Editorial – The Mark of the Beast

According to Revelation 13:1–17, the United States of America is the beast that arises from the earth. We know this because: (1) after the first beast receives a deadly wound in 1798, it becomes a world power (Revelation 13:1–12), (2) it comes up out of the earth, in contrast to other beasts of Daniel and Revelation that come up from the sea (Revelation 17:15), (3) it was “to grow up perfectly like a plant.” As George Townsend said, “like a silent seed we grew into an empire,” (4) it would influence the thinking of the world (Revelation 13:14), and (5) it was to be gentle and innocent in its appearance when it arose (Revelation 13:11).

However, the United States of America ultimately becomes an intolerant, persecuting power forcing all to receive the mark of the papacy (Revelation 13:12 and 15–17). Sunday worship is not commanded anywhere in the Bible, yet it will become the mark of the beast. The papacy has said that Sunday keeping is a mark of their authority: “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious matters. …

 “… Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Third Edition.

The United States, on behalf of the Church of Rome, will force all to receive the mark of the papacy and any refusing to receive the mark will be unable to buy or sell, and then a death decree will be enacted against them.

How will this happen? “Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony” The Great Controversy, 591.

Notice the sequence of events:

  1. great wickedness will develop in the United States,
  2. this wickedness will be so great that people will long for the violence and lawlessness to end,
  3. supernatural spirits will say with human religious teachers that the degraded moral state is the result of the desecration of Sunday,
  4. a Sunday Law will be passed and the spirits will say the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God, and
  5. their testimony will turn the world against those who keep the law of God.

In the final judgment, every person will be judged over this issue (Revelation 14:9–12; Revelation 22:14, 15; Revelation 19 and 20). Which side will you be on?

Watch the Signs

The “abomination of desolation” is first described in the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:31). A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His disciples about this entity saying, “whoever reads, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

The meaning of the Hebrew word abomination in the book of Daniel is translated abomination or a detestable thing. Throughout the Old Testament the word is quite common and is almost always used in regard to detestable idols or something to do with idolatry.

In the New Testament the words eramus or eromosis are used for desolation or devastation.

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come [notice the context]. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ” (Matthew 24:14–18). (See also Mark 13:14–16).

The expression “abomination of desolation” is not used in the gospel of Luke, but it talks about the same thing. It says, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her (don’t return). For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20–22).

This was the clear instruction given by Jesus just a few days before He was crucified. When they saw the abomination stand where it should not, they were to flee out of Jerusalem. If they were in the country, they were not to return to the city.

What exactly is the abomination of desolation?

There have been many different explanations, but here we will stick with inspired statements that tell us what we need to know.

“Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains’ (Matthew 24:15, 16). When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 26, 27.

The signal to flee, according to this passage, was when the idolatrous standards of the Romans were set up outside the city walls. It was so important that they escape that there was no time for delay, not even to go to their house to get a coat.

Unmistakable signs were given by Jesus. “All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning, ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matthew 7:2).

“Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 31.

What were some of these signs and wonders?

“A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city. An unnatural light was seen hovering over the temple. Upon the clouds were pictured chariots mustering for battle. Mysterious voices in the temple court uttered the warning words, ‘Let us depart hence.’ The eastern gate of the inner court, which was of brass, and so heavy that it was with difficulty shut by a score of men, and having bolts fastened deep into the firm pavement, was seen at midnight to be opened of its own accord.

“For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city.” Ibid.

How many Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem?

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly withdrew their forces, at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. In the providence of God the promised signal was thus given to the waiting Christians, and without a moment’s delay they fled [in the fall of A.D. 66] to a place of safety—the refuge city Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.” Ibid., 32.

The greatest sign was when the abomination of desolation stood, but before that there were many other signs that told it was time to get ready to go. When the abomination of desolation appeared, it was the last call for Christ’s followers who had listened to His warning to find safety in flight, and thus save their lives, so that not one Christian perished.

The first siege of Jerusalem, under the Roman army, happened under General Cestius. He surrounded Jerusalem with the Roman armies but, when it seemed favorable to attack, he unexpectedly withdrew his forces. When Cestius began to retreat, he planted the abomination of desolation, the banner of Rome, on the holy ground. When the Roman standards were planted there, right outside the city of Jerusalem, it was the sign for the followers of Christ to flee. All the predictions that Christ gave concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter.

Ellen White wrote in Christ’s Object Lessons, 296, that when Jerusalem was destroyed, the whole area where the temple had been was plowed like a field.

In the spring of A.D. 70, when there were over a million Jews inside the city of Jerusalem for the Passover, the Roman army, with Titus at its head, returned and surrounded the city again. This second and final siege lasted from the time of the Passover in March/April until the city fell about August 30 of that same year.

Ellen White describes it this way: “Terrible were the calamities which fell upon Jerusalem in the siege of the city by Titus. The last desperate assault was made at the time of the passover, when millions of Jews had assembled within its walls to celebrate the national festival. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have been sufficient to supply the inhabitants for years, had previously been destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 32.

Horrible things happened. “The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews, and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them.” Ibid., 33.

The destruction of Jerusalem is a type of what is going to happen at the end of the world. “The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible scene was but a faint shadow.” Ibid., 37.

This is a scary thought! History records that over a million Jews were slaughtered during the destruction of Jerusalem. We have no idea just how many were led away captive and taken to Rome. Some of them were killed by gladiators for their entertainment in the coliseum. Others were made slaves and sent all over the world. What happened then was to have another fulfillment.

Ellen White says that that terrible scene was “a faint shadow” of a future event. The word faint means small, almost insignificant.

She says, “The second advent of the Son of God is foretold by lips which make no mistake: ‘Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). …

“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. He has declared that He will come the second time, to gather His faithful ones to himself, and to take vengeance on them that reject his mercy. As He [Jesus] warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin that they might make their escape, so He has warned His people of the day of final destruction, and given them signs of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Those who behold the promised signs are to ‘know that it is near, even at the door’ (verse 33, last part).” Ibid., 38.

What is the abomination of desolation today?

Remember, this is a two-fold prophecy. We know what the abomination of desolation was to the Christians in Jerusalem, but what does it represent today? Christians must identify the banner or flag of Rome, today. It is Sunday worship. The abomination of desolation today is Sunday worship, the symbol, sign, and mark of Rome’s self-assumed authority.

Look back again at Matthew 24:14–18. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ [remember, Jerusalem was called the holy city] (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ”

Notice, the gospel goes to all the world and then the abomination of desolation is planted.

Let’s look at the first fulfillment. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul said that the gospel had been preached throughout the world. He said, “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23). This letter was written before A.D. 66.

“After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, at a time when every conceivable power of evil is set in operation, when minds are confused by the many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ ‘Lo, He is there,’ ‘This is truth,’ ‘I have a message from God,’ ‘He has sent me with great light,’ and there is a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith—then a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 406.

One of the signs that precedes the setting up of the abomination of desolation is a removing of the landmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist faith—a removing of the landmarks.

There is a good reason that the magazine we publish here at Steps to Life is called LandMarks of Historic Adventism. There are many baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church who do not know the historic fundamentals of Adventism. That is why we hold that name—because a removing of the landmarks and the pillars of the Adventist church has been going on for a long time.

Let’s review the history of ancient Jerusalem and pay particular attention to the events surrounding the planting of the abomination of desolation. In The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4, page 31, it says, “Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.”

She says, “A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city.” Ibid. Because the Chinese began documenting signs in heaven over 200 years before Christ, we have accurate records of the history of Halley’s comet from that time clear up to the present day. And we know then, that Halley’s Comet was seen by those in Jerusalem around February, of A.D. 66. Cestius began his siege a few months later. Halley’s comet was one of the major signs warning of impending destruction in Jerusalem.

“At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety.” The Great Controversy, 31. This was in the fall and Halley’s Comet was in the spring.

The siege was not resumed by Titus until Passover time, A.D. 70, which was a little over three years later. Why is it that Jesus said in both Matthew and Luke that when that happens, flee? Don’t even come back down into your house. Don’t even come back from the field. Flee, right then. I don’t know if I know the complete answer to that question yet. I have been thinking about this and studying it for a long time. But, part of the answer had to do with the internal corruption that occurred in Jerusalem during that time.

The people were instructed by false teachers that no matter what happened, you should stay in the city to be protected, but that was an error. What the people were taught was exactly opposite of what Jesus had predicted. So if you believed what Jesus said, you fled and got out. If you listened to what the church said, you stayed in and perished.

“In their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God.” Ibid., 29.

The leaders instructed not to flee. Stay right there, and God will save you. Everybody who listened to their lie got slaughtered. It says, “To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries.” Ibid.

The greatest danger of coming back to the city of Jerusalem was the risk of being deceived by the false teachers saying that safety and security was in staying there and waiting for deliverance that would never come. Sadly, the majority of the people obeyed man instead of God. They showed that they loved man and their church more than God whom they professed to follow and obey.

Who represents Jerusalem today?

Now we come to a critical question. As the abomination of desolation is a two-fold prophecy, meaning that it is going to have another occurrence in the last days, then who represents Jerusalem today? Who is God’s chosen church, as was Jerusalem, that has been given the oracles of God?

Referring to the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen White said, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.

Has the Seventh-day Adventist Church been favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts? Who is it that has all the publishing rights to the prophetic works of Ellen White? The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the depositary of sacred trusts.

“But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery.” Ibid.

“There was danger that Battle Creek would become as Jerusalem of old—a powerful center. If we do not heed these warnings, the evils that ruined Jerusalem will come upon us.” Ibid., 133.

“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God’s people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments. The desolation of Jerusalem stands as a solemn warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through His chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ibid., vol. 4, 166, 167.

If we don’t listen to the warnings God has given to us, the ruin that came upon Israel will come upon us. Ellen White said in a letter in The Early Elmshaven Years, 45, 46: “For a week before I fully consented to go to Battle Creek [church headquarters], I did not sleep past one o’clock. Some nights I was up at eleven o’clock, and many nights at twelve. I have not moved from impulse, but from the conviction that at this time that I must begin at Jerusalem.”

This is a very interesting statement. Jerusalem represents the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Will the abomination of desolation, that is, the banner of Rome, Sunday worship, be planted in the headquarters of the professed Seventh-day Adventist Church?

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet in vision is told about abominations in the temple in Jerusalem. Then in chapter 9, it tells about the destruction that is going to occur because of these abominations and about the people of God who are sighing and crying for these abominations that are occurring within the church.

Years ago, while I was attending Walla Walla college and studying these prophesies, my teacher tried to explain to me that this was all about something that was going on in Ezekiel’s time. But that is not the case.

In Selected Messages, vol. 3, 338, it says, “Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” They spoke more for our time.

“All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days.” Ibid., 339.

“The last books of the Old Testament show us workers taken from the laborers in the field. Others were men of high ability and extensive learning, but the Lord gave them visions and messages. These men of the Old Testament spoke of things transpiring in their day, and Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel not only spoke of things that concerned them as present truth, but their sights reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Ibid., 419, 420.

Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel are specifically mentioned that they had “their sights” clearly down on our time. When we read from Ezekiel, we are not just reading about something that happened several hundred years before Christ. We are reading about something that’s going to happen in the last days.

Ellen White said that the prophecy in Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled to the very letter. (See The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1303.)

When Ezekiel mentions Jerusalem, he is talking about the Seventh-day Adventist church. When He talks about the temple, He is talking about the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church. These abominations in Ezekiel 8 will be seen occurring within the Seventh-day Adventist church and we need to be aware of these things.

Ezekiel 8 verse 16 states: “So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.”

This is what the faithful were sighing and crying about in chapter 9. Did you notice how many people there were? “About twenty-five men.”

In the 1901 General Conference Bulletin, on page 378, it says, “The general conference constitution.” Under article 1 it says, “This organization shall be known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” [April 22, 1901-Extra # 17]

Under article 2, “Object. The object of this Conference shall be to unify and to extend to all parts of the world, the work of promulgating the everlasting gospel.”

Article 4, on the executive committee, section 1, on page 379, says: “The Executive Committee of this Conference shall be twenty-five in number.” Interesting!

This article is not intended to point a finger at anybody. God’s people interpret prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past and we try to understand prophecy that will be fulfilled in the future. However, if you look at history you will find that we have a very poor track record at recognizing when a prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of us.

Remember, Jesus came to His people and said, “This day” this prophecy is “fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). And what happened? They tried to kill him.

We have a very poor track record.

My dear friends, prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes, and the question is, Will we not recognize it until it is too late?

