The Real Battle

Satan has challenged God's character and His right to rule the universe. Satan has said that God's unfitness to rule is proved by His giving a law that could not be kept. Satan has had great success in advancing his claims in the great controversy. He has even gotten God's chosen people in the Old Testament to think that God is unfair and harsh. In the great apostasy after New Testament times Satan convinced Christians that God wants certain rituals and human works to supplement Christ's work at the cross. Just by reading the Bible and church history, you might think that Satan is going to win this battle.

This fear is addressed in Daniel 8:13 by several questions. How long will this go on? How long will God's good name be trodden underfoot? How long will the sanctuary be trampled? Will Satan win, after all? The answer comes in verse 14. No, this will not go on forever. After 2300 days the sanctuary will be cleansed. There will be an end to the defaming of God's good name. God will be vindicated. Romans 3:4 says it well. "That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." The word "justified" in this context means acquitted of charges, declared innocent, vindicated.

Now Jesus did vindicate God's law and His character in the most noble demonstration ever seen on earth. Jesus showed that God's law is good and His character is love. But one nagging question remained unanswered. Can sinful human beings who have spent half of their lives in rebellion really live without rebelling any more? Maybe Jesus could, but can they?

Some have expressed the thought that God's vindication was completed on the cross, and that nothing further is necessary to vindicate God and His government. But the evidence is clear that the vindication of God was not completed at the cross; that God is waiting for a final vindication before the end of sin on this planet. "All heaven is waiting to hear us vindicate God's law." (RH April 16, 1901) There is still a need to prove that God's law is good and right for sinners.

"Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own." (COL 69) This famous quotation clearly says that the second coming must wait until Christ's character is seen in His professed people. The only possible reason for such a hold in God's plans for this earth is that something must yet be demonstrated about Satan's charges and God's character.

Revelation 14:5 describes the last generation who will live on earth before Jesus comes. "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." God has made an incredible promise here. He claims that He will produce a people who will be without deceit or fault of any kind. In DA 671 is this classic statement: "The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people." It is not our honor or salvation that is involved here, but God's name and His character. He has promised that He will perfect His people. Can He really do it? If He cannot make us perfect, then His word is a lie and Satan wins the great controversy. It's that simple.

"The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word unto us." (COL 148) Whenever God promises something, He puts His name behind His promise. His throne was at stake when Christ came to our earth, and His throne is at stake in what He will do through the last generation. "Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion. Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people." (DA 763) It is important to note that God does the vindicating of His own name, but it is also vital to understand that He will do the vindicating in the characters of His people. The full development of righteous and wicked characters is necessary for the final demonstration of God's character and law. The end of sin on this planet is clearly dependent on God's vindication as He brings the plan of redemption to completion.

It is significant that Ellen White calls all of this the final atonement. At the cross the sacrifice was completed but the atonement was not completed there. Right here we have the difference between Adventism and all other Christian religions. The final atonement is all about when and how God will win the great controversy and how soon Jesus can come. This means that the purpose of Adventism's existence is to prove that Satan is a liar and that God is telling the truth in the great controversy. It's that simple. That is the message and the essence of Adventism.

The only hope for eternal security from rebellion ever arising again in the universe is when no one will ever consider Satan's accusations any more because they have been proved false in the arena of demonstration. Of course this requires the involvement of God's people in this demonstration. Our role is to allow God to come into our lives and do what He said He could do--cleanse our hearts and make us totally obedient to Him.

Do you really want to end sin on this planet, my friend? Are you tired of hearing about child abuse? Are you tired of hearing about the senseless violence of wars of aggression? Are you tired of hearing about the abuse of animals over which man has been given dominion? Are you tired of hearing about injustice in the court system, where too often the abundance of wealth determines the outcome of a case? There is only one way to end these problems, and that is the second coming of Christ. These abuses cannot be solved by picketing or boycotts or rioting. These methods might alleviate some of our pain but they are not the solution. The only way the ugliness of sin can be stopped is by allowing Jesus to come back. Please note that I did not say waiting for Jesus to come back. He is waiting for us; we are not waiting for Him.

The mission of Adventism is different from the mission of any other Christian group that has ever existed. Adventism's mission is different from the mission of the early Christian church; it is different from the mission of the Waldenses; it is different from the mission of Martin Luther. Our mission is completely unique. It has never been given to any other group of people on the face of this earth. The reason is simply that we are living in the Day of Atonement when the cleansing of the sanctuary is in process, and there are unique issues involved with this Day.


