The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, , at sacred-texts.com
I was shown the interest which all heaven had taken in the work which had been going on upon the earth. Jesus commissioned a strong and mighty angel to descend and warn the inhabitants of earth to get ready for his second appearing. I saw the mighty angel leave the presence of Jesus in heaven. Before him went an exceedingly bright and glorious light. I was told that his mission was to lighten the earth with his glory, and warn man of the coming wrath of God. Multitudes received the light. Some seemed to be very solemn, while others were joyful and enraptured. The light was shed upon all, but some merely came under the influence of the light, and did not heartily receive it. But all who received it, turned their faces upward to heaven, and glorified God. Many were filled with great wrath. Ministers and people united with the vile, and stoutly resisted the light shed by the mighty angel. But all who received it withdrew from the world, and were closely united together.
Satan and his angels were busily engaged in seeking to attract the minds of all they could from the light. The company who rejected it were left in darkness. I saw the angel watching with the deepest interest the professed people of God, to record the character they developed, as the message of heavenly origin was introduced to them. And as very many who professed love for Jesus turned from the heavenly message with scorn, derision and hatred, an angel with a parchment in his hand, made the shameful record. All heaven was filled with indignation, because Jesus was slighted by his professed followers.
I saw the disappointment of the trusting ones. They did not see their Lord at the expected time. It was God's purpose to conceal the future, and bring his people to a point of decision. Without this point of time the work designed of God would not have been accomplished. Satan was leading the minds of very many far ahead in the future. A period of time proclaimed for Christ's appearing must bring the mind to earnestly seek for a present preparation. As the time passed, those who had not fully received the light of the angel, united with those who had despised the heavenly message, and they turned upon the disappointed ones in ridicule. I saw the angels in heaven consulting with Jesus. They had marked the situation of Christ's professed followers. The passing of the definite time had tested and proved them, and very many were weighed in the balance and found wanting. They all loudly professed to be Christians, yet failed in following Christ in almost every particular. Satan exulted at the state of the professed followers of Christ. He had them in his snare. He had led the majority to leave the straight path, and they were attempting to climb up to heaven some other way. Angels saw the pure, the clean, and holy, all mixed up with sinners in Zion, and the world-loving hypocrite. They had watched over the true lovers of Jesus; but the corrupt were affecting the holy.
Those whose hearts burned with a longing, intense desire to see Jesus, were forbidden by their professed brethren to speak of his coming. Angels viewed the whole scene, and sympathized with the remnant, who loved the appearing of Jesus. Another mighty angel was commissioned to descend to earth. Jesus placed in his hand a writing, and as he came to earth, he cried, Babylon is fallen! is fallen! Then I saw the disappointed ones again look cheerful, and raise their eyes to heaven, looking with faith and hope for their Lord's appearing. But many seemed to remain in a stupid state, as if asleep; yet I could see the trace of deep sorrow upon their countenances. The disappointed ones saw from the Bible that they were in the tarrying time, and that they must patiently wait the fulfillment of the vision. The same evidence which led them to look for their Lord in 1843, led them to expect him in 1844. I saw that the majority did not possess that energy which marked their faith in 1843. Their disappointment had dampened their faith. But as the disappointed ones united in the cry of the second angel, the heavenly host looked with the deepest interest, and marked the effect of the message. They saw those who bore the name of Christians turn with derision and scorn upon those who had been disappointed. As the words fell from the mocker's lips, You have not gone up yet! an angel wrote them. Said the angel, They mock God.
I was pointed back to the translation of Elijah. His mantle fell on Elisha, and wicked children (or young people) followed him, mocking, crying, Go up thou bald head! Go up thou bald head! They mocked God, and met their punishment there. They had learned it of their parents. And those who have scoffed and mocked at the idea of the saints' going up, will be visited with the plagues of God, and will realize that it is not a small thing to trifle with him.
Jesus commissioned other angels to fly quickly to revive and strengthen the drooping faith of his people, and prepare them to understand the message of the second angel, and of the important move which was soon to be made in heaven. I saw these angels receive great power and light from Jesus, and fly quickly to earth to fulfill their commission to aid the second angel in his work. A great light shone upon the people of God as the angels cried, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then I saw those disappointed ones rise, and in harmony with the second angel, proclaim, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. The light from the angels penetrated the darkness everywhere. Satan and his angels sought to hinder this light from spreading, and having its designed effect. They contended with the angels of God, and told them that God had deceived the people, and that with all their light and power, they could not make the people believe that Jesus was coming. The angels of God continued their work, although Satan strove to hedge up the way, and draw the minds of the people from the light. Those who received it looked very happy. They fixed their eyes up to heaven, and longed for the appearing of Jesus. Some were in great distress, weeping and praying. Their eyes seemed to be fixed upon themselves, and they dared not look upward.
A precious light from heaven parted the darkness from them, and their eyes, which had been fixed in despair upon themselves, were turned upward, while gratitude and holy joy were expressed upon every feature. Jesus and all the angelic host looked with approbation upon the faithful, waiting ones.
Those who rejected and opposed the light of the first angel’s message, lost the light of the second, and could not be benefited by the power and glory which attended the message, Behold the Bridegroom cometh. Jesus turned from them with a frown. They had slighted and rejected him. Those who received the message were wrapt in a cloud of glory. They waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God. They greatly feared to offend him. I saw Satan and his angels seeking to shut this divine light from the people of God; but as long as the waiting ones cherished the light, and kept their eyes raised from earth to Jesus, Satan could have no power to deprive them of this precious light. The message given from heaven enraged Satan and his angels, and those who professed to love Jesus, but despised his coming, scorned and derided the faithful, trusting ones. But an angel marked every insult, every slight, every abuse they received from their professed brethren. Very many raised their voices to cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, and left their brethren who did not love the appearing of Jesus, and who would not suffer them to dwell upon his second coming. I saw Jesus turn his face from those who rejected and despised his coming, and then he bade angels lead his people out from among the unclean, lest they should be defiled. Those obedient to the messages stood out free and united. A holy and excellent light shone upon them. They renounced the world, tore their affections from it, and sacrificed their earthly interests. They gave up their earthly treasure and their anxious gaze was directed to heaven, expecting to see their loved Deliverer. A sacred, holy joy beamed upon their countenances, and told of the peace and joy which reigned within. Jesus bade his angels go and strengthen them, for the hour of their trial drew on. I saw that these waiting ones were not yet tried as they must be. They were not free from errors. And I saw the mercy and goodness of God in sending a warning to the people of earth, and repeated messages to bring them up to a point of time, to lead them to a diligent search of themselves, that they might divest themselves of errors which have been handed down from the heathen and papists. Through these messages God has been bringing out his people where he can work for them in greater power, and where they can keep all his commandments.
See 2Kings 2:11-25; Daniel 8:14; Habakkuk 2:1-4; Matthew 25:6; Revelation 14:8, 18:1-5