The Hour of His Judgment is Come
Alonzo T. Jones
Reprinted for the author by
Revelation Messengers Publishing
Alonzo Trevier Jones
Alonzo T. Jones was a deep Bible student and loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Rock Hill, Ohio in 1850, and at the age of 20 joined the U.S. Army, where he served until 1873. Following his baptism in 1874, Jones acquired his knowledge of the Bible through personal study. He became assistant minister to Isaac Van Horn shortly after, and the two ministers moved to northwestern Oregon where they held evangelistic meetings and organized churches. Jones later moved northward to Washington where he continued this same work and, in 1884, moved to California where he became editor of a Christian periodical. In 1889, Jones spoke before the U.S. Congress in opposition to a bill that would require national Sunday observance. The arguments used and set forth by Jones in the hearing he later published in book form titled, The National Sunday Law. Thus he became known as a prominent speaker on religious freedom. Among his studies, Jones familiarized himself with world history, as well as Biblical, and the prophecies contained in the Bible, and this lead to the authorship of many written works on the subject of Bible prophecy and their fulfillment as demonstrated in history. Jones believed that the Bible should be “preeminent” among those books studied by Christians, stating: “Nothing that is not Christian can ever properly be brought into the education of a Christian, any more than can anything that is not Christian be properly brought into any other phase of the life of the Christian. Therefore, the Book of Christianity, the Bible, must be the standard of Christian education.”
All that is proposed to be accomplished by this great threefold message is in view of the fact that “the hour” of God’s “judgment is come.” Therefore the one great object of the Third Angel’s Message is to prepare the world for the judgment: to prepare to stand in the judgment all who receive the message; and to ripen the world for the judgment in all who, by refusing the message which will prepare them to stand in the judgment, subject themselves to the judgment itself, in all its terror.
The word of this Message itself is that “the hour of His judgment is come;” not that it will come, but that it “IS come.” To everyone, therefore, who receives this message, the judgment of God becomes an ever-present reality. All these stand always before the judgment seat, and put themselves voluntarily under all the tests of the judgment. This is so in the very nature of belief of the message; for when a message of God declares that “the hour of His judgment is come,” what can such a message amount to in the belief of a person to whom it is not a present reality that “the hour of His judgment is come”? And when it is held by the professed believer that it is the truth that “the hour of His judgment is come,” what can such a belief amount to if that person does not place himself in the very judgment itself, as a present thing, and does not willingly subject himself to all the searching realities of that judgment?
This is emphasized by the further fact that this message is to make ready a people prepared to meet the Lord when He comes in the clouds of heaven,—a people who will be alive on the earth when the Lord comes, and who will be translated without seeing death. Rev. 14:4; 15:2, 3; 1 Thess. 4:15-17. And all those who will be ready must be “accounted worthy to escape” all the evils that come upon the earth, and “to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36. They must be accounted worthy before that coming occurs, or else they will not be worthy at His coming, and, therefore, can not be saved by Him at His coming. And in this counting of each person worthy, or otherwise, the decisive word is, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Rev. 22:11.
Thus, by the very nature of the decision of the judgment in the cases of these living ones, in the time of the message that “the hour of His judgment is come,” it is evident that there is no long process of examination and of balancing of accounts one against another; but that it is simply the recognition of the condition of each person, according as that condition is by his own choice. Just what he is at the moment when the crisis of the decision in his case is reached, that he forever remains. If he is righteous, the judgment recognizes it, and pronounces the word, “Let him be righteous still.” And this word is so pronounced at that moment simply because he already is what this says that he shall be “still.” If he is unjust, then the word of the judgment is, “Let him be unjust still.” And this is so said simply because that is what he is at the moment, whether the judgment were pronounced or not; and the crisis of the judgment, coming to his case just at that moment, finds it so, recognizes it, and says, “Let him be unjust still.”
