“If in the land of boasted liberty [America] a Protestant government is preparing to sacrifice every principle that enters into its constitution, making decrees to suppress religious liberty, and for the enforcing of papal falsehoods and delusions, then the people of God need to present their petitions in faith to the Most High. There is every encouragement in the promise of God for those who put their trust in Him.
“The prospect of being brought into personal danger and distress need not cause despondency, but should quicken the vigor and hope of God’s people, for the time of their peril is the season for God to grant them clearer manifestations of His power.”- Letter 3, 1890, paragraphs 8, 9/LDE 176.
“The tyrant is seeking to oppress man’s conscience, which Christ has made free. Persecution will come more definitely and decidedly upon the people of God, because the godly are seeking for uprightness and holiness and the disobedient are in sin. The sin-loving do not choose the way and will of God, and the obedient, in their character and course of action, are a constant rebuke to the sinful When the truth finds access to the heart, it must fight every inch of the way . . . .Then the collision comes. Then comes the warfare, and , if the heart has yielded to Jesus in obeying the commandments of God, there is a jealous contest, error rising up to condemn truth, and truth in its God-given principles setting strongly against error. This is the experience the world over. The only way in which man will be enabled to stand firm in the conflict is to be rooted and grounded in Christ. They must receive the truth as it is in Jesus….Our probation is about ended.
“As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the Papacy in forcing the consciences of men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every nation of the globe will be led to follow her [America] example.…”- Letter 2c, 1892/LDE 179.
“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and the law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for the whole nation is to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the ‘rulers of the people.’ ‘It is expedient for us,’ said the wily Caiaphas, ‘that one man should die for the people, and the whole nation perish not.’ John 11: 50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will be finally issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.” – Great Controversy (1911 ed.), pp. 615-616.
“When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.” – Ibid, p. 635.
“The vision that Christ presented to John, presenting the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is definitely to be proclaimed to all nations, people, and tongues. The churches, represented by Babylon, are represented as having fallen from their spiritual state to become a persecuting power against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To John this persecuting power is represented as having horns like a lamb, but as speaking like a dragon . . . .
“As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen powers; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom to carefully search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history . . . . In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin [the Papacy] who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of Gods who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.” – Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 117-118. (Evangelism, p. 197).
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Rev. 13:15
“While John was shown the great struggles of the church with earthly powers, he was also permitted to behold the final victory and deliverance of the faithful. He saw the church brought into deadly conflict with the beast and his image, and the worship of that beast enforced on pain of death. But looking beyond the smoke and din of the battle, he beheld a company upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having instead of the mark of the beast, ‘the Father’s name written in their foreheads.’ And again he saw ‘them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God’ and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.”- Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 752-753.
“The Word of God plainly declares that His law is to be scorned, trampled upon, by the world: there will be an extraordinary prevalence of iniquity. The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin [the papacy], and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony.
“Here is the great crisis coming upon the world. The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the time-serving concessions of the so-called Protestant world.” – General Conference Bulletin, Apr. 13, 1891/ E.G. White Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 975.
“[Rev. 13: 11-13 quoted]. Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession and profess to have the characteristics of a lamb, will show their acts that they have the heart of a dragon, and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God’s people will feel hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God’s plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws.
“The man of sin [papacy], who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people [living at that time, particularly] are to stand firm for Him. And the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods.” (MS 135, 1902).”- E. G. White Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 975.
“We are to be ready and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawn from those who proclaim God’s only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decree of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin, to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.” – E.G. White, Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 380.
“Romanists declare that ‘the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church.’ – Mgr. Segur, Plain Talk About Protestantism of Today, page 213. The enforcement of Sunday-keeping on the part of Protestant churches is an enforcement of the worship of the papacy—of the beast. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to obey the false instead of the true Sabbath are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. But in the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image of the beast; hence the enforcement of Sunday-keeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image.
“But Christians of past generations observed the Sunday, supposing that in so doing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath; and there are now true Christians in every church [other than Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Baptists, and smaller Sabbath-keeping denominations and churches, etc], not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of observing the true Sabbath, then whosoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome.
He is worshipping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign [seal, or mark, also] of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign [also mark] of allegiance to Rome—‘the mark of the beast.’ And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive ‘the mark of the beast.’”- Ibid, Great Controversy (1911 ed.) pp. 448-449.
“Important are the lessons to be learned from the experience of the Hebrew youth on the plain of Dura [Daniel 3: 1-30]. It is our duty, many of God’s servants, though innocent of wrongdoing, will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandments; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.
“The season of distress before God’s people will call for a faith that will not falter. His children must make it manifest that He is the only object of worship, and that no consideration, not even that of life itself, can induce them to make the least concession to false worship. To the loyal heart the commands of sinful, finite men will sink into insignificance beside the word of the eternal God. Truth will be obeyed though the result be imprisonment or exile or death.” – Ibid, Prophets & Kings, pp. 512-513.
“Then I saw that the seven last plagues were soon to be poured out upon those who have no shelter; yet the world regarded them no more than they would so many drops of water that were about to fall. I was then made capable of enduring the awful sight of the seven last plagues, the wrath of God. I saw that His anger was dreadful and terrible, and if He would stretch forth His hand, or lift it in anger, the inhabitants of the world would be as though they had never been, or would suffer from incurable sores and withering plagues that would come upon them.Terror seized me, and I fell upon my face before the angel and begged of him to cause the sight to be removed, to hide it from me, for it was too dreadful. Then I realized, as never before, the importance of searching the Word of God carefully, to know how to escape the plagues which that Word declares shall come on all the ungodly who shall worship the beast and his image and receive his mark on their foreheads or in their hands. It was a great wonder for me that any could transgress the law of God and tread down His holy Sabbath, when such awful threatening and denunciations were against them.” – Ibid, Early Writings, pp. 64, 65.
“The trying experience that came to God’s people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone. The revelator, looking down the ages to the close of time, has declared, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12: 17. Some who today are living on the earth will see these words fulfilled. The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church, will in the future [so much nearer in our time!] lead to the pursuance of a similar course toward those who maintain their loyalty to God.Even now preparations are being made for this last great conflict. The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God’s people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.” – Ibid, Prophets & Kings, p. 605.
All who truly love and fear God and keep His commandments are assured these precious promises: “Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him.” Ps. 85: 9. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them.” Ps. 34: 7. “What time I am afraid, I will put trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.” Ps. 56: 6.
(End of study)