Joseph Bates and the Shut Door
Joseph Bates was a leading pioneer in the early Adventist Church. He helped to formulate Adventist doctrine on the Mark of the Beast and the National Sunday Law. One would expect that the writings of such an important founder would be available in Adventist books stores. Such is not the case. As you read this material, you will understand why! Critical passages are highlighted in yellow. --Editor
Joseph Bates, Second Advent
1847, Pages 97-110
EIGHTH WAY MARK. - BRIDEGROOM COME. -
MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB,- AND DOOR SHUT.
"And while they went to buy,
the Bridegroom came, and they that were ready, went in with him
to the Marriage and the door was shut." Matt. 25:10.
Now just so sure as we have had a
Cry at Midnight, just so sure in the sense of the parable the
Bridegroom has come! That we have had just such a one as our
Lord described in the parable of the ten virgins, in its details,
is clear from our past history, and has been affirmed too by almost
every advent believer in this country; and at a time too when
they acknowledged that they had the spirit and power of God as
they have not felt it since. Now if this testimony is to be set
at naught and overthrown just to suit the interest of men, when
shall we ever know that the church can speak the truth; or that
we are in the pathway to the kingdom?
Second. This cry is not now being
given, neither has it been since Oct.1844. Neither does any one
undertake to show when, nor where, it will or can be given in
the future, except a few individuals who say it will be given
when Jesus comes, and these can neither show scripture time or
order for it. We say therefore that it is clear it was finished
as shown in the fifth way mark, in the fall of 1844, when the
Bridegroom came. Children of the bride chamber is the church
on earth in their proper place, ready when he came. Matt. 25:10;
9:15. Bridegroom is only another name for Christ, and designates
him under this title when brought into connection with his people,
or the New Jerusalem "the Mother," and will be completed
when the children get home. At his first advent he was Bridegroom
to his people; as such he left them, (see the above quotation)
went away with this title, and he retains it or assumes it again
in connection with his marriage or everlasting union with the
New Jerusalem, which is to take place before his second coming
is clear from Rev. 21:2,9,10. But when he comes to receive his
people that he was bridegroom to, he comes under quite a different
title, viz. a king; 25:34. Then it is also clear that he does
not come to this earth again under the title of bridegroom. Then
the transaction as in the parable, 10th v., is as David and Daniel
have represented. "Ask of me, and I will give the heathen
thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth thy possession;"
Psl. 2:8. "I saw in the night visions, and behold one like
the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the
ancient of days, and they brought him near before him."
Now this must be Jesus come in his cloudy chariot before the great
God, who is represented in the height of his sanctuary in heaven
beholding the earth; Psl. Solomon represents him in the heaven
of heavens. Here, then, Jesus is brought before him. "And
there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom." Three
things - lst, "Dominion," denoting unlimited authority
and government; "from sea to sea, and from the rivers to
the end of the earth." 2d, "Glory," denoting splendor
and magnificence. This, I understand, is the splendid golden
city, the New Jerusalem, the capital of all his dominions; Matt.
25:31. 3d. Kingdom. John says it is the "kingdoms of this
world; Rev. 11:15. Now the glory that he received is the only
one of the three which is in heaven. The other two, viz. "dominion"
and a "kingdom," are here where the children or church
are sojourning. Then when he comes as king he brings that "glory"
the "mother" of the children with him, and when it is
located here, and the children with the "mother," the
vision of Daniel will be realized in full. The saints of the
Most High possessing the kingdom and dominion and the greatness
of the kingdom under the whole heaven." Having become perfectly
and forever united with the city that has come down from heaven.
This is what we have called Paradise lost, but now restored forever.
In Matt. 25:31, Jesus has taught us that when he shall come to
judge the world as king, (34th v.) he will "set upon the
throne of his glory;" then he takes possession of his kingdom
and dominion under the whole heavens.