We had better pay attention and recognize the signs. They are like the handwriting on the wall and we would not want to miss them.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: historic@stepstolife.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

False Justification by Faith, Part II

Back in the Dark Ages, God began to prepare a people for the Second Coming of Jesus by using Martin Luther to start the great Protestant Reformation in the preaching of justification by faith. Then in 1844 God brought forth His Advent movement preaching the additional truth that the divine law of God, contained in the most holy place within the heavenly sanctuary, must be obeyed in order for us to fully receive the righteousness of Christ. Many within the church, in their zeal to preach the law, did so in a legalistic way forgetting that we need Jesus in our hearts before we are able to keep the law and live the Christian life.

Ellen White addressed this problem when she wrote, “As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that hath neither dew nor rain.” Review and Herald, March 11, 1890.

To help the servant of the Lord meet this legalistic problem, the Lord sent E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones to preach justification by faith with the law. But many within the church, especially its leaders, thought they were trying to do away with the law. This is why the Minneapolis Conference of 1888 rejected the message of justification by faith.

Today we are facing the imminent return of Jesus, and once again Satan has infiltrated God’s true church with the celebration of New Theology. This theology proclaims a false justification by faith by teaching that all that is needed for salvation is love and unity. No one need be concerned about the law, since Christ kept it for us, they say. As a result millions among us have been duped to believe the lie of Satan that the divine law of God cannot be kept, even in the power of almighty God.

We need to have our eyes opened that through an experience of the new birth, born of repentance, confession, forgiveness and obedience, we are clothed with Christ’s righteousness and thus fit for heaven.

False Justification Enters the SDA Church

How is this false teaching of justification by faith affecting the Seventh-day Adventist Church? From the Remnant Herald, No. 43, November 1998, I gleaned the following.

In 1975, Bill Hibbles began an interdenominational Pentecostal-styled church near Chicago focused on church growth. Today about seventeen thousand adults attend his weekend seeker services and six thousand attend the midweek believers services. By all human standards the Willow Creek Church is a great success. This church has formed the Willow Creek Association (WCA), and presently over two thousand two hundred churches have joined. At least fifty-six of those are Seventh-day Adventist churches. They are listed on the WCA’s web site.

The Willow Creek Association is an organization of a fallen church of Babylon. It is a charismatic, Sunday-keeping church. These conferences and churches have now gone to a fallen church of Babylon in order to be better Seventh-day Adventists. Just as well may they go to the witch of Endor. They have entered Babylon, it will be well nigh impossible to recover such denominational entities for they have done so in the full light of truth.

An article in the Adventist Review, December 18, 1997, promotes this association by stating:

  1. Adventists should give Willow Creek a fair shake.
  2. Adventists should continue gleaning from Willow Creek.
  3. Gleaning from Willow Creek’s message does not mean forfeiting our message.

How can we be so blind? “Adventists, both pastors and lay people constantly make up one of the largest groups at Willow Creek’s half dozen annual seminars.” Ibid.

God’s flock worldwide must be warned concerning this phenomenon within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Work of the Omega

Elder Robert Pierson, former President of the General Conference, foresaw what was about to take place as a result of this new theology of a false justification by faith. In the October 1977, Ministry Magazine he wrote, “It would be well for every Seventh-day Adventist leader to prayerfully study the several plans of the apostate angel of light as he seeks to thwart the triumph of the Advent movement. Get out your Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy, especially in Selected Messages, Book 1,193–205, and on your knees consider the startling facts faithfully chronicled by the Lord’s servant. Now note well what Ellen White, in this reference, warns could mark the work of the omega.

  1. The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be disregarded. (Ibid., 204.)
  2. The truth will be criticized, scorned and derided. (Ibid., 201.)
  3. It will make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin. (Ibid., 204.)
  4. The religion would be changed. (Ibid.)
  5. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. (Ibid., 205.)
  6. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the past fifty years would be accounted as an error. (Ibid., 204.)
  7. There would be a supposition that a great reformation was about to take place among Seventh-day Adventists and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith. (Ibid.)
  8. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. (Ibid.)
  9. The new philosophy would ‘rob the people of God and their experience, giving them instead a false science.’ (Ibid.)
  10. It would seek to weaken the preaching of the second advent by teaching “that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to be given special attention.” Ibid.
  11. Books of a new order would be written. (Ibid.)
  12. A new organization would be established. (Ibid.)
  13. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of this new movement.” Ibid., 205.

Now go back over these thirteen points. Study them carefully and prayerfully. You may have to meet them sooner than you expect. The seeds of such apostasy are in the churches of Christendom all around us. Before Jesus returns, the Seventh-day Adventist Church may well be confronted with a crisis that will exceed in magnitude the Kellogg alpha apostasy. It “will be of a most startling nature.” Ibid., 197.

I believe we are in the omega crisis now. This is none other than the work of spiritualism, which has invaded God’s true church. In Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 405, we read, “Spiritualism is now changing its form, veiling some of its most objectionable and immoral features, and assuming a Christian guise. Formerly it denounced Christ and the Bible, now it professes to accept both. The Bible is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but His justice, His denunciation of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses of those who do not make God’s word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned.” Jesus gives a test by which false teachers may be distinguished from the true. (See Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 145.)

Vatican II and Celebration

The Vatican II Papal document stated that it is their objective, through the celebration movement, to bring the whole of humanity into one fold (meaning the Roman Catholic Church). According to this document, the objectives of the second Vatican Council are:

  1. Let there be a custom application [use] of the word celebration.
  2. Let there be a custom of revival in celebration worship in which the people will be involved directly with both verbal and physical participation.
  3. Let there be a custom of celebration worship dialog between the pastor and the people.
  4. Let us use as much variety in worship as is possible.
  5. Let music, while they worship there, be the most effective.
  6. Lessen, [narrow] the difference, between the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper. Teach people that the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper is the foundation of Christian unity, friendship and celebration of the Lord’s day [Sunday].
  7. Do your best to encourage observation of Sunday, including rest from work.

As a result of these Vatican objectives, celebration began in the Catholic Church and soon the Pentecostal charismatic churches followed. The old method of Jesuit infiltration of Protestant churches was suspended by the new infiltration of Catholic philosophy called love and unity. The second Vatican Council added its blessing by no longer calling the Protestant Churches heretics but brethren separated from the Mother Church.

The Vatican II Council then began to emphasize the Holy Spirit by holding revivals among its nuns and priests. The result was startling. Tens of thousands of priests and nuns began speaking in tongues. Now both the Catholic and the Protestant had something in common. They both spoke in tongues in the celebration movement.

Confronting Celebration

John Janiuk confronts the celebration movement with the Three Angels’ Message in his book, The Great Controversy Endgame, No. 2. He clearly differentiates between what is true and what is false justification by faith.

“The Three Angels’ Message is God’s call to leave Babylon. It is the message of separation.…The celebration movement calls for unity of all churches.

“The Three Angels’ Message is a warning message, but the celebration movement is the message of peace and security, love and unity. Sin and the law of God are treated lightly.

“The foundation of the Three Angels’ Message is the message of the everlasting gospel (true justification by faith).…The foundation of the celebration movement is a false gospel (a false justification)—salvation in sin—‘you will be sinning until the Second Coming of Christ.’ It is a gospel without power. If you sin before and after accepting the gospel, where is the power of the gospel? The truth is, if you accept a false gospel you have no power from God.…Satan demonstrated his power with great effect in Eden, and we are still affected by that same power today. Today he says that we cannot keep God’s commandments. If you believe his lies then you will not obey God’s law.

“The Bible says: ‘…here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ The pen of Inspiration says: ‘Christ left His heavenly home, and came to this world to show that only by being connected with divinity can man keep the law of God. In itself, humanity is tainted and corrupt, but Christ brought moral power to man, and those who live in communion with Him overcome, as He overcame.” Signs of the Times, December 10, 1896.

“‘He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.” Review and Herald, March 10, 1904. (See also Acts of the Apostles, 523.)

A Call to Righteousness

“The Three Angels’ Messages are calling the whole of humanity to ‘Fear [reverence] God’ in complete surrender to God and His Word, and also His will, the Ten moral Commandments and the gospel. But the celebration movement depends on theology which ‘Is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed hearts, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but His justice, His denunciation of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 405.

“The Three Angels’ Messages call to ‘Give glory to Him.’ Mrs. White says: ‘To give glory to God is to reveal His character in our own, and thus make Him known. And in whatever way we make known the Father or the Son, we glorify God.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 979. But the celebration movement does not preach this.

“The Three Angels’ Messages proclaim ‘For the hour of His judgment is come.’ This is the pre-advent, Investigative Judgment, which began in the year 1844. The celebration movement does not warn the people about this. However, if the subject is mentioned they say: ‘Do not be afraid of the judgment, if you believe in Jesus, don’t worry about it.’

‘Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ God tells us to keep holy the Sabbath day as a special day in memorial of His creation and redemption. But the purpose, goal, and aim of the celebration movement according to Vatican II is to observe Sunday and recognize the Pope as the Vicar of Jesus Christ and submit to him.

Babylon is Fallen, Come Out of Her

“The Second Angel’s Message says: ‘Babylon is fallen.’ Why? Because Babylon rejected the Biblical truths. Revelation 18:2 describes the last day condition of Babylon. The fallen churches [Catholic and Protestant] attacked the Seventh-day Adventist church with the celebration movement. The Bible says ‘a habitation of devils.’ Of course, God still has, in these fallen churches, some individuals who are the children of God. Our message, especially in the time of the loud cry will be ‘Come out of her, my people’ Revelation 18:4.

“The Third Angel’s Message is the most fearful of any before. This message was proclaimed to mortal man, as a warning against receiving the mark of the beast (observance of Sunday as the Sabbath). According to the document of Vatican Synod II the purpose of the celebration movement is that the whole world shall observe Sunday and submit to the Papacy. It does not matter to them what else you believe so long as you submit to those two things. Do you see where this movement is leading us?

“The Three Angels’ Messages are summarized in Revelation 14:12 and describe what people will be like after they accept these messages. ‘Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ Here is presented the main characteristics and qualities of God’s people:

  1. The patience of the saints
  2. They keep the commandments of God
  3. They have the faith of Jesus

“But the celebration movement says: ‘We cannot keep the commandments of God.’ ‘Men who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men cannot keep the law of God.’ Signs of the Times January 16, 1896. (We must) ‘not only accept Christ as Saviour of the world, but as a personal Saviour from sin and sinning. Faith is nothing if it falls short of this.’ Signs of the Times August 26, 1889.” The Great Controversy Endgame, No. 2.

Music, Love and Praise!

The heart of celebration worship is found in its music, Contemporary Christian or Christian rock. Their message is love and praise for the most part. It does not call to repentance, appeal for sacrifice, or for prayer for sinners. The Second Coming is almost absent. Bible doctrines are not found.

Pioneering Seventh-day Adventists sang many hymns containing its message. They did so because they believed that God had called them to proclaim a message even in their singing. The current Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal has a topical index of hymns. Nearly every major doctrine is represented there: Salvation through faith in Christ, the Second Coming, the Sabbath, the judgment, the sleep of the dead, stewardship and even the sanctuary along with still others. God intended that the great hymns of faith should be used to teach His end-time message.

For example, No. 412 in the Hymnal illustrates this point. “Reconciled by His death for my sin, Justified by His life pure and clean, Sanctified by obeying His word, Glorified when returneth my Lord.” What a wonderful balance, a presentation of the gospel that is given in such songs. Preachers and laity would both be less likely to stray from the path of truth if they paid attention to the message of such songs.

“The great fear is that these contemporary songs are replacing the message songs entirely and are doing their part to produce a generation devoid of doctrinal certainty. A church’s music…is an essential part of its self-identity, its witnessing package, and even its survival kit.” Adventists’ Affirm, 1998, 8–21.

The ex-choir director of heaven uses his celebration music to charm people, to bind them to himself and to control them. He uses emotionally oriented religion that depends on feeling rather than on the word of God.

The Greatest Challenge Facing SDAs

Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, while at Andrews University, wrote in his doctorate thesis entitled, Receiving the Word, 38, the following, “The greatest challenge facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not come from the independent right, who operate from without, but rather from the liberal left, who are working from within. These moderate liberals seek to redefine historic Adventist beliefs according to their new views of the Bible. Indeed, as some of the Adventist scholars have begun using the historical-critical approaches of liberal theology, the church has been challenged in its distinctive truths, such as the prophetic significance of 1844, the necessity of Christ’s substitutionary atonement for sinners, and the self-understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as God’s end-time remnant. At the same time the church has been thrown into turmoil over abortion, polygamy, divorce and remarriage and women’s ordination and homosexuality.”

Can you imagine an Adventist professor of religion who wrote in the Spectrum of May 1993 on page 46 an article entitled, “Apocryphy, Who Needs It?” In the beginning of this article there is a thought-provoking question. “How seriously should Adventists take apocalyptic books like Daniel, Revelation and The Great Controversy?” This theologian answers, “Perhaps we should replace them with the gospel of love, acceptance and forgiveness.” This is the central message of the celebration movement and its worship services.

