NOTES: 15

SATAN WILL PERSONATE CHRIST BEFORE THE CLOSE OF PROBATION AND THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

2 Cor. 11:14; Mt. 24:24-27; GC 624, 6235; FE 471, 472; 5T 698; 8T28

  1. “In this age (i) ANTICHRIST will appear as the true CHRIST, and THEN (II) the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world… the true leader of all this rebellion is SATAN clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. … to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth ‘Therefore shall her plagues come in one day. … ‘”TM 62.
  2. “ANTICHRIST” in the above statement is SATAN.
  3. “The determination of ANTICHRIST Satan to carry out the rebellion HE BEGAN IN HEAVEN will continue to work in the children of disobedience.”9T 230.
  4. “Satan is striving to gain every advantage. … Disguise as an angel of light. … CHRIST WILL BE PERSONIFIED, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God.” FE 471, 472. This takes place BEFORE the close of probation.
  5. “We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue THESE WONDERS UNTIL THE CLOSE OF PROBATION, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not a darkness.” 5BC 1099; 2SM 51.
  6. Satan, “… works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation.” ST Nov. 6, 1884.
  7. “Pray … that when the wonderful miracle-working power of Satan shall be displayed, and the enemy shall come as an angel of light, you may distinguish between the genuine work of God, and the imitative power of darkness.” RH De. 23, 1889.
  8. “And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive if possible, the very elect.” 9T 16.
  9. TM 62; TM 411; FE 471, 472; 5T698; GC 624; 9T 16; 1T 302; Letter 102, 1894; 2SM 351, 352; 6BC 1105, 1105; Ev 604; 2SM 96; CWE 152; 9T 15, 16; 4SP 444; RH Apr. 3, 1888; Letter W. 102, 1894; Letter 1, 1897; RH Dec. 18, 1888; RH Aug. 17,1897; RH Aug. 25, 1885.

2 Corinthians 11:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Matthew 24:24-27 King James Version (KJV)

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Savior uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is “the great power of God.” Acts 8:10.

But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false Christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God’s unmingled wrath shall be poured out.

And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect…. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:24-27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known—witnessed by the whole world.

Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.

Those teachers who are as determined as were the priests and rulers to carry their students over the same old path in which the world continues to travel will go into still greater darkness. Those who might have been co-laborers with Christ, but who have spurned the messengers and their message, will lose their bearings. They will walk in darkness, knowing not at what they stumble. Such are ready to be deceived by the delusions of the last day. Their minds are preoccupied with minor interests, and they lose the blessed opportunity of yoking up with Christ, and being laborers together with God.

The tree of knowledge, so-called, has become an instrument of death. Satan has artfully woven himself, his dogmas, his false theories into the instruction given. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to the higher education. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but to them it means death. Christ says to them: “Ye spend money for that which is not bread. You are using your God-intrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness.”

Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only students, but teachers. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories. Instead of giving place to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, those in our schools should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver.

Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour’s first advent. What shall we do? God’s Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ’s day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God’s message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph’s son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void.

Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God’s preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ’s lines.

Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance.

It was by the display of supernatural power, in making the serpent his medium, that Satan caused the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden. Before the close of time he will work still greater wonders. So far as his power extends, he will perform actual miracles. Says the Scripture: “He … deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do,” not merely those which he pretends to do. Something more than mere impostures is brought to view in this scripture. But there is a limit beyond which Satan cannot go, and here he calls deception to his aid and counterfeits the work which he has not power actually to perform. In the last days he will appear in such a manner as to make men believe him to be Christ come the second time into the world. He will indeed transform himself into an angel of light. But while he will bear the appearance of Christ in every particular, so far as mere appearance goes, it will deceive none but those who, like Pharaoh, are seeking to resist the truth.

God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama—Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect.

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.

John writes: “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:11, 12.

Are we as a people asleep? Oh, if the young men and young women in our institutions who are now unready for the Lord’s appearing, unfitted to become members of the Lord’s family, could only discern the signs of the times, what a change would be seen in them! The Lord Jesus is calling for self-denying workers to follow in His footsteps, to walk and work for Him, to lift the cross, and to follow where He leads the way.

Many are readily satisfied with offering the Lord trifling acts of service. Their Christianity is feeble. Christ gave Himself for sinners. With what anxiety for the salvation of souls we should be filled as we see human beings perishing in sin! These souls have been bought at an infinite price. The death of the Son of God on Calvary’s cross is the measure of their value. Day by day they are deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal death. And yet men and women professing to serve the Lord are content to occupy their time and attention with matters of little importance. They are content to be at variance with one another. If they were consecrated to the work of the Master, they would not be striving and contending like a family of unruly children. Every hand would be engaged in service. Everyone would be standing at his post of duty, working with heart and soul as a missionary of the cross of Christ. The spirit of the Redeemer would abide in the hearts of the laborers, and works of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into their service the prayers and sympathy of an awakened church. They would receive their directions from Christ and would find no time for strife and contention.

"In this age (i) ANTICHRIST will appear as the true CHRIST, and THEN (ii) the law of GOD 
will be fully made void in the nations of our world... the true leader of all this rebellion 
is SATAN clothed as an angel of light. en will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of
 God, and deify him. ... to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the 
sentence will go forth. "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day. ..."

“Fallen angels upon earth form confederations with evil men. In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, ‘Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.’”

*****

The object of preaching is not alone to convey information, not merely to convince the intellect. The preaching of the word should appeal to the intellect, and should impart knowledge, but it should do more than this. The words of the minister should reach the hearts of the hearers.—The Review and Herald, December 22, 1904.

“ANTICHRIST” in the prior tab’s statement is SATAN

"The determination of ANTICHRIST Satan to carry out the rebellion 
HE BEGAN IN HEAVEN will continue to work in the children of disobedience." 

The Lord has said: “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations.” Exodus 31:13. None should disobey His command in order to escape persecution. But let all consider the words of Christ: “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” Matthew 10:23. If it can be avoided, do not put yourselves into the power of men who are worked by the spirit of antichrist. Everything that we can do should be done that those who are willing to suffer for the truth’s sake may be saved from oppression and cruelty.

Christ is our example. The determination of antichrist to carry out the rebellion he began in heaven will continue to work in the children of disobedience. Their envy and hatred against those who obey the fourth commandment will wax more and more bitter. But the people of God are not to hide their banner. They are not to ignore the commandments of God and, in order to have an easy time, go with the multitude to do evil.

The Lord encourages all who seek Him with the whole heart. He gives them His Holy Spirit, the manifestation of His presence and favor. But those who forsake God in order to save their lives will be forsaken by Him. In seeking to save their lives by yielding the truth, they will lose eternal life.

The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knoweth that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken, in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn.

"Satan is striving to gain every advantage. ... Disguise as an angel of light. ... CHRIST 
WILL BE PERSONIFIED, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will 
turn the people from the law of God." This takes place BEFORE the close of probation. 

Those teachers who are as determined as were the priests and rulers to carry their students over the same old path in which the world continues to travel will go into still greater darkness. Those who might have been co-laborers with Christ, but who have spurned the messengers and their message, will lose their bearings. They will walk in darkness, knowing not at what they stumble. Such are ready to be deceived by the delusions of the last day. Their minds are preoccupied with minor interests, and they lose the blessed opportunity of yoking up with Christ, and being laborers together with God.

The tree of knowledge, so-called, has become an instrument of death. Satan has artfully woven himself, his dogmas, his false theories into the instruction given. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to the higher education. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but to them it means death. Christ says to them: “Ye spend money for that which is not bread. You are using your God-entrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness.”

Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only students, but teachers. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories. Instead of giving place to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, those in our schools should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver.

Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour’s first advent. What shall we do? God’s Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ’s day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God’s message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph’s son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void.

Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God’s preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ’s lines.

Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance.

"We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and 
lying wonders. And he will continue THESE WONDERS UNTIL THE CLOSE OF PROBATION,
that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not a darkness."

23, 24 (Matthew 7:20, 21; Isaiah 8:20; Mark 13:21, 22; Luke 21:8; 10:2-5; John 15:10; 1 John 2:4). How to Know a False Christ—We need to be anchored in Christ, rooted and grounded in the faith. Satan works through agents. He selects those who have not been drinking of the living waters, whose souls are athirst for something new and strange, and who are ever ready to drink at any fountain that may present itself. Voices will be heard, saying, “Lo, here is Christ,” or “Lo, there;” but we must believe them not. We have unmistakable evidence of the voice of the True Shepherd, and He is calling upon us to follow Him. He says, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” He leads His sheep in the path of humble obedience to the law of God, but He never encourages them in the transgression of that law. 5BC 1099.1

“The voice of a stranger” is the voice of one who neither respects nor obeys God’s holy, just, and good law. Many make great pretensions to holiness, and boast of the wonders they perform in healing the sick, when they do not regard this great standard of righteousness. But through whose power are these cures wrought? Are the eyes of either party opened to their transgressions of the law? and do they take their stand as humble, obedient children, ready to obey all of God’s requirements? John testifies of the professed children of God: “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 5BC 1099.2

None need be deceived. The law of God is as sacred as His throne, and by it every man who cometh into the world is to be judged. There is no other standard by which to test character. “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Now, shall the case be decided according to the Word of God, or shall man’s pretensions be credited? Says Christ, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If those through whom cures are performed, are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver. He is a transgressor of the moral law, and employs every device that he can master to blind men to its true character. We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness. 5BC 1099.3

Brethren, we must beware of the pretended holiness that permits transgression of the law of God. Those cannot be sanctified who trample that law under their feet, and judge themselves by a standard of their own devising (The Review and Herald, November 17, 1885). 5BC 1099.4