Now when Daniel receives the interpretation
of this night vision (see 16th v.) the angel gives him the chronological
order, by stating that "the saints of the Most High S H A
L L (in the future) take the kingdom and possess it," 18th
v. "And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom,"
22d v. When did the time come? Certainly after the Son of Man
had received his dominion and glory, and a kingdom in the heavens:
and when he comes as king to judgment, he brings that glory with
him, and sits upon it. (See Matt. 25:31,34; compare with this
Titus 2:13.) "Blessed hope and glorious appearing."
Then is it not plain that his union with his glory, the New Jerusalem
which is called the Bride, constitutes him the Bridegroom there
for that special purpose only, and all this to be done before
he can have his Bride, the "glory" that Daniel saw him
receive to bring with him, when he comes as king (having changed
his name.) to possess his kingdom. It certainly will not be disputed
that this marriage or union of the Lamb is an event to transpire
in time, some where at the close of the prophetic periods, and
in order that every event may have its proper fulfilment before
he can come as king. For this is the title he claims at his second
appearing, and no where is it shown that he will ever be personally
seen here under the title of "Bridegroom." We say therefore
that his coming in the sense of the parable, is as Daniel describes
it. He received, or as we best understand it, was inaugurated
as king into his throne, the Holy City, which is the capital of
his kingdom, that he will bring with him and establish here, and
it will ever be the capital of all his dominions under the whole
heaven. Here follow the scriptural names "New Jerusalem,"
"Holy City," "Tabernacle of God," "City
of my God," "Zion of God," "True Tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched, and not man," "a building of
God," "a house not made with hands, eternal and in the
heavens," "Garden of Eden," "Paradise of God,"
"the Mother of us all." These all have one meaning,
which is the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. She cannot be fully adorned
until all the children of the Mother are at home in the capital,
with the king.
Now comes again "the law of
Moses." Types. - Now understand me: I want you to see what
I have partly stated in the fifth way mark. "T H R E E times
in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God."
First is the feast of unleavened bread, i.e. the Passover. (2d.)
Feast of weeks. (3d.) Feast of Tabernacles, in Deut. 16:-16.
The reasons are given. The details and explanation are principally
in the 23. chap. of Lev.
Let us start now understandingly.
These three feasts are typical of three of the most important
events to transpire in this world from the first to the second
(1st.) Was the crucifixion of our
Lord at the Passover feast?
(2d.) Fifty days after, or the
7th week feast, the day of Pentecost, A. D. 31.
Now as these two feasts have been
perfectly fulfilled, we have nothing farther to do with them here.
(3d.) Feast of Tabernacles on the
15th of the 7th month. This undoubtedly represents the gathering
of all Israel at the ingathering of the harvest, the end of the
world, and will have a perfect fulfilment here.
Now let us examine closely; for
here I think we shall find the longitude of our ship, which will
enable us to correct our dead reckoning preparatory to receiving
the time when we shall enter the glorious harbor of rest.
Here then in this third and last
feast are three types each marked by time making perfect order
in their fulfilment.
1st. 24th v. Is the memorial of
trumpets on the 1st day of the 7th month? In the 7th way mark
we think we have shown how this is being fulfilled, viz. sounding
the seventh trumpet: If any one doubts respecting this, the next
type will make it clear.
2d. type: "Also on the 10th
day of the 7th month, there shall be a day of atonement. Ye shall
afflict your souls from even to even shall you celebrate your
Sabbath," i.e. it shall be a 24 hour day. Here in this type
the people were all these 24 hours in a deep state of trial, afflicted
for their sins, waiting around the Tabernacle, while the High
Priest was performing the services in the "most holy place,"
making the atonement for the sanctuary, himself and people; and
when he comes out he pronounces the blessing, and then the day
of affliction is over until the next year. Now mark. God was
so particular to have this type fulfilled that he made it a standing
order that whosoever would not be afflicted in that day, should
be cut off from among his people. Now if I can show the fulfilment
or antetype to this type, will you believe?
First, then to be perfect in time
it must begin on the 10th day of the 7th month, and no where else.