And why should it not be thus? Here is a message of God, proclaimed to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying to all, “Fear God, and give glory to Him,” especially because “the hour of His judgment is come.” On one hand, here are the people who have received the message. That message has in it all the divine power of the everlasting gospel, fully to fit them for the judgment; and their very acceptance of the message is a confession that they recognize the fact that “the hour of His judgment is come,” and that they are in this “hour.” And if, in spite of this, any of them lives as if he were not in “the hour of God’s judgment,” and so shall be unprepared for the blessed word to be pronounced, “Let him be righteous still,” and is prepared for the awful word, “Let him be unjust still,” surely, none but himself can be in any wise to blame for that. The decision is as it is because of his disregard of the very thing that he professed to hold, and the very thing that had called him to the profession which he holds.
On the other hand, here is a message, proclaimed to all the world,—to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” And here are vast multitudes of people who refuse to believe that there is any truth in the statement that “the hour of His judgment is come.” They, therefore, go on in their way, utterly regardless of the truth that they are in the presence of the judgment. Then, when the case of any individual among these is reached, and the word must be, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still,” this also is simply because of his own decision; the judgment pronounced is simply a recognition of the condition in which he is, and which he himself has fixed by his disregard of the message that would have altogether changed his condition, and fitted him for that other word, “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still.”
Often, people ask, Shall we know when the time of the judgment shall have come? Shall we be able to know when the judgment shall have come to the living? The great threefold message—the Third Angel’s Message—gives the answer. Does not that very message itself say plainly, as plainly as the Lord can speak, “The hour of His judgment is come”? Has not this message said the same thing to every man who has ever heard it? And has not that message continued to say this to him from the day that he first heard it?
This being so, is it possible that anyone who has heard that message, and above all anyone who professes to believe that message, has not yet learned that “the hour of his judgment is come,” when that very word is what he heard, and what he has professed to believe, from the day he heard it? And if any professed believer of the Third Angel’s Message does not believe this word of God, which, all this time, he has professed to believe, when it tells him that the hour of God’s judgment is come, then would he believe it if the Lord should tell him again? Is it possible that anyone has lived under a profession of belief of this message, even for a day, and yet has not placed himself in the presence of the judgment, and has not subjected himself to all the searching tests of the judgment? Is it possible that any one of these professing to believe the word that “the hour of His judgment is come,” has not believed it at all, and has been acting all the time as he would not act if he did believe in reality that “the hour of His judgment is come”?
So far as concerns every believer of the Third Angel’s Message, each individual has fixed it that, with himself, the judgment has begun upon the living; for he is alive, and has accepted a message from God which declares to him that the hour of God’s judgment is come. Being alive, and having accepted such a message from God by the very force of his profession, simply by the virtue of his belief, he enters alive, hourly into the judgment. He lives in presence of the judgment. He opens his life to all the searching tests of the judgment. And this being so with him, to him the question is answered, Shall we be able to know when the judgment has begun upon the living?
The Third Angel’s Message—this great threefold message—is in every feature present truth. And when in its own words it is shown that this message is given in view of the fact that the hour of God’s judgment “is come,” and knowing that now is the time of that message, it is only present truth thoroughly to believe that in very truth, “the hour of His judgment is come.”
Indeed, that this message were ever given at all would be evidence in itself that the hour of His judgment is come; for no message of God can ever be given before the time. Therefore whenever this message shall be found sounding to the world, it will be then true that the hour of God’s judgment is come. And the word of the message that says so will be only the announcement of the fact that the hour of His judgment is come. And everyone believing the message will believe that this is the fact: he will have to believe it, to be a believer of the message; because the very word of the message that he professes to believe says that this is so. And as certainly as he believes this, he will enter hourly into God’s judgment, and will constantly hold himself subject to all the tests of that judgment.
That message is now due in the world. It is being given to the world. For years this has been so. Therefore for years it has been, and it now is, present truth that the hour of God’s judgment is come. Thousands upon thousands of persons profess to believe that message. Therefore the principle is that this whole people of that message are entered hourly into God’s judgment, and, as constantly as they live, do subject themselves to all the searching tests of that judgment. All these, therefore, know that as for themselves, each individually, the judgment has begun upon the living; for they are living. To them the message of God has come that “the hour of His judgment is come;” they have accepted that message, and accordingly have entered into that judgment, and so they live constantly in the presence of that awful fact. Consequently we say again that with these there is no room for any such question as to “whether the judgment has begun upon the living.”
