As It Was in the Days of Noah

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MR No. 1389—As It Was in the Days of Noah

(Written August 20, 1897.)

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” [Matthew 24:36-39]. [Mark 13:32-37, quoted.] {19MR 179.1}

In the days of Noah the world was so full of wickedness that the Lord declared that He would not bear with it longer. Such a state of things will exist prior to the second appearing of Christ. But though the wickedness of the world was so great, yet the Lord gave men one hundred and twenty years of probation, in which, if they would, they could repent. But notwithstanding the forbearance of a good and merciful God, the people did not improve their opportunities. For a little time they were awed, and afraid to go on as recklessly as they had done. Then, depraved habits prevailed over restraint. In proportion as the people resisted conviction, their discernment was clouded, and their desire to follow a course of ungodliness strengthened. Jude describes the condition of things then existing: {19MR 179.2}

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” [Jude 1:14-16]. {19MR 179.3}

This picture the inspired servant of God has traced for the instruction and warning of all who shall live in the last days of this earth’s history. There are men who see the truth, and who should stand fast in their integrity, because they are responsible before God for the influence of their words and actions, yet who say to those who are doing their work in the fear of the Lord, striving to prepare a people to watch and be sober, “We cannot controvert your evidence. Your reasons are logical, but should we work contrary to the legislative councils, we would lose our position. We will have to go where the leaders go.” {19MR 180.1}

How closely this resembles the words spoken of some during Christ’s life on earth. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be children of light.... But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.... Nevertheless among the chief priests also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” [John 12:35-40, 42, 43]. {19MR 180.2}

Why were the eyes of the people blinded, and their hearts hardened? As they listened to Christ’s words and witnessed His miracles, they were convinced of His divinity. The Spirit of God impressed their hearts, leading them to say, This is indeed the Messiah, the One for whom we have looked, the Desire of all nations. But they hardened their hearts, and refused to accept Him. To a great degree, the priests and rulers were responsible for the people turning away from the truth to the maxims of men. And today the preachers of the people are following the footsteps of the priests and elders of the Jewish nation. When conviction is trampled on, the light that has shone into the chambers of the mind grows dim, and the darkness of error takes the place of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The result of this is shown in the following verses: [Jeremiah 13:15-17, 20, 21, 23-2510:19-21, quoted]. {19MR 181.1}

This lamentation is made for backsliding. When Christ the Majesty of heaven, came in person to His vineyard that He might receive the first fruits thereof, they said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours” [Luke 20:14]. Christ’s lamentation over Jerusalem is the lamentation of a breaking heart. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not” [Matthew 23:37]. {19MR 181.2}

The message of warning comes to us as it came to Noah. We are to warn all that the Lord is at the door. We are to urge those who are disloyal to God to repent, and render obedience to His law. Man was created in the image of God, but in him this image has been sadly disfigured. The traces of God’s love in the human soul have been nearly obliterated. Men have chosen darkness rather than light. Obedience to God’s commands wins eternal life. Disobedience places man on Satan’s side of the question{19MR 181.3}

From beginning to end, God’s requirements set forth His eternal truth. His law is the test of character. His covenant with man declares the immutability of His counsel. God is truth. He declares that He will not alter the thing that has gone out of His mouth{19MR 182.1}

We are not left in blindness and deception as to God’s requirements. The third angel is represented as flying through the heavens, proclaiming a message to the world. [Revelation 14:9, 10, quoted.] {19MR 182.2}

It is for the interest of all to understand what the mark of the beast is, and how they may escape the dread threatenings of God. Why are men not interested to know what constitutes the mark of the beast and his image? It is in direct contrast with the mark of God. [Exodus 31:12-17, quoted.] {19MR 182.3}

The Sabbath question will be the issue in the great conflict in which all the world will act a part. [Revelation 13:4-8, quoted.] {19MR 182.4}

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” This warning is given to every son and daughter of Adam; and it is repeated over and over again{19MR 182.5}

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” [Revelation 13:10]. This entire chapter is a revelation of what will surely take place. [Revelation 13:11, 15-17, quoted.] {19MR 182.6}

Christ died to save sinners, not in their sins, but from their sins. The warning given in Revelation shows us the terrible consequence of transgression. By lips that will not lie, God’s law is declared to be holy, just, and good. Our duty to obey this law is to be the burden of the last message of mercy to the world. God’s law is not a new thing. It is not holiness created, but holiness made known. It is a code of principles expressing mercy, goodness, and love. It presents to fallen humanity the character of God, and states plainly the whole duty of man. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” This command contains the principles of the first four precepts. And “Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself” [Mark 12:30, 31]. Upon these two great principles, the Word of God declares, hang all the law and the prophets. {19MR 182.7}

These principles are made known by the third angel’s message, which declares that the Creator had always required and always will require obedience to His royal law. But this law has been disregarded and transgressed, and is now being ignored by the churches. Human enactments are placed where God’s law should be. Sunday, a child of the Papacy, has taken the place of God’s holy Sabbath. As Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image, and set it up to be worshiped by all, so Sunday is placed before the people to be regarded as sacred. This day bears not a vestige of sanctity, yet it is held up to be honored by all. {19MR 183.1}

By doing this, men are doing just what Satan wished them to do. When those who claim to love God refuse to obey His Word as plainly stated in the fourth precept of the decalogue, and accept a common working day as their sabbath, they show respect to a day exalted by the enemy of God. But notwithstanding this, God’s law still stands firm. The Man of sin has thought to change this law; he has thought to do it; but not while God holds the throne will he be able to change one jot or tittle of His law{19MR 183.2}

He who made the world in six days, rested on the seventh, sanctifying and blessing that day. The Sabbath command designates God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. [Exodus 20:8-1131:16, 17, quoted.] {19MR 183.3}

But these explicit directions have been disregarded and forgotten. A common working day has been presented to the churches by the Catholic authority, and has been accepted. God gave the Sabbath to man as a memorial of the work of creation; and the Lord of heaven will not hold him guiltless who sets aside His commands, and teaches others in their place. He will regard everyone according to his works. {19MR 184.1}

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” [Revelation 14:12]. In vision John beheld the contrast between those who worship the beast and his image, and those who worship God. We are living under the message of the third angel; and the warning is now to be given by all who are loyal to God’s government. {19MR 184.2}

[Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-2810:12Deuteronomy 7:6, 7, 9-11, quoted.] A thousand generations is a long time. Before it ends, the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven, and His faithful people will be in His kingdom, keeping His commandments faithfully.—

Manuscript 88, 1897{19MR 184.3}

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

May 12, 1988.

Entire Ms.