Therefore I stated last night, especially when we read for the first time the words, "I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people," that it is the voice that comes from heaven that calls the people out. And therefore, those human instruments who will make the call by the word of mouth will have to be so connected with God that in that call the people will hear the voice from heaven. We must be so connected with God that when that word is sounded, "Come out of her, my people," the Spirit of God will say to them, That is the thing to do. Those who will give the warning must be so connected with God that when the voice shall present the words of God which show the situation as it is at present, the Spirit of God will impress those who hear with the actual conviction that that is the truth, that we are in the time and that the thing to do is to come out of her.
But I say still that whether they will do it or not is for them to decide. God never takes up a man and drags him out.
We have a message to the world now, just as important as that of the apostles back then. And our position is not the right one until we find such a connection with God that when we do speak the truth, wherever we go and tell the people the message that He has now given us to tell, the Spirit of God will be there to witness to the people that that is so, and say to them, That is right and that man is speaking the truth. All that we can do is to tell the message to the people. We cannot bring them out, and God will not bring them out by force. He wins men by telling them what is right and making His goodness pass before them. And this God will do when the human instrument by which He works stands so related to Him that His Spirit can speak in the words, in order that in the human words the people shall hear the "voice from heaven."
I am satisfied that everyone--and I am not satisfied as a mere persuasion but I know it is a fact--everyone who will yield to the truth of God as the Lord reveals it today and as He will reveal it to every man, will be brought by the truth into just the place where the Spirit of God can work with him in this way all the time.
Now we know that for more than two years we have been in the time in which God said, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come." That is the truth, and we all know that we are there. But we cannot raise ourselves. We cannot get up; it is the truth of God that must raise us. The power of God must have a place, and that will raise us. We have to "Arise" before we can "shine"; that is settled. We cannot shine down where we are; we are not in the right place; we must be up. We must arise in order to shine, because up there is where the light is. We are down too close to the earth--Seventh-day Adventists, all of us, are too close to the earth; we are too far down, too close to the darkness; we cannot shine as God wants us to shine. And therefore He says, "Arise, shine."
But I say again, it is no use for us to try to raise ourselves and I also say again that as certainly as any Seventh-day Adventist here in this Conference or anywhere on the earth will surrender his whole will and body, mind and heart--everything--to God, taking His truth for what it is, God will see to it that the truth shall raise him to where he will shine.
Therefore let us honestly, right here, enter upon the study of this thing in the place where we are, and the work there is to do, in such a way as to see what God has to give us of His truth, which will raise us to the place where He can do what He pleases with us and where, when He uses us and speaks by us, the people will know the power of God is there and will hear the voice from heaven? Unless that be so, we cannot give this message; that is all.
It is no use for us to undertake to tell the people, "Come out of her, my people," when there is no power in our words that will bring them out; no power connected with us that will cause the thing to be done. It would be simply speaking into the air. But we are in a time that is too vastly important for us to be talking into the air. God wants us to talk to men in such a way that in the words that we shall speak, He shall speak to the heart.
We are not sufficient of ourselves to do this. There is the record: "Our sufficiency is of God." We can rest with all our weight upon that statement, "Our sufficiency is of God." That simply says to us that God will make us sufficient; He will furnish our sufficiency.
Let us look, then, a little further at how much is embraced in Babylon. In other lessons you remember we read certain texts which from this side, as it were, showed that all the world is going to honor the beast, the papacy, and do her bidding--all except those whose names are written in the book of life. But there are some further texts on this subject that we can read. Turn to Rev. 17:8, particularly the last part of the verse. I shall read all the verse, however:
The beast that thou sawest was and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition, and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was and is not and yet is.
They shall wonder when they behold the beast that was and is not and yet is. Now there are going to be some people that will not wonder at that a particle. All the world will be wondering at it, surprised at it, astonished at it, and considering it in wonder, but there is going to be a set of people who will not be in any way concerned about that and these are going to be the ones whose names are in the book of life. They are the ones who do not worship the beast and his image. I read that verse particularly to connect with the thought of the other evening, that "all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life"; all kingdoms of the earth committed fornication with Babylon; the inhabitants of the earth are made drunk with the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and this showing also that all the world is connected with her and out of this wonder she will, and indeed by means of it, raise herself to the place where the scripture shall be fulfilled.
Let us just here ask a question: Taking this just as these scriptures speak it, "All the kingdoms of the world" are joined to Babylon in fornication, in illicit connection. The inhabitants of the earth are made drunk with the wine of her fornication. What is it then, what alone must it be, to come out of Babylon? Nothing short of coming out of the world itself.
There is another word here, too. Turn to Revelation 18, and we will read and see how much there is connected with it. We read up to the 10th verse Friday night. Now begin with the 11th verse: And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore.
