This is the last article in a series of articles on `The Last Generation'.
In the following passage, Ellen White outlined the last work for those wait for the Bridegroom's return:
"We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom!" and then gathering up our empty lamps to have them replenished. We cannot keep Christ apart from our lives here, and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven.
In the parable the wise virgins had oil in their vessels with their lamps. Their light burned with undimmed flame through the night of watching. It helped to swell the illumination for the bridegroom's honor. Shining out in the darkness, it helped to illuminate the way to the home of the bridegroom, to the marriage feast.
So the followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God's word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory--His character--is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom's home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The coming of the bridegroom was at midnight--the darkest hour. So the coming of Christ will take place in the darkest period of this earth's history. The days of Noah and Lot pictured the condition of the world just before the coming of the Son of man. The Scriptures pointing forward to this time declare that Satan will work with all power and "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." 2 Thess. 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, and delusions of these last days. Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are leavening the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great apostasy will develop into darkness deep as midnight, impenetrable as sackcloth of hair. To God's people it will be a night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of persecution for the truth's sake. But out of that night of darkness God's light will shine.
He causes "the light to shine out of darkness." 2 Cor. 4:6. When "the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep," "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." Gen. 1:2,3. So in the night of spiritual darkness, God's word goes forth, "Let there be light." To His people He says, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. 60:1.
"Behold," says the Scripture, "the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." Isa. 60:2.
It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.
This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." Isa. 40:9,10.
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them." (COL pp. 413 - 415.)
This is the work which has been given to the last generation of Adventists. It is a message which has no taint of `self' - for it focuses solely upon Christ:
`And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.' (Luke 21:25-27)
This message is given in conjunction with the Three Angel's Message - for it is in fact the message of the Fourth Angel. It is the `Latter Rain' which is poured out without measure; it is Elijah returned from the wilderness and it is the message which will herald our Lord's return. It was first given in 1888 at Minneapolis; as a result we had the first showers of blessing - but the rejection of it has seen our people wander in the wilderness of sin, as we have hardened our hearts against it and have instead appropriated the doctrines of devils which have been spawned in Babylon - and we are surely now reaping what we have sown.
It is a message which brooks no legalism, nor does it brook spiritualism, for it focuses upon the agape of Christ, which He promises to implant in our hearts through the workings of His Holy Spirit - if we will subjugate our ego, and `Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus' (Phil. 2:5).
The message consists of two parts:
- Behold your God:
Surely goodness and mercy hath followed us all of our days! By rightly beholding the Father, we also behold the Son - and it is only through the channel of blessing - i.e, that the Son is a Son by inheritance can we even begin to perceive the gift that was given us at Calvary. As the modalism that is inherent in Trinitarianism destroys the identities of the Father and Son, then this implies that nothing was really given to us at Calvary, and John 3:16 is made a mockery of.
- The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love:
The character of God is agape; for agape is completely devoid of its opposite; which is self, or Eros as Plato described it. In conjunction with clearly grasping agape, one must also have a clear conception of the sin problem, and God's remedy to fix this. One means which the devil has used to completely obscure this is the Theory of Evolution. After all, if we evolved from slime, then there is no God, no sin and anarchy prevails. Another prong which he has used to destroy a right conception of the character of God is the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul. As it infers that we are all little gods who go straight to heaven or hell when the soul is released from the confines of the body, it thus naturally destroys any right conception the atonement, for it is based upon Eros and the doctrines of devils. How can you comprehend agape if you believe that when you die you go straight to heaven? Thus the resurrection is pictured as the body happily meeting with the vaporous soul, which is already in heaven - which is plainly absurd! The Bible plainly teaches that the wages of sin are death; but if the doctrine of natural immortality leads us to believe that the death which this describes is in fact the first death, then we cannot comprehend the true gravity of sin. Thus the last message of mercy depicts the true interrelationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as well as an understanding of the gravity of sin. Only then can the agape of Christ be comprehended, and the remedy He has for sin:
`For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by agape.' (Galatians 5:6)
Through the Spirit, we wait for an imparted faith, which works by agape; for there is nothing of `self' in agape. By beholding we are changed. It matters not if we eventually sleep in our graves as we wait for our Lord's return, for it is our commission to pass on these truths which herald our Lord's return to the next generation, so that whoever the Last Generation might be, they will have a firm conception of the Eternal Gospel. This message cannot be given by any Church which has Trinitarianism as its foundation, for the doctrine of the Trinity presents a corrupted conception of the character of God, for it is based on Eros. It is up to us to ensure that a right knowledge of the character of God does not die with us, but is instead passed onto the next generation - for we are a little band of brothers and sisters who still hold to Sola Scriptura. We are the remnant, and there is none other!
Here are the other articles in this series:
The Last Generation - Part One
The Last Message of Mercy - Part Five