Contrary Advice

Professor Steve Daily, who taught at La Sierra University and was also their chaplain, is one of the most liberal among us today. He suggests some practical things Adventists can do to contribute to this goal. Among these are:

  1. We can cease to think or speak of ourselves as the remnant church and see ourselves as a part of God’s larger remnant.
  2. We can take advantage of the special opportunities we have to attend other churches, since they meet on a different day, to befriend them and learn from them and share with them and affirm the good things we see in them.
  3. Each of us can make a special effort to maintain active membership in at least one non-Adventist community service organization to combat our natural tendency to isolation.
  4. We can involve ourselves in inter-denominational Bible study and a charismatic intercessory prayer group to broaden our spiritual perspectives.

(Excerpted from Steve Daily’s book, Adventists for a New Generation, 315, 316.)

Such advice is absolutely contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy. Is this the time for Seventh-day Adventists to seek such new light on worship, church growth and learning from others? (See Early Writings, 124, 125.)

Let us never forget that God will finish His work in His church and then He will finish His work in the world. But if we, as a church, reject true justification by faith and continue to proclaim a false justification, then true revival and reformation will not take place. We will not receive the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and we will never finish God’s work in this world. We will lose our identity, our credibility and the purpose for our existence.

What a tragedy this would be! May God give us wisdom, understanding, knowledge and power to fulfill this for His honor and glory and also for the salvation of the people of the world. Then we will go home to praise Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. If you have discovered that the church you attend has become a celebration church in doctrine, in music and worship, may God grant you heavenly wisdom to know what you can do to help restore a worship service in which God can bless. It may be that the Lord will lead you to a nearby church with a historic Seventh-day Adventist pastor. Praise God, He still has many. And if need be, God may lead you to a nearby home church or have you begin a home church in which it can be truly said, “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

When and How Was the Sabbath Changed from Saturday to Sunday?

This is a question which is in the minds of a great many people today. Everyone knows, of course, that the original Sabbath of the commandment, which Christ wrote with His own finger on the tables of stone, was the seventh day of the week, the day we call Saturday. Astronomers tell us that they have absolute knowledge that the weekly cycle has not been changed, so our Saturday is still the seventh day of the week.

But today most Christians worship on Sunday, the first day of the week. Why? How did this come about? Who made the change and for what reasons? These are the questions everyone is asking, and we will try to give you an answer.

A Beautiful Prophecy

First of all, let us look at Revelation 12 where we find a beautiful picture in prophecy. The apostle John was given a vision, and he tells us about it in Revelation 12:1–5.

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.”

Here in this vision we have three prophetic symbols presented to our wondering eyes: a woman, a child and a dragon. Each of these has a specific meaning in the prophecy. What are they, and what do they represent? First, whom does the dragon represent? We will find the answer to that in Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

So that is easy, is it not? The dragon represents the devil. But who is the woman? Fortunately, this is easy to understand too; so easy, that you find practically all students of the Bible agreeing on it. Just about any Protestant commentary that you pick up will tell you that the woman represents the true church of Christ, and if you have a Catholic Bible you will find that same information in the footnote under this chapter. We will show you some of the scriptures which make this point clear.

Revelation 19:7, 8: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

You see—in these Scriptures the true church is pictured as the bride of Christ. Is that not a beautiful thought? The same thought was in the mind of the apostle Paul when he wrote to the church in Corinth: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2.

The word espouse means to give in marriage, so Paul writes to the church, “I have given you in marriage to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” He carries this charming comparison still further in Ephesians 5:22–32: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Notice his concluding words—”I speak concerning Christ and the church.” So, we all will agree with the Bible scholars of many faiths that this beautiful woman of Revelation 12 is a fitting picture of the true church of Christ, His bride, which He will take to Himself on that glorious day when He comes again.

The Coming King

But one more question—if the woman is the true church, and the dragon is the devil, who is the child? What have we been told about this child in Revelation 12:1–5? First, that it was a man-child; second, that the devil tried to destroy Him as soon as He was born; third, that He was caught up to God and to His throne; and fourth, that He is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Who could this be?

Of course, who could it be but Jesus? Remember the Christmas story? Remember how Herod, the king, had all the little boy babies in Bethlehem killed, in an attempt to destroy the baby Jesus soon after He was born? And what child does the Bible tell us about being caught up to God and His throne? Only Jesus. Read about it in Ephesians 1:20, 21: “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”

And what child, born upon this earth, is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron? Only Jesus. This was a familiar picture of the Messiah that everyone understood, for David had made this prophecy, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalms 2:7–9.

Now compare this ancient prophecy with the similar one which John saw in his vision of future events and wrote down in Revelation 19:11–16: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

This could only be Jesus. One of His many names in the Scriptures is The Word of God, as we read in John 1:1, 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.”

The Bible Interprets Itself

So now we understand what the prophecy is all about. Remember now, we have made no interpretation of these things ourselves; we have let the Bible make its own interpretation to us. We do not try to interpret the Scriptures; we accept the Bible’s own interpretation. So now we know that the beautiful woman is the true church, the child is Christ, and the dragon is the devil.

Now, what happened to the woman in John’s prophecy? “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Revelation 12:6.


The true church of God had to go into hiding, out in the wild places of the earth, the wilderness, for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, it says. (Threescore equals sixty.) Why? Because the dragon, the devil, was angry with her. He had failed to kill Christ, so now he turns his fury upon the church of Christ, in terrible persecution. How long was the persecution? It says one thousand two hundred and sixty days, but we have a rule in these symbolic prophecies of the Bible that one day in the prophecy stands for one year in actual time. So, the actual time of the persecution of the true church would be one thousand two hundred and sixty years. You will find this rule applied in the Bible in Numbers 14:34 and in Ezekiel 4:6, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.”

Not My Idea

Now let me make one thing clear. This is not a rule that I have invented, nor is it my interpretation. It is the Bible’s own rule of interpretation, and it was recognized and followed by students of Bible prophecy hundreds, yes, thousands of years before I was born. As a matter of fact, the Jews themselves understood and used it in that way, so do not get the idea that I am telling you something that I invented. This is a Bible interpretation that has been recognized and followed by Bible scholars for ages. One day in symbolic prophecy means one year in actual time, as the prophecy is being fulfilled.

So we see the sad picture that the beautiful woman, the true church of Christ, was to undergo terrible persecution for more than a thousand years. It sounds like the Dark Ages that we read about in our history books, does it not? The thought is repeated in verses 13 and 14 of Revelation 12: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Now let us read the conclusion of this marvelous prophecy about the true church—a verse that comes right down to the present time, where you and I are alive, and shows us that the true church was definitely going to survive the persecution and would not be entirely destroyed. It is the last verse of the chapter. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

Let us bring this out of the symbols of the prophecy into modern language. It will be easy because we have learned from the Bible what each of these symbols mean. Who is the dragon? The devil. And who is the woman? The true church. Now it talks about the remnant of her seed, or children. What is a remnant? Have you ever heard of a remnant sale? What does the word remnant mean? It means the remainder—the part that is left, the last part. Is a remnant large or small? Small, of course.

In Modern Language

Therefore, putting this prophecy into our language, we would correctly read it like this: “And the devil was angry with the true church, and went to make war with the last part of her children, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.”

That tells us two wonderful facts, First, the true church would not be entirely destroyed by the persecution of the 1260 years, but there would be a small part, a remnant, which would survive; second, you will be able to recognize that small remnant, because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.

Well, you may say, “That is wonderful, that is thrilling, but what does that have to do with the change of the Sabbath?” Everything, dear friend, everything! May I remind you again that this remnant of the true church will be recognized by their keeping the commandments of God? As far as the Sabbath is concerned, that can mean one, and only one thing—that they keep the Sabbath of the commandment. That is obvious, is it not?

Can you keep the commandments of God without keeping the Sabbath of the commandment? No, you cannot.

One more question—what day is the Sabbath of the commandment? What did the commandment say? “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord Thy God.” Exodus 20:8–10. This is the day we call Saturday, as you can see by your calendar. Astronomers tell us they can tell by the stars that it is still the same Sabbath day that used to be observed.

Just one more question: Is a remnant of cloth the same as the original cloth or different? What do you say? Can you get a black remnant from a white bolt? No, it must be the same; it cannot be different. So now, speaking of churches, can you get a commandment–keeping remnant from a church that does not keep the commandments? No, certainly not. The remnant must be the same. Can you get a Sabbath keeping remnant of a church that does not keep the Sabbath? No! Therefore, this Sabbath remnant will have to be the last part of an earlier Sabbath–keeping church—the church that kept the Sabbath through the ages.

History Fulfills Prophecy

John’s beautiful prophecy tells us that the commandment–keeping, Sabbath–keeping church of Christ would be persecuted terribly through the Dark Ages, and would have to hide in the mountains and in the wilderness, but that there would be a remnant left in the last days—still a commandment–keeping, Sabbath–keeping people.

We will show you how history tells the amazing story of how that prophecy was fulfilled to the very last detail. Jesus told John just how it would happen, and history proves that Jesus was right. It happened just the way He said it would.

Light of the World

We turn now to the story that we find in the pages of history. Envision a map of the world or, if you have an atlas, turn to a picture of the world, and envision it lying in darkness. John tells us how Jesus, the Light of the world, came to bring light into that darkness. (See John 1:9.) Locate the tiny land where Jesus lived, and envision that small land suddenly lightened with His presence. It may look very small in the dark world, but it is not. It is remarkable what that one little Light has done. Jesus never traveled over a hundred miles from the place of His birth during His ministry; He never wrote a book, never held an office, and never attended a university. He never did any of the things we so often think of when we think of a great man and what he should do, but Jesus did bring a light to this dark world, and how that light spread is a thrilling story.

Just before He left this earth, He told His disciples what He wanted them to do with the light—take it over all the earth. (See Acts 1:8.) It must have staggered them, when they heard Him say that. What an assignment for 12 men who were not rich or learned! In simple faith they went forth to do what Jesus said. Let us trace how the lights came on in the dark earth.

From the land where Jesus lived, they took the light to all the world. Thomas, the former doubter, became so full of faith that he spread the light through the east. We can follow his path through Antioch, across Arabia, Syria, Persia, to the far away Malibar coast of India, before his work was done. Some historians even believe that he reached China—and everywhere he went, churches sprang up.

The light went to Africa. We are not sure which disciple went that way, but evidence points to Andrew, and churches sprang up and lights came on in that darkened land.


To the north and west went the apostle Paul. We know more about his travels than about any of the others. Following his trail across Asia Minor, we can envision lights along the way for the churches that he started. Across the sea into Greece, over into Italy, Rome and beyond. Romans 15:24 and 28 tells us how he planned to journey into Spain. Some scholars even think Paul made it to the British Isles—others think it was one of his converts. But we do know that the light went there, for Tertullian, who wrote about the year 200, includes the British Isles in his list of places where the gospel had gone.

The light in Ireland, Scotland and England grew to the point where it became bright enough to reflect back upon the continent of Europe again. Under the leadership of great men of God like Patrick, Columba, Columbanus, Aidan and others, schools were started in these lands for training gospel workers. Rulers of the northern nations of Europe sent their sons to these schools to be educated. The Scriptures were copied by hand at these centers, and their graduates went back into Europe with the light.

So far the picture looks very bright. Lights were coming on all over that part of the world. But remember, the prophecy said persecution would come, and it did!

Sabbath Keeping Churches

There is one great fact that you should know about these churches that were started by the apostles themselves and their early followers. They were commandment-keeping churches who observed the seventh day, or Saturday, as their Sabbath, in harmony with the commandment Christ wrote into the tables of stone. So you do not think that I speak for myself, I will share the actual statements of the historians on this matter.

First, what about the churches in far off India where Thomas went? Let the historians speak:

Samuel Purchas, noted geographer and compiler says: “They kept Saturday holy.” Pilgrimmes, Part 2, Book 8, chapter 6, 1260, London, 1625.

Claudius Buchanan says: “They have preserved the Bible in its purity; and their doctrines are, as far as the author knows, the doctrines of the Bible. Besides, they maintained the solemn observance of Christian worship throughout the empire on the seventh day; and they have as many spires pointing to heaven among the Hindus as we ourselves.” Christian Researches in Asia, 143, Philadelphia, 1813.

Throughout the World—an Eye Witness:

Now hear the testimony of an eye witness who had traveled over the greater part of Christendom, Socrates, the Greek historian, who wrote in the year 391ad:

“For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the mysteries (The Lord’s Supper) on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, refuse to do this. The Egyptians in the neighborhood of Alexandria and the inhabitants of Thebais, hold their religious meetings on the Sabbath.” Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, chapter 22, 289, London, 1892. The footnote, which accompanies the foregoing quotation explains the use of the word “Sabbath.” It says: “That is, upon the Saturday. It should be observed, that Sunday is never called ‘the Sabbath’ (to sabbaton) by the ancient Fathers and historians.”

