23 The Death Decree

By John ThielAudio: mp3

This is a subject that appears to be morbid but it is the exact opposite. All through history we have seen the reality of Genesis 3:

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

God’s everlasting covenant in action has been played out ever since that time. What was his mind in that everlasting covenant? This precious reality of His everlasting mind of a nature that is so profound?

God had a knowledge of the events of the future, even before the creation of the world. He did not make His purposes to fit circumstances, but He allowed matters to develop and work out. He did not work to bring about a certain condition of things, but He knew that such a condition would exist. The plan that should be carried out upon the defection of any of the high intelligence of heaven–this is the secret, the mystery which has been hid from ages. And an offering was prepared in the eternal purposes to do the very work which God has done for fallen humanity (ST March 25, 1897). {6BC 1082.3}

God knew that Lucifer would fall but He had made provision for it and the fact that He had made provision for man, an offering was prepared in the eternal purposes to do the very work which God has done for fallen humanity. What’s that saying? In the mind of God the everlasting covenant to redeem anyone who would fall into defection was provided a remedy. Even for Lucifer but Lucifer rejected it. Will man reject it? But what a thought, what a God we worship, not willing that any should perish. He does not create for the purpose that His creatures would be destroyed. Lucifer was the most glorious of all the intelligence’s that He created and not willing that he should perish. Even Lucifer before he rejected his grace was given the precious privilege of redemption but he relentlessly evil opposed and attacked the great childlike innocence of the mighty God.

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel commenced the two classes and God let it develop. As He permitted Abel to be slain and continued to permit the evil seed to do its work, God let it develop only sustaining the morale of His children but permitting evil to unfold it’s ugly nature upon Himself and upon His people. Evil to unfold it’s ugly nature upon Himself in His Son and His people. When Jesus finally came as demonstrated in Revelation 12 and Satan having torn upon the Son of God and bringing Him to the grave, it was his own destruction. Satan knew it.

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he that but a short time.

He has been called out and he knew it and now his evil relentless nature was there in wrath. Those who were the children of the seed of the woman which Jesus was, Jesus left behind a people and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12: 11). That’s just what we have been hearing in the song; I’m but a stranger here. They loved not their lives unto the death. Here we are today, we’ve got a pretty cushy life haven’t we? Or have we?

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wrath with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Who does he make war with? He’s been wrath with the woman but now he is not only knowing that he has a short time, here is this last little remnant whom he makes war with. As you think along those trains of thought, it doesn’t seem right does it for God to let this go on like that for they cry, Lord, how long and what does He say? This is repeated in Daniel, it’s repeated in Psalms – how long do we have to go on suffering like this? I love not my life, I want to go home. How long?

Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

What’s His answer?

Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

More to be killed! More delayed! Suffering and action but white robes were given them. I admire you, you are my children, you have my righteousness. Hang on, don’t worry, others have to die yet. What sort of strategy is this? I repeat and we want to understand what the strategy is. Why so long? Why permit evil to relentlessly do it’s damage? None other than that of Christ letting Satan play out all his wrath upon Him. When Jesus permitted Satan’s wrath to let out upon Him, it was for the eternal demise of Satan and sin and evil. It is for you and me if we will choose to take a role with Jesus Christ. Will you let the wrath and the evil of Satan take it’s vengeance upon you to? The follower of Jesus Christ? This is what Jesus says to the remnant in Revelation 3. Every time you are suffering and you are a believer in Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, you are suffering to fulfil His strategy against evil.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

What is Jesus saying? If you don’t let me in you don’t have to suffer. I stand at the door and knock will you let me in? Will you let me in to sup with you and you with me? If you will let me in, we will sup together the suffering of evil that I have experienced and then if you will overcome as I overcame, I will grant you to sit with me in my throne in eternity because we together will conquer the evil one by suffering together.

