Man and the End of Time

Man and the End of TIme

The Editor in imagination Interviews Ellen G. White on the Subject of the End of Time

Mrs. White, what are your feelings regarding the end of time for the human race? Is it near?

"We are near the close of time. I have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. . . . God has given the world an opportunity to learn and to obey His will. ... In infinite mercy a last warning message has been sent to the world, announcing that Christ is at the door and calling attention to God's broken law. But as the antediluvians rejected with scorn the warning of Noah, so will the pleasure lovers of today reject the message of God's faithful servants. The world pursues its unvarying round, absorbed as ever in its business and its pleasures, while the wrath of God is about to be visited on the transgressors of His law." Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 99, 100.

There are a number of immense cities in our world. Do we have much time left to evangelize them?

"Oh, that we might see the needs of these cities as God sees them! At such a time as this every hand is to be employed. The Lord is coming; the end is near, yea, it hasteth greatly! In a little while we shall be unable to work with the freedom that we now enjoy. Terrible scenes are before us, and what we do we must do quickly."

"The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God's judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another fire, and flood, and earth quake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent." Ibid., vol. 9, p. 101; Prophets and Kings, p. 278.

But Mrs. White, it seems impossible to work these cities now. What shall we do?

"A great work is to be done. I am moved by the Spirit of God to say to those engaged in the Lord's work, that the favorable time for our message to be carried to the cities has passed by, and this work has not been done. I feel a heavy burden that we shall now redeem the time. . . .

"My brethren, enter the cities while you can. In the cities that have been already entered there are many who have never heard the message of truth. Some who have heard have been converted, and some have died in the faith. There are many others who, if they were given an opportunity, might hear and accept the message of salvation. . . . These, our last efforts for the work of God in the earth, must bear decidedly the impress of the divine."

"The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances."—Evangelism, pp. 31-33; Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 463.

You have mentioned signs in society and nature, but are there any signs in the field of politics or religion?

"To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy be tween truth and error. . . . While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord's people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending."— Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 451, 452. (Italics supplied.)

Mrs. White, our General Conference Religious Liberty Department is actively engaged in thwarting Sunday laws. In fact, a new policy of the Liberty Magazine is to publish articles dealing with the Sabbath truth and the change of the Sabbath. Aren't we making a mistake in trying to hold off these events? Don't you think that we should just let these things take place so that our Lord can soon come?

"It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience. . . . Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God's means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber. . . . The efforts made to retard the progress of truth will serve to extend it."— Ibid., pp. 452-454.

But when our religious liberty men speak about a religious issue in Sunday Jaws, they are laughed at. Most legislators today look on Sunday laws as simply social and welfare statutes. Some of us feel that we should be careful not to prejudice our at tempt to secure exemptions by speaking out so decidedly. Others feel that we should take a bold stand in order to let the world know something about the Sabbath truth. Do you have anything to say on this point?

"This time when there is such an effort made to enforce the observance of Sunday is the very opportunity to present to the world the true Sabbath in contrast to the false. The Lord in His providence is far ahead of us. He has permitted this Sunday question to be pressed to the front, that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment may be presented before the legislative assemblies: thus the leading men of the nation may have their attention called to the testimony of God's word in favor of the true Sabbath. If it does not convert them, it is a witness to condemn. The Sabbath question is the great testing question for this time."—Manuscript 16, 1890.

You have made this very plain. Do you feel that we are doing all that we can as church members to let the world know that the end is near?

"My heart is often burdened because so many who might work are doing nothing. . . . Every believer, educated or uneducated, can bear the message.

"Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing? Have our hearts become utterly callous? Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others? My brethren and sisters, are you among those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of His will? Is it in vain that He has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end? Do yon believe the declarations of His word concerning what is coming upon the world? Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth? How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent?"—Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 26, 27.

Your answers are tremendously stirring to the soul. In view of the shortness of time, how do you feel about the wage-scale problem we face as a church?

"Time is short, and our forces must be organized to do a larger work. Laborers are needed who comprehend the greatness of the work and who will engage in it, not for the wages they receive, but from a realization of the nearness of the end. The time demands greater efficiency and deeper consecration. Oh, I am so full of this subject that I cry to God: 'Raise up and send forth messengers filled with a sense of their responsibility, messengers in whose hearts self-idolatry, which lies at the foundation of all sin, has been crucified.' " —Ibid., p. 27.

What subject should we preachers be proclaiming to both the world and our own people since we are so near the end of time?

"We are living in the close of this earth's history. . . . Prophecy is fulfilling. . . . The time has come when the message of Christ's soon coming is to sound throughout the world. . . . All the discourses that we give are plainly to reveal that we are waiting, working, and praying for the coming of the Son of God. His coming is our hope."—Evangelism, pp. 217-220.

You have made your point on the second coming of Christ, but what about the sanctuary truth?

"The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. . . . God's people are now to have their eyes fixed on the heavenly sanctuary, where the final ministration of our great High Priest in the work of the judgment is going forward—where He is interceding for His people."—Ibid., pp. 221-223.

But Mrs. White, in these modern days with the tremendous increase of theological knowledge, won't some of our doctrines have to be changed or at least greatly modified? We just can't be too dogmatic about these things, such as the three angels' messages, can we?

"That which was truth then, is truth to day." "When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand for ever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained."

"Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great waymarks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so." — Selected Messages, book 2, p. 104; book 1, p. 161; Evangelism, p. 223.

You surely are strong on your beliefs— in fact, dogmatic! What about the doctrine of the law and the Sabbath?

"The Lord has a special message for His ambassadors to bear. They are to give the people the warning, calling upon them to repair the breach that has been made by the Papacy in the law of God. . . . The holy day of the Lord has been changed to a common working day. Men have torn down God's memorial, placing a false rest day in its stead. . . . The light concerning the binding claims of the law of God is to be presented everywhere. This is to be a deciding question. It will test and prove the world."—Evangelism, pp. 225, 226.

Nearly a hundred years ago you dreamed of a noble - appearing young man who talked to you about our publishing work. What did he say?

" 'You are not as a people doing one twentieth part of what might be done in spreading the knowledge of the truth. Very much more can be accomplished by the living preacher with the circulation of papers and tracts than by the preaching of the word alone without the publications. The press is a powerful instrumentality which God has ordained to be combined with the energies of the living preacher to bring the truth be fore all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. Many minds can be reached in no other way.

" 'Here is true missionary work in which labor and means can be invested with the best results. There has been too great fear of running risks, and moving out by faith, and sowing beside all waters. Opportunities have been presented which have not been grasped and made the most of. There has been too great fear of venturing. True faith is not presumption, but it ventures much. Precious light and powerful truth need to be brought out in publications without delay.'"—Life Sketches., pp. 217, 218. (Italics supplied.)

I am sure you agreed with him. What do you personally have to say about it?

"We are fast approaching the end. The printing and circulation of the books and papers that contain the truth for this time are to be our work."— Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 89.

Thank you for these excellent answers, Mrs. White, and we hope to interview you again on other subjects.


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February 1970

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