24. See EGW comment on Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:14. 5BC 1099.5

30. See EGW comment on Matthew 28:2-4. 5BC 1099.6

Brethren, we must beware of the pretended holiness that permits transgression of the law of God. Those cannot be sanctified who trample that law under their feet, and judge themselves by a standard of their own devising.—The Review and Herald, November 17, 1885. 2SM 51.1

Will Sweep in the Whole World

We are coming right upon the time when Satan is to work with all manner of bewitching influences, and those who are charmed with them now, or give them the least countenance now, will be all ready to be swept right in to act a part with the devil then. Evil angels are working all the time upon the hearts of men. Satan is working with everyone who is not under the control of the Spirit of God. It is the lying wonders of the devil that will take the world captive, and he will cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. He is to work miracles; and this wonderful, miracle-working power is to sweep in the whole world. It is now just beginning. 2SM 51.2

I want to tell you another thing. The vials of God’s wrath and the sprinkling of them are already coming. What is the matter that we do not discern it? It is because the light of truth does not affect the heart. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. 2SM 51.3

You hear of calamities by land and by sea, and they are constantly increasing. What is the matter? The Spirit of God is taken away from those who have the lives of men in their hands, and Satan is coming in to control them, because they give themselves to his control. Those who profess to be the children of God do not place themselves under the guardianship of the heavenly angels, and as Satan is a destroyer, he works through those men and they make mistakes; and they will get drunk, and because of intemperance, many times bring these terrible calamities upon us. 2SM 51.4

Satan, "... works with that power which is 
to characterize his efforts near the close of probation."

November 6, 1884

Science Falsely So Called

By Mrs. E. G. White

In these days when skepticism and infidelity so often appear in a scientific garb, we need to be guarded on every hand. Through this means our great adversary is deceiving thousands, and leading them captive according to his will. The advantage he takes of the sciences, sciences which pertain to the human mind, is tremendous. Here, serpent-like, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God.

This entering in of Satan through the sciences is well devised. Through the channel of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism, he comes more directly to the people of this generation, and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation. The minds of thousands have thus been poisoned, and led into infidelity. While it is believed that one human mind so wonderfully affects another, Satan, who is ready to press every advantage, insinuates himself, and works on the right hand and on the left. And while those who are devoted to these sciences, laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders,—with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader; for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended.

If Satan were to make an open and bold attack upon Christianity, it would bring the Christian at once to the feet of his mighty Deliverer, who alone could put the adversary to flight. He does not generally do this. He is artful, and knows that the most effectual way for him to accomplish his designs is to come to poor, fallen man in the form of an angel of light. In this disguise he works upon the mind to allure from the safe and right path. He has ever been ambitious to counterfeit the work of Christ, and establish his own power and claims. He leads deceived mortals to account for the works and miracles of Christ upon scientific principles; he makes them appear as the result of human skill and power. In many minds he will thus eventually destroy all true faith in Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God.

Satan worked in a similar manner when through Moses the power of God was manifested in Egypt. He well knew that Moses was chosen of God to break the yoke of bondage from off the children of Israel; and he also knew that in this work Moses was a type of Christ, who was to come to break the reign of sin over the human family, and to deliver those who were captives to its power. He was aware that when Christ should appear, mighty works and miracles would be wrought by him, that the world might know that the Father had sent him. He trembled for his power. He resolved to accomplish a work which should answer a twofold purpose,—(1) To destroy the influence of Moses as the servant of God, by using his agents to counterfeit the true work of God; (2) To exert an influence by his work through the magicians which would reach down through all ages, and in many minds destroy true faith in the mighty miracles to be performed by Christ when he should come to this world.

It was the power of God, and no human influence or power possessed by Moses, that produced those miracles wrought before Pharaoh. Those signs and wonders were designed to convince Pharaoh that the great “I AM” had sent Moses, and that it was the duty of the king to let Israel go that they might serve the living God. Pharaoh called for the magicians to work with their enchantments. They also showed signs and wonders; for they wrought not by their own science alone, but by the power of their god, the devil, who through them ingeniously carried out his deceptive work. Yet even here the power of God was shown to be superior to that of Satan; for the magicians were unable to perform all the miracles which God wrought through Moses. Only a few of them could they do. The magicians’ rods did become serpents, but Aaron’s rod swallowed them up. And when they sought to produce lice, and could not, they were compelled to acknowledge even to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”

Satan was unwilling to have the children of Israel released from bondage that they might serve God. He wrought through the magicians in a manner to harden the heart of the tyrant against the miraculous manifestations of God’s power. He also thought to stagger the faith of Moses and Aaron in the divine origin of their mission, and then his instruments would prevail. But after the magicians had failed to produce the plague of lice, they could no more imitate Moses and Aaron. God would not suffer Satanic deception to proceed further. His controlling power cut off the channel through which Satan worked, and even the instruments through whom Satan wrought so wonderfully could not save themselves from the plagues. We read: “The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.”

When Christ came to earth, Satan renewed his attack. He came to the Saviour in the wilderness in the form of a beautiful young man,—more like a monarch than a fallen angel,—with Scripture in his mouth. Said he, “It is written.” He spread the world before Christ in the most attractive light, and intimated to him that he need not endure so much suffering to gain its kingdoms; Satan would yield all his claims if Christ would but worship him.

Satan was dissatisfied in Heaven because he could not be first and highest in command, equal with the Father, exalted above Christ. In the wilderness he hoped to gain advantage through the weakness and suffering of Christ, and obtain from him that homage which he could not win in Heaven. Could he have succeeded, then the plan of salvation would have failed, and mankind would have been plunged in hopeless misery. But Jesus yielded not to the suggestion of the tempter for a moment; on the contrary, he asserted his superior power by bidding him, “Get thee hence.” Satan was baffled. He then turned his attention to accomplishing his purpose in another way,—by winning from the human race that honor which was refused him in Heaven, and by Jesus on earth; and here he has been only too successful.

The plan of redemption was not defeated. The dear price has been paid for man’s ransom. And now our great adversary seeks to tear away the foundation of the Christian’s hope, by turning men’s minds into such a channel that they may not be benefited through the great sacrifice offered. He leads them to believe that they can do very well without an atonement; that they need not depend upon a crucified and risen Saviour; that their own merits will entitle them to God’s favor. And then he destroys confidence in the Bible, well knowing that if he succeeds here, and faith in the detector which places a mark upon himself is destroyed, there are no bounds to the victories he may gain.

If the tempter can so deceive the human mind as to lead mortals to think that they possess the inherent power to perform great and good works, they cease to rely upon God. They acknowledge not a superior power. They give not God the glory which he claims, and which is due to his great and excellent Majesty. Satan’s object is thus accomplished; and he exults that fallen men presumptuously exalt themselves, as he exalted himself in Heaven, and was cast out. He knows that if they take this course, their ruin is just as certain as was his own.

Another means by which Satan seeks to separate the soul from God is to make man believe that prayer is but a useless form. He well knows how needful are meditation and prayer; and by his devices he would divert the mind from these important exercises, that the soul may not lean for help upon the mighty One, and obtain strength to resist his attacks. The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian, and will assuredly prevail. This is why Satan insinuates that we have no need of prayer.

Neglect of prayer leads men to rely on their own strength, and opens the door to temptation. In many cases the imagination is captivated by scientific research, and men are flattered through the consciousness of their own powers. The sciences which treat of the human mind are very much exalted. They are good in their place; but they are seized upon by Satan as his powerful agents to deceive and destroy souls. His arts are accepted as from Heaven, and he thus receives the worship which suits him well. The world, which is supposed to be benefited so much by phrenology and animal magnetism, never was so corrupt as now. Through these sciences, virtue is destroyed, and the foundations of Spiritualism are laid. And thousands are conversing with, and receiving instructions from, this demon-god, and are acting according to his teachings, all the while supposing that they are obeying the voice of God through their dead friends.

"Pray ... that when the wonderful miracle-working power of Satan  
shall be displayed, and the enemy shall come as an angel of light, you may 
distinguish between the genuine works of God, and the imitative power of darkness."

December 24, 1889

The Work of Preparing for the New Year

By Mrs. E. G. White RH December 24, 1889, Art. A

Children may become missionaries for Jesus; and are there not youth who will give themselves to their Saviour before the new year comes? You need not wait for a special revival effort to be made; even today you may become soldiers of Christ. If you would be children of God, come to Jesus just as you are, and tell him you want to be his. Tell him that you want to love and obey him, and no longer do those things which are not pleasing in his sight. You are not to wait for any special feeling to know that you are accepted of him. Jesus bids you come to him, look to him, believe in him. He will accept you just as you are; for he can take away your sin, and give you strength to do those things which are pleasing in his sight. He loves you although you are sinful, and it is because he loves you that he is grieved with your wrong-doing. You cannot be happy while living in sin. You can be at peace only by choosing the right way. The psalmist says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 1

I need not address you as children and youth who have never been instructed; for you have been taught in the Sabbath-school, you have had brought before you the manner of life that is pleasing to God. We sincerely hope that at home your parents have given you instruction in harmony with the teachings of the heavenly Master. The principles and rules taught by those parents who love and fear God, are not new principles or original rules. They are precious old rules from the Lord of heaven. The experience of parents who love Jesus will be valuable to their children, as it will enable them to apply the principles of God to the daily lives of their little ones. Let children and youth understand that the work of disciplining them is required of their parents by the Lord, and that if children become impatient under this discipline, if they are displeased when they are restrained from evil, they are displeased and impatient with Christ and his commands. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 2