Two facts are apparent in this statement:

  1. Sunday observance began in Rome and Alexandria while the rest of the world observed Sabbath in harmony with the commandment of God.
  2. Sunday observance was based on tradition, not a commandment of God.


As late as the year 791, Christians still kept the true Sabbath in Italy. Canon 13 of the council of Friaul, states: “Further, when speaking of that Sabbath which the Jews observe—the last day of the week—and which also our peasants observe, He said only Sabbath…” Mansi 13, 851. Quoted in History of the Sabbath, Andrews, 539.

Northern Italy

“First therefore they called them Waldenses and because they observed no other day of rest but the Sabbath days, they called them insabbathas, as much as to say, as they observed no Sabbath.” John P. Perris, Luther’s Forerunners, 7–8, London, 1624.

“Robinson gives an account of some of the Waldenses of the Alps, who were called…Insabbatati. ‘One says they were so named from the Hebrew word Sabbath, because they kept the Saturday for the Lord’s day. Another says they were so called because they rejected all the festivals.’” General History of the Baptist Denomination, vol. 2, 413.


Louis XII, King of France, ordered an investigation of the lives of those Waldenses living in his country. It was reported to him that they “kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism; according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith and the commandments of God.” William Jones, History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, 71–72.

How and When was the Sabbath Changed?


From a decree of King Alphonso (published about 1194): “I command you that …heretics, to wit, Waldenses, Insabbathi (sabbathkeepers) and those who call themselves the poor of Lyons and all other heretics should be expelled away from the face of God…and ordered to depart from our kingdom.” Marianae, Praefatio in Lucan Tudensem, vol. 25, 190.


In the 17th Century, several ministers were persecuted for defending the Bible Sabbath. John Trask was put in prison; his wife remained in prison 15 years. John James was hanged for defending the Sabbath, and his head placed on a pole near the meeting house as a warning to others. Dr. Thomas Banfield, a former speaker in one of Cromwell’s parliaments, wrote two books advocating the Sabbath truth, and likewise went to prison. Edward Stennet, a minister, wrote a book entitled, “The Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” And from prison he wrote a long and pathetic letter to Sabbathkeepers in the Rhode Island colony (1688). See Christian Edwardson’s Facts of Faith, 144.


“They held that Saturday was properly the Sabbath on which they abstained from work.” Skene, Celtic Scotland, vol. 2, 349.

“They worked on Sunday, but kept Saturday in a sabbatical manner…These things Margaret abolished.” A History of Scotland from the Roman Occupation, vol. 1, 96.


“The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday.” Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, 237.

“It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.” Moffat, The Church in Scotland, 140.


“I find from a passage in Erasmus that at the early period of the Reformation of which he wrote, there were Sabbatarians in Bohemia, who not only kept the seventh day, but were said to be …scrupulous in resting on it.” Cox Literature on the Sabbath Question, 201–202.

The great missionary leader, Count Zinzendorf, wrote in 1738: “I have employed the Sabbath for rest for many years already, and our Sunday for the proclamation of the gospel—that I have done without design and in simplicity of heart.” Dugingsche Sammlung, 224.

And we might add the testimony of more historians but surely this is enough to show you that wherever the apostles went—east, west, north, or south—commandment keeping churches sprang up, churches who observed the true Bible Sabbath.

How did a change come about? This is a sad story.

You will remember that the historian Socrates has already testified that as he traveled throughout the Christian world, he found that in the year 391 the churches of Christendom were observing the seventh–day Sabbath except in two places, Rome and Alexandria.

The change actually began in Rome. Rome was the center of a vast system of pagan religion in those days, which was worship of the sun. The sun worshippers had large temples, priests, and ceremonies and a vast system of religious rites and practices. They went to their temples to worship on the first day of each week, which was dedicated to the sun god and therefore called Sunday. You can get this information by looking up the word “Sunday” in any large dictionary.

A New Idea

It was here that the change began. A new system of thought had arisen in the Christian Church of Rome, based on a plan for combining the two religions into one. This plan was carried out, forming a new religion, half pagan and half Christian. It was formed by bringing into the Christian church the rites and ceremonies, the holy day, yes, even the philosophy of the pagans. But do not take my word for it. Hear the testimony of no less an authority than Cardinal Newman. Speaking of the Roman Church, he says, “Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil, and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship to an evangelical use…the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace, as well as the philosophy of the educated class.

“The same reason, the need of holy days for the multitude, is assigned by Origen, St. Gregory’s master, to explain the establishment of the Lord’s day…

“We are told in various ways of Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own…incense, lamps and candles, holy water, asylums, holy days and seasons…the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images…are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” Development of Christian Doctrine, 371-373, London, 1878.

A similar statement appeared in the Catholic World, March, 1894, 809, “The Church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen…She took the pagan Sunday, and made it the Christian Sunday.”


So now you can see where the change started and how it started. It was greatly helped by the attitude of the Emperor Constantine, who favored the combining of the two religions, and after professing Christianity himself, offered twenty pieces of gold and a white garment to all who would join the new church. Naturally, the pagans responded well to this most attractive offer, and joined the new religion by thousands. Constantine further helped the idea along by making the first Sunday law to appear in the pages of history in the year 321.

Spread by Force

Naturally, the other churches of the world were reluctant to accept this pagan custom into the Christian faith, but ways were found to force them to accept it. We won’t dwell at length on this sad story of the great religious persecutions of the Dark Ages but only state that some historians believe that 50 million Christian people were put to death because they would not accept these customs, and other historians put the estimate as high as 150 million.

The light of Sabbath-keeping Christianity was extinguished in Scotland in 1069; in Ireland in 1172; that of the ancient Albigenses in 1229; in India in 1560, and in the mountains of central Europe in 1686.

The lights on our map of the world were slowly going out. Would any be left?

Yes, prophecy said there would be a remnant. In 1668, Edward Stennet, a Sabbath-keeping minister of England wrote to some Sabbath-keeping Christians in Rhode Island as follows, “Here we are in England, about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day when many, once eminent churches, have been shattered in pieces.” Facts of Faith, Edward Stennet, 146.

Truly, just a remnant, but by the grace of God, this remnant was able to find refuge in the land of freedom (United States of America), and from here the light of the true Sabbath is spreading again all over the world.

Another Evidence

Now let me show you another striking evidence that this is true. Thoughtful and scholarly men of many faiths admit it. Their statements below show clearly that whatever reasons they had for Sunday observance, they were not a Scriptural command.

Toronto Clergymen

A story in the Toronto Daily Star, Wednesday, October 26, 1949, bears the following heading:

“Clergy say Tradition, not Bible ordinance, Declared Sunday Holy.” The first paragraph of the story says, ‘Sunday is kept holy by Christians, not because there is any Scriptural injunction but because there are religious traditions associated with that day among Christians,’ Protestant and Catholic spokesmen said today. They were commenting on a statement of the most Reverend Phillip Carrington, Anglican Archbishop of Quebec, that there is no commandment which states Sunday must be kept holy. ‘Tradition,’ he said, ‘had made it a day of worship.’”

Jewish Rabbi

The second paragraph of the above story says, “A Rabbi recalled that the first Christians were Jews and celebrated the Sabbath on the last day of the week and it was not until the reign of the Emperor Constantine that the day was changed by Christians.”

Church Historian

Wilhelm August Johann Neander, the great German theologian and historian of Heidelberg, whose History of the Christian Religion and Church is of such value and merit as to have gained for him the title, ‘Prince of church historians’ says, “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.” (Rose’s translation from the first German edition, 186.)

Phillip Schaff, another learned church historian, admits that there is no command in the New Testament for Sunday observance.


“The observance of the seventh day Sabbath did not cease till it was abolished after the empire became Christian.” Tract No. 188, Presbyterian Board of Publication.


Canon Eyton of the Church of England, author of the book The Ten Commandments, says: “There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday or of Lent stands on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday, no divine law enters.”

Morer Eyton, in his Dialogues on the Lord’s Day, 189, writes, “The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath and spent the day in devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the apostles themselves.”

Professor Edward Brerewood of Gresham College, London, in A Learned Treatise on the Sabbath, 77, says, “If the New Testament silence on any subject proves that the matter is unimportant, then the Christian emphasis on the observance of Sunday is really a mistake. Nowhere does the Book tell us to observe Sunday. Nowhere does it say that Saturday Sabbath-keeping is wrong.”


At a New York Minister’s Conference, held November 13, 1893, Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual, read a paper on the transference of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. Mention of this paper was made in the November 16, 1893, issue of the New York Examiner, a Baptist paper, which describes the intense interest manifested by the ministers present and the discussion which followed. From a copy of this address, furnished by Dr. Hiscox himself, we call attention to these striking and earnest statements:

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions.

“Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask: ‘Where can the record of this transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.

“I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history.

“To some it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false glosses, never alluded to a transference of the day. Also, that during 40 days of his resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He has said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach this subject.

“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use early in Christian history as a religious day; as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”


In his widely known book, Faith of Our Fathers, 89, Cardinal Gibbon writes:

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

“Sunday is founded, not on Scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no Scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday.”—Catholic Record, September 17, 1891.

“Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or another of these alternatives. Either Protestantism and the keeping of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

“Peter R. Tracer, in charge of the Question Box feature in Extension magazine, wrote in a letter of April 1, 1929: “Dear Sir: Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts: That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath.… We also say, that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings.”

Dr. R. W. Dale, in his Ten Commandments, 127-129, says: “It is quite clear that however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath.…The Sabbath was founded on a specific; divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday.…There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Many more might be added, friends, but surely this is enough. Surely now it is clear to all that the observance of Sunday is not based on Scripture but on human tradition, the commandments of men.

What’s the Difference?

You say—”That is very interesting—I am glad to know that—but after all, what difference does it make? Does it really make any difference?”

I will let the Lord Jesus Christ answer that question for you. Did you notice, friend, the frequent reference to tradition, or human tradition, as we have examined this evidence? You did? Very well, please hold that in mind as we read the words of Jesus: “…Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matthew 15:3. “…Thus have ye made the commandments of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:6. “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9.

A Sobering Thought

Friend of mine, does the awful significance of that statement reach your heart? Think of these words: “They do worship me.”

Not pagans, not unbelievers, but people who worship—yes—who worship Jesus Christ! Yet He says it is in vain—useless—wasted—worthless—they might as well not do it. Why? Because they teach for doctrines the commandments of men.

It is hard to grasp the idea that a man could worship Jesus Christ in vain, is it not? When I see a man praying in the name of Christ, my heart goes out to him—I just cannot help it. But notice what Jesus said:

Even Miracle Workers

“Many will say to Me in that day, 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? And then will I profess unto them; I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23.

Why does He say He never knew them? Return to Matthew 15:9: “…In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

A Brighter Picture

But let us not close with such an unpleasant thought. Let us remember that the prophecy said there would be a remnant left—the true worshippers of God would not be fully destroyed from the earth—there would be a small remnant left. And how shall we recognize this remnant? The Bible tells us how we can recognize them. They are those who “…keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

What a thrill it is to be able to report to you that there is a commandment-keeping, Sabbath-keeping people left on the earth! They are a people with whom the devil is furiously angry, as the prophecy says, but they are marching forward just the same!

From America, the land of freedom, the light is spreading again all over the world, and people all over the world are recognizing and joining the commandment-keeping remnant church.

How much better to be among this divinely foretold people, who reject all traditions of men and obey the commandments of God, than to be among those who tremble at the words of Jesus; “In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. Contrast them with the triumphant picture found in Revelation 22:14: “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.”

Dear Friend, with which group do you stand?

Article taken from His Mighty Love by Ralph Larson

Facing the Crisis – With Supernatural Intervention

This is such an important article that you will probably wish to read it several times in order to understand every detail. May I suggest that you encourage other church members to also read this article.

The greatest hope of the Christian today is centered in the coming final climax when Jesus returns to gather His saints and take them to their eternal home. Jesus has promised, “…I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John

Today we are surrounded by scores of signs that Jesus is coming soon. But one of the signs that He foretold we seem to have ignored. It is the one sign that tells us exactly when the Second Coming is to take place. In Matthew 24:14 Christ states, “…this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

This truth is emphasized by the Three Angels of Revelation 14:6 in which it is proclaimed that the everlasting gospel is to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Christ’s Soon Return Not Possible

Here I must level with you. The fulfillment of a soon-coming Saviour is absolutely impossible without divine intervention. For at the present rate of progress, to reach every nation, tongue and people with the everlasting gospel will take thousands of years.

In the Review and Herald of December 17, 1987, we were told that 80% of the world’s population today has no knowledge of Christianity. At present, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is witnessing, by its presence, to only fifteen percent of the people of the world. Over 2.4 billion people living on this planet have never been reached by any church with the gospel.