Then please look back to the 10th of the 7th month, 1844, where
all the virgins were out looking for the Bridegroom, or as in
the type, waiting for Jesus our great High Priest, to finish the
atonement for the sanctuary and ourselves, and bless us by his
glorious appearing. At this point of time our disappointment
when the day came and no indications of our Lord's coming was
intense. Here then all the honest and sincere virgins were plunged
into a furnace of affliction, which they could not avoid, and
have been wading through it these last thirty months. This has
been such a universal and simultaneous affliction, presenting
itself in all its various forms, prophesied of by prophets and
apostles, that it is impossible for advent believers to deny without
apostatizing from the faith. They have likened it to the passing
of gold and silver through "refining fire." Peter says
we must not "think strange concerning it." James calls
it the patient waiting time. John calls it the patience of the
saints. The angel Gabriel was also instructed respecting the
holy people in the last days. He said they should be tried.
When we say we are looking for the Lord, we virtually acknowledge
all this in the past, for it would be perfect folly to say these
trials would come on the holy people after the resurrection.
This history is in perfect accordance in the time and manner with
the type. Indeed if this is not clear and admitted, we should
forever despair of appealing to the conscience for testimony.
Here then we say is the perfect antetype to the 10th day of the
7th month affliction. For if the universal and peculiar trials
to God's people have not yet come, then vain is our hope of the
second advent here. Do you doubt now whether the seventh trumpet,
the first type of these three, is sounding, you must see that
these two types are 10 days apart. In time therefore the seventh
trumpet must sound, first to usher in this very affliction. And
now see there is but one type more to be fulfilled in this last
feast; and this is the feast of Tabernacles, which cannot take
place in April nor May, nor any other month but the 15th of the
7th month. The fulfilment of the two preceding types prove this
position. O God, I thank thee for the clear light that arises
from this feast of Tabernacles.
Then we say at the commencement
of this second type, the symbol of our trial, was where the Bridegroom
came, and commenced the cleansing of the sanctuary. When God
speaks and shakes earth and heaven, Joel says Jerusalem will be
holy, the sanctuary will be complete, the atonement finished;
for God will then be the hope of his people.
Here then we say on the 10th day
of the 7th month, in accordance with the type, God has particularly
given the work of reconciliation, atonement or cleansing, it must
begin here and no where else, for this is the special time to
commence the atonement. It was on the 10th of the 7th month that
Aaron the high Priest finished the atonement, and he was the type
of Jesus our great High Priest; the most holy place a type of
the coming of Jesus out of the third heaven to the New Jerusalem,
prepared as a Bridegroom to be united to his Bride.
Let us for a moment look at the
type in Lev.xvi. In the first place the High Priest enters the
most holy place once a year, on the 10th day of the 7th month,
and with the blood of beasts begins by making atonement for himself
and house (6th v.) Please read 16th and 17th v., and then 29-34.
"And he (the High Priest) shall make an atonement (or cleansing)
for the holy sanctuary." And then for the Tabernacle, (the
whole building) and for the altar; then for the Priests, and for
all the people of the congregation. And this is to be an everlasting
statute; 33 and 34 v. The only way to make atonement or forgive
sins, until Christ our great High Priest shall come. Now let
Paul explain: "Now of the things of which we have spoken,
this is the sum; Heb. 8:1. The sum of the preceding chapters,
especially the seventh where he shows that Christ now comes to
be our Priest forever, and that of course abolishes the Priesthood,
and law of Moses respecting Priesthood. Now read 8:1; again:
"We have such an High Priest" who is with God in the
heavens; "A minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched and not man." This places Jesus our
High Priest in the heavens, where the sanctuary, the New Jerusalem
is; he ministering there for us in the holy place, not with bullock's
blood, but his own, fulfilling in all that has been shadowed forth
in the type by the high priest in the Tabernacle on earth. Let
Paul speak again in the 4th and 5th v: "Seeing that there
are [or was then] Priests that offer gifts according to the law,
who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things; as Moses
was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle
[a meeting-house on earth]. For see, saith he, that thou make
all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount;"
as stated in Ex.25-27 and 40 chapters. I understand it thus.
