- Judgment and Punishment -
Manuscript 1, June, 1857
Manuscript 5, 1876
Letter 14, August 8, 1883
Manuscript 41, 1896
Manuscript 58, June 21, 1897
Manuscript 122, August, 1899
Letter 30, February 25, 1900
Manuscript 33, June 25, 1900
Manuscript 151, 1901
Letter 195, September 6, 1903
Manuscript 102, July 2, 1904
Letter 217, July 3, 1904
Letter 154, May 12, 1906
The Lord in judgment will at the close of time walk through the earth; the fearful plagues will begin to fall. Then those who have despised God's word, those who have lightly esteemed it, shall "wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it" [Amos 8:12]. A famine is in the land for the hearing of the Word. The ministers of God will have done their last work, offered their last prayers, shed their last bitter tear for a rebellious church and an ungodly people. Their last solemn warning has been given. O then how quickly would houses and lands...dollars that have been miserly hoarded...be given...by those who have professed the truth and have not lived it out....But no, they must hunger and thirst on in vain. Their thirst will never be quenched, no consolation can they get. Their cases are decided and eternally fixed. It is a fearful, awful time.
Because of his holy integrity and unwavering adherence to God's commands, Noah was counted singular indeed and made himself an object of contempt and derision by answering to the claims of God without a questioning doubt....Noah was tested and tried thoroughly and yet he preserved his integrity in the face of the world--all, all against him. Thus will it be when the Son of Man shall be revealed. The saved will be few, as is represented by Noah and his family. The world might have beheld the warnings....
The class who professed to acknowledge God were the ones who took the lead in rejecting the preaching of Noah and through their influence leading others to reject it.
To everyone comes the time of test and trial....The men before the flood sought to quiet their consciences, which the Spirit of God had aroused, by arguing how impossible it was for the message of Noah to be true and a flood to deluge the world that would turn nature out of her course. The same reasoning is heard today: "Why, the world will not be destroyed by fire." The siren song is sung, "All things continue as they were from the beginning. No need to pay any regard to this preaching that the worlds's history will soon close. Why, the laws of nature show the inconsistency of this." He who is Lord of nature can employ it to serve His purposes, for He is not the slave of nature.
They reasoned that it was not in accordance with the character of God to save Noah and his family, eight persons only, in that vast world, and let all the rest be swept out of existence by the waters of the flood....As they reasoned in Noah's day, they reason today when the warning message is proclaimed to fear God and keep His commandments, for the wrath of God is soon to fall on all the sinful and disobedient, and they will perish in the general conflagration. Professed servants of Christ who are unfaithful, who do not reverence God and with fear prepare for the terrible future event, will lull themselves to carnal security with their fallacious reasoning, as they did in Noah's day: God is too good and too merciful to save just a few who keep the Sabbath and believe the philosophers and men of wisdom would see the Sabbath and the shortness of time, if it were true. They do not believe a merciful God who made men will consume them with fire because they do not believe the warnings given. This, they reason, is not in accordance with God....
God's love is represented in our day as being of such a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner. Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself" [Psalms 50:21]. They measure God by themselves. They reason as to how they would act under the circumstances and decide God would do as they imagine they would do.
God's goodness and long forbearance, His patience and mercy exercised to His subjects will not hinder Him from punishing the sinner who refuses to be obedient to His requirements. It is not for man--a criminal against God's holy law, pardoned only through the great sacrifice He made in giving His son to die for the guilty because His law was changeless to dictate to God. After all this effort on the part of God to preserve the sacred and exalted character of His law, if men, through the sophistry of the devil, turn the mercy and condescension of God into a curse, they must suffer the penalty. Because Christ died, they consider they have liberty to transgress God's holy law, which condemns the transgressor, and would complain of its strictness and its penalty as severe and unlike God. They are uttering words Satan utters to millions, to quiet their conscience in rebellion against God.
