Part I. The mystery of the seven heads
Part II. The mystery of the three periods
Part III. There will be no more warning calls
A closer look at our Church can reveal two opposite stances whose mouthpiece some of us often become without even realising the fact. By our Church I mean the World Christian Church of SDA.
The supporters of one of these positions are deep in studying prophecies. They analyse past and current events, contrasting and comparing them; they are busy drawing charts and diagrams and predicting the nearest future. Meanwhile, they have grown completely oblivious of the necessity to establish close personal relations with Christ and to be godly; they forgot of their growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, of their own improving with the help and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The followers of the other extreme maintain that digging into prophecies, and an infinite desire to see them come true distract our eyes from Christ and from Golgotha, thus impeding our growing in love and godliness.
It is a true danger. If I were to choose between these stances, I would opt for the latter, as life in belief and growing in His love, even without understanding of the latest predictions and events is incomparably better than neglect of ones own soul in full awareness of these predictions. Apostle Paul says it in his Epistle to Corinthians: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith , and have not charity, I am nothing (1 Cor.13:2).
There is yet another stance which could be called the golden mean. It suggests the ability to profoundly comprehend prophecies and to wakefully follow current events on the one hand, and to be concerned about your personal relations with the Saviour, on the other.
It is called the watchfulness our Lord calls us for. This is what the Scripture says about it: the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober(1 Thess.5:2-6).
Studying prophecies and accumulating knowledge is as inseparable from strengthening personal relations with Christ as Old and New Testaments are, because only as one single whole can they answer mans spiritual needs.
Being the last generation of Christians in history, we desperately need such an undivided accord of the two stances, because it is us who are predestined to be engaged in fierce spiritual dispute with lies and aberration in the time of suffering of the final crisis.
I am an avid follower of the golden mean as it is defined by our Lord; nevertheless, this pamphlet will be devoted not to love and godliness, but to the latest prophecies of the Bible, although both the topics are closely interconnected.
The topicality of the words said by the Gods messenger many decades ago is amazing:
Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviours prophecy of events to precede His coming (Prophets and kings, 536-537).
There is no doubt that these words concern us, the last generation, most of all. In the tottering world the approaching agony is becoming evident. The shocking events described in their minute detail by the Spirit of prophecy and predicted in the Scripture are about to begin. And what about us, who consider themselves the people of God?
It is common knowledge that very often condemned people waiting for their execution for months stay calm and reserved: they eat and drink, sleep and read, they watch TV and even laugh. They do not thrash about their sell in horror, as might be expected. Not knowing when they will be called, these people get used to expectation.
Dont some of us resemble such people? Not in being condemned, but in getting used to expectation. Living through the last days of history some of us have grown so accustomed to the idea of the imminent Lords Day and apocalyptic events that allowed themselves to rest in the vanity of the world and, oblivious of the tragic end of the world, forget to prepare.
The Lord showed us to His messenger in her vision:
I saw that the people of God is on the territory under a spell and some of them almost dont realize the proximity of the end of time and the value of souls that perish (The source hasnt been found; re-translation from Russian).
These words are ringing in my head, never giving me a minutes rest from the sense of anxiety and guilt, from my frustrated desire to appeal for the careless failing world to remember about the rapid approach of the last day.
But who will announce the forthcoming disasters and death if those only ones who are entrusted with the warning message are careless themselves? And we call ourselves Seventh Day Adventists!
Are we being under a spell? Weve got used to the idea that we are living in the last days of the world. Are we really aware of the finality of the last time?
Now I know that few Adventists realise how near the end is. For many of Adventists the concept of last time remains vague and unclear. I have spoken to my brethren in many places and my encounters have made me conclude that they do not really share one single idea of the last time, the variety of opinions being vast. Some believe that the Coming of Christ may happen as soon as in one year, others expect Him in 20-30 years. Yet others, however few they may be, believe that we have 100-200 years before the Second Coming. There are even those who have such vague estimations of the approaching end that one can say they are simply unaware of it. People are planning to live on this earth for years and years ahead
Some people ask: Is it really so important to know how much is left? Expect Christ every day and be prepared to meet Him every minute of your life.
It is to a great extent an egoistic stance.
Yes, we should be every minute prepared to meet our Lord, but it is His will to make His people know at what mile of their way they are and what events they are to expect. The closer we approach the catastrophe of the Great Controversy, the more detailed is the description of the imminent developments. It is to this end that our Lord gave us the Holy Scripture and the Spirit of prophecy so that we could study them and be aware. It is not just that we can but we must know where we are and, moreover, communicate our knowledge to the world.
Here is what E. G. White says about it:
The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready. (The Great Controversy, 594).
We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living (Our High Calling, page 340).
This pamphlet is aiming to unite and combine the researches of A. L. Baker (the book The Pope is king again) and M. G. Berry (the book A warning in the 1260, 1290, 1335 day timelines of Daniel 12), to add to those findings and show that the final crisis and time of suffering may begin any day, also to show from what developments the final crisis will begin, for how long it will last and how it will end. All this will be put in a nutshell.
The researches will focus on chapters 13 and 17 of the Revelation and chapter 12 of the book of Daniel.
Listen to what the Lords messenger says:
A message that will arouse the churches (here and further bold types are mine E. E.) is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 117).
Dont these words suggest that awakening of the Church is in some way connected with the comprehension of the mysteries of the prophecies in the book of Daniel and in the Revelation? The pamphlet you are holding in your hands now is calling for awakening of the children of God. I strongly believe that having read it with a prayer in your heart and Scripture in your hands you will comprehend it and awake from your lethargy to change your earthly long-term plans.
It is obvious that the concept last time is rather relative. Yet in the times of Apostles it was last time: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that an-ti-christ shall come, even now are there many an-ti-christs; whereby we know that it is the last time (1 John 2:18).
As you can see, apostle John considers appearance of antichrists to be one of the determining features of the last time, but coming of the chief Antichrist mentioned in the same text is yet to be discussed.
In the course of centuries the framework of the last time was becoming more and more narrow. One date in history made the last time more precise - it was 1844, the year when the Investigative Judgment began in Heaven.
When the beast of the Papacy, fatally wounded in 1798, came back to life in 1929, the concept of the last time was made more concrete and alarming.
Then, one after another, communist regimes fell in the East European countries in 1989, to be unexpectedly followed by an impressive collapse of the Soviet Union the stronghold of the world atheism. All that the Holy Scripture and the Spirit of prophecy predicted has come true and continues to come true: the US and former communist states have reconciled with Vatican; protestants have appeased with Catholics and in doing so betrayed the great achievements of the Reformation; spiritualism has flourished and encroached on Christianity; all latest developments are aimed at establishing a new order in the world; the USA has emerged as an only superpower after the USSR demise. E. G. White warned that
Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones (9T, 11).
By today the concept of the last time has become critically definite, but it is still to a certain extent vague. How much is left of the last time?
Proceeding from the above-mentioned developments alone, we can be almost sure: the time is at hand. But if you read this pamphlet with a prayer and comprehend its message, you will become resolute in your assuredness and realise how close the time is and not be caught unawares by imminent events.
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