For 120 years Noah had been preaching to the people. For 120 years he proved his faith by building the ark. After his great efforts eight souls entered the ark, only one family, and no more. Yet the invitation had been given to every man, woman, and child. What did Noah have that the others did not have?
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house: by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11: 7
Noah had faith in the word of God, and by faith he saved his life. When the people of Israel left Egypt to travel to their new homeland, out of over 600,000 men 20 years and older, only two entered into Canaan’s land. Why not more?
“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:16–19
The reason for their being lost was unbelief. They did not have faith, yet they kept the Sabbath, paid their tithes, and kept God’s commandments outwardly, even very strictly, but for lack of faith they perished in the wilderness.
Could it be also today that some Sabbath-keepers will perish because of unbelief? History keeps repeating itself. The same mistakes that people did thousands of years ago, they still do today. God’s people have always been a remnant. We are given a number of 144,000 who will be saved in the Three Angel’s Messages. The important question is, will we be among the 144,000 or of the billions that will be lost?
The difference comes between those who have faith and those who are lacking faith. Jesus said to His disciples, “And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:40
“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:19–20
How many of us have faith as a grain of mustard seed, which is one of the smallest seeds? If we do, then nothing is impossible to us, we can move mountains.
“By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:29–31
While the Jewish nation perished because of their unbelief, the thief on the cross was saved by his faith. Without true faith our religion is only an empty form, dead, performing dry ceremonies. But by faith our religion becomes alive, with power in it, filled with love and joy. That moment also our eyes will open to see the way of God clearly; to see what He has designed for us. Then there is no sin too great to overcome, human weakness disappears, and there is no dull, boring moment in our lives, and the great work of saving souls becomes our main interest. Then we truly become the angel of Revelation chapter 18, and this is the only hope that this world has. Jesus sent this angel to finish His work on the earth. Among the thousands of churches, God also has His remnant people. To find the church of God, and be part of it is the greatest honour and privilege we can have—to be a member of the family of God.
Satan has only one target on earth, and it is to destroy the church represented by the angel of Revelation 18—to hinder his work, and draw people away from the church. Satan has many helpers attacking the little flock of Jesus. Do we realize our calling and our position in this last work of God, and how important it is?
Our strength is not in numbers. Ten converted souls can do more than one hundred half-converted and lukewarm followers of religion. Our strength is not in our knowledge, Satan knows more than we do. Our strength is in that mustard seed of faith.
“For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been made, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” Isaiah 66:2
We are to tremble at the word of God with a contrite spirit. In the Bible we have clear directions to guide us on how to be saved—how to live, how important faith is to us, and how to increase our faith. In past history many perished for lack of faith, and history repeats itself.
“We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change, some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end.” –Life Sketches, p. 191
Jesus said, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8
As we are nearing the end, the company traveling on the narrow pathway gets smaller and smaller, and this is because of lack of faith.
In Early Writings, p. 270 we read, “Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken.”
“I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway.” –Ibid., p. 88
“I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God’s word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world.
“Then this map was removed and another put in its place. On it light was shining from a few places only. The rest of the world was in darkness, with only a glimmer of light here and there. Our Instructor said: ‘This darkness is the result of men’s following their own course. They have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. They have made questioning and faultfinding and accusing the chief business of their lives. Their hearts are not right with God. They have hidden their light under a bushel.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 28–29
This was as a result of lack of faith in God’s leading, and of following their own course.
Jesus said, “But as in the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37. Noah was preaching 120 years, inviting people into the ark of safety, but only few entered in.
To fulfil prophecy, our expectation is the continuation of the mighty shaking. Our numbers will be smaller.
“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon us. The contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. Those who have yielded step by step to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will then yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. At that time the gold will be separated from the dross. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness. Those who have assumed the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness will then appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 188
Again it is lack of faith that causes many brilliant stars to go out in darkness.
“The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth and to sacrifice for God and His cause. The angel said, ‘Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice? No, no. it must be a freewilling offering. It will take all to buy the field.” –Early Writings, p. 50–51
“God is sifting His people. He will have a clean and holy church. We cannot read the heart of man. But the Lord has provided means to keep the church pure.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 99
Have faith, brothers and sisters, trust in God. As in the days of Noah, so also today, God has His little remnant who are on the Lord’s side against the mighty enemy. Jesus did not sacrifice His blood in vain; there are people who are clothed in the garments of Christ’s righteousness, who are ready to enter into the fierce battle against the mighty. May the Lord grant that you and I have part in this God’s finishing work. We need faith as a grain of mustard seed, so that we will not perish because of unbelief. After the mighty shaking is finished, it is my wish and prayer that you and I remain on the Lord’s side. Amen.