In the first quarter of 2014, Nigeria held its centenary celebrations to mark its 100th year of existence as a country. As part of the celebrations, awards were presented to certain people for their contributions in different categories. In the posthumous category was a man named Gani Fawehinmi, a lawyer and human rights’ activist while he was alive. Gani was a radical who fearlessly fought for the poor masses. He unflinchingly fought for the basic principles of justice and fairness. While he was alive, he rejected a national award offered him by a democratically elected government because he believed that government was not treating the masses right; his family are probably correct that if he were alive, he would reject this centenary award, so they did. Gani is one among the many radicals we can point to in Nigerian history.
Radicals are people who hold on to their views even when they are cautioned for going too far by others; even others who share the same ideology as them but don’t really think it’s worth dying for. Radicals hold on to the fundamentals and pursue it as the right even in a changed or changing world. So, they are not swayed by every new fad or belief, they hold on to the basics of their belief.
World history has witnessed radical movements that have changed the world for good or bad. For much of the 20th century, it was communism which sought to create a classless society; it swept through China, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and some parts of Africa. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 is generally regarded as the end of communism. Communism was fought against because of its dictatorial nature. Like some other radical movements, communism sometimes used force and violence to subject people to its ideas but communism still had adherents who left all that they had in order to adhere to the practice of communism which they believed so much in.
Earlier in the 20th century in America came the Civil Rights Movement, which fought for the equality of all men in America despite their colour; equity, justice and fairness were the basic principles they fought for. This movement was led by Martin Luther King (Jr.) a man who was named after another 16th century radical, Martin Luther. Luther was a Monk who together with some others opposed the traditions of the Roman church which were against fundamental Biblical teachings. They held that the Bible and the Bible only will be their rule of faith not human tradition. That movement gave rise to most of the protestant churches we have today much of which moved on to found America, a land which would allow every man to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.
Also in the 20th Century was a movement in Southern Africa led by Nelson Mandela who risked his own freedom to fight for the freedom of his people on their own land. A movement which saw the end of apartheid in South Africa. Similar to the Civil Rights Movement, preaching non-violence, they fought for the basic principles of equity, justice and fairness
Many stories of Radicals worthy of emulation abound in History, men and women who stood for principles which they knew to be right at the peril of their comfort and their own lives. Men like Noah in the antediluvian world who warned the world of an impending flood even though it sounded as foolishness; Abraham in his sojourn, who obeyed God when He told him to go to an unknown country even though he didn’t know where he was going; Joseph in Egypt, who refused to sin against God even though he could have chosen to rebel against God for allowing him to be sold into slavery; Daniel and his friends in Babylon who despite the prescriptions of Babylonian doctors refused to eat the king’s delicacies but held on to God’s health principles; Elijah in Israel who though couldn’t see any human support spoke truth to power trusting God alone; Jesus in Palestine, who dispelled the theories of religious leaders and cast the people’s mind back to true Biblical religion.
Even in this changed world, Bible prophecy predicts a group of radicals that will exist in these last days. They will hold on to true Biblical principles even though it may appear as foolishness to those who claim to know God. And the Bible says that these Last Radicals are faithful, even to the point of death, and God will give them the crown of life. (see Rev. 2:10).
The Last Radicals will be patient and will persevere. (see Rev. 14:12). As they patiently await the coming of their Lord, the Last Radicals will have to endure many things that will come their way. Said Jesus to them “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 cf Matt. 24:9). But the Lord will strengthen them in these tribulations as they patiently endure. They’d say “we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; now hope does not disappoint. (Rom. 5:3-4).
The Last Radicals will be non-violent. In fact, what the Bible says of them is that they’ll be victims of violence and rather than respond with violence, they flee. Jesus said to them “then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. (Matt 24:16-21); they will flee because “the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12:17)”. They will not take up arms in order to fight back, but flee for safety.
The Last Radicals will keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of Prophecy; that’s why the devil will be enraged with them. (see Rev. 14:12; 19:10). They will hold on to the commandments of God as ideal even in a changed world where the deductions of science and the opinion of learned and influential men carry more weight than the Word of God. They will live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and will also remind people of the very commandment which God told us specifically to remember: the Sabbath commandment, because the Bible says of them “You will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” (Isa. 58:12). They will adhere to the Spirit of Prophecy starting from Enoch unto the very prophet which the Lord sent specifically to help guide them on their journey through the last days.
The Last Radicals will warn all nations about God’s judgment hour; they have a mandate to warn the world to “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” They understand that just as God investigated in Eden and at Soddom, even in these last days, his hour of investigation is here; therefore, they warn the world that “there is time no longer” (see Rev. 10:6) and that Jesus is coming imminently. For this very reason are they the Last Radicals, because at the climax of their persecution, the world will end, Christ will return to take them home.
The Last Radicals will be non-conformists. They will stand apart as a voice to call God’s faithful followers out of a system of religious confusion which the world has accepted as the norm. They will announce “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” (Rev. 18:4, 5). Despite that Babylon’s sins have risen high to God, God still says, my people are in there, get them out and make them radicals like you.
The Last Radicals will warn the world against receiving the mark of the beast. Not a tattoo, not a computer chip, it is not physical mark, it rather is a mark of disobedience. The radicals will be tested on the points which they differ from Babylon, especially the forgotten Sabbath commandment which they hold on to; refusing to accept the false Sabbath instituted by the beast. (see Rev 13; Rev 14:9, 10). They have accepted to be righteous by faith in God alone and not by the works of their hands; therefore they lovingly obey every instruction from God no matter how unpopular it is; they do not inquire: “would God put me out of heaven because of this little one after all that I’ve done for His course?”. No! Their question is: “What more would my saviour aid me to do through His Spirit?”
The Last Radicals will be in all nations kindred, tongue and people. It is an all inclusive movement who believe the same thing, speak with one voice though in different languages because the blood that unites them is thicker than the waters that divide them. (see Rev. 14:6; 10:11)
One thing and one thing alone makes them radical, they’re so much in love with Jesus, they’d go all the way for Him; they live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God alone. Like the apostles, nothing can separate them from the love of Christ; they ask: “Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:35-39
The Last Radicals are not in doubt as to whether they are on the right path, they’re totally convinced that they are. If one is not sure, one can’t be one of the Last Radicals, you have to be sure. They are as sure as Ellen White when she said:
“It is as certain that we have the truth as that God lives; and Satan, with all his arts and hellish power, cannot change the truth of God into a lie. While the great adversary will try his utmost to make of none effect the word of God, truth must go forth as a lamp that burneth.”[i]
The Last Radicals are men and women “who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”[ii]
The Last Radicals are God’s faithful people at the close of earth’s history, they are those who will give a positive answer to Christ question “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
O Lord! Please help me to be a positive answer to your question.
[i] Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 4, p. 595
[ii] Ellen G. White, Education, p.57