And if there be any who profess to believe this message, and yet are living as they would not live if they knew that the judgment had come; and would make a revolution in their lives if only they knew that the judgment had come upon the living, but would not make this revolution if they could be certain that the judgment had not come; then to what purpose to them could be a message, even if it were sent directly from heaven to them personally, that the judgment had begun upon the living? In such case, any change that would be sought or made, would have no virtue whatever; and these persons would be no more prepared for the decision of the judgment than if they had heard nothing about it. The only change that would be made in such a life would be altogether out of fear of the consequences, and not out of any love of righteousness. Therefore, in the nature of things, in such a case the word could not be, His is righteous, “let him be righteous still;” because he is not righteous: he has not in his heart any love of righteousness. This is demonstrated by the fact that, under the very profession of this judgment-message, he lived without regard to the judgment: he indulged evil things in his life,—things which he knew could not pass the judgment,—and he continued to indulge them until the startling word came to him personally that the judgment was come to him. Then, all at once, and only that he may pass the judgment, and escape the consequences of the evil things that, in spite of righteousness, he has indulged, he sets forth to make a grand revolution in his life!
But no such thing as that will ever work in the judgment of God. Whoever will pass in righteousness the judgment of God, will do so only because he has “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,” whether the judgment was begun upon him or not. He loves righteousness because it is righteousness, and he hates iniquity because it is iniquity; and he will no more indulge iniquity in his life with the judgment a thousand years away than with the judgment only a minute away.
There is, therefore, no room whatever for any professed believer of the Third Angel’s Message, ever to ask whether the judgment has begun upon the living. Every true believer of the Third Angel’s Message KNOWS, because the Word of God says it, and has said it for years, that “the hour of His judgment is come.”
And to whomsoever in all the world this message shall come, even though he believe it not, to him it will be true, and he may know it, that the time of judgment has come to him. Whether he will recognize it or ignore it, is for him alone to say; but to him it will be the truth that the hour of God’s judgment “is come.”
“Thou hour of His judgment is come.” It is here: it is a present thing as certainly as the world is here. And, knowing this, every true believer of this message lives accordingly: he puts himself alive into the judgment; he reins himself up hourly before the judgment seat; because “the hour of His judgment is come.” To the true believer of the Third Angel’s Message this is a fact; it is living truth.
And how shall he ever give this message to the world otherwise? Can he, with any force of truth at all, preach to another man that the hour of God’s judgment “is come,” when he himself does not believe at all that it “is come,” but only that it will come? Who is there in the world that does not believe that God’s judgment will come? But the Third Angel’s Message is not that the judgment will come; but that the very time, the “hour, of His judgment IS COME.”
Since this judgment, in its decision when pronounced, is but a recognition and declaration of a condition that already exists, and is, therefore, practically instantaneous, it follows that the means of preparation for this awful decision shall be such that it shall be able to effect that preparation also instantaneously. And precisely this provision is that which is offered by the Lord in this great, glorious Third Angel’s Message; for it carries the “everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” And this everlasting gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.”
Those who are thus made righteous live righteously; because they “live by faith.” This power of God is creative, and is, therefore, instantaneous in its action. For “He spake, and it was.” Ps. 33:9. When the leper said, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” He answered, “I will; be thou clean. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:40-42. And any soul loving and longing for righteousness, and hating and desiring to escape iniquity, who hears this message of the everlasting gospel, announcing that the hour of God’s judgment is come, and enters into the judgment in this hour, can in this very minute—“immediately”—be by that everlasting gospel prepared for the judgment. And while he holds himself in the presence of the judgment, subject to all its searching tests, and holds fast this everlasting gospel,—its power to save, and the righteousness that it reveals,—he is ready for the crisis of that judgment at any moment in the “hour;” because, when comes the critical moment in which his name is reached, he is righteous by the “power of God” and the righteousness of God which that gospel has given to him; and most gladly will the Judge speak the joyous words, “Let him be righteous still.”