Jesus clothed his divinity with humanity that he might have an experience in all that pertains to human life. He did not leave plans for the welfare of youth and children in obscurity and uncertainty. He became a child, and in his life we find an example of what is the proper development of childhood. He was subject to his parents. Then why should children and youth be surprised if their God-fearing parents manifest prayerful solicitude for them, and watch with anxious interest over their course during the period when their characters are forming? Parents realize the perils to which their children are exposed, and they feel the responsibility that rests upon them to teach their children what is the right way both by precept and example. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 3

Abraham is an example of what parents should be. The Lord says of him, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” The Lord commended Abraham because he cultivated home religion, and used his authority and influence as priest of his household, to promote the fear of the Lord. The God of heaven has spoken to parents concerning the course they should pursue in educating and training their children in the way of the Lord. Parents are not only to instruct, but to restrain and command. The wise man says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when is old, he will not depart from it.” RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 4

There are parents who, through indulgence of their children, fail to give them the discipline that the Lord designs they should have. Abraham did not betray the sacred trust committed to him, through overfondness for his children. He followed the directions of Heaven. He knew that he was answerable to God for the manner in which he instructed his children. He was to train them that they might come from the ranks of Satan, and march under the banner of Prince Emmanuel. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 5

There are a few days before the old year closes and the new year begins. Will it not be most pleasing to the Lord for parents to give earnest attention to the salvation of their children? Will it not be pleasing to God for the children and youth to unite in this work with their parents, that the entire household, without further delay, may seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is nigh? Hear the important words of instruction that the Lord has given: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Let parents confess that they have neglected to properly instruct their children, and let children confess that they have broken the fifth commandment. Satan is working upon the minds of the children to lead them in the path of disobedience, that they may follow in evil ways. If he can obtain the control of one child’s mind, he can, through that child, gain the control of others, and turn them from the instruction given in God’s word, in the Sabbath-school, and from the sacred desk. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 6

Children and youth, will you celebrate the new year in a way that will meet the approval of God? Will you give your hearts to Jesus, who gave his own precious life that he might take you from the enemy’s ranks, and place you under this own blood-stained banners? Jesus died that you might no longer remain the property of Satan, but become his own dear children. The inspired apostle says, “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 7

Every day that you remain in sin, you are in Satan’s ranks; and should you sicken and die without repentance, you would be lost. No one can force you to give your heart to Jesus, no one can compel you to throw off the yoke of Satan. You may choose to do his bidding, to be children of the wicked one; you may rob God of your time, you may refuse to serve him, because the infatuation of sin, the service of Satan, is acceptable to you. But can you afford this? Can you afford to rob God by withholding that which he has purchased for himself? Would you choose to please the Lord’s worst enemy? Would you have Christ make all that sacrifice on Calvary’s cross for you in vain? Jesus has given every evidence that he loves you, in that he died to make you happy through the treasures of his grace in this life, and to make you happy in the future immortal life. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 8

Will parents repent on their backslidings from God? Will they obey the laws of God? His heart of love is drawn out to the needy, to the destitute, and to the perishing. What else but blessing will follow those who are obedient? The parents who administer to their children after the example of Abraham, by the combined influence of authority and affection, will find the favor of God. God has told you, fathers and mothers, that a certain course must be pursued by those for whom Christ has died, and this is the very course you should pursue to meet the approval of God. The Holy One of Israel has laid out before you plain rules for the guidance of all within the home circle. From this high standard of the Lord there can be no departure. The first principles of holiness must be taught to the children both by precept and example. The Lord calls upon fathers and mothers in every family to take hold of this work of educating their children in the fear of the Lord. Lose no time. Sabbath-keeping parents, and even ministers, need to closely examine their children’s course of action, and their own course in regard to them; for if these children are growing up without a knowledge of Christ, without conforming to the precepts of God, the parents will be held responsible. These children, by words and works, are communicating the knowledge of evil to other children. Their influence is to lead others to disregard the claims of God. Children and youth need to be daily instructed in the fear of the Lord. Their inclinations and desires are to be restrained, and turned in the right channel of the precious lessons of Jesus. Let parents find out the good way of the Lord themselves, and walk circumspectly in that way; and when perplexity comes, carry it, not to your neighbors, but to God, that you may bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 9

Children who have once given their hearts to God, and have grown indifferent and cold, unthankful and self-indulgent, disobedient to their parents, should seek the Lord anew. Let them come to Jesus just as they are, confess to their parents their sins of disrespect, their disregard of home authority; let them confess to their associates their sinful course in dishonoring their Saviour, and Jesus will receive them again to his favor. Let them acknowledge that they have been acting as children do who have never claimed to love and obey God. This is the very work to be carried on in every household; and if the parents have not encouraged their children in keeping the way of the Lord, if they have allowed temporal matters to engross their attention, and have failed to instruct their children in righteousness, leading them step by step up to God’s holy standard; if they have been impatient and full of fault-finding, they cannot expect the Lord to bless them, unless they confess their own neglect of duty, not only to their children, but to those who have been injured by their unrighteous course of action. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 10

We ask, Shall there be earnest work done in the few days left of the old year, in preparing our souls to begin the new year aright? Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. In seeking the Lord you may make a degree of progress that will surprise you, if you only enter upon it sincerely, humbling your hearts before God. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 11

Many have discarded home religion. But we have no time to devote to self-serving and unimportant matters. One writer has said, “There are only two kinds of persons who can properly be styled reasonable: those who serve God with all the heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all the heart because they know him not.” The truth must be planted in your hearts, and become an abiding principle that controls your life. God is at work. All the angels are doing his bidding in diligently working with parents, that the truth may be imprinted upon the soul. Fathers and mothers must be sanctified through the truth if they would have a sanctifying influence upon their families. God requires Christians to be active and earnest, that the souls of those dearest to them may be saved. Those who work for the souls of their own household, will feel a deep interest for their neighbors and for the youth and children about them. There is plenty of work to be done that involves eternal interests. While the powers of darkness are active, plotting for the suppression of God’s truth, and making more dense the darkness that surrounds those who are already in darkness, that they may be zealous, sanguine, and determined in their own evil way, shall not those who know the truth for this time be zealous advocates of it? Shall they not awaken to their God-given privileges? Shall those who are enlightened, who are made the depositaries of heavenly treasures, be cold and indifferent? Why, I ask, do not the works of those who claim to know the truth, correspond to the far-reaching principles of the truth? If death is the wages of sin, as we know it to be, then why not cease to sin? Why not come into sacred nearness to God, and by his grace, repress sin in your family? Why not lay a firm, commanding hand upon your children? Have you the tenderness of Christ? Have you the love of Christ that you can require obedience without mingling impatience with your authority? Will you have power from God and the persuasiveness of Christ in your home rule? Then far more will be done than is now accomplished. RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 12

Members of the church must awake, and do their part, and God will work mightily in behalf of his commandment-keeping people. Will every family in our several churches think seriously, prayerfully, before the old year closes? Have you old grudges? have you difficulties, envyings, jealousies, heart-burnings? Let Jesus come in and cleanse the soul-temple. Let parents and children make the most of the present opportunity, and set their hearts in order. Where difficulties exist among brethren, let them carry out the injunction of the apostle: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” RH December 24, 1889, Art. A, par. 13

"And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, 
will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive if possible, the very elect."

Satan is a diligent Bible student. He knows that his time is short, and he seeks at every point to counterwork the work of the Lord upon this earth. It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope.

The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment, since this is the sign of God’s creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial and to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the conflict all Christendom will be divided into two great classes, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God will not receive it. Revelation 13:16. The prophet of Patmos beholds “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. Revelation 15:2.

“Fallen angels upon earth form confederations with evil men. In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, ‘Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

*****

The object of preaching is not alone to convey information, not merely to convince the intellect. The preaching of the word should appeal to the intellect, and should impart knowledge, but it should do more than this. The words of the minister should reach the hearts of the hearers.—The Review and Herald, December 22, 1904.

The conflict is to wax fiercer and fiercer. Satan will take the field and personate Christ. He will misrepresent, misapply, and pervert everything he possibly can, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Even in our day there have been and will continue to be entire families who have once rejoiced in the truth, but who will lose faith because of calumnies and falsehoods brought to them in regard to those whom they have loved and with whom they have had sweet counsel. They opened their hearts to the sowing of tares; the tares sprang up among the wheat; they strengthened; the crop of wheat became less and less; and the precious truth lost its power to them. For a time a false zeal accompanied their new theories, which hardened their hearts against the advocates of truth as did the Jews against Christ.

Those teachers who are as determined as were the priests and rulers to carry their students over the same old path in which the world continues to travel will go into still greater darkness. Those who might have been co-laborers with Christ, but who have spurned the messengers and their message, will lose their bearings. They will walk in darkness, knowing not at what they stumble. Such are ready to be deceived by the delusions of the last day. Their minds are preoccupied with minor interests, and they lose the blessed opportunity of yoking up with Christ, and being laborers together with God.

The tree of knowledge, so-called, has become an instrument of death. Satan has artfully woven himself, his dogmas, his false theories into the instruction given. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to the higher education. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but to them it means death. Christ says to them: “Ye spend money for that which is not bread. You are using your God-intrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness.”

Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only students, but teachers. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories. Instead of giving place to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, those in our schools should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver.

Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour’s first advent. What shall we do? God’s Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ’s day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God’s message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph’s son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void.

Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God’s preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ’s lines.

Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance.

It was by the display of supernatural power, in making the serpent his medium, that Satan caused the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden. Before the close of time he will work still greater wonders. So far as his power extends, he will perform actual miracles. Says the Scripture: “He … deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do,” not merely those which he pretends to do. Something more than mere impostures is brought to view in this scripture. But there is a limit beyond which Satan cannot go, and here he calls deception to his aid and counterfeits the work which he has not power actually to perform. In the last days he will appear in such a manner as to make men believe him to be Christ come the second time into the world. He will indeed transform himself into an angel of light. But while he will bear the appearance of Christ in every particular, so far as mere appearance goes, it will deceive none but those who, like Pharaoh, are seeking to resist the truth.

Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is “the great power of God.” Acts 8:10.

Satan is a diligent Bible student. He knows that his time is short, and he seeks at every point to counterwork the work of the Lord upon this earth. It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope.

The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment, since this is the sign of God’s creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial and to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the conflict all Christendom will be divided into two great classes, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God will not receive it. Revelation 13:16. The prophet of Patmos beholds “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. Revelation 15:2.

As the curtain was lifted and I was shown the corruption of this age, my heart sickened, my spirit nearly fainted within me. I saw that the inhabitants of the earth were filling up the measure of the cup of their iniquity. God’s anger is kindled and will be no more appeased until the sinners are destroyed out of the earth. Satan is Christ’s personal enemy. He is the originator and leader of every species of rebellion in heaven and earth. His rage increases; we do not realize his power. If our eyes could be opened to discern the fallen angels at work with those who feel at ease and consider themselves safe, we would not feel so secure. Evil angels are upon our track every moment. We expect a readiness on the part of bad men to act as Satan suggests; but while our minds are unguarded against his invisible agents, they assume new ground and work marvels and miracles in our sight. Are we prepared to resist them by the word of God, the only weapon we can use successfully?

Some will be tempted to receive these wonders as from God. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? By departing from the plain precepts and commandments of God, and giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in God’s word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan’s power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ.

… Satan will make use of every extravagant expression to the injury, not only of the speaker, but of those who shall catch the same spirit and infuse others to their harm. Calmness and solemnity should be cultivated; the solemn truths we dwell upon will lead us to manifest deep earnestness. How can we do otherwise when weighted with the most sacred message to bear to perishing souls—weighted by the sense of the nearness of our Saviour’s coming. If we are constantly looking unto Jesus and receiving His Spirit, we shall have clear eyesight. Then we shall discern the perils on every side, and shall guard every word we utter, lest Satan find opportunity to weave in his deceptions. We do not want to have the minds of the people wrought up into an excitement. We should not encourage an expectation to see strange and wonderful things. But teach them to follow Jesus, step by step. Preach Jesus Christ, in whom our hope of eternal life is centered. The enemy is preparing to deceive the whole world by his miracle working power. He will assume to personate the angels of light, to personate Jesus Christ. Every one who teaches the truth for this time is to preach the Word. Those who cling to the Word will not throw open the doors for Satan by making unguarded statements in reference to prophesying or to dreams and visions. To a greater or less degree, false manifestations have been coming in, here and there, since 1844, after the time when we looked for the second coming of Christ. We have had them in the Garmire case, in the statements of E. R. Jones, in the Stanton movement. We shall have them more and more, and like faithful sentinels we must be on guard. Letters are coming to me from many persons concerning visions which they have had and feel it their duty to relate. May the Lord help His servants to be cautious. When the Lord has a genuine channel of light, there are always plenty of counterfeits. Satan will surely enter any door thrown open for him. He will give messages of truth, mingling with the truth ideas of his own, prepared to mislead souls, to draw the mind to human beings and their sayings, and prevent it from holding firmly to a “Thus saith the Lord.” In God’s dealings with His people, all is quiet; with those who trust in Him, all is calm and unpretending. There will be simple, true, earnest believers in the Bible, and there will be doers of the Word as well as hearers. There will be sound, earnest, sensible waiting upon God. The believer will hang his helpless soul on Jesus Christ. Christ will be exalted. Working and praying, watching and waiting, is our position. We should not desire to be recognized and to have our work appreciated in the fullest measure. Heaven is the best and safest place in which to hear from the lips of our Redeemer the result of our work. …

If you should gain millions of dollars by work of this kind, of what value is this gain when compared with the terrible loss that is incurred by giving publicity to Satan’s lies, by making it possible for the world to say that books containing errors were published at the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house, to be scattered broadcast to the world?

Awake, and realize that your presses have published the devil’s lies. Let the men who know the truth act like wise men, placing the whole weight of their influence on the side of truth and righteousness.—Letter 140, 1901 (Addressed to the managers of our publishing houses, October 16, 1901).

Sciences Pertaining to the Mind

In these days when skepticism and infidelity so often appear in a scientific grab, we need to be guarded on every hand. Through this means our great adversary is deceiving thousands, and leading them captive according to his will. The advantage he takes of the sciences, sciences which pertain to the human mind, is tremendous. Here, serpentlike, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God.

This entering in of Satan through the sciences is well devised. Through the channel of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism, he comes more directly to the people of this generation, and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation. The minds of thousands have thus been poisoned, and led into infidelity. While it is believed that one human mind so wonderfully affects another, Satan, who is ready to press every advantage, insinuates himself, and works on the right hand and on the left. And while those who are devoted to these sciences laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader, for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended….

How to Be Preserved From Deceptive Influences

[Appeared in Notebook Leaflets, Christian Experience, No. 5.]

Satan often finds a powerful agency for evil in the power which one human mind is capable of exerting on another human mind. This influence is so seductive that the person who is being molded by it is often unconscious of its power. God has bidden me speak warning against this evil, that His servants may not come under the deceptive power of Satan. The enemy is a master worker, and if God’s people are not constantly led by the Spirit of God, they will be snared and taken.

For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days, he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women, that none but his voice will be heard.

Day by day we may be laying up a good foundation against the time to come. By self-denial, by the exercise of the missionary spirit, by crowding all the good works possible into our life, by seeking so to represent Christ in character that we shall win many souls to the truth, we shall have respect unto the recompense of reward. It rests with us to walk in the light, to make the most of every opportunity and privilege, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so we shall work the works of Christ, and ensure for ourselves treasure in the heavens (The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895).

7. Giving Grudgingly Mocks God—It were better not to give at all than to give grudgingly; for if we impart of our means when we have not the spirit to give freely, we mock God. Let us bear in mind that we are dealing with One upon whom we depend for every blessing, One who reads every thought of the heart, every purpose of the mind (The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900).

Chapter 10

1, 7, 8. See EGW comment on Acts 18:1-3.

4. See EGW comment on 1 Corinthians 3:9.

5 (Colossians 3:10). Every Faculty to Reflect the Divine Mind—It was a wonderful thing for God to create man, to make mind. The glory of God is to be revealed in the creation of man in God’s image and in his redemption. One soul is of more value than a world. God created man that every faculty might be the faculty of the divine mind. The Lord Jesus Christ is the author of our being, and He is also the author of our redemption, and everyone who will enter the kingdom of God will develop a character that is the counterpart of the character of God. None can dwell with God in the holy heaven but those who bear His likeness. Those who are to be redeemed are to be overcomers; they are to be elevated, pure, one with Christ (Letter 55, 1895).

God the Author of Every Noble Thought—Will men and women consider how God regards the creatures He has made? He formed man’s mind. We do not think one noble thought that does not come from Him. He knows all the mysterious workings of the human mind, for did He not make it? God sees that sin has debased and degraded man, but He looks upon him with pity and compassion; for He sees that Satan has him in his power (Manuscript 56, 1889).

The Power of Intellect—Intellect ennobled, purified, heaven directed, is the universal power to build up the kingdom of God. Intellect perverted, has exactly the opposite influence; it is a corrupting of the human power given in trust to be multiplied in earnest labor for good. It deceives and destroys. God has given sufficient endowments to make men capable and wise to carry forward, and strongly and graciously to represent, the Lord’s wonderful works to all those who love Him and obey His commandments (Manuscript 63, 1900).

Yielded to Whom?—Satan cannot touch the mind or intellect unless we yield it to him (Manuscript 17, 1893).

The devil will use your mind if you give it to him (Manuscript 2, 1893). will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do?—Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man’s worst enemy, yet who claims to be God; and that when Christ shall make His appearance, it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands; and that when He shall come, we shall know His voice (The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888).

(Matthew 7:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.) An Unfailing Test—Satan has come down in these last days to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf can be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah (The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885).

Preparing for the Final Act—This world is a theater. The actors, the inhabitants of the world, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. God is lost sight of. There is no unity of purpose, except as parties of men confederate to gain their ends. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama—Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect (Letter 141, 1902).

(Ephesians 6:10-12.) Constant Vigilance Demanded—[Ephesians 6:10-12 quoted.] Every one who has enlisted under the bloodstained banner of Christ has entered upon a warfare that demands constant vigilance. Satan is determined to keep up the warfare to the end. Coming as an angel of light, claiming to be the Christ, he will deceive the world. But his triumph will be short. No storm or tempest can move those whose feet are planted on the principles of eternal truth. They will be able to stand in this time of almost universal apostasy (Manuscript 74, 1903).

14, 15. See EGW comment on Matthew 7:21-23.

23-30. Paul’s Indomitable Courage—Gain courage from the experience of the apostle Paul. He had many trials. He was an unwearied worker, and traveled constantly, sometimes through inhospitable regions, sometimes on the water, in storm and tempest. Far harder than ours was his lot, for traveling then had not the conveniences that it has now. But Paul allowed nothing to hinder him from his work (Letter 107, 1904).

Chapter 12

1 (Philippians 3:8). Paul Taught by the Holy Spirit—The apostle Paul, who had received many revelations from the Lord, met difficulties from various sources, and amid all his conflicts and discouragements he did not lose his trust and confidence in God. Under the special tuition of the Holy Spirit, his judgment was purified, refined, elevated, sanctified. The devisings of human beings and of the enemy against him were to him a means of discipline and education, and he declares that thus he gained most excellent knowledge, because he made the Lord Jesus his dependence. “Yea doubtless,” he declares, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” How greatly this gospel enriches the garden of the soul, enabling it to produce most precious fruit (Letter 127, 1903)!

