The Modern Three Worthies: Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego · November 03, 2008
All the experiences of God’s people in past ages have important lessons for us living in the last days of earth’s history. The apostle Paul citing the wanderings of the children of Israel tells us;
“Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Cor 10:11
If we fail to learn the lessons of the past we will surely repeat them. The children of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years and a whole generation had perished because of unbelief. Heb. 3:19. They died needlessly because they did not trust in the promises of God to give them victory over the works of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. 1 Jn. 2:16.
Ellen White calls these three categories the world the flesh and the devil. Those who will enter the heavenly Canaan must also be victorious in this conflict. TM 445.
One the most wonderful accounts of victorious saving faith is the story of the three worthies in the book of Daniel Chapter 3.
Like Daniel they had purposed in their hearts to be loyal to God come what may, even a martyrs death. Will this be required of God’s people as they face the death decree of Revelation 13:11-15? In Revelation chapter 14 we see a victorious army the 144,000 standing upon Mt. Zion having the Father’s name written in their foreheads. Those that are sealed will not die but are prepared for translation IT.187-8. Apparently they had like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had developed a martyr’s faith. These three worthies are a type of those who in these last days believe and preach the three angels message of Revelation 14. Instead of bowing down to the image of the beast they will be loyal to the God of heaven regardless of the consequences – fines imprisonment and death. GC. 607.
We are told in the S of P that this is the test that the people must meet before they are sealed.
“The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided. . . .(Rev. 13:11-17 quoted.). . . . This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed. All who prove their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious Sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday Sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast (Letter 11, 1890). 7BC.976
We are warned in the S of P that;
“As the storm approaches, a large class (even a majority) who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.
In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives.” GC. 608, 609. cp. 5T.137.
The image of the beast according to Bible prophecy will be formed in the United States of America. This is the nation that has received the greatest light – the knowledge of the three angel’s messages for over a hundred and sixty years. Rev. 14:6-12. Instead of upholding their protestant heritage of freedom of worship they will be deluded by returning to Roman Catholicism and bondage. There is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus our great high priest the Son of God. Hebrews 4:14-16. 1Tim2:5.
He is the author of all truth because “He is the way the truth and the life.” Jn.14:6.
Those who stand for truth and righteousness when the image of the beast is set up will be cast into the fiery furness of persecution for Christ sake. Like the 3 worthies they will be bound by the laws of men and cast into the furnace but at that time all fear of death will be removed because Christ will be there to add power to the three angel’s message. The harsh and binding rules and laws of men will be forever broken because they will be united to Christ for eternity having received the seal of the living God.
The seal of God is a “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually so they cannot be moved.” 4.BC.1161.
The world will follow America’s example of worshiping the beast and so all nations will face the same test to worship man – his fables and traditions or worship God by keeping his Holy commandments especially the Sabbath.
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God. GC.605
You may be asking yourself why has persecution for the truth slumbered so long when the Bible teaches “All they that live godly shall suffer persecution “as long as the devil is alive and well we will suffer persecution in some form or another. In this story of Daniels companions in Babylon is a parallel experience of what will happen to the church as it is faithful to its great commission in preaching the third angel’s message to the world. The sad thing about it is at times the leadership of our church has been reluctant to preach the third angel’s message because they fear persecution from the powerful Roman church. One leader of the North American Division relegated our anti-Catholic teachings to the scrapheap as no longer applicable to the Roman church.
On two occasions since then we have apologized through the press to the Catholic leadership in Indiana at a General Conference, as well as at a Pope’s visit to St. Louis. These actions of our General Conference leadership must be very pleasing to the beast of Revelation 13. I have never read in history where Martin Luther ever apologized to the Catholic church for calling this system the man of sin or the antichrist.
Times have changed since the reformation period but the Catholic church prides itself that it never changes.
If that is the case the Protestant world must have changed even the remnant church of Bible prophecy. Rev. 12:17.
Well may the Christian world ask the question; “Where is the remnant church of Bible prophecy?” “Would the real remnant church please stand?”
Ellen White tells us very clearly why persecution slumbers in our time right down near the end of this earth’s history.
“The apostle Paul declares that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is it, then, that persecution seems in a great degree to slumber? The only reason is that the church has conformed to the world’s standard and therefore awakens no opposition. The religion which is current in our day is not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world. Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution will be rekindled.” GC. 48
If we analyze this statement we see some sad characteristics of the Loadicean church come to the forefront.
1. Conformed to the world’s standard
2. Religion of our day not pure and holy.
3. Spirit of compromise with sin causes the great truth of the word of God to be indifferently regarded.
4. Little vital godliness in the church.
5. Christianity is apparently so popular with the world as a result.
The last sentence of this paragraph has the only lasting solution to this problem in the church.
“Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution will be rekindled.”
It will require all the faith we possess to step into the furnace of affliction as did the three worthies. It will require the same faith to give the third angel’s message in the setting of the everlasting gospel. It is only as we do our part through faith will the fourth angel do His part in lighting the earth with His glory. Rev. 18-1. cp COL.79
The words of the Babylonian king will be repeated by modern Babylonians who turn to God.
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach Meshack and Abednego, who hath sent His angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in Him, and have changed the kings word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God. . . because there is no God that can deliver after this sort. Dan. 3:28,29.
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