This needs a careful study to be able to understand the Bible, as well as the Spirit of Prophecy. I am thinking of studying what Mrs. White called "The Most Precious Message"


“In Minneapolis God gave precious gems of truth to His people in new settings. This light from Heaven by some was rejected with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested in rejecting Christ” MS 13, 1889


“Several have written to me, inquiring if Justification by Faith is the Third Angel’s Message, and I have answered: It is the third angel’s message in Verity.” R&H April 1, 1890

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. [See Appendix.] This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the worldIt is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. {TM 91.2}

The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.{TM 92.1}

The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church. As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, and all that had been bitten by the fiery serpents were bidden to look and live, so also the Son of man must be lifted up, that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {TM 92.2}

Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan’s determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel’s message, in clear, distinct lines. John’s words are to be sounded by God’s people, that all may discern the light and walk in the light: “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” {TM 93.1}

This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole. (See Romans 5 and 1 John 3:9 to the close of the chapter.) These precious scriptures will be impressed upon every heart that is opened to receive them. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”—those who are contrite in heart. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” These have not a mere nominal faith, a theory of truth, a legal religion, but they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God. They plead for the gift, that they may give to others. They can say, “Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” {TM 94.1}

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” {TM 94.2}

God’s Message for the Present Time

This is the very work which the Lord designs that the message He has given His servants shall perform in the heart and mind of every human agent. It is the perpetual life of the church to love God supremely and to love others as they love themselves. There was but little love for God or man, and God gave to His messengers just what the people needed. Those who received the message were greatly blessed, for they saw the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness, and life and hope sprang up in their hearts. They were beholding Christ. “Fear not,” is His everlasting assurance; “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” “Because I live, ye shall live also.” The blood of the spotless Lamb of God the believers apply to their own hearts. Looking upon the great Antitype, we can say, “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” The Sun of Righteousness shines into our hearts to give the knowledge of the glory of Jesus Christ. Of the Holy Spirit’s office He says, “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” The psalmist prays, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.” {TM 95.1}

The Lord would have these grand themes studied in our churches, and if every church member shall give entrance to the word of God, it will give light and understanding to the simple. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (See Isaiah 29:13-16, 18-21.) “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” {TM 95.2}

Never was there a time when the Lord would manifest His great grace unto His chosen ones more fully than in these last days when His law is made void. “The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” What does God say in regard to His people? “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.” (See also Isaiah 43.) These are prophecies that will be fulfilled. {TM 96.1}

Warning Against Despising God’s Message

I would speak in warning to those who have stood for years resisting light [See Appendix.] and cherishing the spirit of opposition. How long will you hate and despise the messengers of God’s righteousness? God has given them His message. They bear the word of the Lord. There is salvation for you, but only through the merits of Jesus Christ. The grace of the Holy Spirit has been offered you again and again. Light and power from on high have been shed abundantly in the midst of you. Here was evidence, that all might discern whom the Lord recognized as His servants. But there are those who despised the men and the message they bore. They have taunted them with being fanatics, extremists, and enthusiasts. Let me prophesy unto you: Unless you speedily humble your hearts before God, and confess your sins, which are many, you will, when it is too late, see that you have been fighting against God. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, no longer unto reformation and pardon, you will see that these men whom you have spoken against have been as signs in the world, as witnesses for God. Then you would give the whole world if you could redeem the past, and be just such zealous men, moved by the Spirit of God to lift your voice in solemn warning to the world; and, like them, to be in principle firm as a rock. Your turning things upside down is known of the Lord. Go on a little longer as you have gone, in rejection of the light from heaven, and you are lost. “The man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation.” {TM 96.2}

I have no smooth message to bear to those who have been so long as false guideposts, pointing the wrong way. If you reject Christ’s delegated messengers, you reject Christ. Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despise this glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. I entreat you now to humble yourselves and cease your stubborn resistance of light and evidence. Say unto the Lord, Mine iniquities have separated between me and my God. O Lord, pardon my transgressions. Blot out my sins from the book of Thy remembrance. Praise His holy name, there is forgiveness with Him, and you can be converted, transformed. {TM 97.1}

Stay blessed,