The Close of Probation

Adapted from The Crisis Ahead by Robert W. Olson
In the past has there been a
general close of probation for a
large number of people?
There was a shut door in Noah’s
day. There was at that time a
withdrawal of the Spirit of God
from the sinful race that perished
in the waters of the Flood. (1SM p.
There was a shut door in the
days of Abraham. Mercy ceased
to plead with the inhabitants of
Sodom…(1SM p. 63)
There was a shut door in Christ’s
day. The Son of God declared to
the unbelieving Jews of that
generation, “Your house is left
unto you desolate” (Matthew
23:38). (1SM 63)
…there was a shut door in 1844.
All who saw the light of the first
and second angels’ messages and
rejected that light, were left in
darkness. (1SM p. 63)
Are there any time prophecies
which must yet be fulfilled
before the close of probation?
…the people will not have
another message upon definite
time…The longest reckoning
reaches to the autumn of 1844.
(7BC 971.7)
What definite prediction is
made concerning the
enforcement of Sunday
observance before the close of
The Lord has shown me clearly
that the image of the beast will be
formed before probation closes;
for it is to be the great test for the
people of God, by which their
eternal destiny will be decided.
(7BC 976.2)
What will life be like?
When life is going on in its unvarying
round; when men are absorbed in pleasure,
in business, in traffic, in money-making;
when religious leaders are magnifying the
world’s progress and enlightenment, and
the people are lulled in a false security—
then, as the midnight thief steals within the
unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden
destruction come upon the careless and
ungodly, “and they shall not escape.” (GC
So when the irrevocable decision of the
sanctuary has been pronounced and the
destiny of the world has been forever fixed,
the inhabitants of the earth will know it not.
The forms of religion will be continued by a
people from whom the Spirit of God has
been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal
with which the prince of evil will inspire
them for the accomplishment of his
malignant designs, will bear the semblance
of zeal for God. (GC 615.1)
Will SDAs expect probation to
close when it does?
“Be ye also ready: for in an such hour
as ye think not the Son of man
cometh.” People are now settling to
rest, imagining themselves secure
under the popular churches; but let
all beware, lest there is a place left
open for the enemy to gain an
entrance. (FE 335.2)
Great pains should be taken to keep this subject
before the people. The solemn fact is to be kept not
only before the people of the world, but before our
own churches also, that the day of the Lord will
come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning
of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no
one feel that he is secure from the danger of being
surprised. Let no one’s interpretation of prophecy
rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of
events which show that this great event is near at
hand. (Ibid.)
Will we know when probation
has closed?
So when the irrevocable decision
of the sanctuary has been
pronounced and the destiny of the
world has been forever fixed, the
inhabitants of the earth will know
it not. (GC 615)
Does Satan know?
In the time of trouble, Satan stirs up the
wicked, and they encircle the people of God
to destroy them. But he does not know that
“pardon” has been written opposite their
names in the books of heaven. He does not
know that the command has been given,
“Take away the filthy garments” from them,
clothe them with “change of raiment,” and
set “a fair miter” upon their heads. (RH,
November 19, 1908 par. 14)
He sees that holy angels are
guarding them, and he infers
that their sins have been
pardoned; but he does not
know that their cases have
been decided in the
sanctuary above. (GC 618)
What follows the close of
Revelation 15:8
Revelation 16:1
Revelation 19:11-15
I saw that the four angels would
hold the four winds until Jesus’
work was done in the sanctuary,
and then will come the seven last
plagues. (EW p. 36)
When the work of the investigative
judgment closes, the destiny of all
will have been decided for life or
death. Probation is ended a short
time before the appearing of the
Lord in the clouds of heaven. (GC
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