Timeout: “The Smoke of Their Torment”

I used Gorilla Glue. :crazy_face:

The Quarterly takes a clear position on the relation between the Sabbath and “the mark of the beast.”

It could be a little bit clearer in my opinion.

The central issues in the final crisis will be worship and obedience to God in keeping His commandments (Rev. 14:12). The Sabbath commandment, in particular, will be the test of faithfulness and obedience to God. As the Sabbath is the distinctive sign of the obedience of God’s faithful people (Ezek. 20:12, 20), so the mark of the beast is the sign of allegiance to the beast.

The mark of the beast involves the substitution of a human com­mandment for God’s commandment.

So far so good.

The greatest evidence of this fact is the humanly established institution of Sunday (see Dan. 7:25) as the day of worship instead of the seventh-day Sabbath, the day mandated in Scripture by our Creator. The attempt to change the sign of God’s authority to another day is an attempt to usurp the role and power of God Himself.

Not so fast. I disagree with this statement. The evidence presented is flimsy to say the least (IMO). What does “Sunday” worship have to do with buying and selling?

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

According to the verse, only those who buy and sell receive the mark. All you have to do is figure out which commandment puts restrictions on buying and selling.

Doesn’t the sabbath commandment tell us not to buy and sell on the sabbath day?

Amos 8:5. When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may trade our wheat?

Nehemiah 13:16,17 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?”

Obviously, the human commandment referred to above is the commandment to go buy and sell on the sabbath day because according to the world the sabbath is no longer in affect.

EGW got it wrong. The so called Sunday law is a huge red herring.
If you buy and sell on the sabbath day you are rejecting the sanctification that God provides on His sabbath day. You are essentially saying the sabbath has been abolished. In other words, you are making void the law through your traditions.

Colonics were rather “Big” back in the day of J.H. It was assumed that the
accumulation of material in the large bowel was a source of feeling ill [they
called them poisons]. So colonics were to keep the large intestine “clean”.
And apparently “constipation” was a common problem back then.


It seems to me that heaven formulates mostly defensive responses to evil. While human lives and prayers lie under siege.

The book of Revelation appears to be a graphic account of the destructive evil forces on earth, in conflict with the wounded Lamb in heaven. Does it answer the ageless question–why bad things happen to praying Christians?

Think of the warnings of Jesus about the holocaust to overtake about a million of Jews in the fall of Jerusalem. He recommended defense movements–run for your lives.

Does God formulate solutions to evil as they arise? God’s solutions do not appear to be short term, but instead long term. More often the confrontation with evil, even inside churches, leaves the Lamb wounded and evil undefeated. In the mean while, extremist sweep into Christian villages resulting in death, blood and tears soaking the ground.

As an example of unanswered prayers calling out to God from “Souls under the Altar” demanding justice from God. God’s response is not immediate but very long range giving space for further triumph of evil over human lives and earth events. God’s answer to evil and sorrow is the Second Coming. Evil is not easy to deal with even with all the resources of Heaven. Just look at human history where every religious movement has been compromised by evil inside and outside. What efforts does God make to keep a church pure? It seems only on an individual level and if history is any indication the corporate church continues its downward slide. In spite of what God may wish?


A new point of view (for me) which I can understand and support. Thanks for this article.

This I can’t understand - why is the Sabbath arbitrary ? Can someone please explain this to me?:

I suggested that God must allow a full demonstration of evil before it can be forever rejected:

And He must do it within the Self-limitations He has created in order that humanity would have real choice - free will - in making a decision for or against a relationship with Him. Within that limitation, He has done all He can to present evidences and demonstrations of His own true character and the dark character of evil/sin.

The question is, and always has been, one of Trust!

The concept of ‘Judging God’ is not one that determines the future of God - but one that determines OUR FUTURE. By our assessment of God, whether He is to be trusted, we make decisions that are either consistent with His eternal design or are destined to be destructive - both of self and others.

God has not ‘emptied Himself’ in pleading that we allow him to exist, now or forever. No, No, No! We don’t have that power. BUT - God has emptied Himself so as to woo and convince US to return to the relationship with Him that puts us on the path & provides the condition for eternal life, so that WE are the benificiaries of that judgment and can enjoy communion with Him forever.

You ask - Haven’t we seen enough of the evidence of Sin to be satisfied? Well, there still are those who are turning from sin to recover a relationship with Him - So I believe the answer for the entirety of humanity is NO - We have not yet seen enough sin for everyone to have made an eternal decision - one way or the other.

I believe, as in the time of Noah, when God can no longer recover anyone from the clutches of evil, then the end will come.

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…something in the drinking water?


Ya gotta wonder…lol


Thank you Frank for your kind and gentle answer
( although a seemingly pessimistic one),
to my rant about a seemingly sadistic God!

You state:

A truly compassionate God who has control of the “ day and the hour “
would have FAST FORWARDED the Second Coming

Fast forwarding is a new concept in this electronic age,
when we can fast forward movies and music on our electronic devices…

But this new tangled idea is hugely illustrative of my point:

If God had fast forwarded the Second Coming to 1844,
as the Millerites expected, He would have
MERCIFULLY forestalled multiple atrocities

THE AMERICAN CIVIL,WAR 1861-1865 —750,000 dead.