1-4. Paul’s Preaching With Power—Through Paul God has given many wonderful lessons for our instruction. In his visions Paul saw many things not lawful for a man to utter. But many other things which he saw in the heavenly courts were woven into his teachings. The truth flashed from his lips as a sharp, two-edged sword. The impressions made upon his mind by the Holy Spirit were strong and vivid, and they were presented to the people in a way that no one else could present them. Paul spoke in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power (Letter 105, 1901).

More Frequent and Startling Manifestations—Spiritualists are increasing in numbers. They will come to men who have the truth as Satan came to Christ, tempting them to manifest their power and work miracles, and give evidence of their being favored of God, and of their being the people who have the truth…. The only safety for the people of God is to be thoroughly conversant with their Bibles, and be intelligent upon the reasons of our faith in regard to the sleep of the dead.

Satan is a cunning foe. And it is not difficult for the evil angels to represent both saints and sinners who have died, and make these representations visible to human eyes. These manifestations will be more frequent, and developments of a more startling character will appear as we near the close of time.—The Review and Herald, April 1, 1875.

Ministers Dress It Up—Ministers inspired of Satan can eloquently dress up this hideous monster, hide its deformity, and make it appear beautiful to many. But it comes so direct from his satanic majesty, that all who have to do with it, he claims as his to control, for they have ventured upon forbidden ground, and have forfeited the protection of their Maker.—The Review and Herald, May 13, 1862.

In God’s Work All Is Quiet, Calm

The enemy is preparing to deceive the whole world by his miracle-working power. He will assume to personate the angels of light, to personate Jesus Christ. Everyone who teaches the truth for this time is to preach the Word. Those who cling to the Word will not throw open the doors for Satan by making unguarded statements in reference to prophesying or to dreams and visions. To a greater or less degree, false manifestations have been coming in, here and there, since 1844, after the time when we looked for the second coming of Christ. We have had them in the Garmire case, in the statements of K, and in the Stanton movement. [See Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 32 to 62.] We shall have them more and more, and like faithful sentinels we must be on guard. Letters are coming to me from many persons concerning visions which they have had and feel it their duty to relate. May the Lord help His servants to be cautious.

When the Lord has a genuine channel of light, there are always plenty of counterfeits. Satan will surely enter any door thrown open for him. He will give messages of truth, mingling with the truth ideas of his own, prepared to mislead souls, to draw the mind to human beings and their sayings, and prevent it from holding firmly to a “Thus saith the Lord.” In God’s dealings with His people, all is quiet; with those who trust in Him, all is calm and unpretending. There will be simple, true, earnest believers in the Bible, and there will be doers of the Word as well as hearers. There will be sound, earnest, sensible waiting upon God. The believer will hang his helpless soul on Jesus Christ. Christ will be exalted. Working and praying, watching and waiting, is our position.—Letter 102, 1894.

hapter 21—Independent Publishing

Danger of Independent Work—It is necessary that something should be done to guard the interests of those who believe the truth for this time. Christ has given many warnings to the effect that false doctrines, false prophets, and false christs would arise and deceive many. From the light that God has been pleased to give me, His humble servant, I know that these prophecies have been fulfilling, and testimonies have not been few that have been given to meet these things as they have come up all along through our religious experience. Great delusions will arise, and even “of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Even Satan will disguise himself, and appear as Christ. CW 152.1

I can see plainly that should everyone who thinks he is qualified to write books, follow his imagination and have his productions published, insisting that they be recommended by our publishing houses, there would be plenty of tares sown broadcast in our world. CW 152.2

Indiscriminate Use of the Testimonies—Many from among our own people are writing to me, asking with earnest determination the privilege of using my writings to give force to certain subjects that they wish to present to the people in such a way as to leave a deep impression upon them. It is true that there is a reason why some of their matters should be presented: but I would not venture to give my approval in using the testimonies in this way, or to sanction the placing of matter which is good in itself in the way which they propose. The persons who make these propositions, for aught I know, may be able to conduct the enterprise of which they write, in a wise manner; but nevertheless I dare not give the least license for using my writings in the manner which they propose. In taking account of such an enterprise, there are many things that must come into consideration; for in using the testimonies to bolster up some subject which may impress the mind of the author, the extracts may give a different impression than that which they would were they read in their original connection. CW 152.3

“Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come…. The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down, for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.” “The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” Joel 1:15-18, 12. 9T 15.1

“I am pained at my very heart; … I cannot hold my peace, because thou has heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled.” Jeremiah 4:19, 20. 9T 15.2

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down.” Verses 23-26. 9T 15.3

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7. 9T 15.4

Not all in this world have taken sides with the enemy against God. Not all have become disloyal. There are a faithful few who are true to God; for John writes: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. 9T 15.5

Satan is a diligent Bible student. He knows that his time is short, and he seeks at every point to counterwork the work of the Lord upon this earth. It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope. 9T 16.1

The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment, since this is the sign of God’s creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial and to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the conflict all Christendom will be divided into two great classes, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God will not receive it. Revelation 13:16. The prophet of Patmos beholds “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. Revelation 15:2. 9T 16.2

Satan will continue to act a double part. Appearing to be the dispenser of great blessings and divine truths, he will, by his lying wonders, hold the world under his control; and at the same time he will indulge his malignity by causing distress and destruction, and will accuse God’s people as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men which are desolating the earth. Thus he will excite to greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution against them. God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan will employ the most cruel measures to control the consciences of men, and to secure worship to himself. And this work of compulsion is always in favor of human creeds and laws, and in will finally be issued 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 the divine precepts. 4SP 444.2defiance of God’s holy law. 4SP 444.1

In the last conflict the Sabbath will be the special point of controversy throughout all Christendom. Secular rulers and religious leaders will unite to enforce the observance of the Sunday; and as milder measures fail, the most oppressive laws will be enacted. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the land ought not to be tolerated, and a decree 4SP 444.2

“Search the Scriptures”

By Mrs. E. G. White

Text: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

We are thankful that we have a sure word of prophecy, so that none of us need be deceived. We know that there are heresies and fables in our world at the present time, and we want to know what is truth. It becomes us to search carefully for ourselves that we may gain this knowledge. We cannot do this with a mere reading of the Scriptures, but we must compare scripture with scripture. We must search the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we shall not be led astray; and while many may be led astray because there are all kinds of doctrines in our world, there is one truth. Many may come to you and tell you that they have the truth, but it is your privilege to search the Scriptures for yourself. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” We must be acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, that we may understand the true reason of the hope that is within us.

The apostle tells us that we are to give to every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” It is not enough to merely read, but the word of God must enter into our hearts and our understanding, in order that we may be established in the blessed truth. If we should neglect to search the Scriptures for ourselves, that we may know what is truth, then if we are led astray, we are accountable for it. We must search the Scriptures carefully, so that we will know every condition that the Lord has given us; and if we have minds of limited capacity, by diligently searching the word of God we may become mighty in the Scriptures, and may explain them to others.

Every church that shall be raised up in this kingdom should be educated in regard to this truth. “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.” The teachers that shall present the truth, cannot stand by you to see that you do not embrace the errors that are flooding our land; but if you are established in the Scriptures, you will feel the responsibility and will search the Scriptures, for yourselves, so that you may be a help to others. Now, the small churches, although they are but few, may be a power for the truth. Every one should feel that a solemn responsibility rests upon him to build up his little church in the most holy faith. The very fact that there are only a few, should cause every individual member to seek most earnestly for a living connection with God; because the giving of the truth to those around you depends upon the influence that you exert.

Christ has said, “Ye are the light of the world;” therefore you must put forth every effort to let that light shine. The only way for you to know that you have the true light from heaven, is to compare the light you have received with the Scriptures. Joshua 1:8, 9. Now, Joshua was to take the position of Moses and lead the children of Israel in council. And there was a warfare before them, if they were to drive the intruders out of the land. Joshua was to carry the Spirit of the Lord with him in all he should do. And he was to carry this Spirit with him by being obedient to all of God’s requirements. He was to meditate day and night, that he might know that he was doing God’s will. You will meet, as I have, with people who profess to be sanctified, holy. Now, there is a bewitching influence carried with this doctrine. They will state to you wonderful exercises of mind, to show you that the Lord is leading them and teaching them. Then how can you tell but that the Lord is leading them? Well, there is a test: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

If it stirs up the enmity of the human heart when the Lord, the great Jehovah, is mentioned, you may know the person has no connection with God. People may claim that they have great faith in Jesus, and that there is nothing you can do but that Christ will do for you. Now, when Christ shall call forth the dead, it depends wholly upon your course of action whether you have a resurrection to life eternal, or a resurrection to damnation. Thus they get these truths all mixed with error, and they cannot tell what is truth; and if asked to sit down and search the Scriptures with you, to see what saith the Lord, I never knew a case but the answer was that they had no need to search the Scriptures, for the Lord told them what to do.

The voice of God is speaking to us through his word, and there are many voices that we will hear; but Christ has said we should beware of them who will say, Here is Christ or there is Christ. Then how shall we know that they have not the truth, unless we bring everything to the Scriptures? Christ has warned us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in his name, saying that they are Christ. Now, if you should take the position that it is not important for you to understand the Scriptures for yourselves, you will be in danger of being led away with these doctrines. Christ has said that there will be a company who in the day of retributive judgment will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” But Christ will say, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Now, we want to understand what sin is; that it is the transgression of God’s law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from him and his law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead his people; for he says that his sheep will follow if they hear his voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth; for it will be seen in their characters.