Now let me clarify that. I have traveled across India by train and car. In this densely populated country there are approximately one-half million villages. Of these, 475,000 villages have never received any knowledge of Christianity by any denomination. The alarming truth is that we have done so little.

“Our penetration in the Indian languages is, likewise, scant. India has sixteen languages but more than 1,600 dialects. The Bible is available in only 74 of these languages and dialects. The Oriental Watchman Publishing House publishes Adventist literature in only 21 languages. And so we have no publications in hundreds of Indian languages and dialects. The language problem is further compounded by an average literacy rate of 36%.” North Pacific Gleaner, November 11, 1989.

And what about China—over one billion people, and other unentered lands? Yet we find this precious promise. “For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Romans 9:28. So comes the question, “Just how can this be accomplished?”

Will you pray, with me, that God will help us discover the answer to this perplexing situation? We must acknowledge that our loving Father created us by His hands. He made us with an inquisitive mind, unable to foresee the future as He sees it. But we read in His Word that He will do nothing without revealing it to His prophets. We must ask for heavenly guidance as we search for an answer in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, so we may grasp, by faith, the answer of how the Three Angels’ Messages can be preached quickly to every nation and people and tongue so Jesus may come.

The Eleventh Hour Workers

Let us look in the Bible, to the parable of the eleventh-hour workers. (See Matthew 20:1-9.) In this parable we will note that the kingdom of heaven is compared to a vineyard owner who hires laborers at different times of the day. In fact, he hired five separate groups of men to work in his vineyard. At the end of the day these men were all given the same wages, irrespective of how long they had worked.

The basic lesson being taught is that salvation is by faith. The redeemed will receive eternal life, not according to their works, but according to the generosity and the grace of God. (See Christ’s Object Lessons, 394–404.) However, take note that their works were not ignored, for only those who worked were paid. Furthermore, this vineyard owner was in great need to quickly gather in his harvest, for no employer pays a full day’s wage for one hour of labor.

As you read the Scripture, you will realize that the one-hour workers, at the close of the day, were indispensable for the need to quickly finish the task. Now let us look at this parable.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.”

Ellen White, as an agent of the Holy Spirit, gives us an understanding insight as to how God plans to quickly finish the work with the help of these eleventh-hour workers. Scattered through her writings, you will find that she made seven clarifying statements concerning this parable.

We will examine each statement carefully and discover that this parable is actually a prophecy of what is soon to take place. It will change your thinking of what we have been taught that only the remnant will finish the work. As we study these quotations, you will be enlightened and encouraged, but, I also must add, be prepared for some very painful information.

The Storm Within

Now let us discuss the bad news first. As the coming storm of persecutions burst upon us by the beast and its image from without the church, Ellen White also describes an internal storm, which will face the faithful from within the church. These quotations which, when read together, reveal that apostasy will become so bad within the church that only a small remnant will be left to participate in giving the Loud Cry. But God is prepared.

“Already the judgments of God are abroad in the land, as seen in storms, in floods, in tempests, in earthquakes, in peril by land and by sea. The great I AM is speaking to those who make void His law. When God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth, who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for God’s people to show themselves true to principle. When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in the defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason…. All who will gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their defections, and loyalty from their treason, will triumph with the Third Angel’s Message.” Sons and Daughters of God, 201. Praise the Lord for such assurance.

How sad to learn, from this quotation, that few within the church will remain faithful; the majority will forsake the truth. Those that are left will need courage as they witness such deflection. How painful as these thoughts may be, yet this is but the beginning.

We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world…. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greater obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

Oh, what a terrible picture of what is to come! “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren.” The Great Controversy, 608.

Promoting Sunday Sacredness

Now, as the result of this, let us see what takes place within our church. “Men in responsible positions will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but from the sacred desk, will urge upon the people the observance of the first day of the week, pleading tradition and custom in behalf of this man–made institution.” Signs Of The Times, January 17, 1884.

Beloved, this sounds unbelievable! But do not forget, it is true, for the tares within the remnant church are not going to change. “The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.” The Great Controversy, 615.

But take courage! The remaining wheat, though few in number, will be filled with the Latter Rain and will give the Loud Cry. The results will be amazing! “Servants of God, endowed with power from on high with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction.” Early Writings, 278, 279.

It is at this time that we will discover that God has a plan by which He will quickly finish the work, for the honest souls who have answered the call and who have come out of Babylon will join the remnant and become the eleventh-hour workers, making it possible to quickly give the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Then we will see “…the Lord can do more in one hour than we can do in a whole lifetime, and when He sees that His people are fully consecrated, let me tell you, a great work will be done in a short time, and the message of truth is to be carried into the dark places of the earth, where it has never been proclaimed.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 347, 348.

Who are the Eleventh Hour Workers?

Now we are ready to explore these seven quotations describing the eleventh-hour workers. The first quotation tells us who the eleventh-hour workers are. “The laborers for the Master were His official servants, upon whom He laid the weightiest responsibilities to do His work…. Some were found waiting for work at the eleventh hour, only one hour before the close of the working–day.” Review and Herald, June 28, 1898. So these are going to be His official servants.

In the second quotation we find where these workers are now located. “There are diligent students of the word of prophecy in all parts of the world, who are obtaining light and still greater light from searching the Scriptures. This is true of all nations, of all tribes, and of all peoples. These will come from the grossest error, and will take the place of those who have had opportunities and privileges and have not prized them. These have worked out their own salvation with fear and trembling, lest they should become deficient in doing the ways and will of God, while those who have had great light, through the perversity of their own natural heart, turned away from Christ because they were displeased with His requirements. But God will not be left without witnesses. The one-hour laborers will be brought in at the eleventh hour, and will consecrate their ability and all their entrusted means to advance the work. These will receive the reward for their faithfulness, because they are true to principle, and shun not their duty to declare the whole counsel of God. When those who have had abundance of light throw off the restraint which the Word of God imposes, and make void His law, others will come in to fill their places and take their crown.” Review and Herald, June 15, 1897.

They are Not Seventh-day Adventists

Now let us analyze these two paragraphs.

  1. The eleventh hour people are scattered all over the world. They are native citizens of every country.
  2. They are not Seventh-day Adventists. How do we know this? Because the eleventh hour people are in gross doctrinal error. Adventists are not in doctrinal error. Ellen White specifically defines gross error as belief in Sunday sacredness, and in the immortality of the soul. (See The Great Controversy, 588.)
  3. Her use of the expression “great light” and “abundance of light” is confined to Seventh-day Adventists.
  4. She says that these (Seventh-day Adventists) would be the ones to throw off the restraints because they were displeased with God’s requirements.
  5. The eleventh-hour workers will take the place of the early workers who have not been true to principle for they had turned away from Christ. And here we find her most astounding prediction that these Seventh-day Adventists will make void the law of God.

The eleventh-hour people will take the crowns of those who failed to walk in the light.

How amazing!

Now we come to the third quotation, which tells us from where these eleventh-hour workers will come. “At the eleventh hour the Lord will gather a company out of the world to serve Him. There will be a converted ministry. Those who have had privileges and opportunities to become intelligent in regard to the truth, and yet who continue to counterwork the work God would have accomplished, will be purged out, for God accepts the service of no man whose interest is divided. He accepts the whole heart, or none.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 320.

As we meditate upon this third quotation, we discover it is not referring to some reform movement that comes out of the body of Adventism, but to a people who come out of the world, for the problem of the early workers was that they lacked conversion. Worse than that, they have counterworked God’s will. Their interests are divided. They will be purged out. The eleventh-hour workers, who are coming, come out of the world and will take their place. What painful words are these.

Who Will Finish the Work?

Now the fourth quotation reveals how the eleventh-hour worker will finish the job. “At the eleventh hour the Lord will call into His service many faithful workers. Self-sacrificing men and women will step into the places made vacant by apostasy and death. To young men and young women, as well as to those who are older, God will give power from above. With converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues, their lips touched with a living coal from the divine altar, they will go forth into the Master’s service, moving steadily onward and upward, carrying the work forward to completion.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 13, 1902.

Did you notice that the word “converted” was used three times? This is the problem of our church today. Only faithful workers will be called to the work. The eleventh-hour people carry the work to completion.

The fifth quotation describes the speed and the special power bestowed upon the eleventh-hour worker. “But I speak not my own words when I say that God’s Spirit will pass by those who have had their day of test and opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth.… These conversions to truth will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church, and God’s name alone will be glorified.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 16.

A previous quote said the early workers within the church were purged. Quotation five said they were passed by. Why? Because they failed to understand their day of opportunity. The early workers did not know God’s voice when they heard it. They did not appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit. They did not glorify God. Thousands of people will see and acknowledge the truth at the eleventh hour. The work will be finished so fast that the church will be surprised.

“A great work is to be done in a short time.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888. “In Ezekiel’s vision… The bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning represents the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 754. What a promise!

The sixth quotation reveals that these eleventh-hour workers will enter the vineyard and make possible a finished work. It says, “There are many souls to come out of the ranks of the world, out of the churches—even the Catholic Church—whose zeal will far exceed that of those who have stood in rank and file to proclaim the truth heretofore. For this reason the eleventh hour laborers will receive their penny. These will see the battle coming and will give the trumpet a certain sound. [Praise God!] When the crisis is upon us, when the season of calamity shall come, they will come to the front, gird themselves with the whole armor of God, and exalt His law, adhere to the faith of Jesus, and maintain the cause of religious liberty which reformers defended with toil and for which they sacrificed their lives.…” Selected Messages, Book 3, 386, 387.

Keeping the Commandments of God

Now let us take note. These eleventh-hour people come out of the world and out of other churches, even the Catholic Church. They are not a movement coming out of Adventism. The people who will finish God’s work are still in the ranks of the world, that is, in other churches. Nothing could be more plainly stated. And, consider carefully, will these eleventh-hour workers observe the Sabbath? The answer is “Yes, beyond any doubt.”

How do we know this? Because they will “exalt His law.” How could they possibly exalt His law and not keep the Sabbath? How could they have the faith of Jesus and not understand the conditional immortality and other connected and essential truths? They are the eleventh-hour people.

The sixth quotation ties the parable beyond any doubt to a future time. We have not yet entered a season of calamity as a church. As yet there has been no overwhelming religious liberty crisis. I believe this will take place when the mark of the beast is enforced. We will be faced with a crisis of persecution and difficulty such as we have never dreamed. But praise the Lord! God has a plan to finish the work with the eleventh-hour workers.

The seventh and last quotation reveals the saddest information of all, for it tells us that the early workers within the church will find that their lamps will go out. “Many souls who have come from other denominational churches and, at the eleventh hour, will obey all the truth because they have not set themselves in array against heaven’s light but lived up to all the light they had; while those who have had great light, large privileges and opportunities and have failed to live in the light and walk in the light will drop out by the way. Their light will shine less and less until their lamps will go out for the want of the oil of the grace in their vessels with their lamps.” Letter 36a, 1890.

Remember, “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message,… abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy popular side….They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren.” The Great Controversy, 608.

Opposing Heaven’s Light

These quotations are painful for us to read, but they are not difficult to understand. With slight variation they each tell the same basic story. For want of grace the lamps of the early workers go out. Why? Because they have opposed heaven’s light. “The majority forsake us.” That means more than half. Half may be a conservative estimate. Ellen White says a large class currently in our pews will unite with the world and become our bitterest enemies. They will deceive and mislead souls.

Finally, it is clear beyond any misunderstanding that, in the last hour of time, God will call a new team of workers into His vineyard. People from other churches will pick up the torch of truth and finish the work. We have always felt that no one else could take our place. Ancient Israel had the same false security—and how wrong they were.

Mrs. White has made plain that God’s people will go through, but shaken and sifted. There is no question that truth will triumph. God has expanded this parable in her writings, not to sadden us, but to give us courage for the future. God has His people everywhere. They will come from unexpected places. Praise the Lord! Thus unfamiliar names and unfamiliar faces may largely lead the work of God in the eleventh hour.

We may try to avoid the unpleasant character of these predictions. We might look for a fulfillment sometime in the past, but the internal evidence in these quotations rules out any past fulfillment. These eleventh-hour events are obviously all still future. These are final hour events, eleventh-hour events, to take place just before our Lord returns.

Humble and Uneducated

“Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80, 81.

On examining this comment it is clear that education and talent are not the ultimate qualifications of the eleventh-hour workers, for “few great men will be engaged.” What God needs is a total dependence on Him. We are told that the faithful servants are not yet disclosed to view. They do not have our light, but they have a genuine Christian character.

When everything turns dark, we will see them. Beloved, here is a description of the coming massive interchange. “In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world’s insignia; the other was led by the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 41.

Thank God for such heavenly insight. “As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks…. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 400.