Make a meeting-house and every article of the furniture to correspond
with the great meeting-house and its furniture which is in the
"Third heavens." Why, Paul? "For (or because)
Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, which
are the figures of the true, [that is, the meeting-houses which
Moses and Solomon made] but unto heaven itself;" 9:24 (to
become a minister of the great meeting-house in heaven, which
God made.) Then in the 23d verse he shows that every thing pertaining
to the meeting-house on earth was to be purified or cleansed by
the blood of Jesus the great High Priest over the house of God;"
10:21. Now if you will read chap. 9:1-10, Paul will show you
the use and meaning of the earthly meeting-house. Then he begins
in the 11th v. thus: "But Christ being come an high priest
of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle
[meeting-house in heaven] not made with hands." How was
it made? "Just as the worlds were: by the word of God,"
9:3. He is then there to minister for us the great antetype to
fulfil all that is given in the types above stated.
This I understand is a part of what
Daniel saw in his night vision. John in his Revelation says,
"The temple of God was open in heaven, and there was seen
the ark of his testament, (the chest containing the ten commandments)
11:19; see 15 v. This was under the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Again in the 15. he says, "the Temple of the Tabernacle
of the testimony in heaven was open." Now mark; this was
after the cry "Come out of her, my people" was given,
for here they are altogether rejoicing over the victory they had
obtained over the churches; 2d and 3d v. And in the same chronological
point of time, he "beheld a cloud, and one sat like unto
the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown;" 14:14.
Now John shows here that he saw all this after the message of
the third angel, and before the seven angels had began to pour
out the seven last plagues; for he never saw them until the temple
was open. Now the 15th v. of the 16. ch. shows clearly that Christ
does not come before the sixth plague is poured out. Here then
is positive corroborated proof of Christ's receiving his dominion
and glory and kingdom or as in the parable of the ten virgins
the Bridegroom came to the marriage under the sounding of the
seventh trumpet, and after the third angel's message, and before
six of the seven plagues are poured out.
I am aware that all this can be
objected to. So can the whole vision. But it does mean something
which took place in heaven. And who that will read Leviticus
16:29 - 34, and 23:27 - 32, where the type is presented every
year can ever doubt but the antetype will take place here on the
10th of the 7th month, where the appointed time must end (2300
days) and Jesus after his marriage enter the Holiest of Holies,
and commence the cleansing of the sanctuary; as John has it, "prepare
mansions in my Father's house." Jesus says emphatically,
"after I have prepared a place for you, I will return and
take you with me." Is not this the New Jerusalem? and does
he not prepare it before he comes for his saints? This must be
the cleansing or justifying the sanctuary. And we say again there
is no other place or time for it to take place. And as it respects
the history, the only place and time that God's people did simultaneously
go out to meet the Bridegroom was on the 10th day of the 7th month,
1844. A more perfect fulfilment never has taken place before.
Who can see any thing like this in the future?
Now as our experience shows such
a perfect fulfilment of events, where in our history should we
look for this important event to take place, if not in the text
and types, "And the Bridegroom came, and at the end of the
appointed time, (2300 days) where the sanctuary is to be justified
or cleansed?" Here, then, we say is the commencing of this
important work. Here is the beginning; and Joel tells us when
it will be finished or cleansed. When the "Lord roars out
of Zion, and shakes the heavens and earth," (see Hag. and
Paul's description, also,) "then shall Jerusalem be holy."
The Bridegroom will then have changed his title to that of king.
At this point of time I think is where John saw the crown on
his head. This certainly is before his coming, and after the
shaking of the powers of heaven. And that has not yet been done,
but is the very next sign in order. What next? The sign of the
Son of Man. What next? Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven.
Now this is the order Jesus has given us himself - why cannot
we believe it? I know it is easy enough for any one who does
not search the scriptures very diligently or give any stretch
to his thoughts, to say that all these events can, or will take
place when Jesus comes. It might just as well have been said
that when the sun was darkened, the stars fell, but we clearly
see there was time and space for both. So there will be for all
the sign given. This subject of the coming of the Bridegroom
has also been ably discussed, and very clearly seen and admitted.