The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your Heavenly Father, and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth. And when his Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures, that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures. You should store the mind with the word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. Then you will want the treasures of God’s word hidden in your hearts, and when opposition comes around you, you will need to bring everything to the Scriptures.

You are not to be discouraged or faint-hearted. The word was given to Joshua, “Be strong, and of a good courage;” for there is a great work before you. And his success depended upon his obedience to God. When the tempter comes in to distract you, if your mind is filled with the Scriptures, you will say, I cannot do this evil and sin against the Lord. Joseph was enabled to resist temptation because he made God his refuge. He exclaimed, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” He trusted in God, and his soul was protected; and this is the only safety for us. Whoever of you shall enter a missionary field to do something for the Master, should be thoroughly conversant with the Scriptures. If you understand them yourselves, then you can lead others to a knowledge of them. There is more to do than just to give discourses in the desk. Every one of you should draw nigh to God, that he may draw nigh to you. And you may believe that you will have success and victory, if you take hold of the work humbly and in the fear of God. But there is no safety for you unless you understand what saith the Scriptures, and carry this out, and weave it into your daily life and experience. Carry it with you wherever you go. Thus you will be fortified against the delusions that are filling the world at the present time, and will obtain the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.

NOT FOUND!

NOT FOUND!

David’s Prayer

[Delivered at Battle Creek, Mich., December 8, 1888.] RH December 18, 1888, Art. A

By Mrs. E. G. White RH December 18, 1888, Art. A

Text: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” Psalm 119:126, 127. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 1

There was a time during David’s reign over the kingdom of Israel, when he saw that special contempt was shown for the law of God. But what influence did this have upon him? Did it have the effect to sweep him into the current, so that he shared the same distrust in the law of Jehovah, and manifested the contempt that was revealed by those around him?—It had an entirely different influence. He saw that the disregard of the law of Jehovah brought moral desolation instead of increased piety, devotion, and love for God. God seemed to be put out of their minds; and the picture presented was not a pleasant one to the king and prophet of God. He beheld the influences that resulted from the transgression of the law of God, and it quickened his zeal, earnestness, and devotion, so that he felt urged to elevate the standard of righteousness, and hold it high amid the people, instead of uniting with them in transgression. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 2

If David thus marked the depravity of his time, and attributed it to the neglect of keeping the law of God, may we not interpret the increasing depravity, and the prevalence of iniquity in our world today, to the universal scorn shown for God’s law? From generation to generation, from age to age, there has been a growing disrespect and contempt for the law of Jehovah. And when we come to our time, as we near the close of this world’s history, there is a depravity existing everywhere, which reveals the fact that the law of God is made void, and that there is not in the minds and hearts of the people a yearning desire that God should reveal himself. “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 3

What should be the attitude of the people of God at the present time? We see this growing contempt for the law of God revealed everywhere; and the outlook for the future is perilous for those who love that law, for they stand in marked contrast to those who are showing it such contempt. The secular and the Christian world seem to have joined hands in this matter, and all are trampling under foot the law of Jehovah. Why is it that today, as we look around us, we see so few youth whose moral sensibilities can be aroused? We are forced to admit that it is next to impossible to get them to appreciate the claims that high Heaven has upon them. How difficult it is for them to see the sinfulness of sin, and to realize that God has made an infinite sacrifice in giving his Son to come into our world, that man might have another trial, notwithstanding his transgression of the law. God was, in the beginning, dishonored by the holy pair in Eden, because they held the word of Satan above the word of God. This is the difficulty with the people today. If they would take God’s word just as it reads, and have reverence for it, and receive the sacred oracles of God as his voice, there would be a growing regard for the law of Jehovah. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 4

God has a law which governs the intellects of all the holy beings in his universe, and this law is designed to govern the inhabitants of this world. Christ died that the human family might be brought back to their allegiance to God. He was their only hope of redemption. He did not suffer and die on Calvary’s cross to annul the law, because he would thus be the administrator of sin by perpetuating transgression. If the law of God could have been changed, or one precept of it altered to meet man’s fallen condition, then the Son of God need not have come into our world and died. But because the law of God was changeless in its character; because not one principle of it, not even a jot or a tittle, could be dishonored and swept away, God consented to let his Son take upon himself the results of man’s transgression of that law, thus making it possible for man to be pardoned, and to become obedient to all God’s commandments. It is the righteousness and perfection of his Son, who takes upon himself our sins, our defects, our weaknesses, which God accepts; and through faith in the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour we are prisoners of hope. Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness, if we sustain a living connection with him. Then we cease to transgress the holy law of God, and become partakers of the divine nature. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 5

A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God’s people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin. We see that those who are now keeping the commandments of God need to bestir themselves, that they may obtain the special help which God alone can give them. They should work more earnestly to delay as long as possible the threatened calamity. If, in our land of boasted freedom, a Protestant government should sacrifice every principle which enters into its Constitution, and propagate papal falsehood and delusion, well may we plead, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy law.” Some may think that because it has been revealed in prophecy that our nation shall restrict the consciences of men, it must surely come; and that if we make an effort to preserve our liberty, we shall be acting the part of unfaithful servants, and thus come under the condemnation of God. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 6

This peril now threatens the people of God; and what are we going to do? Can we not assist in lifting the standard, and in calling to the front those who have a regard for their religious rights and privileges? God calls upon us to awake. We know the end is near. We know that the prophecies are fast fulfilling which show that we are living in the close of this world’s history. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 7

John was shown the last work for this time (Revelation 14:9-12), and he saw a people of whom he says, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” John tells us what was opened to him in vision: “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” This vision represents a people whose attention was called to the sanctuary in heaven. There John saw the ark of God, containing the tables of stone whereon was engraven the law of God; and this people have been seeking to be in harmony with heaven by keeping all God’s commandments. There has been great opposition because they have respected the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which by the secular and religious world has been ignored. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 8

Now God speaks to us from Sinai’s mount: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” It is the only commandment which is prefaced with a “remember,” as though God had said, “Do not forget it.” He has given to man the Sabbath as a memorial of creation. Man is to obey his command, and as he observes this memorial, the mind will be directed to the living God, who created the heavens and the earth. If man had always remembered to keep holy the Sabbath, there would never have been an atheist or an infidel in our world; but Satan has made an effort to keep God out of the mind, and has worked his plans so as to accomplish this; and having banished God from the memory of man, he puts himself, if possible, in the place of God, and even goes so far as to exalt himself above God, in compelling the consciences of men, which God has never done. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 9

We are now keeping the seventh day,—the very day God has told us to keep,—and are here assembled on it for religious worship. The papacy has brought in another day, a common working day, and established it in opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord. This he has done so that men shall not see or understand what are the sacred claims of God resting upon them. Well, what are we to do about it? Are we going to let the enemy make us captives, so that we shall not pay respect and reverence to God’s holy day? Notwithstanding the fact that nearly the whole Protestant world have taken this child of the papacy, and cradled and nursed it, and given it prominence, it is our privilege and duty to keep holy the Sabbath of Jehovah. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 10

Prophecy tells us that the man of sin, the papacy, was to change times and laws; and because we are not, with the whole world, accepting a spurious Sabbath for the genuine, persecution will be poured out upon us. And it is fast coming to that point when we shall see the power of the oppressive hand brought against our religious liberty, and have our right disputed to keep the day that God has blessed, and given to the world as a memorial of his creative work. Shall we therefore honor a day which has no foundation in God’s word, an institution of the papacy, and trample on the holy day that Jehovah has blessed, and set apart for man? John, looking down to the close of this world’s history, saw a class who kept the commandments of God, and had the faith of Jesus. I want to be among that number; I want to be on God’s side of the question. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 11

We see that efforts are being made to restrict our religious liberties. The Sunday question is now assuming large proportions. An amendment to our Constitution is being urged in Congress, and when it is obtained, oppression must follow. I want to ask, Are you awake to this matter? and do you realize that the night cometh, when no man can work? Have you had that intensity of zeal, and that piety and devotion, which will enable you to stand when oppression is brought upon you? It does not seem possible to us now that any should have to stand alone; but if God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils and before thousands for his name’s sake, and each one will have to give the reason of his faith. Then will come the severest criticism upon every position that has been taken for the truth. We need, then, to study the word of God, that we may know why we believe the doctrines we advocate. We must critically search the living oracles of Jehovah. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 12

The means we are devoting to our comfort here, the time that we allow to go to waste, ought to be devoted to the charge that God has given us: “Search the Scriptures;” and much time should be spent in prayer to God, that our garments, the robes of character, the inmost adornment, may be washed in the blood of the Lamb. But this cannot be, unless we keep the commandments of God in verity and truth; and unless we are awake to the times in which we are living, we shall be unfaithful servants. Obedience to the law of God will give protection from his wrath. We need now to pray for strength from heaven, to press back this movement that is being made in our country, and we should do everything on our part to preserve our liberties, and our right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 13

Has the Protestant world stopped to look back at the suffering caused by popery in attempting to bind men’s reason, so that they should not worship God as seemed right to them? Can they not see how the Roman Church has exercised her revengeful and cruel power? Those who would not bow to her mandates had to endure the prison and the stake, torture and death. And when those were swept away who would not bow their conscience to any but the God of heaven, others would spring up to fill the ranks, and lift the standard of religious liberty and right. And now this nation,—the greatest nation of earth,—under whose government we are blessed with every religious and temporal advantage; which has been the recipient of unrivaled mercies; which Providence has watched over and shielded; by which the standard of liberty and religious freedom has been lifted,—will it follow the course of the papacy, and make void God’s law? And shall we sit with folded hands, and do nothing in this crisis? Shall we let this Religious Amendment movement come in, and shut us away from our privileges and rights, because we keep the commandments of God? God help us to arouse from the stupor that has hung over us for years! There are more souls to be saved, and a far greater work to be done in warning our world, than has yet been accomplished. We should seek God, especially that his grace and his power may be revealed in behalf of his people. We believe that God lives. We do not think the time specified in prophecy, when our liberties should be restricted, has fully come. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 14