So we have been given the nature of this final conflict to come. It is a time of mortal conflict, when company after company will leave us. Such an exodus has not yet taken place. We have not yet seen the day that tribe after tribe, from the ranks of the enemy, have joined us. It is true that, from time to time, individual ministers from other faiths have joined us, but the picture given here is one of an enormous interchange, not an individual or a few people here and there.

Filling the Ranks

The scenes appear to be simultaneous. While the companies leave us, whole tribes will join us.. It would be rational to believe that these tribes are the eleventh-hour laborers. Soon we may expect a manifestation of the great power of God, for Ellen White says, “The Lord can do more in one hour than we can do in a lifetime, and when He sees that His people are fully consecrated, let me tell you, a great work will be done in a short time, and the message of truth is to be carried into the dark places of the earth, where it has never been proclaimed.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 347, 348.

As you have read these inspired quotations, I trust you have felt the divine impression that God is only waiting for an adequate number of fully consecrated people who will cooperate with Him in finishing the work. Will you be ready? I hope so, for God will soon put His hand to His final work. He will call faithful, humble people wherever He can find them. He will finish His work using only consecrated people. This work will be accomplished against incredible resistance. God will do His work quickly, and He will do it to the eternal glory of Jesus Christ.

Beloved, it is now time for the faithful remnant to prepare for this coming crisis in total consecration to God and His message. The servant of the Lord has told us in The Great Controversy, 464, “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children.”

We, as God’s end-time people, have now come to the time of this last great revival and reformation which is to take place among the remaining wheat. This will prepare the faithful few for the great outpouring of the Latter Rain which will enable the sealed saints to call out of Babylon the eleventh-hour workers, who will then join with us and together, with converted minds, converted hands, converted feet and converted tongues, with lips touched with a living coal from the divine altar, carry the work forward to completion.

Praise God! It will happen! And Jesus will come for His saints. Will you not pray and prepare for this final revival of primitive godliness, which has not been seen since apostolic times, that we, with the eleventh-hour workers, may quickly gather in the harvest that Jesus may come?

Bible Study Guides – Revelation of God’s Love in the Law

May 26 – June 1, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37–40.

INTRODUCTION: “Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. This is made plain in the law that God has given as the guide of life. . . . To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient one, with the whole strength and mind and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being—the body, the mind, as well as the soul—the image of God is to be restored.” Reflecting Christ, 51.

Suggested Reading: Prophets and Kings, 15–22.

  1. What kind of a law did God make? Romans 7:12; Psalm 119:142, 151.

NOTE: “Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakable language He presents obedience to it as the condition of eternal life—the same condition that was required of Adam before his fall. The Lord expects no less of the soul now than He expected of man in Paradise, perfect obedience, unblemished righteousness. The requirement under the covenant of grace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden—harmony with God’s law, which is holy, just, and good.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 391.

  1. How enduring is God’s law? Matthew 5:18.

NOTE: “The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man’s creation, and will endure as long as God’s throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of His law in order to save men; for the law is the foundation of His government. It is unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal. In order for man to be saved, and for the honor of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He died for us on Calvary. His death shows the wonderful love of God for man, and the immutability of His law. . . .” Lift Him Up, 147.

  1. What is the underlying principle of God’s law? Matthew 22:37–40; John 14:15.

NOTE: “The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all created beings depended upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love,—homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced allegiance, and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.” The Great Controversy (1888), 493.

  1. What is the nature of the law that will judge God’s people? James 2:12.

NOTE: “In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 466.

  1. Why does God require obedience to the commandments? Deuteronomy 30:16; Jeremiah 7:23; Psalm 19:7–11.

NOTE: “Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God’s law. Perfect obedience, revealed in thought, word, and deed, is as essential now as when the lawyer asked Christ, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘What is written in the law? how readest thou? . . . this do, and thou shalt live’ (Luke 10:25–28).” That I May Know Him, 299.

  1. What was Lucifer’s goal in Heaven? Isaiah 14:12–14.

NOTE: “God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan’s purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God’s law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God’s plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. ‘Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10.” The Desire of Ages, 762.

  1. What is to be our attitude towards the Law of God? Psalms 119:97; 1:2.

NOTE: “The law of love is the foundation of God’s government, and the service of love the only service acceptable to Heaven. God has granted freedom of will to all, endowed men with capacity to appreciate His character, and therefore with ability to love Him and to choose His service. So long as created beings worshiped God they were in harmony throughout the universe. While love to God was supreme, love to others abounded. As there was no transgression of the law, which is the transcript of God’s character, no note of discord jarred the celestial harmonies.” That I May Know Him, 366.

  1. How are we to pray as we see the Sunday laws coming in? Psalm 119:126.

NOTE: “Men have gone on in disobedience to God’s law until they have reached a point of insolence that is unparalleled. Men are training in disobedience, and are fast approaching the limit of God’s forbearance and love; and God will surely interfere. He will surely vindicate His honor and repress the prevailing iniquity. Will God’s commandment-keeping people be carried away with the prevailing iniquity? Will they be tempted, because universal scorn is placed upon the Law of God, to think less of that law which is the foundation of His government both in heaven and in earth? No. To His church His law becomes more precious, holy, honorable, as men cast upon it scorn and contempt.” Testimonies to Ministers, 21.

  1. How are we to know if the messages we hear are truth or error? Isaiah 8:20; John 5:39.

NOTE: “Teachers of falsehood will arise to draw you away from the narrow path and the strait gate. Beware of them; though concealed in sheep’s clothing, inwardly they are ravening wolves. Jesus gives a test by which false teachers may be distinguished from the true. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits,’ He says. ‘Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?’

“We are not bidden to prove them by their fair speeches and exalted professions. They are to be judged by the Word of God. [Isaiah 8:20 quoted.] ‘Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.’ Proverbs 19:27. What message do these teachers bring? Does it lead you to reverence and fear God? Does it lead you to manifest your love for Him by loyalty to His commandments? If men do not feel the weight of the moral law; if they make light of God’s precepts; if they break one of the least of His commandments, and teach men so, they shall be of no esteem in the sight of heaven. We may know that their claims are without foundation. They are doing the very work that originated with the prince of darkness, the enemy of God.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 145.

  1. What does Jesus promise us if we keep His commandments? John 14:13–15, 15:7–12; 1 John 3:22.

NOTE: “If we live according to His Word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.” The Ministry of Healing, 226, 227.

  1. What is God’s definition of sin? 1 John 3:4.

NOTE: “It is no light matter to sin against God, to set the perverse will of man in opposition to the will of his Maker. It is for the best interest of men . . . to obey God’s commandments.” The Sanctified Life, 76.

  1. What price was paid for the breaking of God’s law? Isaiah 53:3–7; Romans 5:6.

NOTE: “There are but few who have an appreciation of the grievous character of sin, and who comprehend the greatness of the ruin that has resulted from the transgression of God’s law. By examining the wonderful plan of redemption to restore the sinner to the moral image of God, we see that the only means for man’s deliverance was wrought out by the self-sacrifice, and the unparalleled condescension and love of the Son of God. He alone had the strength to fight the battles with the great adversary of God and man, and, as our substitute and surety, He has given power to those who lay hold of Him by faith, to become victors in His name, and through His merits.” Christian Education, 112.

  1. What is the reward to those who keep the commandments? Revelation 22:14.

NOTE: “The redeemed saints, who have loved God and kept His commandments here, will enter in through the gates of the city, and have right to the tree of life. They will eat freely of it as our first parents did before their fall. The leaves of that immortal widespread tree will be for the healing of the nations. All their woes will then be gone. Sickness, sorrow, and death they will never again feel, for the leaves of the tree of life have healed them. Jesus will then see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, when the redeemed, who have been subject to sorrow, toil, and afflictions, who have groaned beneath the curse, are gathered up around that tree of life to eat of its immortal fruit, that our first parents forfeited all right to, by breaking God’s commands.” My Life Today, 355.

By Ruth Grosboll

From the Pen of Inspiration – Delusions of the Last Days

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588.

The signs and wonders of Spiritualism will become more and more pronounced as the professed Christian world rejects the plainly revealed truth of the Word of God, and refuses to be guided by a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” accepting instead the doctrines and the commandments of men. Through rejecting light and truth many are deciding their destiny for eternal death; and as men reject truth, the Spirit of God will gradually withdraw itself from the earth, and the prince of this earth will have more and more control over his subjects. He will show great signs and wonders as credentials of his divine claims, and through Spiritualism will work against Christ and his agencies.

The Scriptures positively forbid intercourse with evil angels on the supposition of communion with the dead. Through this deception Satan can educate souls in his school of falsehood, and make of none effect the lessons that Christ would teach, which, if practiced, would result in the eternal life of those who obey. Satan is seeking to form a great confederacy of evil by uniting fallen men and fallen angels. . . .

The great power that attends Spiritualism has its origin in the great leading rebel, Satan, the prince of devils. It is through his artifice that evil angels have been able to substitute themselves for the dead, and through lying hypocrisy they have led men to have intercourse with devils. Those who commune with the supposed spirits of the dead are communing with those who will have a corrupting, demoralizing power upon the mind. Christ commanded that we should have no intercourse with sorcerers and with those who have familiar spirits. This class are represented in the Gospel as among those who shall perish in their iniquity,—”the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” [Revelation 21:8.]

For years Spiritualism has been growing in strength and gaining in popularity by advocating a certain kind of faith in Christ, and thus many Protestants are becoming infatuated with this mystery of iniquity. It is little wonder that they are deluded, when they persistently retain the error that, as soon as the breath leaves the body, the spirit goes immediately to heaven or hell. Through the hold this doctrine has upon them the way is prepared for the delusive working of the prince of the power of the air. Satan personated the serpent in Eden, regarding this creature as best adapted for his line of temptations. Satan has been increasing in skillful methods by constantly practicing upon the human mind. It is his one purpose to complete the work which he began in Eden, and work the ruin of mankind. Through his mysterious workings he can insinuate himself into the circles of the most educated and refined, for he was once an exalted being, in a high position of responsibility among the heavenly hosts. It is a mistake to represent him as a monstrous being with hoofs and horns, for he is still a fallen angel. He is capable of uniting the highest intellectual greatness with the basest cruelty and the most degrading corruption. If he had not this power, many would escape his snares who are now charmed with his attractive representations and taken captive by his delusions.

As the Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from the earth, Satan’s power will be more and more manifest. The knowledge that he had through being in connection with God, as a covering cherub, he will now use to subordinate his subjects who fell from their high estate. He will use every power of his exalted intellect to misrepresent God and to instigate rebellion against Jesus Christ, the Commander of heaven. In the synagogue of Satan he brings under his scepter, and into his counsels, those agents whom he can use to promote his worship. It is not a strange matter to find a species of refinement, and a manifestation of intellectual greatness, in the lives and characters of those who are inspired by fallen angels. Satan can impart scientific knowledge, and give men chapters upon philosophy. He is conversant with history, and versed in worldly wisdom.

Almost every phase of talent is now being brought into captivity to the prince of the power of darkness. Worldly minded men, because they wish to exalt themselves, and have separated from God, do not love to retain God in their knowledge, for they claim to possess a higher, grander intellect than that of Jesus Christ. Satan envies Christ, and makes the claim that he is entitled to a higher position than the Commander of heaven. His self-exaltation led him to despise the law of God, and resulted in his expulsion from heaven.

Through the Papacy he has manifested his character, and brought out the principles of his government. Of this power the apostle Paul says: “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. . . . For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. . . . Shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7–12.] . . .

Satan will use his agencies to carry out diabolical devices, to overpower the saints of God, as in times past he used the Roman power to stay the course of Protestantism; yet the people of God can look calmly at the whole array of evil, and come to the triumphant conclusion that because Christ lives we shall live also. The people of God are to advance in the same spirit in which Jesus met the assaults of the prince of darkness in the past. The evil confederacy can advance only in the course which Jesus has marked out before them; every step of their advance brings the saints of God nearer the great white throne, nearer the successful termination of their warfare. The confederacy of evil will finally be destroyed; for the prophet says, “Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” [Malachi 4:1.] Even of him whose heart was lifted up because of his beauty, who corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness, the Lord says: “I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” [Ezekiel 28:18, 19.] The Signs of the Times, May 28, 1894.

Bible Study Guides – The Attempted Change

November 19, 2006 – November 25, 2006

Key Text

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 11 Thessalonians 2:3.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 444–450.


“That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ.” The Great Controversy, 52.

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:4–10.

1 What is the relationship between the Sabbath and the Law of God? Exodus 20:1–17; Deuteronomy 11:13; Matthew 22:37–40.

note: “The first and second commandments spoken by Jehovah are precepts against idolatry, which if practiced would lead men to great lengths in sin and rebellion, and result in the offering of human sacrifices. God would guard against the least approach to such abominations. The first four commandments were given to show men their duty to God. The fourth is the connecting link between the great God and man. The Sabbath especially, was given for the benefit of man, and for the honor of God. These last six precepts show the duty of man to his fellow-man.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 266, 267.