The backsliding of its principal advocates is no more proof of
its non-fulfilment, than that there has been no Midnight Cry,
because the same class of people have rejected it. The scriptures
are our guide. This has been the great scape goat or loop hole,
for a certain class to crawl away from the position they had taken,
into more respectable congregations and society, and confess this
the great error they had been led into, when in fact their hearts
were filled with unbelief respecting the short distance they had
travelled in the pathway after the fall of 1844. The proof of
this is clearly seen in their concessions and confessions to them
that retreated back after the cry to what was called the broad
platform, the tarrying time in the spring of 1844. They are about
all united now in doing the work over again, and in finding fault
with the shut door people. I am aware this is plain language,
but I speak advisedly. My heart has been burdened and pained
while I have been watching the progress of backsliding Israel.
MARRIAGE. - "And they that
were ready, went in with him to the marriage." I know it
reads so, says one, but is it a literal wedding or marriage?
No, it is a figurative representation (as we have shown) of a
union effected between Christ the Bridegroom, and his Bride, the
New Jerusalem in heaven; and when this took place the church here
below were all brought into a certain state (`R E A D Y') and
participated in the union. This must necessarily be so, for Christ
being the vine and the church the branches, also the head and
the church the body, one could not move without the other. Again,
Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me."
Therefore when Jesus leaves the mediatorial seat to be united
to his Bride, the church will as necessarily move as the body
does when the head turns round. Now we say that our history on
the 22d of October, 1844, was a perfect fulfilment of the figure
or parable given to illustrate it. See "While they went
to buy, the Bridegroom came, and they that were READY went in
with him to the marriage." Here at this point the heavens
rang with song and praise, "the voice of a great multitude,
and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings
saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let
us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage
of the Lamb has come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And
to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean
and white, [why?] for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints;"
Rev. 19:5-8; - that is, the real saints would at this time be
arrayed in fine linen clean and white, or they would be ready
by sacrifice and obedience just as the angel Gabriel shewed Daniel
it should be with the holy people in the latter (or last) days,
"purified and made white, and tried," but the trial
is between the wedding and the supper. For he adds in 9th v.,
"Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper
of the Lamb. These are the true sayings of God." His meaning
I understand to be this. They only are blessed that are called
to the supper, for many would be at the wedding and join in the
marriage song that would not be at the supper in the New Jerusalem,
because they would not endure the trial that they should be plunged
into between the marriage and the supper. How clear that the
marriage takes place, and consequently the Bridegroom come, and
the door shut, before the trial comes to purge and fan out the
chaff from the wheat. "Many are called, but few are chosen."
It seems to me that the trial of the saints is as positive proof
of the marriage in the past, as that thirty months of our trial
is in the past. Says the reader, I thought that those who were
at the wedding and were shut into the guest chamber, were sealed
and safe. You have no scripture to prove it; but to the contrary.
See our Savior's parable or figure for the marriage of the king's
son, meaning himself, Matt. 22:1-14. 10th v. shows the last gathering
for the wedding to be made up of guests both bad and good (two
classes). "And when the king came in to see the guests,
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment."
And when he was asked how he came there "without a wedding
garment, he was speechless." What is a wedding garment?
John says, "fine linen clean and white, for the fine linen
is the righteousness of the saints." They had made their
sacrifice, and were waiting for their Lord to come - "were
made white." God says, "Gather my saints together unto
me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice;"
Psl.1:5. "Then said the king, bind him hand and foot, and
take him away into outer darkness." &c. So we plainly
see there were those at the wedding that did not have on a wedding
garment - their sacrifice and obedience was incomplete. This
one represents many as in the parable of the virgins, and also
the "angel giving the everlasting Gospel," in Rev. 14.
This defines the meaning in Rev. 19:9, where John was told to
write thus: "Blessed are they which are called unto the
marriage supper of the Lamb," for Jesus says, "many
are called, but few are chosen."