Revelation 7:1, says: “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” It seems that the breaking loose of the four winds is about to take place. Verses 2, 3: “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 15

Here was a work to be done before the angels should let go the four winds; and if we shall awake to what is transpiring right around us, we must admit that we are not ready for the contest and the perplexities which are to be brought upon us, after the decree shall go forth. We are to cry to the God of heaven in earnest, united prayer, for the angels to hold the four winds till missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world, till we have proclaimed the warning against disobedience to the law of Jehovah, and against worshiping the beast and his image. The claims of God’s law must be made known to the inhabitants of the earth. This is our work; but every conceivable thing that the enemy can do will be done to hinder the people of God from awaking. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 16

The Lord bids us to watch; for we read that while men slept, the enemy sowed tares in the field. The work of these National Reformers has been done in a deceptive, underhanded way, to sweep in the whole Christian world, if possible; and if they shall carry this move to its result, and we are brought into straitened places, what are we to do? I beg of you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to awake out of sleep. God always co-operates with man in the carrying out of divine plans. Christ came to our world for the purpose of bringing to man moral power to combine with his human efforts, and that he might place divine strength within the reach of weak humanity. Every time that Jesus overcame the temptations of the enemy in behalf of man, he elevated man in the scale of moral value with God. But it is impossible to discern between the human and the divine without the enlightenment of the Spirit of God. It is next to impossible for human beings to separate the sacred from the common,—the divine from the human,—notwithstanding discerning power is in our midst. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 17

God is working for his people, that they may not be left in darkness. He would have us anoint our eyes with eye-salve, that we may discern between the workings of the powers of darkness and the movings of the Spirit of God. We must not give our attention to unimportant things; we need to become acquainted with the Scriptures as we have never done before. They are the rock upon which we are to stand, for everything that is revealed is for us and for our children. We can study the Bible, and understand the fulfillment of prophecy, and everything that has to do with the law of God, and Christ’s sacrifice in connection with the law of God; and we can, as did Paul, go from house to house, teaching repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Why repentance toward God?—Because the sinner has broken God’s law, and he must repent and come back to obedience of it. He is to show to the world that there is a moral law which is the great standard of righteousness, and that Satan would break it down, if possible, and have man erect a standard of his own. God’s word is sure standing fast forever; and as we look into that mirror, we see the defects of our characters. Will any stand before God’s mirror, and because it shows them their defects, say that it is not true? We should not, as soon as our defects are pointed out, go away and forget what manner of persons we are; we must plead the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour by living faith, that pardon may be written opposite our names. We must wash our robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 18

When Christ went away, he gave to every man his work. This rests upon every one of us. If God should speak to you, he would say as he did to Elijah, “What doest thou here?” God did not tell you to leave your small churches, to come and settle down in this large church, where your gift is swallowed up. I ask, “Is there no missionary work for you to engage in?” May the God of heaven stir up your minds and hearts. This work does not rest alone with the ministers; but every man is to search the Scriptures for himself, that he may give a reason of the hope that is within him with meekness and fear. Even though you have no great breadth of intellect, you can tell the simple story of the cross. There is a field before you in the home, in the neighborhood, in the city, and in the church; and it is this very work that God wants you to do. The people of God should arise and put on the armor. When all do this, we shall not see such congregations as we see here today. There are scores of you who could take your Bibles, and, without inquiring if it will be easy, bear reproaches for his name, that you may obtain eternal life. When the Lord shall come and ask, “What improvement have you made of your talent? have you put it out to usury that it might increase more and more?” what will you answer the Master, if you have sat at ease, and done nothing to win souls to Christ? RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 19

We each have a duty to perform. The light of Heaven has revealed to us that every one who would take upon himself this work, would have the blessing of God, and thus the light of truth be reflected across the pathway of others. “What doest thou here, Elijah?” Who sent you here, that you might come into this large church, to be a burden instead of a shining light, as you should be? A living church is a working church. Here you sit under the light of Heaven, and give out no rays of light to those who are in darkness; and yet you seem to be content, and do not appreciate your blessings, because you are not awake. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 20

We need not go to foreign lands to become missionaries. All around us are fields white already to the harvest. Do not be inactive now. God calls upon you in Battle Creek who are dying of spiritual sloth, to go out into the highways and hedges, and labor so earnestly and interestedly that you will compel men to come to the light of truth. Let there be a moving out of Battle Creek, even though it be at a sacrifice. Go where you may be a blessing to others. Go where you can be a help in some weak church. Shake off your spiritual lethargy. Work with all your powers to save perishing souls; and the heavenly benediction will fall upon you; and you will finally hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 21

You do not appreciate or practice the truth of God. When you go to work for the Master in earnest, we shall not hear so many complaining, “Oh, I wish I knew whether I were a Christian or not.” When you do the works of a Christian, you will have the witness that your ways please God. You must not be dependent upon a happy flight of feeling in your service to God. That is not the evidence that decides whether you are a Christian or not. The religion of Jesus Christ is a living principle within us, and every power and every faculty must be in subjection to the will of God. We are not our own; we are bought with a price. Christ says we are laborers together with God. But how many souls are you laboring to bring to the Master? There is a great and important work to be done to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord; and may God help us to do this work to his acceptance. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 22

We read in Isaiah 8:12, 13: “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” What is the burden of the work required of the people of God at this time? Is there nothing for you to do? Has the Master given your no part to act in his vineyard?—Yes, all have a work to do. “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” This is the work to be done by the people of God. “And I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me [converts to the truth] are for signs and for wonders in Israel, from the Lord of hosts which dwelleth in Mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter, should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 23

A correct understanding of “what saith the Scriptures” in regard to the state of the dead is essential for this time. God’s word declares that the dead know not anything, their hatred and love have alike perished. We must come to the sure word of prophecy for our authority. Unless we are intelligent in the Scriptures, may we not, when this mighty miracle-working power of Satan is manifested in our world, be deceived and call it the workings of God; for the word of God declares that, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Unless we are rooted and grounded in the truth, we shall be swept away by Satan’s delusive snares. We must cling to our Bibles. If Satan can make you believe that there are things in the word of God that are not inspired, he will then be prepared to ensnare your soul. We shall have no assurance, no certainty, at the very time we need to know what is truth. Our feet should be shod with the preparation of the gospel, and the truth of God should be our shield and buckler. We must know for ourselves that we have the truth of God. Therefore let no one entertain the question whether this or that portion of the word of God is inspired. Go to work; gird on the armor of Christ’s righteousness. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 24

Satan came as an angel of light in the wilderness of temptation to deceive Christ; and he does not come to man in a hideous form, as he is sometimes represented, but as an angel of light. He will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do?—Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man’s worst enemy, yet who claims to be God; and that when Christ shall make his appearance, it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands; and that when he shall come, we shall know his voice. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 25

If you are walking humbly with God, you will understand the truth, and the preparation necessary to be made for this time. “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” If you believe this, and walk out by faith, you will be saved in the kingdom of glory. We should not try to know the “whys” and “wherefores” of everything, but be content to know the simplicity of godliness. Jesus Christ has laid the plan of salvation, and opened the way before us, clear and distinct, that even the simplest who desire the truth, may find it. Special forces of darkness are at work to encircle us, and to take away our liberty of conscience. The mouths of those who have not kept pace with the work are closed, and they do not know what to say; but we who have been waiting and watching for the appearing of our Saviour, are not taken by surprise. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 26

Are there not men and women in this congregation who have a work to do for the Master? Are there not those here who should go into new places and work as missionaries? We need missionaries at home; and we need missionaries who will go out into new fields, and see what they can do. Trade upon your one talent or two talents. Although your talents may be limited, God will accept them. Why bury them in the earth? Go to work, and do your best, and God will give you some fruit for your labor. O, I would rather come to the Master with garnered sheaves than to have treasures of gold and of silver. Give me souls as the fruit of my labor; and I will not ask for convenience or ease in this world. Are there not men and women here whom God will call to give an account for the ability he has lent them? There are souls for whom you are to work; there are youth with whom you are to plead. There is work to be done in the temperance line; and here you sit, from Sabbath to Sabbath, listening to the truth, while souls are perishing around you. Why not let the light which God has given you shine on the pathway of others? I beg you to consider this matter seriously. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 27

Get ready for the week of prayer by humbling your hearts before God. Though you have yet no sheaves to bring to the Master, you can go to work even at the eleventh hour, and God will help you. Be in earnest; pray and work, and work and pray; and then act as though success depended upon your efforts. Do to the best of your ability, and God will co-operate with you. You ought to work with all the powers of your being. Awake! awake! I pray you. “Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Go out and do your little, and he will increase your capabilities, and you may keep growing in grace, and in the love of the truth. The more you use your talents, the more they will increase. We are drawing near the close of probation. We should put our talents out to the exchangers, that when the Master comes, he may receive our talents as his own; but he will return to us again both principal and interest. May the God of heaven place your feet upon the eternal Rock. I beg of you to be followers of Jesus Christ, and to bring many sheaves to the Master. RH December 18, 1888, Art. A, par. 28

… Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only students, but teachers. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories. Instead of giving place to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, those in our schools should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver. Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour’s first advent. What shall we do? God’s Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ’s day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of his messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God’s message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph’s son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews had looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom he will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and his word will not return unto him void. …

