I saw that Satan bade his angels lay their snares especially for those who were looking for Christ’s second appearing and keeping all the commandments of God. Satan told his angels that the churches were asleep. He would increase his power and lying wonders, and he could hold them. “But,” he said, “the sect of Sabbathkeepers we hate; they are continually working against us, and taking from us our subjects, to keep the hated law of God. Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk with cares. If you can make them place their affections upon these things, we shall have them yet. They may profess what they please, only make them care more for money than for the success of Christ’s kingdom or the spread of the truths we hate. Present the world before them in the most attractive light, that they may love and idolize it. We must keep in our ranks all the means of which we can gain control. … As they appoint meetings in different places, we (Satan and his angels) are in danger. Be very vigilant then.
- Cause disturbance and confusion if possible.
- Destroy love for one another.
- Discourage and dishearten their ministers; for we hate them. …
- Make covetousness and love of earthly treasures the ruling traits of their character. As long as these traits rule, salvation and grace stand back.
- Crowd every attraction around them, and they will be surely ours. And not only are we sure of them, but their hateful influence will not be exercised to lead others to heaven. …”
Satan with his angels is on the ground to hinder the work. … He leads some in one way and some in another, always taking advantage of evil traits in the brethren and sisters, exciting and stirring up their natural besetments. …
Satan took advantage of the covetous, selfish disposition of Judas and led him to murmur when Mary poured the costly ointment upon Jesus. … [He] considered the liberal offering to Jesus extravagant. Judas prized his Lord just enough to sell Him for a few pieces of silver. And I saw that there were some like Judas among those who profess to be waiting for their Lord. Satan controls them, but they know it not. …
Satan and his angels mark all the mean and covetous acts of these persons and present them to Jesus and His holy angels, saying reproachfully, “These are Christ’s followers! They are preparing to be translated!” …
- Angels turn in disgust from the scene.
- God requires a constant doing on the part of His people; and
- when they become weary of well-doing, He becomes weary of them. …
- Every selfish, covetous person will fall out by the way.
- Like Judas, who sold his Lord, they will sell good principles and a noble, generous disposition for a little of earth’s gain.
All such will be sifted out from God’s people. Those who want heaven must, with all the energy which they possess, be encouraging the principles of heaven. Instead of withering up with selfishness, their souls should be expanding with benevolence. Every opportunity should be improved in doing good to one another and thus cherishing the principles of heaven.
Jesus was presented to me as the perfect pattern. His life was without selfish interest, but ever marked with disinterested benevolence.
Early Writings, 266–269.