  • The Latter Rain

Under the Latter Rain we are restore and prepare our hearts to accept this exercise. The vivid contrast of the brilliant light and glory of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit filling the life of the believer arising and shining with the glorious character of Jesus and the purity of His nature and was responded to by Satan in these last days and the accumulated arsenal of the enemy. You remember that study? The accumulated killing machine right down to the woman joining the killing machine. The woman that we saw accumulated the indignation of Satan to destroy and desolate the Son of God and His people. Revelation 14 connects with Revelation 13 the contrasting experience the message under the latter rain and the loud cry of the third angels message that is given by the people of the latter rain.

Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb

14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

There is that message. It is a damning message for all evil which has accumulated itself with the arsenal killing matching. The contrast is:

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Which side are you going to be on? To suffer the wrath that is described in Revelation 14 or to be suffering the desolating power of the arsenal of Satan through the beast and his image? Killed in either direction, interesting choice. This desolation that is here denoted in this statement that he will cause that as many that would not worship the image of the beast should be killed is the final desolating thrust.

Daniel 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain [saint] which spake, How long [shall be] the vision [concerning] the daily [sacrifice], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

How long shall be these two powers that make desolate to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? How long; and what is the answer? 2300 days in the next verse. But go to chapter 9:27 because this verse encumbers the 2300 days.

Revelation 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Can you see the answer how long? Until the consummation. It didn’t even conclude after the 2300 days in 1844, it would continue to the final consummation which is going to poured upon the desolator. That is where it will end and that’s the theme of the our conference; the consummation of the everlasting covenant.

During the process of evils desolations to Gods people under Satan’s killing machine, evil is simultaneously receiving the outpouring of desolation’s. It was when Jesus wounded the head of Satan and then through history Satan turns with wrath upon the seed of the woman and the seed of the woman is being bombarded and attacked so that over fifty million people were slaughtered because of their faith but all for one purpose for the desolation of Satan. What is the process of that desolation of Satan right at the end? Here is a people under the power of the later rain that threaten him and his converts and all those who were work out of his team and he makes one more desperate thrust of this has got to be it, he has to eliminate these people from this planet.

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

This the last great effort to desolate God’s people.

The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk’s, and friends. Luke 21:16. [TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH, VOL. 5, PP. 472, 473.]

Can you think of anything worse of anything worse than that? He’s got it all worked out, h must blot them from this planet. So what happens? Tthe latter rain has spread it’s glory covering the whole earth right under Satan’s nose. He couldn’t do anything about it. He tried to stop it, he tried to put the Laodicean people to sleep and the great majority he managed to do that too, lukewarm. But there is this little pesky remnant that he just can’t get to do it. There they are opening their hearts to the latter rain and the Holy Spirit and he’s tried so hard and he can’t get over them. What happens? They develop a loud cry and arouse the members of the fallen churches to leave them. Wow! These pesky little things? They’ve got to be blotted out, they will succeed in winning all these people away from him. Are you a pest? Be a pest to Satan, that’s good.

Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The labourers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power–all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement the hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain Thus saith the Lord, the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it. {GC 606.2}

This a very important key here. They will stir up the sin loving multitude. This is a strategy that Satan hasn’t used very well before he’s finally managed to get churches, Christian churches and the multitudes in those churches and in the world to bring them around to this grand millennium and new age experience and anybody who would not co-operate with them is attached to the multitudes. Peer pressure is known in the world today. That’s Satan’s word. Is there any wonder that this little pesky company, this little remnant that is receiving their power from on high convinces the people of the churches against their ministers?

When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God’s dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God. {GC 615.1}

As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. {GC 615.1}

When probation closes; did your notice that this little pesky company that refuses to submit;

It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. {DD 40.2}

They finally get the grand millennium control. It’s peace now because we have everybody under the law of our control but here is a few people that are not co-operating. They disrupt.

The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the “rulers of the people.” “It is expedient for us,” said the wily Caiaphas, “that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. {DD 40.2}

The people of God remember will remember all this after the close of probation.

The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. ” {DD 41.1}

It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument many centuries ago was brought against Christ by the rulers of the people. It is expedient for us, said the wily Caiaphas, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. John 11:50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. {GC 615.2}

Can you see the parallel? The irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounces and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed. They inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religions will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally been withdrawn and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil would inspire them for the accomplishment for his malignant designs will be the semblance a zeal for God.

