the 1260-year period of papal dominance, is represented by the term, a time, and times, and half a time, literally one year, two years, and half a year, or 1260 prophetic days (1260 literal years).

The Papacy (here represented by the little horn) will be judged as unfaithful, and all those who worship him will similarly be judged as unfaithful. This same judgment considers the lives of Godís people.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to [in favor of] the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:22)

Godís judgment is against the little horn (the Papacy) and in favor of His people. What a wonderful message to the world! Christ stands up for His people in the judgment. It would be a fearful experience to have to stand alone before Godís judgment bar without the One who lived a perfect life and died for our salvation. Our Lord, our Saviour, stands up for us in the judgment. What a thrilling prospect! Both authors have preached this message around the world, and both have thrilled at the response of Protestants, Catholics, Christians, and non-Christians to this message.

We have found only one church which preaches this messageóthe Seventh-day Adventist Church. We have been especially blessed to recognize that it also upholds the Bible principle declaring that Godís saints will keep the commandments of God through the faith of Jesus.

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

We also realize that this church has, for well over a century, placed emphasis upon the message of healthful living.

4. Worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. This final facet of the everlasting gospel calls for worship of the Creator. This command incorporates an explicit reference to the Sabbath commandment.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8Ė11)

There is only one day that God has ordained as the reminder of His creative poweróthe seventh day of the week.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2, 3)

This day was honored by the ancient patriarchs and reestablished by Moses. God is particular. It is not within manís province to determine the day which should be hallowed.

And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. (Exodus 16:22, 23)

This day was set aside as a sign or seal (see Romans 4:11) of sanctification.

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. (Exodus 31:13)

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. (Ezekiel 20:12)

This day was kept by the faithful throughout the Old Testament era. Christ worshiped on this day when He was on earth.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (Luke 4:16)

Christ claimed this day as His very own.

Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Mark 2:28)

Paul also worshiped on this day.

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

During life in the new earth, all of Godís redeemed will worship Him on that special day.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 66:23)

Some Christians who are not very knowledgeable about the Scriptures have questioned whether Saturday is the Sabbath referred to in the fourth commandment. The Bible establishes this fact in relation to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died on what has become known as Good Friday, and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. There is only one day between these two daysóSaturday. Luke refers to the day of Christís death (Friday).

And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:54)

The Sabbath was observed, in Christís day, from sunset on Friday evening and extended to sunset on Saturday evening, as God had commanded; thus, when Jesus died at 3 p.m. on Friday, it was still the preparation day, and the Sabbath soon followed.

Matthew recorded the day of Christís resurrection (Sunday).

In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (Matthew 28:1, 2)

Scripture decisively declares that the Sabbath is indeed Saturday. History testifies to the fact that no alteration in the weekly cycle has occurred since apostolic times.

This day was the one upon which most of the faithful Christians, up to at least the seventh century (see chapter 5, entitled "The Medieval Reign of the Papacy"), worshiped. We recognize that the Roman Catholic Church proudly boasts that it was not Christ or the apostles who changed the Sabbath from the seventh day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday). As previously mentioned, many gave their lives in loyalty to the Creator. At the end of time, the Sabbath will once more become the great test of loyalty to Christ.

Satan hates the Sabbath because it is an acknowledgment of the One to whom we justifiably owe total allegiance. Ever since the controversy in heaven, Satan has sought to claim the rulership of this world. Worship on the pagan day of the sun is an acknowledgment of Satanís rulership. One shows, by the day upon which he worships, his loyalty to the sovereignty of the Creator in his life. God desires to recreate His image in our hearts.

 

 


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