Introduction

God’s people at the end of the world are described by the True and Faithful Witness as being in a wretched spiritual condition (Revelation 3:14-17; Isaiah 1:3-6). Their state is even likened to death in Ezekiel 37.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry… Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Ezekiel 37:1, 2, 11

But God does not leave His people without answers as to how they may be saved. The remedy is stated plainly in God’s word — the only solution to the Laodicean condition is revival and reformation. Revival is the most urgent of all our needs:

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” Selected Messages Vol 1, 121

But a revival of spiritual life must be accompanied by a reformation — a change in the actions, habits and in the practices that comprise the way of life:

“A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” — Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902. Christian Service, 42.2

Revival and reformation are clearly illustrated in Matthew 9. The experiences of the two women in this chapter, and the deep spiritual significance of Christ’s interactions with them, will be the subject of this two part series of articles.
 
 

The Young Maiden — A Type of Revival

The first account to be examined is that of the ruler’s daughter.

“While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples… And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.” Matthew 9:18, 19, 23-26

The ruler’s daughter is a symbol of the church (Jeremiah 6:2, 2 Corinthians 11:2). Mark’s account of the same event reveals that she was 12 years of age (Mark 5:42). The number 12 symbolizes a connection with God, His Kingdom and His people (Revelation 21:12-21, Matthew 19:28). Her lifeless state fittingly represents the spiritually dead condition of the Laodicean church.

But in order to gain a clearer understanding of how Christ’s raising of this young maid parallel’s events in our day, a principle of prophetic interpretation must here be introduced.
 
 

The Three-and-One Combination

The “three-and-one combination” illustrates, or typifies, the Three Angels’ messages of Revelation 14 followed by the Fourth Angel of Revelation 18. When presented in scripture the first three objects in the combination are similar and the fourth is usually distinct in some way from the preceding three. In connection with the Fourth object, or action, are symbols that convey lessons, or typify events to occur during the history of the Fourth Angel at the end of the world.

There are numerous three-and-one combinations in the Bible. The events at the mount of transfiguration are an illustration of this principle:

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” Matthew 17:1-3

Christ brought three disciples — Peter James and John — to the mount; Christ Himself representing the “one.” What followed was a glorious manifestation of the power of God. Christ was transfigured before them, and they beheld Him in His glory. These transactions typify events that will take place under the proclamation of the Fourth Angel which joins the Third. The people who partake of the experience of the Fourth Angel and engage in the work of proclaiming this message will meet our Saviour in peace at His second coming. They will behold Him in the glory that He had in the beginning; the same glory with which He appeared unto His disciples on the mount of transfiguration.

A second illustration of the three-and-one combination is located in Daniel chapter 3. The three Hebrew worthies were cast alive into a burning furnace. But One appeared among them. This fourth entity in the fire was Christ Himself.1 He intervened, not only to reward the fidelity of His loyal servants, but to illustrate to His people at the end of the world that it is those who proclaim the Three Angel’s messages and the increase of knowledge brought by the Fourth, who will be preserved through the fires of persecution at the Sunday law. As the three Hebrews were given to the flames for their refusal to compromise God’s law, so will God’s people at the end of the world be subjected to persecution, imprisonment, and threatened death for their refusal to bow down to the antitypical image in the plain of Dura — the Sunday law.2 But just as surely as Christ interposed to preserve these three worthies, so will He be with His people in that time. They will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted to stand in the time of trouble such as never was;3 and Christ will preserve them from their enemies.

A third illustration is Lazarus’ being raised from the dead. Lazarus, a man greatly beloved by the Saviour during His time here on earth, is a fitting symbol of His people in these last days. Lazarus lay in the tomb three days and was raised on the fourth.

“Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.” John 11:38-45

Thus symbolizing that it is under the ministration of the Fourth Angel, which brings the latter rain, and the “refreshing” or revival (Act3:19),4 that spiritually dead Laodicea will be revived to bear a living testimony.5 This is further conveyed by Christ’s own words regarding the event:

“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:1-4

Christ waited until Lazarus had died that God may be glorified by the miracle He was going to perform. Even the Pharisees acknowledged that the glory brought to Christ by this miracle went into the entire world:

“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.” John 12:9-19

At the end of the world it is the Fourth Angel that lightens the earth with its glory (Revelation 18:1), and that will, through the power imparted to the Third Angel’s message, cause many to believe on Jesus.