In no kingdom or government is it left to the lawbreakers to say what punishment is to be executed against those who have broken the law. All we have, all the bounties of His grace which we possess, we owe to God. The aggravating character of sin against such a God cannot be estimated any more than the heavens can be measured with a span. God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver. He makes and executes His laws. Law that has no penalty is of no force.
The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffer punishment by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice, which man has no right to do...[to] his fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God could do it in strict justice.
Who will say God will not do what He says He will do? "Let God be true and every man a liar" [see Romans 3:4]. The Lord is coming in flaming fire to take vengeance on those sinners who know not God and obey not His gospel. And because in His infinite mercy He delays His coming to give the world a larger span for repentance, sinners flatter themselves [that] He will never come. In the public press, in the haunts of sin, as well as in the schools of science so-called, there is one sentiment: They curl the lips with scorn, and jest and ridicule at the warnings given them, and look upon the thousands who will not believe. Jests are uttered, witty paragraphs published at the expense of those who wait and look for His appearing, and, with fear, like Noah, prepare for the event. This is not new, but as old as sin. It is as false as the father of lies.
When ministers, farmers, merchants, lawyers, great men, and professedly good men shall cry, "Peace and safety," sudden destruction cometh. Luke reports the words of Christ, that the day of God comes as a snare--the figure of an animal prowling in the woods for prey, and lo, suddenly he is entrapped in the concealed snare of the fowler.
I was shown in the vision given me of the judgment, that God would send warnings, counsels, and reproof. Some would take heed to their ways and seek the Lord, while some would follow their own judgment because it was more convenient and pleasing to their natural hearts to do so. While some others would kick against the pricks, rising up against the testimonies of reproof, despise the warnings, choose their own wisdom, be ensnared and overcome by the enemy, and become so blinded by his infatuation they would be utterly unable to discern the things of God and would work directly against the light, enshrouding themselves in darkness and error. Then these very ones sustain and strengthen the hands of our bitterest enemies....
I was shown that the time was in the near future that these whom God has warned and reproved and given great light, but they would not correct their ways and follow light, He would remove from them that heavenly protection that had preserved them from Satan's cruel power. The Lord would surely leave them to themselves to follow the judgment and counsels of their own wisdom. They would simply be left to themselves and the protection of God [would] be withdrawn from them, and they would not be shielded from the workings of Satan....None of finite judgment and foresight can have any power to conceive of the care God has exercised through His angels over the children of men in their travels, in their houses, in their eating and drinking. Wherever they are, His eye is upon them. They are preserved from a thousand dangers, all of them unseen. Satan has laid snares, but the Lord is constantly at work to save His people from them. But those who have no sense of the goodness of God, who refuse His merciful warnings, who reject His counsels to reach the highest standard of Bible requirements, who do despite to the Spirit of grace, the Lord would remove His protecting power.
I was shown that Satan would entangle and then destroy, if he could, the souls he had tempted. God will bear long, but there is a bound to His mercy, a line which marks His mercy and His justice....It is Satan's power that is at work at sea and on land bringing calamity and distress, and sweeping off multitudes to make sure of His prey. Storm and tempest both by land and sea will be, for Satan has come down in great wrath. He is at work. He knows his time is short, and, if he is not restrained, we shall see more terrible manifestations of his power than we have ever dreamed of.
In the last scenes of this earth's history, war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague, and famine. The waters of the great deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood. Disasters will come unexpectedly upon the world. This should show us that the souls for whom Christ has died should be fitting up for the mansions that He has gone to prepare for them. There is rest from earth's conflict. Where is it?--"that where I am, there ye may be also" [John 14:3]. Heaven is where Christ is.
When the test is over, when men have taken sides for or against the law of Jehovah, the season of mercy and probation is ended. Then God will move in the straight line of justice to give to every man as his works have been. Some will receive the reward of well-doing, others the reward of their evil deeds.
The world is soon to be left by the angel of mercy and the seven last plagues are to be poured out....The storm is gathering. The bolts of God's wrath are soon to fall, and, when He shall begin to punish the transgressors, there will be no period of respite until the end. He shall come forth to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and "the earth...shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain" [Isaiah 26:21]. Only those stand who are sanctified through the truth in the love of God. They will be hid with Christ in God until the desolation shall be overpast.