Alas for that day is great, so that none is like it. Once again Jezebel stratagem is to be understood. Who will empower the killing? Who will be empowered to do the killing? 1 Kings 21:11-13 when Jezebel wanted Naboth dead she turned the people upon him and that strategy is used by the Jesuits of Babylon. This time the threat with its intense impact will once again be permitted by God. The people will be turning the multitudes against this little minority. Can you already see this is very likely?

A decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving them, the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. {GC 615.2}

It’s going to be the people who are going to put them to death. This something to be really feared because your own friends will turn against you.

When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honour the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. {GC 635.1}

This will plunge the people of God into the time of Jacob’s trouble. It’s very important that we describe the picture not by our own imagination. Don’t let your imagination run away from you. If you let your imagination run away with you in regards to this death decree, it will not be as bad as the reality. That is what we are told so we need to get the description as it is given by God under the inspiration of the testimony of Jesus.

Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau (Genesis 32:24-30), represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble. GC 616

Esau was after Jacob and Jacob was afraid.

As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God’s people in the time of trouble. GC 618.2

Esau and the wicked will be stirred up.

As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins. GC 618.3

Notice the horror of this. The death decree is bad enough as this is what God’s people have suffered all the while long but now it’s worse. As Satan’s accuses the people of God on an account of their sins;

the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavours to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God. {GC 618.3}

It’s bad enough to suffer under this fear of the death decree but it is impacted by a double barrel of horror. It’s one thing to go and be a martyr for Jesus and sing going to the stake which they did in the past, but this won’t be done singing. This one is going be a horrendous mental torture.

Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in themselves they will fail to realise the fulfilment of the Saviour’s promise: I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world. Revelation 3:10. If they could have the assurance of pardon they would not shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of their own defects of character, then God’s holy name would be reproached. {GC 619.1}

What an agony. This terrible description is part of the everlasting covenant. This intense last suffering which Satan throws at Gods people, the attack upon there life, the death decree and the attack upon there assurance which God permits him to torture them with.

Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. While Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to comfort and protect them in the time of peril. The assaults of Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; but the Lord’s eye is upon His people, and His ear listens to their cries. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected. {GC 621.1}

Most people think that this will be over by the close of probation but Jesus hasn’t come after the close of probation, it’s another year. Their earthliness must still be erased, not their sins, their earthliness. By this severe time of the death decree the promise to the people of God at this time is in Jeremiah;

Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

30:8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

This is the last thrust of Satan and his last thrust is the last desolation that will finally desolate him. The everlasting covenant is operative. The events that we are looking at is to see the experiences of God’s people. We need to understand the experience of the latter rain and the death decree and it comes when the probation has closed.

The people of God–some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains–still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, GC 635.2

In other words, God lets It all play out like He allowed it to with Jesus Christ upon His remnant people. Will you be among them? Behold I stand at the door knock. I want to sup with you, will you overcome like me? Can you see the drama? At the most extreme moment when it’s about to take place that my sins are still oppressing me and the enemy is heard coming through the forest and around the trees, they come and find us.

That the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen. Saith the Lord; Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth . . . to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. Isaiah 30:29, 30. {GC 635.2}

With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo with a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful foreboding they gaze upon the symbol of God’s covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness. {GC 635.3}

By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, Look up, and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern the marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before His Father and the holy angels: I will
that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am. John 17:24. Again a voice, musical and triumphant, is heard, saying: They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled. They have kept the word of My patience; they shall walk among the angels; and the pale, quivering lips of those who have held fast their faith utter a shout of victory. {GC 636.1}

What did we read in Daniel 9:27? And for the over spreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate. But this is the death decree experience, it’s part of the everlasting covenant that God had in mind long before. What a joy to know it and we must not forget it when we go through that time. It says that those who have not prepared for it will not survive. May God help us be prepared for this.

Amen.

Posted on September 6, 2011, in Sermons by John Thiel, The Consummation of the Everlasting Covenant. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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