“God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12:14. And because God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, all people are exhorted to “fear God, and keep His commandments.” Verse 13.
This word in Ecclesiastes is complemented and emphasized in the word of this great threefold message, in which the everlasting gospel is preached to them that dwell on the earth,—to every nation and kindred and tongue and people,—saying, with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come….Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
They that have sinned in the law, that is, with a knowledge of the law of God, “shall be judged by the law, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” And since now the “hour of His judgment is come,” and since all to whom this message comes will be judged by the law of God, it is certain that all who accept the message will set their whole lives in the light of that law, that every secret thing that is out of harmony with that holy law may be searched out and put away.
For that law does reach the most secret things, the very thoughts and intents of the heart. “Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [vain fellow], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” “Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Matt. 5:21, 22, 27, 28; James 2:12.
Therefore with all who accept this message in sincerity, the prayer will constantly be, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23, 24. Everyone who prays thus, everyone who thus opens the life to God, and invites Him in to search and see if there be any wicked way there,—every such one will be prepared for the crisis of the judgment whenever it may come. For then God will search the heart and purify the life, and will make it all that it must be to be holy before God. And all such will be led by the Lord in the way everlasting.
And why should it ever be otherwise? And of all times, now, in the hour of His judgment, why should it ever be otherwise? For does not God see all the life anyhow? Are not all things “naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do”? Can anything be hidden from Him? Are not our secret sins set in the light of His countenance? Ps. 90:8. Has He not searched us and known us? Does He not know our very thought “afar off,” long before we think it?
Since all this is true every moment of every life anyhow, what kind of person must he be who will pass along day after day and year after year as if it were not so at all? And since it is all true every moment of every life; and since we are now in the time when it is especially true in the fact that the hour of His judgment is come; what kind of person would he be who would professedly accept this message that the hour of His judgment is come, and then would pass along a single day as if it were not so?
No, no; no such thing as that can ever be, with the people of this judgment message. It comes to them as the judgment message; they accept it as the judgment message; and accordingly they enter hourly into the judgment. Since He has set our secret sins in the light of His countenance, we ourselves will set our secret sins in the light of His countenance. Since He has searched us and known us, we will hourly say unto Him, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me.” Since all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, we ourselves will constantly hold all things naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Then God will occupy all the life, and will cleanse and purify it by His own presence, making it a fit habitation for Himself to dwell in. Then He will clothe us with the garments of His own salvation, and will put upon us the robe of His own righteousness. Isa. 61:10. And then, when to each individual the crisis in the judgment comes, with Christ thus presenting us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24), the glad word will thrill each soul, He “is righteous, let him be righteous still.” He “is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Thank the Lord for such a precious message of faithful warning. Praise God for such a glorious message of justification, sanctification, and redemption.
The Third Angel’s Message embraces Zion and Calvary;
the law of God and the gospel of Christ; God the Father and God the Son.
The Third Angel’s Message is the embodiment of the very gospel of Christ, wherein “is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:16, 17.
In Christ, by faith of Christ, the believer in Jesus finds the keeping of the commandments of God, which is the righteousness of God. Thus the keeping of the commandments of God is the gift of God: it is the “free gift” of the righteousness of God “which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.” And this is the Third Angel’s Message: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
When the Third Angel’s Message shall be finished, then the mystery of God—the gospel—shall be finished; and this in the days of the voice of the Seventh Trumpet angel, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.
Those who truly obey the Third Angel’s Message will get the victory over the Beast and over his Image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name; they will, at the last, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God; and they will be without fault before the throne of God. And it will all be through “Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Unto Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
We thank God for the message which calls upon all men to “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus;” that, in this time when “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the Beast whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb,” they may have the victory over the Beast and over his Image and over his mark and over the number of his name.
We thank God for the Third Angel’s Message, which to-day calls all men to the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, that they may be delivered in the “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” that is impending
THE GREAT NATIONS OF TO-DAY.
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