Men have insulted God by accepting as holy a common working day. Nothing can put the stamp of the man of sin so definitely upon the world as the acceptance of a spurious sabbath, while the day God has set apart is trampled underfoot.
With His own finger God wrote His commandments on two tables of stone. These tables were not left in the keeping of men, but were placed in the ark; and in the great day, when every case is decided, these tables inscribed with the commandments, will be placed so that all the world will see and understand. The witness against them will be unanswerable.
And upon those who have taken upon them the work of shepherds of the flock will be visited the heaviest judgments, because they have presented to the people fables instead of truth. Children will rise up and curse their parents. Church members, who have seen the light and been convicted, but who trusted the salvation of their souls to the minister, will learn in the day of God that no other soul can pay the ransom for their transgression. A terrible cry will be raised, "I am lost, eternally lost." Men will feel as though they could rend in pieces the ministers who have preached falsehoods and condemned the truth. The pure truth for this time requires a reformation in the life, but they separated themselves from the love of the truth, and of them it can be said, "O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself" [Hosea 13:19]. The Lord sends a message to the people, "Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My law" [Hosea 8:1].
[The Lord declares,] "When it is made a crime for My people to keep holy the Sabbath, then I will arise out of My place and punish the world for it's iniquity. The earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain" [see Isaiah 26:21]....
When the Lord sends His servants with a message to warn the members of the church, to open before them the truth, many of those who claim to be shepherds refuse to examine the word of the Lord for themselves, and commence a tirade against the messenger and the message of truth, circulating falsehoods originated by those who have apostatized from the truth. They receive these falsehoods and make every possible use of them in opposing those whom the Lord has sent with a message of warning to lead the people to search the Bible for themselves with a sacred awe, fearing lest they shall be found fighting against God and committing blasphemy. God's messengers are charged with doing the work of Satan. But as they follow the example of the great Teacher, their work bears witness of them....
Those who have permitted themselves to be deceived will not be excused for neglecting to search the Word of God for themselves. They committed their souls to the minister, who was not diligent in searching the Word to know the truth. But the minister cannot pay the ransoms for their souls.
At any moment God can withdraw from the impenitent the tokens of His wonderful mercy and love. O, that human agencies might consider what will be the sure result of their ingratitude to Him, and of their disregard of the infinite gift of Christ to our world! If they continue to love transgression more than obedience, the present blessings and the great mercy of God, which they now enjoy but do not appreciate, will finally become the occasion of their eternal ruin. They may for a time choose to engage in worldly amusements and sinful pleasures, rather than check themselves in their course of sin and live for God and for the honor of the Majesty of heaven; but, when it is too late for them to see and understand that which they have slighted as a thing of naught, they will know what it means to be without God, without hope. Then will they sense what they have lost by choosing to be disloyal to God and to stand in rebellion against His commandments. In the past they [have] defied His power and rejected His overtures of mercy; finally His judgments will fall upon them. They will realize that they have lost happiness--life, eternal life in the heavenly courts. Surely they will say, "Our life was full of madness against God, and now we are lost!"
In the time when God's judgments are falling without mercy, Oh, how enviable will be the position of those who abide "in the secret place of the Most High"--the pavilion in which the Lord hides all who have loved Him and have obeyed His commandments! The lot of the righteous is indeed an enviable one at such a time to those who are suffering because of their sins. But the door of mercy is closed to the wicked. No more prayers are offered in their behalf, after probation ends.
In this age, a time of satanic wonders, everything conceivable will be said and done to deceive if possible, the very elect. Let believers say nothing to extol Satan's power. The Lord will distinguish His commandment-keeping people with signal marks of His favor, if they will be molded and fashioned by His Spirit, and build up in the most holy faith, harkening strictly to the voice of His word....