“In the heart of the law is the commandment enjoining upon man the observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah, which the world and the church have trodden under their feet. For centuries men have walked in blindness concerning the true Sabbath, and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now is the day of reformation, and he calls upon men everywhere to repent. When the light of God’s disregarded commandment shone upon the path of those who sincerely loved God, they delayed not to keep his statutes.” The Signs of the Times, February 3, 1888.

2 Can any part of the law be changed without affecting our relationship with God? Matthew 5:17–19; 15:9.

note: “Those who teach for doctrines the commandments of men make void the law of God thru [sic] their tradition. . . . Just as long as the heavens remain above us, and the earth is beneath our feet, there can be no semblance of excuse for any power in heaven or earth to change the law of God.” The Signs of the Times, March 20, 1901.

“If the law of God could have been changed, or altered in one of its statutes, it would have been so altered when sin originated in heaven, when the brightest son of the morning, who was good, noble, and lovely above all the beings that God had created, found fault with the precepts of that law in the counsels of angels. If ever a change was to have been made, it would have been accomplished when rebellion revealed itself in heaven, and so have prevented the great apostasy of the angels. The fact that no change was made in God’s administration, even when the most exalted of the angels drew away from allegiance to God’s law, is evidence enough to reasonable minds that the law, the foundation of God’s government, will not relax its claims to save the willful transgressor.” Ibid., April 28, 1890.

3 What Scripture predicts that man will attempt to change the Law of God? Daniel 7:23–25; 11 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.

note: “That the law which was spoken by God’s own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For ‘whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.’ James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan’s power. By substituting human law for God’s law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, ‘He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand.’ Daniel 7:25.” The Desire of Ages, 763.

4 What evidences show that Satan’s specific attack on the law is in regard to worship? 11 Thessalonians 2:5–11; Isaiah 14:12–14; Matthew 4:8–10.

note: “The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws.’ Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.

“The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as ‘the venerable day of the sun.’ ” The Great Controversy, 51, 52.

5 What has God given as a sign of allegiance to Him? Exodus 31:13–17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

note: “Gather from the Scriptures the proofs that God has sanctified the seventh day, and let these proofs be read before the congregation. Let those who have not heard the truth be shown that all who turn aside from a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ must suffer the result of their course. In all ages the Sabbath has been the test of loyalty to God. ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever,’ the Lord declares. [Exodus 31:17.]” Gospel Workers, 148, 149.

6 To whom is Sunday, “the venerable day of the sun,” a sign of allegiance? Deuteronomy 17:2–5; 11 Kings 23:5; Ezekiel 8:16–18.

note: “The day of the sun, Sunday, was a day devoted to the most vile of the heathen worship, for it was celebrated in connection with sun-worship. This Sunday-sabbath has been accepted by many who know it to be the foundling of heathenism, which has been cherished and nourished by the Church of Rome, and by her clothed in the garments of sanctity. But while many are now aware of its origin, there are true Christians in every church who do not know the origin of the Sunday-sabbath, and believe that they are keeping the day which God sanctified and blest. This is true of worshipers even in the Catholic Church; and while this ignorance and integrity remain, God accepts of their sincerity; but when light shall fall upon their pathway, God requires them to come into harmony with his law, and to observe the Sabbath of his appointing.” The Signs of the Times, November 19, 1894.

7 When we come to a knowledge of God’s will, what should our attitude be? Acts 5:29; 1 Samuel 15:22.

note: “We are to receive this [God’s] word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men.” The Acts of the Apostles, 69.

8 How do we know that God is reasonable and does not require anything that is unreasonable? Isaiah 1:18, 19; Romans 12:2.

note: “God is merciful. His requirements are reasonable, in accordance with the goodness and benevolence of his character. The object of the Sabbath was that all mankind might be benefited. Man was not made to fit the Sabbath; for the Sabbath was made after the creation of man, to meet his necessities. God rested, after he had made the world in six days. He sanctified and blessed the day upon which he rested from all his work which he had created and made. He set apart that special day for man to rest from his labor, and reflect, as he should look upon the earth beneath, and the heavens above, that God made all these in six days, and rested upon the seventh; and that his heart might be filled with love and reverence to his Maker, as he should behold the tangible proofs of his infinite wisdom.” Review and Herald, May 30, 1871.

9 What does God call each believer to do? Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Joshua 24:14, 15.

note: “After presenting the goodness of God toward Israel, Joshua called upon the people, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve. The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored now to bring the people to a decision that they would banish this sin from Israel. ‘If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord,’ he said, ‘choose ye this day whom ye will serve.’ [Joshua 24:15.] Joshua desired to lead them to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly. Love to God is the very foundation of religion. To engage in his service merely from the hope of reward or the fear of punishment, would avail nothing. Open apostasy would not be more offensive to God than hypocrisy and mere formal worship.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 20, 1901.

“The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.” Steps to Christ, 47. [Emphasis in original.]

10 How does God view man’s substitutions in place of His directions in religious matters? Leviticus 10:1, 2; Numbers 3:4.

note: “The priests who burned incense before the Lord were required to use the fire of God’s kindling, which burned day and night, and was never extinguished. God gave explicit directions how every part of his service should be conducted, that all connected with his sacred worship might be in accordance with his holy character. And any deviation from the express directions of God in connection with his holy service was punishable with death. . . .

“Aaron’s sons took the common fire which God did not accept, and they offered insult to the infinite God by presenting this strange fire before him. God consumed them by fire for their positive disregard of his express directions.” Review and Herald, March 25, 1875.

11 What will be the result if we venture today to substitute man’s idea of proper worship in place of God’s explicit directions? Isaiah 50:11; 2:11, 12.

note: “Those who ignore the Lord’s Sabbath to keep holy the first day of the week, offer strange fire to God. It is a strange sabbath, which He has commanded them not. Will He accept it at their hands? Men have sought out many inventions. They have taken a common day, upon which God has placed no sanctity, and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives. They have declared it to be a holy day, but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity. They dishonor God by accepting human institutions and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day which has no ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for its authority. As did Nadab and Abihu, they offer the common in place of the sacred.” The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1898.

“The punishment visited upon the sons of Aaron for their sin in departing from God’s commandment, should be a warning to those who transgress the fourth commandment of Jehovah, which is very plain.” Ibid., July 8, 1880.

Personal Review

Sparks of Their Own Kindling—“This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.” The Great Controversy, 52.

“In the near future it will be seen just who have been walking humbly with God, and who have been obeying His orders. Those who have been walking in the sparks of their own kindling will lie down in sorrow. It will be seen that they have made a terrible mistake. O let us awake! Light is now shining; let the windows of the mind and heart be opened to welcome the heaven-sent rays.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 259.

Papal Substitution—“ ‘To obey is better than sacrifice.’ [1 Samuel 15:22.] This lesson is of special importance at the present time, when the claims of God’s law are urged upon our attention. The light now shining from the sacred word reveals the fact that an alien power has tampered with the statutes of Jehovah. The papacy, ‘the man of sin,’ [11 Thessalonians 2:3] has attempted to change the times and laws of divine appointment. The Creator of the heavens and the earth commanded, ‘The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.’ [Exodus 20:10.] This command was enforced by the example of its Author, proclaimed with his own voice, and placed in the very bosom of the decalogue. But the papal power has removed this divine ordinance, and substituted a day which God has not sanctified, and upon which he did not rest, the festival so long adored by heathens as the ‘venerable day of the sun.’ ” The Signs of the Times, September 14, 1882.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – Sunday in the Scriptures

November 12, 2006 – November 18, 2006

Key Text

“Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Corinthians 16:2.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 283–289; 788–794.


“Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 411.

“Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with [my] whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and [in] the congregation. The works of the Lord [are] great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord [is] gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure.” Psalm 111:1–7.

1 What is the first reference to the first day of the week (Sunday) in the New Testament? Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1.

2 What were the followers of Jesus doing on that day that indicates that it was not a special day for worship? Luke 23:56; 24:1.

note: “The spices with which the body of Jesus was to be anointed had been prepared on the day preceding the Sabbath. Early in the morning of the first day of the week, the Marys, with certain other women, went to the sepulcher to proceed with the work of embalming the body of the Saviour. As they neared the garden, they were surprised to see the heavens beautifully lighted up, and the earth trembling beneath their feet. They hastened to the sepulcher, and were astonished to find that the stone was rolled away from the door, and that the Roman guard were not there. They noticed a light shining about the tomb, and, looking in, saw that it was empty.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 198.

3 When Mary saw Jesus, did He give any indication that the first day was to henceforth be regarded as a sacred day of worship? Mark 16:9; John 20:11–17.

note: “But now in His own familiar voice Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Now she knew that it was not a stranger who was addressing her, and turning she saw before her the living Christ. In her joy she forgot that He had been crucified. Springing toward Him, as if to embrace His feet, she said, ‘Rabboni.’ But Christ raised His hand, saying, Detain Me not; ‘for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.’ [John 20:17.] And Mary went her way to the disciples with the joyful message.” The Desire of Ages, 790.

4 What were the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples? John 20:19–23.

note: “The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon his disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of their Saviour, that in purity, faith, and obedience, they might exalt the law, and make it honorable. God’s law is the expression of his character. By obedience to its requirements we meet God’s standard of character. Thus the disciples were to witness for Christ.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1899.

5 After Jesus breathed the Holy Ghost on His disciples, was there any indication of a change in their obligation to the law and the Sabbath?

note: “[John 20:20–23 quoted.] Thus the disciples received their commission. They were to teach and to preach in Christ’s name. The instruction given them had in it the vital, spiritual breath that is in Christ. He alone could give them the oil which they must have in order to work successfully. Christ’s likeness must appear in them. They could be successful only as they studied their Master’s character and followed his example.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1899.

6 Eight days later when He met with them for the second time, what message was given to them? John 20:26–31.

note: “Many who are given to doubt excuse themselves by saying that if they had the evidence which Thomas had from his companions, they would believe. They do not realize that they have not only that evidence, but much more. Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, will never realize their desire. They gradually become confirmed in unbelief. Those who educate themselves to look on the dark side, and murmur and complain, know not what they do. They are sowing the seeds of doubt, and they will have a harvest of doubt to reap. At a time when faith and confidence are most essential, many will thus find themselves powerless to hope and believe.” The Desire of Ages, 807, 808.

7 Where do we find the next reference to the first day of the week? 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.

8 What did the apostle mean when he said “lay by him” (see marginal reading for 1 Corinthians 16:2)? Was this a meeting in the church?

note: “Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence. ‘Let every one of you lay by him in store [by himself at home], . . . that there be no gatherings when I come.’ [1 Corinthians 16:2.] The burden of urging and pressing individuals to give of their means was not designed to be the work of God’s ministers. The responsibility should rest upon every individual who enjoys the belief of the truth. ‘Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.’ Every member of the family, from the oldest down to the youngest, may take part in this work of benevolence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 411, 412.

9 Did the apostle put any religious significance on this day when he designates it as the “first day of the week” in 1 Corinthians 16:2? Ezekiel 46:1.

10 Should the Sabbath be a day when we count our income? Exodus 31:14, 15.

note: “When the Sabbath begins, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do any manner of our own work for a livelihood, or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. . . .

“Those who are not fully converted to the truth, frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath-breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Gospel Workers (1892), 207, 208.

11 In Acts 20:7, we find the only recorded public meeting on the first day of the week. How often did they assemble to “break bread”? Acts 2:42, 46.

12 When did this meeting begin and how long did it last? Acts 20:7, 8, 11.

13 Since the creation record informs us that the day begins at sunset (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), we can see that this meeting was held on Saturday evening. Why did Paul hold a meeting on this evening?

note: “Upon the last evening of his tarry with them, the brethren ‘came together to break bread.’ [Acts 20:7.] The fact that their beloved teacher was about to depart, had called together a larger company than usual. They assembled in an upper room on the third story, the coolest and pleasantest place for such a gathering on that warm spring evening. The nights were then dark, but many lights were burning in the chamber. Paul’s mind was impressed with a sense of the perils that awaited him, and the uncertainty of again meeting with his brethren; he had matters of great interest and importance to present before them; and in the earnestness of his love and solicitude for them, he preached until midnight.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 196, 197.

14 Where was Paul going? Did he believe that he would ever see the brethren again? Acts 20:16, 22, 25.

note: “Since his conversion, Paul’s visits to Jerusalem had always been attended with anxiety, and with a feeling of remorse as he gazed upon scenes that recalled his former life. There was the school of Gamaliel, where he had received his education, the synagogue in which he worshiped, the house where the high priest had given him his commission to Damascus, the spot where the blood of Stephen had witnessed for Christ. As the apostle gazed upon the place for martyrdom, the scene in all its vividness rose up before him. Was he going forward to a similar fate? Never had he trod the streets of Jerusalem with so sad a heart as now.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 206.