The positive instructions to all
who were ready and entered into this state with the Bridegroom
to the marriage, was as Luke has recorded it: "Let your loins
be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like
unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the
wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh they may open to him
immediately." Their trials during this interval, if they
endure them patiently, will fit them for the marriage supper.
This leads to the enquiry
IS THE DOOR SHUT? "While they
went to buy, the Bridegroom came, and they that were ready went
in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut;" Matt.
Jesus says, "When once the
master of the house is risen up and shut to the door, and ye begin
to stand without and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord,
open unto us, and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you
not whence ye are."
This was in answer to the question
"if there were few that be saved." He said, "Strive
to enter in at the strait gate, for many I say unto you, shall
seek to enter in and shall not be able;" Luke 13:24,25.
None can go in short of perfect obedience to God. Jesus says
to his disciples, "I am the door of the sheep." Again,
"I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved;"
John 10:7-9. He further says, "I am the way, the truth,
and the life." Here it is perfectly plain we have got to
go in by and through Jesus, the door.
He says to the Philadelphia Church,
"he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no
man openeth. Behold I have set before thee an open door, and
no man can shut it." How clear it is that the door is open
to this church; this class of believers. Why? Because they have
a "little strength and have not denied his name." -
What name? "New name," 3.Rev.7,8,12, "king of
kings and Lord of Lords," 19. We believe he has received
his kingdom, and his title king of kings, and we acknowledge him
as such, while the others in 9 v. deny him, and will not admit
him to be king. Christ then will be their open door, and their
way while they acknowledge and obey him, their king. Now it appears
to me that we can understand how the door is shut. Christ says
he is the door. Then, when he rises up to leave the office he
has been fulfilling these 1800 years, and moves to the most holy
place to receive his dominion and glory, and a kingdom, then he
virtually shuts the door, and the work for the church is as necessarily
changed; because as his sheep they follow him. Now as I have shown
in the preceding chapter that this work precedes his advent and
must be done on the 10th of the 7th month to fulfil the type and
the parable of the virgins, and his people here on earth must
participate and do their part, as was done in the type, and it
must be something just like what has taken place, and will be
known and believed in by God's true children, and history has
not recorded any thing like it in the past down to October, 1844.
Neither has it transpired since in the 7th month of 1845 or '46.
Neither can any thing like it take place again by the virgins
in the parable, for they are divided and sub-divided, without
a possibility of a union. Therefore if it is to be done in the
future, it must be by an entirely new set of believers that are
united as the virgins once were, when "they all arose and
trimmed their lamps to go out and meet the Bridegroom."
How clear it is then that the door was shut as I have shown, on
the 10th day of the 7th month, 1844, and no where else. And that
here ended Daniel's appointed time, 2300 days. Why end here?
Because they were to end at an "appointed time," 8:10.
Hab. says at the end it shall speak and not lie, and then if
it tarry, wait for it. This is precisely what we are now doing.
Then it has spoken at an appointed time, 22d Oct. 1844, and now
is the tarrying of the vision.
It must be pretty well understood
by this time how the Advent Herald and its associates have derided
those that adhere to this view since the noted Albany conference,
and how repeatedly they have cited us to the future for the cleansing
of the sanctuary at the ending of the 2,300 days. Now see them
making another tack to windward! Here it is: "We shall
continue to believe what we have constantly taught, [we should
like to see how often since the Albany Conference,] that the 2300
days began about B. C. 457, and must end at a point of time not
remote from 1843, as Wm. Miller first taught. The time is past
to which the majority of evidence in our minds pointed for their
termination." - Advent Herald, Feb. 24. In a few weeks after
this, the old chart is drawn out from the rubbish to which it
had been exposed through neglect and uselessness and hung up in
a conspicuous place in the meeting for reference again, and hailed
with joy as an old particular friend. Not by all, for another
division has taken place, which is another proof of the unsettled
state respecting their true position. A true position they have
never had since they began to repeat their message after the Bridegroom
came and the door was shut. Their admission of the 2,300 days
in the past necessarily acknowledges the principal part if not
all which we have claimed, or they may acknowledge it to be so
without fulfilling prophecy. They don't show what sanctuary is
being cleansed at the end of these days. Luke shows clearly that
after the door is shut, those that are outside will begin to knock,
and when they are denied admittance, they will tell of the wonders
which they have wrought, and still the reply will be "I know
you not." Matthew is as clear. He says, "afterwards
came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
He answers, I know you not." After when was this knocking?