If we stand in the great day of the Lord with Christ as our refuge, our high tower, we must put away all envy, all strife for the supremacy. We must utterly destroy the roots of these unholy things, that they may not again spring into life. We must place ourselves wholly on the side of the Lord. Tribulation and wrath will surely come upon those who profess to be Christians, yet who accept the principles of Satan, departing from the commandments of God in the daily life of living a lie.
Can we not see the uncertainty of time? There are many, many, who are unready for the Lord's appearing. They continue to act like the wicked, to cherish the principles of the wicked, [and] they will be punished with the wicked. If they betray the truth of God, causing the message given by Him to become an uncertain thing, can He shield them from the disasters by sea and by land? No, No!
Last night a scene was presented before me. I may never feel free to reveal all of it, but I will reveal a little. It seemed that an immense ball of fire came down upon the world and crushed large houses. From place to place the cry arose, "The Lord has come! The Lord has come!" Many were unprepared to meet Him, but a few were saying, "Praise the Lord!"
"Why are you praising the Lord?" inquired those upon whom was coming sudden destruction.
"Because we now see what we have been looking for."
"If you believed that these things were coming, why did you not tell us?" was the terrible response. "We did not know about these things. Why did you leave us in ignorance? Again and again you have seen us; why did you not become acquainted with us and tell us of the judgment to come, and that we must serve God, lest we perish? Now we are lost!"...
May God help us to stand, like Daniel, in our lot and place during the days of probation that remain. Parents, teach your children regarding the things that are coming upon the earth and lead them to prepare to meet their Lord in peace.
Night before last a very impressive scene passed before me. I saw an immense ball of fire fall into the midst of some beautiful mansions, causing their instant destruction. I heard some say, "We knew that the judgments of God were coming upon the earth, but we did not know they would come so soon." Others said, "You knew! Why then did you not tell us? We did not know." On every side I heard such words spoken.
As we near the close of this earth's history, we shall see the scenes of the San Francisco calamity repeated in other places....
These things make me feel very solemn, because I know that the judgment day is right upon us. The judgments that have already come are a warning, but not the finishing of the punishment that will come on wicked cities. Our cities are most terrible places, wherein are practiced all kinds of sin and iniquity of the most revolting character. The Lord's name is greatly dishonored....
In the night season I have had many presentations of the judgments of God coming upon our cities, and now I can understand better the real meaning of these scenes I have witnessed.... How soon the scenes of destruction and desolation will come and be universal, we cannot tell. "Be ye also ready," saith the Lord, "for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh" [Matthew 24:44].
Habakkuk 2:1, 2; 2:3-20; Zephaniah 1:1-3, 20; Zechariah 1:1-4, 14; Malachi 1:1-4 quoted.
These scenes will soon be witnessed, just as they are clearly described. I present these wonderful statements from the Scriptures for the consideration of everyone. The prophecies recorded in the Old Testament are the word of the Lord for the last days, and will be fulfilled as surely as we have seen the desolation of San Francisco.
Will any body of men bring upon themselves the displeasure of the Lord by framing a law for the observance of a spurious sabbath, and then compelling obedience to this law? Will they insult God by profaning His holy day, and assuming authority as gods to exalt the first day of the week to be observed by all?...
Whoever of the human family will dare to defy the Lord God will pay the penalty by meeting the great Lawgiver over His broken law. The word has gone forth. It is not the word of a human power, but of Almighty Authority, of a living and true God. Will man dare trifle with the sacred law of Jehovah, and place in its stead a common working day, which marks the beginning of the week for the transaction of ordinary business. We will venture to meet Jehovah over His broken law....How can men dare to assume the authority of Jehovah, and represent themselves as God, change times and laws.
I call the attention of thinking men of these things. Dare you continue to take a human enactment that bears not the stamp of divine approval, and place it before the people as something to respect and honor? Will you substitute a counterfeit in place of the true and genuine? Will you thus meet God over His broken law, and stand with threats of persecution and severe punishment against people who you regard as criminals because they choose to obey the law of Jehovah in place of spurious sabbath that man has created?