The IRISH POTATO FAMINE — the great hunger 1845-1848
( one million dead from starvation)

CRIMEAN WAR 1853+1856 ( Florence.Nightingale )
900,000 casualties

The GREAT DROUGHT IN BRAZIL 1877-1878 500,000 deaths

BOER WAR SOUTH AFRICA 1889 1902 60,000 dead

ARMEINIAN GENOCIDE 1914-1923 one million dead

FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918 Nineteen million dead

STALINS GULAG 1929-1953. 12 million dead

HOLOCAUST six million Jews

one millions dead from starvation


NAGASAKI HIROSHIMA. 150,000 deaths


BOSNIAN GENOCIED. 100,000 deaths

RWANDAN GENOCIDE 1994. 800,000 deaths

SYRIAN CIVIL WAR 500,000 deaths

— wives, husbands, siblings, children, parents!


So many atrocities avoided if the Second Coming had happened 200 years ago.

The GREAT CONTROVERSY doctrine seems to have an interminable
conclusion . What is taking the “good Angels “ and the “unfallen
beings on other planets “ so long to “vindicate “ God?

It appears they have serious doubts about his justice!


cfowler: I agree that there is a realm outside of the material, naturalistic world that science operates within.

Perhaps you can expand on your belief that science operates outside the realm of the natural world. Where can someone learn about this kind of science?

So why wait at all? Just get rid of Adam and Eve and start over and over…if needed!

Choice, the freedom of, brings a lot of issues with it. But then it was from the beginning much easier to blame God for choices than to own up to them. All the death and misery of the world doesn’t make this God an uncaring being.


What I was saying, perhaps not very well, was that I think that there is a spiritual realm in operation, not just the material/scientific world.


This is a nice and pleasing attitude, from our comfortable windows. Not so nice if you, your wife and children are under the boot of evil, as millions would agree from their graves. Just think of the millions of Christians that Stalin killed. You say that God must let evil demonstrate itself so it can be fully rejected. Sad for the millions of human lives raped, abused, sold in poverty and slavery from a strong evil, unjust force running through the land. There prayers to God did not bring them any immediate relief.

Can’t intelligent people draw conclusions as to the evils of smoking without first smoking for 25 years? With the same insight can’t intelligent beings draw conclusions watching the injustice and criminal actions of demented evil individuals? I believe that unfallen beings are very intelligent and have reason abilities far our own, they have no need for further examples as to the results of practicing evil. I don’t believe that they are that dull. I don’t believe that they are they hard-hearted to stand by as a witness to continued human pain and suffering to see where all this will end up?

I suggest what is going on is: Evil is hard to extinguish. To God there is no instant answer, thus often to believers there is not instant deliverance. Evil moves and God counters; God moves and evil counters.


And, science cannot explain all of its parameters…and, I love science and God’s gift of it for “common grace” to humanity.

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What you say is true, sadly. Evil is hard to extinguish, even for God. What part of our planet is not riddled with evil?

Jesus only defeated evil inside himself. He conquered by meekness and forgiveness, which is not noted for winning a pitched battle. He never touched corporate evil or curtailed its actions. He never calmed an earthquake or banked a raging river while on earth. He has not been able to keep the church, he founded, pure and free from evil, just read church history. God does not stop the wars you reference, he counters them by the long game of time when empires decline and rebel leaders die (Stalin finally died). If God did not counter evil, which in its purest form is self-serving with no compassion, we would all be long dead. Evil is self-destructive.

Evil smashes goodness easily. That’s the problem, God’s dilemma.

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I like that thought to a point, but perhaps spirituality and science are intertwined? Perhaps spirituality is a science so complex that humanity cannot explain or comprehend its workings, but all the same, it is part of a scientific realm easily understood, designed even, by God? Fun to think about :slight_smile:


Wasn’t medicinal opium very much in vogue?

And God was there pleading with every oppressor to relent, to turn from their evil ways and join Him in eternal peace. But to no avail.

He tried!

Whatever are His rules of engagement that allows him to intervene at times (and I believe He does), those same rules of not overriding ‘free will’ causes Him and us great pain. We must never perceive God distant from the pain.

I believe the ‘unfallen’ were convinced at the Cross. If only the unfallen were to be in eternity, the demonstration & evidence would have been sufficient. But they aren’t the only ones to be in eternity. All those who have fallen under the darkness of evil here, who are exposed to and embrace The Light of Life, are also to be there.

Don’t blame the unfallen!

Not for the unfallen, but for the unrecovered, this demonstration and exposition of evidence continues. May God bless us in spreading the Good News of His love and care, to be available to be used by Him in the recovery of lost and wayward souls.

Whatever is the reality of the events of Revelation, it will bring about the ultimate decisions by everyone still living so as to embrace a relationship with God or forever embrace the darkness of evil.

God will not, cannot, resolve the problem of evil thru humans on this earth. Revelation says that the Earth will be lost and the entire surface must be destroyed in order to finally, eternally, destroy the ravages of sin. Then, when sin is eradicated forever, the Earth is made new again. And never will sin (rebellion) arise again!

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I think that there is so much beyond our little pea brains! But, yes…it’s fun to explore and contemplate the mysteries.


Nice concepts but suggest that
Spirituality is based more on the cognitive AND emotive. Scientific, at least as we comprehend it should be simply cognitive repeatable evidence.

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