In Isaiah 43: 1, 2 we read, “But now thus saith the Lord, that created thee, O Jacob, and that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” What divine assurance! In old Babylon God graciously gave king Nebuchadnezzar a dream revealing the history of the world to the end of time. Daniel 2 describes the statue with the head of gold, chest of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay, representing the deterioration of the coming earthly kingdoms. But Nebuchadnezzar determined to change the future by making an image entirely of gold, representing that Babylon would last forever. The king demanded all to worship this golden image.
On the day of dedication, representatives from all people, nations and languages assembled around this great image on the plain of Dura. When the music sounded, the entire assembly fell down and worshipped the golden image except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who worshipped the true God. Jealous wise men quickly told the king that three men had dared disobey his command. When these three were brought before the king, he inquired, “Do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” Pointing to the fiery furnace, he threatened them with death, if they would not worship his idol, and offered them another chance. If they refused to worship the golden image, “he demanded, ‘who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’ Calmly facing the furnace, they said, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so . . . our God, whom we serve is able to deliver us . . . out of thine hand, O king . . . But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’ . . . [He] direct[ed] that the furnace be heated seven times hotter . . . As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Savior revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume . . . But his feelings of triumph suddenly changed . . .‘Did not we cast three men, bound, into the midst of the fire? . . .Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’ . . . Nebuchadnezzar . . . cried out, ‘Ye servants of the most high God, come forth’ . . . Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth . . . showing themselves unhurt.” Prophets and Kings, 507–509. Not even a hair of their head had been singed. Here we discover a very important lesson to be found. “In this our day, many of God’s servants, though innocent of wrongdoing, will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.” Ibid., 512. Here we find our subject of this article opening before us—the soon coming Sunday law crisis.
Sunday Laws Will be Passed
Let us look at some important quotations: “Sooner or later Sunday laws will be passed.” Last Day Events, 128. Believe me, it will be sooner than many of us think, for God has graciously given us every detail.
One: This Sunday law will take place by a national act. “Our land is in jeopardy. The time is drawing on when its legislators shall so abjure the principles of Protestantism as to give countenance to Romish apostasy. The people for whom God has so marvelously wrought, strengthening them to throw off the galling yoke of popery, will by a national act give vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, and thus arouse the tyranny which only waits for a touch to start again into cruelty and despotism.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 410. What dramatic words!
Two: The enforcement of this Sunday law will be mandatory, as a law of the nation. “A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He had blessed and sanctified. This false Sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 985.
Three: The clergy will endeavor to make the Sunday law a religious amendment to the Constitution. “If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.” Review and Herald, December 24, 1889. This is the result of the current ecumenical movement, which our church leaders are encouraging the members to accept and follow.
Let us consider the hidden objectives of this national Sunday law.
One: It will destroy religious freedom in America. “The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom, religious liberty will come to an end.”Evangelism, 236. What a tragedy! It will be time to dismantle the Statue of Liberty.
Two: This Sunday law will make it possible for papal Rome to force the conscience, as in the dark ages. “Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the Papacy; by a national act enforcing the false sabbath they will give life and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience.” Maranatha, 179.
Three: This law will crush the spirit of freedom in America forever. “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day.” Last Day Events, 144. That means business will stop. Religious liberty will end. Sabbath keepers will suddenly find themselves opposed, hated, and thrust into a battle for their very life. “Soon, the Sunday laws will be enforced, and men in position of trust will be embittered against the little handful of God’s commandment keeping people.” Ibid., 129. “Seventh-day Adventists will fight the battle over the seventh-day Sabbath.” Ibid., 144. Every one will fight a battle for his very life.
The enactment of this Sunday law will produce three important steps in the fulfillment of that great prophecy found in Revelation 13: 11–16. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.”
Papacy • Image • Mark
Notice how The Great Controversy points out these three steps:
- Worship of the papacy.
- Making an image to the beast
- Placement of the mark of the beast.
“The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them which dwell therein’ to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast ‘like unto a leopard.’ The beast with the two horns is also to say ‘to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;’ and, furthermore, it is to command all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ to receive the mark of the beast . . . It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance.” Great Controversy, 578, 579.
First, let us take these words, “to worship the papacy.” “. . . the decree shall go forth requiring all to worship the beast and his image.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 525. This can be nothing more than force. Force is to be used symbolizing a police state. “. . . the beast with the lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them which dwell therein’ to worship the papacy.” Great Controversy, 578.
America is fast becoming a police state. Congress has voted millions for a hundred thousand extra police. Foreign troops are now stationed on American soil to be used, if necessary, to force us to obey the government. Millions of smart cards are being produced this year. Detention camps stand ready. By the stroke of a President’s pen, he can control by Executive Orders: 10995 all communications. 10997 all electric power, petroleum, gas, fuel and minerals. 10998 all food resources and every farm. 10999 all means of transportation, controlling all highways and seaports. 11000 drafts all citizens into government work forces. 11001 effects all health and welfare and educational functions. 11002 empowers the postmaster general to register every citizen nationwide. 11003 all airports and aircraft. 11004 housing and finance authorities, designates areas to be abandoned as unsafe, establishes new locations for populations, and relocation of communities. 11005 all railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities. 11051 gives authority to put the above order into effect in times of increased international tension or economic or financial crisis. Under President Nixon, these orders were combined into Executive order 11490. Thus, the possibility of the image of the beast becomes manifest. “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the sabbath.” Review and Herald, December 11, 1888.
“With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whoever shall trample upon God’s law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God. The warning from heaven is: ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.’ ” Great Controversy, 604, 605.
It is very clear.
We can now make these statements, each backed by inspiration.
One: A Sunday-keeping decree will be forced upon the world. “The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 976.
Two: All of the world will accept and will participate. “The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict in which all the world will act a part.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 352.
Three: Foreign nations will accept this Sunday law. “Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 395.
Four: All nations will obey. “All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath. This is Satan’s plan to make of no account the day instituted by God, and given to the world as a memorial of creation. The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.” Maranatha, 214. Let us look at the buying and selling provision found in Rev 13: 16, 17: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
“There is a time coming when commandment keepers can neither buy nor sell. Make haste to dig out your buried talents. If God has entrusted you with money, show yourselves faithful to your trust; unwrap your napkin, and send your talents to the exchangers, that when Christ shall come, He may receive His own with interest.” Counsels on Stewardship, 40. See Revelation 13:11–17. “But to the obedient is given the promise, ‘He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him: his waters shall be sure.’ Isaiah 33:16. By this promise the children of God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine they shall be fed. ‘They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.’ Psalm 37:19.” Desire of Ages, 40. What more could we ask of God?
We should not overlook another warning by inspiration: “Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children . . . erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 142. “As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 464. ” If in the providence of God we can secure places away from the cities, the Lord would have us do this. There are troublous times before us . . . I see the necessity of making haste to get all things ready for the crisis.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 359.
“The substitution of the false for the true is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above laws of God, when the powers of this earth try to force men to keep the first day of the week, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in His majesty, and will shake terribly the earth.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 980.
“When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. “The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed . . . The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying; ‘Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.’ Matthew 24:44 . . . Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing . . . Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come . . . We are not to be sad, but
cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for his appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim . . . I feel as if I must cry aloud: ‘Homeward bound!’ We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home . . . Long have we waited for our Savior’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all Heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 252, 253.
For more information:
Elder Lawrence Nelson
600 Woodcrest Dr,
Myrtle Point, OR 97457