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Understanding the close of probation; Part 1

Understanding the close of probation; Part 1

Someone had asked me months ago about my understanding of the topic “Living without a mediator” and I am sorry that I am just now addressing this topic for you but I have been trying to finish my house before winter, and in Alaska this window is very short and while I am not finished with the inside of my house yet. I do have the extra time to answer his question.

This answer will be in multiple posts but I will try to add a new post every day on top of our daily studies, for the next few days until I finish with the topic.

 The close of probation

The close of probation is truly one of the scariest doctrines the Seventh-day Adventist has and one that brings up many questions from everyone. I will try to give you my understanding of this topic and I hope it helps.

So I guess we need to define the term probation before we begin. Webster’s defines it as “subjection of an individual to a period of testing and trial to ascertain fitness (as for a job or school) or the action of suspending the sentence of a convicted offender and giving the offender freedom during good behavior under the supervision of a probation officer. This period of time is designed to allow the criminal an opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability to live within the law.

Christ’s ministry is closely bond to a probationary period. His purpose of coming was to make available to the people and opportunity by which they could benefit from His sacrifice for them. This probationary period gives us the chance to choose our own path, for without it we would all be lost.

The “Close of probation” refers to a time when this period of grace ends. And when probation closes, God has offered us salvation through Christ. The question is: when will this happen?

Most believe at the moment that Christ returns, He will separate the righteous for the wicked and give both the rewards which they have earned. But the Seventh-day Adventist believes that this ending of probation will end shortly before the 2nd coming. This understanding comes from a study of Revelation 14, 15 and 16.

Revelation 14 tells us of a time of when god will inflict wrath unmixed with mercy upon all rebellious sinners and this outpouring of wrath is described in chapter 16 as the “seven last plagues” and a careful reading tells us that these will occur before His return. And chapter 15 makes it clear that that probation will close just before his manifestation of this wrath.

Prelude to the Bowl Judgments

“1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.

2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

“Great and marvelous are Your works,

Lord God Almighty!

Just and true are Your ways,

O King of the saints!

4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?

For You alone are holy.

For all nations shall come and worship before You,

For Your judgments have been manifested.”


5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels’ seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.”

Just as the cloud of God prevented the priest from entering the Solomon’s temple to perform their service in (2 Chronicles 7:1,2), so the smoke and glory of God will prevent Christ from doing His services in heavens temple. Ellen White supports this view that Christ’s mediatorial ministry is heaven will conclude at the beginning of the seven last plagues.  In her book “The Great Controversy” she says; “When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received “the latter rain,”

“the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received “the seal of the living God.” Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, “It is done;” and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: “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.” Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death.”{GC 631}

Now the idea of us living without a mediator will frighten many because they will feel like they are not good enough to live without a mediator. But we will continue this thought tomorrow.


About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

4 comments on “Understanding the close of probation; Part 1

  1. Amalia Mullen
    October 27, 2011

    I like the clearer view and analogy of close of probabtion. We also see this symbolized in Noah and the ark once the doors closed and they waited a week till the rain fell and flooded the earth in a worldwide judgement.

    • bobh6
      October 27, 2011

      I like your comment, and I agree with you.

  2. Rosi
    October 28, 2011

    Understanding the close of probation was very hard for me as a new adventist. This is something I had heard since I was just little. As I have grown in Christ it is easier, and I understand that it has to be. Those who believe in the rapture don’t believe they will be here for all that is coming so this is so new and so scary. We have to understand that even though Jesus is not our mediator at this time, He has already done His job and if we have let Him lead in our lives, claimed righteousness by faith, then we are sealed and Jesus will keep His promise to never leave us nor forsake us.

    • bobh6
      October 28, 2011

      Very good Rosi. When I was younger I was always scared about the endtimes, now I have no fear about it because I know that Chirst is with me and he always will be.

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October 2011
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