Now I am going to read this slowly, and when it is ended, I want you to see how much of the traffic of mankind she does not control.
Let us study this a little further. When our allegiance to the truth of God, our giving ourselves to God, leads to that place where we are absolutely separated from anything on the earth to eat or drink, how in the world are we going to live? Ah, there is the promise: "Bread shall be given him; his water shall be sure." Well, then, as in our allegiance to God we will be forced to absolute separation of every kind from the world and all that is in it; is it not now high time when we ourselves by our own choice shall be utterly separated in heart and affection from the world and all that is in it?
Further, here are the kingdoms of earth that are connected with her too, and they are going to be used by her to execute her will upon the people of God. Then, when that thing is done, it will force a separation from all connection with them or any dependence upon them for anything. But when that time comes, how in the world will we get along? How will we be protected, what shall we do, when mobs attack us and people commit outrages upon us? What in the world shall we ever do for protection? How can we live in the world then? Would it be safe to be so separated from the governments of earth that we could not prosecute any who offer violence to us? That we could not hold the law with its penalties as a menace over the heads of those who would stone our churches or tear down our tents or do us harm in other ways? Well, that time is going to come anyway, when we shall be outlawed and all these kingdoms under the power of the beast will be simply tools for executing her wrath upon us. Not only is this time going to come, but it is now at hand.
But when the very shaping of things by Babylon shall force us into that position, what shall we do? How shall we ever live? Well, from our side of the issue, what is it that is to bring us there? It is only allegiance to God that will ever put us there. Very well, then, will allegiance to God help us when we get there? Will allegiance to God furnish us the protection that we shall need when that time comes? You all say, yes. Well, if allegiance to God should in heart bring a man to that place now, do you think it would be too much of a risk for him just to break loose and put his trust altogether in God right now? Do you think anyone would be going too far just now to put his allegiance upon God and his trust in him for protection, just as fully as though there was no government on the earth at all.
Everybody whose name is in the book of life is going to be forced there by the very powers of earth themselves. Then why should not we let the word of God and His power lift us there now? I would rather have the work of God and His power put me in a place than to have the course of evil and the powers of the earth force me into it by the very force of circumstances. I would far rather cheerfully choose wholly the Lord and His way at once, than to linger and linger with my affections and trust and dependence upon the powers of earth, perfectly willing to have it this way longer, but because I cannot have it so and get into heaven, I will finally allow myself to be broken loose and take the consequences--and go to heaven. No, sir. I would far rather "cut loose" from the world and everything in it or about it and put my trust steadfastly upon God, just as though there was nobody in this universe but God.
I believe there is a text that covers this whole ground. Turn to Jeremiah 17:5:
Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
If my heart leans for support in any confidence toward something or somebody that is not God, where is my heart? Surely it is departing from the Lord. Now look at the next verse:
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh.
Brethren, we want to be able to see when good cometh. But what will hinder a man's seeing when good comes? Trusting in man, making flesh his arm. Looking to any man, to any invention of men, to any combination of men, will do that. "Maketh flesh his arm." Depending upon any organization of flesh, any combination of flesh, and making that my arm, will keep me from seeing when good comes? Why? Because my heart is leaning on somebody besides God. I may try to satisfy my conscience that I can use that as an instrument of God to hold me up, but the Lord does not put it that way. He makes a clear distinction between God and man, and between trusting in the Lord and trusting in the arm of flesh. I would rather lean altogether upon God and have him use flesh if he wants to, to hold me up, than to lean upon the flesh to be held up and expect God to do it that way, for when we lean upon the flesh, on the organization of flesh and the power of this world and of man and expect to give God the credit for it--the truth that is we will give the combination or whatever it is we are leaning on the first place. But God must have the first place. And therefore when we lean altogether upon him, He can use whatever instrument he pleases to hold us up or to do whatever He chooses with us. But the one important thing in it is that he that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm shall not see when good comes. And that is an awful risk to run in our time.
He shall be like the heath in the desert and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land, and not inhabited.
And that scene of desolation--a salt land and not inhabited--will be about the place where Babylon finds herself at last.
But ah! Look at the other side: "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord." In the Lord through man? No. In the Lord through the arm of flesh? No, sir. In the Lord Himself, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and that spreadeth out her roots by the river and shall not see when heat cometh but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful in the year of drouth, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
There is going to come a dreadful drought. But God has fixed it so that a man need not be afraid of the year of drought, nor careful at that time. He has been careful before the drought comes; his trust is in God, and when the drought comes, his trust is in God still. But note the difference. The one who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm shall not see when good cometh, and this man that trusts in the Lord shall not see when heat cometh. This is the better way. Let us take it. When calamities come, they will not affect this man; he will not care for them at all.