Why, after the door was shut. Now I ask if the door is not shut
before the second advent, unless this knocking afterwards can
be proved to be after the change to immortality. And that can
be admitted only on the unscriptural ground that the wicked will
be also immortal. But according to Paul's order of the resurrection,
a gulf will be between them immediately, and those outside cannot
knock for admittance, but we are told that their cry will be for
"rocks and mountains to fall on them." Then the knocking
will be in this present state as it has been, and now is, clamoring
about the door, in favor of backsliders and sinners when they
have hardly any faith respecting their own true position - changing
like a ship beating to windward in a heavy head beat sea, losing
ground on every tack. Some have attempted to show in Luke 13,
that the 28th and 29th verses were a proof that this knocking
would be after the advent. I think it shows the reverse. "Weeping
and gnashing of teeth," certainly is not knocking for an
open door, but shows, as it is stated, that had already been done.
What does the apostle Paul call an open door? He says to the
Cor. "For a great door and effectual was open unto me;"
16:19. "How he (God) had opened a door\ of faith unto the
Gentiles;" Acts 14:27. "Praying also for us that God
would open us a \door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ;"
Col. 4:3. "When I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel,
and a door was opened unto me of the Lord;" 2 Cor. 2:12.
Paul's open door, then, was the
preaching the gospel with effect to the Gentiles. Now let this
door be shut, and the preaching of this gospel will have no effect.
This is just what we say is the fact. The gospel message ended
at the appointed time with the closing of the 2,300 days; and
almost every honest believer that is watching the signs of the
times will admit it. I know it will be said "why you have,
or would close the door of mercy!" There is no such language
in the Bible. I have no desire nor wish in my soul to see my
worst enemy lost. I think I have made it manifest for the last
twenty years; and am still willing to do what I can to save those
that will help themselves. But I am perfectly sensible that it
cannot be done only in God's appointed way; and all that will
walk under the shadow of his wing will rejoice at the fulfilment
of his word, although their hearts may be burdened and pained
at seeing the opposite in their friends.
I think I have fully proved this
eighth way mark and high heap in our pathway, that the Bridegroom
has come, the marriage is past, and the door is shut.
"Come, my people, enter thou
into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee for a little
moment, until the indignation be over past;" Isa. 31:20.
A SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD
HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR THOUSAND, OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD BEING SEALED
BY JOSEPH BATES / et al
NEW BEDFORD, 1849
Won't the open door believer and
opposer be willing then, think you, to acknowledge that the door
is shut? or will they continue to say as they now do, that they
know the door is open, and will be until the Lord Jesus shall
come. Just look at the order of events predicted by the prophets.
- "Daniel's trouble."
- "The voice of God."
- "Sign of the son of man"
- "Coming of the son of man."
Is it not perfectly clear that there
is no open door in the first event named; viz: time of Daniel's
trouble: if there was, surely the prayers of all the righteous
united would save some one besides themselves. Noah, Job and
Daniel could not if they were here. Then it is clear that the
door is not open. Can it be shown now whereabouts the 2,300 days
will end in the time of trouble? no; will Jesus come then before
the voice of God? no; where, and when then, did the 2,300 days
end, and the door close or shut? Answer, tenth day of the 7th
month, 1844. I do not believe it's in the power of any living
being on earth, or ever will be to show the ending of the 2,300
days, and door shut at any other point of time. And now the time
of trouble has began, what is our duty? Answer, hold fast
our past experience, and let no man take our crown.
[Editor's Note: According to Bates, the time of trouble
was in progress in 1849.]