Another illustration is the account of Elijah’s revival of the widow of Zarephath’s dead son.

“And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.” 1 Kings 17:17-23

Elijah stretched himself upon the child three times thus typifying the Three Angel’s messages. The Fourth Angel is typified by his cry unto God. It is the Fourth Angel that enables God’s people to give the Third Angel’s message with a Loud Cry.6 And it is the latter rain that accompanies this Angel that will revive the Laodicean church as the widow’s son was revived.
 
 

The Three-and-One Combination and the Revival of the Young Maiden

There is a three-and-one combination in the raising of the ruler’s daughter. Luke’s account of the same event reveals that Christ entered the house with only three of His disciples — Peter, James and John.

“And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.” Luke 8:51

Thus forming a three-and-one combination of the three disciples and Christ Himself representing the “one.” This lets us know that these transactions typify events in our day as the Three Angels messages are present truth; and we have been living under the proclamation of the Fourth Angel since September 11, 2001.7

“And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.” Mark 5:41, 42

Christ declares that His words are Spirit and life (John 6:63). The same word which spoke the world into existence, and that will speak to raise the righteous dead of all ages, was spoken to bring revival and newness of life to the young damsel. In like manner, the church is now being revived by the communications of God’s Spirit in the messages of the Latter Rain. These messages are bringing revival, and imparting spiritual life, to those who are receiving them in spirit and in truth.
 
 

The Fate of the Scorners

“And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.” Luke 8:51-55

It is true that whenever God is performing a work of restoration, opposing elements are on the ground seeking to discourage God’s faithful servants and counteract the work.8 All who are living in these most solemn and important times would do well to mark the end of those who laughed our Saviour to scorn, as His response typifies how He will deal with those who pursue a similar course in our day. The scorners were put out.

Those who scorn this work of revival or deride the messages through which it is being carried forward will have no part in it. They will not receive of the latter rain which would enable them to stand in the time of trouble such as never was. The latter rain may fall on hearts all around them, but they will neither discern nor receive it.9 They will thus be prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast and finally be put out of the eternal kingdom at the close of this world’s history.

“Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:” Isaiah 29:17-20
 
 

In Closing

It is the increase of knowledge brought by the Fourth Angel — the messages of Daniel 11:40-45, the 2520 and the foundations of Adventism, Islam and the judgement of the living, the reformatory movements of Bible prophecy, etc. — that is calculated to revive God’s people. None will be prepared to stand at the Sunday Law, or give the Third Angel’s message with force and clarity, without the living faith these messages are calculated to produce.

However a reformation must accompany a genuine revival; it is just as essential to the work of preparing to meet our Saviour. This aspect will be taken up in part 2.

God Bless.
 
 
1 Prophets and Kings pg. 508-509
 
2 The vainglory and oppression seen in the course pursued by the heathen king, Nebuchadnezzar, is being and will continue to be manifested in our day. History will repeat itself. In this age the test will be on the point of Sabbath observance. The heavenly universe behold men trampling upon the law of Jehovah, making the memorial of God, the sign between him and his commandment-keeping people, a thing of naught, something to be despised, while a rival sabbath is exalted as was the great golden image in the plain of Dura. Men claiming to be Christians will call upon the world to observe this spurious sabbath that they have made. All who refuse will be placed under oppressive laws. This is the mystery of iniquity, the devising of satanic agencies, carried into effect by the man of sin. {Youth Instructor, July 12, 1904 par. 4}
 
3 As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel (The Review and Herald, May 27, 1862).
 
4 The Great Controversy pg. 611-612
 
5 The Story of Redemption pg. 400-401
 
6 Faith I Live By pg. 335; Selected Messages vol. 3 pg. 412
 
7 See article entitled Understanding the Latter Rain and Its Phases
 
8 The Great Controversy pg. 518; Counsels to Writers and Editors pg. 74
 
9 Testimonies to Ministers pg. 507

 

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