Now let us turn to the 16th chapter of Revelation and read another thought that seems to me to be expressive of how much Babylon covers. Rev. 16:13, 14. I am not reading this for the point of time when the verse applies; I am reading it simply to get the limit of Babylon's dominion, how much is covered by her, how much is under her dominion:
I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.
16th verse: "And he gathered them."
19th verse, after the seventh plague, when the end comes: " The great city." What great city? Babylon, all the way through.
The great city was divided into three parts and the cities of the nations fell and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Another situation: 2 Tim. 3:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy[--and through the whole category there of nineteen sins] having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
Now what made Babylon the mother? I mean what produced her first? The church leaning upon the arm of another, separated from her own husband, turning to another, leaning upon the arm of another than her rightful Lord--that is what made Babylon. The church, pretending to be the church of Christ, joining herself to another lord, makes the adulteress, the harlot. And thus came Babylon the great. and as she is the one that has led in all that wicked course and set the wicked example for all the rest to follow, she is described as "the mother of harlots."
Then when God in the Reformation would have healed Babylon and she would not be healed, Christianity started in the world independent of her again. But when the professed Protestant churches have followed her ways and turned away from their rightful Lord and put their trust, their hope, upon earthly governments, earthly kingdoms, and joined themselves to these, they are the daughters; then there is Babylon and the daughters, the beast and the false prophet. So that you see the profession of religion without the power of God, the profession of godliness without the power of it, and those professing it, seeking and depending upon the kingdoms and nations of the earth for the power that they know they lack themselves--all this is fitly described as the combination of the form of godliness without the power. Babylon, the mother and daughters, embraces the world in the last days, and Babylon, the mother and daughters, is the form of godliness without the power.
Therefore it is plain that the third chapter of second Timothy does describe Babylon. The third chapter of second Timothy is in that place a description of Babylon, just as much as Rev. 18 is in that place a description of it. And when the passage from 2 Tim. 3 closes by saying, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away," that cry, "From such turn away" is in that place the call out of Babylon just as "Come out of her my people" is in its place the call out of Babylon.
The form of godliness without the power is the bane of any profession of religion. And now it is the bane of all of them in the world. And the success of this grand scheme to bring about the union of all denominations and the unity of the faith, which is being diligently worked from the pope of Rome up to many professed Protestants is only to put the seal of completeness upon it.
Down in Ohio last August at the camp meeting of another denomination the leading minister of the camp, preaching the Sunday sermon to thousands of people on the millennium and the hope and the prospect of its coming, giving as one of the great signs of the millennium the patent fact that "Protestants and Catholics are all wheeling into line," and hundreds of the people responded, Amen.
Now that is an actual fact, not only a fact as to that meeting but that sort of scheme that has been framed in the minds of those who are going more and more into Babylon, is a fact, and the scheme will be worked by them in all its parts to bring the millennium and the kingdom of God at last by preparing the way for the king. And thus when the Savior comes, He will find the whole combination of the kingdoms and churches of the earth gathered together into one body, professing to be Christianity, yet with none of the power of Christianity, and promising themselves and the world the grand, glorious millennium that has been for so long looked for over all the earth and the speedy coming of the kingdom of God. We know well enough also that then their king really will come, presenting himself as Christ and will be received as Christ. There will be some though who will be disconnected from that whole system--those who have obeyed the call, "Come out of her, my people," those whose names are written in the book of life. These will not receive the king of Babylon to reign over them. And then, as was proposed by the National Reformers away back in 1886 even, that scripture will be used against these: "These, mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before my face." That brings logically enough the death penalty, as in the 13th chapter of Revelation, upon all who will not worship beast and image. The whole combination under the dominion of the earth and the dominion of evil spirits--the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet--Satan and all the instruments of Satan in all the earth, in combination---will be set up as one grand system of Christianity, when it is all one grand system of deviltry.
What then could show a more universal reign of the form of godliness, not only without the power but denying the power? For this form of godliness will deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, that is the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come--not that he did come, but now is come in my flesh--Christ in you the hope of glory, Christ abiding within, God reigning in the kingdom of God that is within you--that is what this signifies. Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is that spirit of antichrist. And ye have overcome them, little children, because greater is He that is in you, in you, in you, than he that is in the world.
Therefore, all this shows as plainly as A B C that in the last days the whole system of the world and worldliness, will be combined into this one grand system of the form of godliness, without the power and denying the power also, and growing worse and worse. And the cry, "From such turn away," is simply another form of the cry, "Come out of her my people." And wherever this cry is heard, it means simply, Come out of the world, separate from the world and from the things that are in the world, in heart and in mind, as completely as though the world had already vanished away. "Come out of her, my people."