August 25, 1885

The True Standard of Righteousness

[From a sermon delivered in the tent at Worcester, Mass., July 31, 1885.] RH August 25, 1885

By Mrs. E. G. White RH August 25, 1885

The world is to be no criterion for those who follow Jesus. He has said, “Marvel not … if the world hate you.” “It hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Again, it is written, “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing engage not in their unholy practices, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” RH August 25, 1885, par. 1

The question now to be asked is, Are the professed followers of Christ complying with the conditions upon which the blessing is pronounced? Are they separating in spirit and practice from the world? How hard to come out and be separate from worldly habits and customs. But let us look well to it that Satan does not allure and deceive us through false representations. Eternal interests are here involved. God’s claims should come first; his requirements should receive our first attention. Every child of fallen Adam must, through the transforming grace of Christ, become obedient to all God’s requirements. Many close their eyes to the plainest teachings of his word because the cross stands directly in the way. If they lift it, they must appear singular in the eyes of the world; and they hesitate, and question, and search for some excuse whereby they may shun the cross. Satan is ever ready, and he presents plausible reasons why it would not be best to obey the word of God just as it reads. Thus souls are fatally deceived. RH August 25, 1885, par. 2

One of Satan’s most successful deceptions is to lead men to claim to be sanctified, while at the same time they are living in disobedience to God’s commandments. These are described by Jesus as those who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works”? Yes, those who claim to be sanctified have a great deal to say about being saved by the blood of Jesus; but their sanctification is not through the truth as it is in Jesus. While claiming to believe in him, and apparently doing wonderful works in his name, they ignore his Father’s law, and serve as agents of the great adversary of souls to carry forward the work which he begun in Eden, that of making plausible excuses for not obeying God implicitly. Their work of leading men to dishonor God by ignoring his law, will one day be unfolded before them with its true results. The conditions of eternal life are made so plain in God’s word that none need err, unless they choose error rather than truth because their unsanctified souls love the darkness rather than the light. The lawyer who came to Christ with the question, “Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” thought to catch Christ; but Jesus laid the burden back upon the lawyer. “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Then said Christ, “Thou has answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” These words meet the individual cases of all. Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep his commandments? Will we be doers of the word and not hearers only? God’s law is as immutable and unchangeable as his character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void, does not change its claims, or release them from their obligation to obey. RH August 25, 1885, par. 3

We need divine enlightenment daily; we should pray as did David, “Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” God will have a people upon the earth who will vindicate his honor by having respect to all of his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage. David prayed in his day, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” RH August 25, 1885, par. 4

Not one of us can afford to dishonor God by living in transgression of his law. To neglect the Bible and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a loss which is beyond estimate. Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honor and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches. They might have had that life which measures with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity. None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment-breakers. His law lies at the foundation of his government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised his law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will, in the great day of God, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” RH August 25, 1885, par. 5

Those who make a raid against God’s law are warring against God himself; and many who are filled with the greatest bitterness against the commandment-keeping people of God, make the loudest boast of living holy, sinless lives. This can be explained only in one way: they have no mirror in which to look to discover to themselves the deformity of their character. Neither Joseph, Daniel, nor any of the apostles claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than to knowingly sin against him, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have acknowledged themselves to be sinners, unworthy of his great favors. They have felt their weakness, and, sorrowful for their sins, have tried to copy the pattern Jesus Christ. RH August 25, 1885, par. 6

There are to be but two classes upon the earth, the obedient children of God and the disobedient. Upon one occasion Christ thus set before his hearers the Judgment work: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was a hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” RH August 25, 1885, par. 7

Thus Christ identifies his interest with that of suffering humanity. Every attention given to his children he considers done to himself personally. Those who claim modern sanctification would have come boastingly forward, saying, “Lord, Lord, do you not know us? Have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” The people here described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification, but who are at war with the law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity, because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts. Satan has come down in these last days, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His Satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah. RH August 25, 1885, par. 8

If ever there was a time when we needed faith and spiritual enlightenment, it is now. Those who are watching unto prayer, and are searching the Scriptures daily with an earnest desire to know and do the will of God, will not be led astray by any of the deceptions of Satan. They alone will discern the pretext which cunning men adopt to beguile and ensnare. So much time and attention are bestowed upon the world, upon dress and eating and drinking, that no time is left for prayer and the study of the Scriptures. RH August 25, 1885, par. 9

We want the truth on every point, and we must search for it as for hid treasures. Dishes of fables are presented to us on every hand, and men choose to believe error rather than truth, because the acceptance of the truth involves a cross. Self must be denied; self must be crucified. Therefore Satan presents to them an easier way by making void the law of God. When God lets man have his own way, it is the darkest hour of his life. For a willful, disobedient child to be left to have his own way, to follow the bent of his own mind, and gather the dark clouds of God’s judgment about him, is a terrible thing. But Satan has his agents who are too proud to repent, and who are constantly at work to tear down the cause of Jehovah and trample it under their feet. What a day of sorrow and despair when these meet their work with all its burden of results! Souls who might have been saved to Jesus Christ have been lost through their teachings and influence. Christ died for them that they might have life. He opened before them the way whereby they might, through his merits, keep the law of God. Christ says, “I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” How hard men work to close that door; but they are not able. John’s testimony is, “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Beneath the mercy-seat, within the ark, were the two tables of stone, containing the law of Jehovah. God’s faithful ones saw the light that shone forth to them from the law, to be given to the world. And now Satan’s intense activity is to close that door of light; but Jesus says that no man can shut it. Men will turn from the light, denounce it, and despise it, but it still shines forth in clear, distinct rays to cheer and bless all who will see it. RH August 25, 1885, par. 10

God’s children will have a fierce conflict with the adversary of souls, and it will become more exceedingly bitter as we approach the close of the conflict. But the Lord will help those who stand in defense of his truth. Many who see the light will not accept it, fearing to trust the Lord. Jesus says, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow? they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The great Master Artist has provided the beautiful things in nature as an expression of his love to us. He has given the delicate tint to the flowers, and if he has done so much for a simple flower, “which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” RH August 25, 1885, par. 11

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die that he might redeem man from the power of Satan; and will he not care for man, formed in his image? Many see the reasons of our faith, but they dare not risk the consequences of obeying it. They fear that if they do, they cannot support their families; and so they settle back into unbelief, and continue in transgression of the law. They lack faith in God; they dare not trust his promises. Such are rebuked by the lessons of Christ, in which he teaches that God notices the fall of even the sparrows; not one of them falls to the ground without his notice. Our heavenly Father will not leave his children who put their trust in him, and venture out upon his promises although the outlook is dark and forbidding. He understands every circumstance of our life. He sees and knows how we are situated. He is acquainted with all our sorrows and griefs. He knows us each by name, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for he has been tempted in all points like as we are, and knows how to succor those who are tempted. Jesus is our helper, and he will have a care for all those who trust in him. RH August 25, 1885, par. 12

God has intrusted to us individually talents that are to be increased by use. Reason has been granted us with which to glorify God. In everything we are to show our allegiance to him. Our powers were not given to us merely to be employed for ourselves. They are to be used to accomplish certain ends, to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Christian principles must be interwoven with our life and our experience. The life we now live must be by faith on the Son of God. We must live to please Jesus; by thus living our faith and confidence in him will grow stronger day by day. We will comprehend what he has done for us, and what he is willing to do for us, and will possess a cheerfulness as well as an earnest desire to do something to show our love for Jesus. Doing will thus become habit. We will not question whether we will obey, but will follow the light, and work the work of Christ. We will not study convenience, nor question whether our temporal interests will be improved if we obey. Those who love Jesus will love to obey all his commandments. They will search the Bible closely to know of the doctrine. Naught but truth will satisfy them, for they are Christ’s representatives on earth. RH August 25, 1885, par. 13

Christ declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” His followers must be as near like him as possible. We cannot speak as he spoke, and yet we are to imitate him; for he is our pattern. We are to erect no false lights, present no heresies for truth. We must know that every position we take can be sustained by the word of God. It is a day when the commandments of men are everywhere urged upon the people as the commandments of God. But it is a solemn, a fearful thing to teach false theories, and lead minds away from the truth which sanctifies the soul. RH August 25, 1885, par. 14

We want the truth on every point. We want it unadulterated with error, and unpolluted by the maxims, customs, and opinions of the world. We want the truth with all its inconvenience. The acceptance of truth ever involves a cross. But Jesus gave his life a sacrifice for us, and shall we not give him our best affections, our holiest aspirations, our fullest service? Christ’s yoke we must wear, Christ’s burden we must lift; but the Majesty of heaven declares that his yoke is easy and his burden light. Shall we shun the self-denying part of religion? Shall we shun the self-sacrifice, and hesitate to give up the world with all its attractions? Shall we, for whom Christ has done so much, be hearers and not doers of his words? Shall we, by our listless, inactive lives, deny our faith, and make Jesus ashamed to call us his brethren? The ten commandments came from the highest authority, and are we obeying them? They are the will of God made known to man. It was Satan that commenced to war against them, and it is he that inspires men to keep up the warfare. RH August 25, 1885, par. 15

None will enter the holy city, the paradise of God, but as conquerors,—those who have separated themselves from the world, and stood in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, and have fought the good fight of faith, looking constantly to “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Then let us, like Christ, work unselfishly to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth. Our whole heart, body, soul, and strength, are required in this work; and if we labor with fidelity, irrespective of the applause or censure of the world, we shall hear the “well done” from the Majesty of heaven, and receive the crown, the palm branch of victory, and the white linen which is the righteousness of the saints. RH August 25, 1885, par. 16

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