15 On which day does the apostle John say he was in the spirit? Revelation 1:10.

16 Of which day did Jesus say He was the Lord? Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5.

17 Which day did He declare was “my holy day”? Isaiah 58:13.

note: “The Sabbath was made for all mankind, and was instituted in Eden before the fall of man. The Creator called it ‘my holy day.’ [Isaiah 58:13.] Christ announced himself as ‘the Lord of the Sabbath.’ [Mark 2:28.] Beginning with creation, it is as old as the human race, and having been made for man it will exist as long as man shall exist.” The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894.

18 What is the only day according to Scripture that can be termed the “Lord’s day”?

note: “It was on the Sabbath that the Lord of glory appeared to the exiled apostle. The Sabbath was as sacredly observed by John on Patmos as when he was preaching to the people in the towns and cities of Judea. He claimed as his own the precious promises that had been given regarding that day. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,’ John writes, ‘and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. . . . And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of man.’ Revelation 1:10–13.” The Acts of the Apostles, 581, 582.

Personal Review

“He Is Risen!”—“The women who had stood by the cross of Christ waited and watched for the hours of the Sabbath to pass. On the first day of the week, very early, they made their way to the tomb, taking with them precious spices to anoint the Saviour’s body. They did not think about His rising from the dead. The sun of their hope had set, and night had settled down on their hearts. As they walked, they recounted Christ’s works of mercy and His words of comfort. But they remembered not His words, ‘I will see you again.’ John 16:22. . . .

“He is risen, He is risen! The women repeat the words again and again. No need now for the anointing spices. The Saviour is living, and not dead. They remember now that when speaking of His death He said that He would rise again. What a day is this to the world! Quickly the women departed from the sepulcher ‘with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.’ [Matthew 28:8.]” The Desire of Ages, 788, 789.

Obedience At Any Cost—“This subject opens before the earnest seeker after truth. It becomes more and more clear to him that God has not changed or altered the thing that has gone out of his lips. He sees the sanctity and blessing placed upon the seventh day, and the necessity for its observance. The more earnestly he investigates this subject, the more convinced he becomes of the truth of God’s word, as seen in the law of the ten commandments. His interest in truth is tested, his love for God proved, as he advances. If he submits his will to God’s will, all will be well. If he chooses obedience to God’s commandments at any cost, his peace and happiness will increase.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Prophecies on God’s Church in the End Time, Part II

The following quotation is one that many Adventists do not want to apply to themselves. They look only to the other churches, applying the warning to them: “I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches had crucified these [Three Angels’] messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare.” Early Writings, 261.

Does that apply to Adventists today? Can we crucify Christ today? When Ellen White compares the crucifixion of Christ with the crucifixion of the Three Angels’ Messages, she describes an undermining of the Word by those who were aiming to destroy the fundamental beliefs of Adventism. God gave His people warning messages. It is Satan’s aim to destroy the sanctuary message and the Three Angels’ Messages.

An Effective Tool

Organization is good. It is a tool for the church, but the organization itself is not the church. Ellen White wrote of this and of Satan’s aim concerning the Adventist organization: “As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion, and the work would not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work in new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable. . . .

“We sought the Lord with earnest prayer that we might understand His will, and light was given by His Spirit that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church—that organization was essential. System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God’s people on the earth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 26.

“Oh, how Satan would rejoice to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God!” Ibid., 228.

“Organizations, institutions, unless kept by the power of God, will work under Satan’s dictation to bring men under the control of men; and fraud and guile will bear the semblance of zeal for truth, and for the advancement of the kingdom of God.” Ibid., 494. Satan’s methods are practiced even among Seventh-day Adventists who claim to have the advantage of truth.

This danger was already visible in Ellen White’s time! Many Seventh-day Adventists do not recognize that Satan already works through the organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, but he has a very effective tool in his hand. He can bring men under the control of other men.

Fallen Preachers

Ellen White warns us of fallen leaders and preachers, for through their influence whole churches have been and will be defiled. “If those who hold positions of trust in connection with our institutions, or in connection with the church, make self first, if their hands are defiled in any way, and they do not reflect in character the image of the divine One, they are bodies of darkness.” Review and Herald, February 27, 1894.

“We are in a day when iniquity abounds. There are those who have but little moral sense; self-pollution has been practiced, and the moral powers are benumbed. Such have no just sense of holiness or purity. They are corrupt, and will corrupt others. Miserable wrecks of humanity are everywhere. Some put on a religious garb; but the soul is defiled, and they corrupt other minds. They call evil good, and good evil. They are Satan’s most efficient agents, and individuals of this stamp will connect with our institutions and with God’s instrumentalities, masking their evil ways under a pretension of godliness.” Pamphlet 167, Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 38, 39.

She is describing those men who will be the reason for evil deeds, and when people follow these men, they will be separated from God. We are warned of those who defile institutions; we should never put our trust in men, but only in Christ and in His Word. All who trust in preachers who bring them nice and sweet words to calm them down are cursed. “The people are too willing to believe their teachers without careful thought and prayerful investigation of God’s word. They love to have their consciences quieted,—love to be rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security. In their blind selfishness, they deceive themselves in those things wherein they are willing to be deceived.” The Signs of the Times, March 6, 1884.

“Men who have perverted truth, misapplied Scripture, and who have become blinded by resisting the word which is truth, form the great apostate power of the last day. It belongs to the same order as the power which the Lord Jesus revealed to John as drunken with the blood of saints. It is to pursue the same line of action, determined to rule or ruin. The crisis is right upon us, and many will be deceived. Men who have all their life had opportunity to learn of Christ, but who have tenaciously clung to their own habits and practices, unwilling to change their own course of action and walk in the light, will act like blind men. They will accept everything that will coincide with their own ideas.” The Bible Echo, January 25, 1897.

End Time Apostasy

Ellen White predicts a dramatic apostasy in the end time. “Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 197. Can you already see part of those startling things happening around you?

“I [Ellen White] knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people.” Ibid., 203.

Do you know what the Alpha crisis has been among the Adventist people? You can read about it in Book 1 of Selected Messages. This crisis and what God told us these situations are teaching are helpful to us in the end time crisis.

“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.” Ibid., 204.

“We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art, which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit pr eachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last; and those who are guilty of transactions that should never be entered into, when reproved or counseled through the Lord’s appointed agencies, will resist the message and refuse to be corrected. They will go on as did Pharaoh, and Nebuchadnezzar, until the Lord takes away their reason, and their hearts become unimpressible. The Lord’s Word will come to them; but if they choose not to hear it, the Lord will make them responsible for their own ruin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1170.

Is this being fulfilled today? We still have a time of mercy, although the time of mercy for Seventh-day Adventists is ending earlier than for the rest of the world, which has not yet had the opportunity to hear the truth. “Oh, that the people might know the time of their visitation! There are many who have not yet heard the testing truth for this time. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God’s destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 97.

Ellen White stated that in her time she already had the impression that some pastors had gone too far, as they could not repent. “I inquire of those in responsible positions in Battle Creek, What are you doing? You have turned your back, and not your face, to the Lord. There needs to be a cleansing of the heart, the feelings, the sympathies, the words, in reference to the most momentous subjects—the Lord God, eternity, truth. What is the message to be given at this time? It is the third angel’s message. But that light which is to fill the whole earth with its glory has been despised by some who claim to believe the present truth. Be careful how you treat it. Take off the shoes from off your feet; for you are on holy ground. Beware how you indulge the attributes of Satan, and pour contempt upon the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. I know not but some have even now gone too far to return and to repent.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 89, 90.

When I look around among the German people and talk with our pastors, I only can agree with that impression. They cannot any longer see the truth. They are equally as blind as were the Pharisees who could not believe that God would cast off His people. But they forgot one thing—all prophesying of God is connected to conditions; promises are connected to conditions. They did not fulfill the conditions, but they liked to take the promises. Are we the same?

Fatal Choice

“Unsanctified ministers are arraying themselves against God. They are praising Christ and the god of this world in the same breath. While professedly they receive Christ, they embrace Barabbas, and by their actions say, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ ” Ibid., 409. Well, sure, all of those churches around us are this way, but keep on reading. “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. ‘If thou hadst known,’ said Christ, ‘even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’ [Luke 19:42.]” Ibid., 409, 410.

Where will the faithful pastors and ministers be? Together with the professed people of God when they are in apostasy? The faithful ministers will be removed from the so-called Adventist people. We need to learn to distinguish between the real people of God and the so-called people of God.

What do we experience as the faithful ministers or preachers are removed from the so-called Adventist people? Are they separated from the true people of God? No, they are separated from the so-called or professed people of God. We must learn and know the difference. If we do not learn this differentiation, we will confuse and mix all the quotations of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy that talk about the people of God. There is only one true people of God.


“Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God’s mercies.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212. About whom is this talking? It is talking about the ministers of God who once were His faithful ministers, bestowed with His presence and His guidance, but they departed from Christ and led others into error. Therefore, they are brought under divine displeasure.

Some Adventists do not discern this apostasy, and they are warned through the following quotations: “Men of finite judgment cannot see that in patterning after these men who have so often opened to them the treasures of God’s word, they will surely endanger their souls. Jesus is the only true pattern. Everyone must now search the Bible for himself upon his knees before God, with the humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would know what the Lord requires of him. However high any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if he neglects to follow out the light given him of God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will lead others in the same path.” Ibid., 214.

Apostasy Prepares Way

Paul, in 11 Thessalonians 2:3, described the apostasy of the church. He said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image of the beast. (See The Great Controversy, 443.) What is the image of the beast? “The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.” The Great Controversy, 445.

Unfortunately, that is happening now in Germany. Protestantism and the ecumenical movement are requiring Sunday laws from the state. It will happen in the United States: “When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” Ibid.

Read again the testimony in Revelation 13:15, 4: “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 they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” This image is being formed, and the ecumenical unification is a step in this direction. Only unified churches of the world can force the state to support their dogmas. If the Seventh-day Adventist Church unites with those churches, is it still opposing the dogmas?

The leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany probably voted to keep Sunday as a national holiday. There has been no threat of religious persecution; it is just to keep no work on Sunday. In Germany, all the shops are closed and there is no work on Sunday.

This is not really going against the Sabbath, but can we, as Adventists, vote for keeping a work-free Sunday? God says, “Six days thou shalt work.” (Exodus 20:9.) To take a second holiday in the week is apostasy. That is a step towards forming a unity with the beast.

Therefore, Ellen White could state: “The spirit of worldly conformity is invading the churches throughout Christendom. Robert Atkins, in a sermon preached in London, draws a dark picture of the spiritual declension that prevails in England: ‘The truly righteous are diminished from the earth, and no man layeth it to heart. The professors of religion of the present day, in every church, are lovers of the world, conformers to the world, lovers of creature comfort, and aspirers after respectability. They are called to suffer with Christ, but they shrink from even reproach. . . . Apostasy, apostasy, apostasy, is engraven on the very front of every church; and did they know it, and did they feel it, there might be hope; but, alas! they cry, “We are rich, and increased in goods, and stand in need of nothing.” ’—Second Advent Library, tract No. 39.” The Great Controversy, 388. Surely she had in view her own people!

“Every church,” she wrote. “Well,” you say, “Ellen White did not write this. This comes from another historian.” When Ellen White quotes a historian of church history and includes his statements in her works, does she not stand behind such statements? Otherwise, she would have to criticize the statements! But she put it into The Great Controversy. It is very plain that in the last apostasy the Seventh-day Adventist Church is included.

Look Forward

When Christ returns, those united with Him are only those who are staying with His orders and His commandments, who heed His prohibitions, who truly heed the call of the Midnight Cry, “Come out of her, my people.” Revelation 18:4. We need to go forward. We are not allowed to look back. We have a great work to do. The whole world needs to be warned—more than just the United States, more than Europe—the whole world. We should allow nothing to hinder us in this work.

The history of most Adventist pastors who stand faithful to Jesus has been always the same. Satan tries to forbid those pastors, through the organization, to spread the message. He has used the organization to hinder it.

Should faithful ministers disregard such commands, even though the danger of losing their jobs exists? Should they disregard the commands, in spite of the danger that they will not receive any money from the conference? They might fear problems of sustaining their families; should they allow those things to hinder them from preaching the truth? When they want to be saved and show all of us the way to find redemption, they should not allow anything to hold them back.

The apostle said, “We need to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), when the official organization wanted to hinder them. Today, again, there is an organization that wants to stop the faithful pastors. As a result, where are the faithful ministers to be found? Separated from the professed people who think, We are rich and we are in need of nothing. We do not need the Three Angels’ Messages in this clear form. We need a sermon about the love of Christ.

“The Lord knoweth them that are His. The sanctified minister must have no guile in his mouth. He must be open as the day, free from every taint of evil. A sanctified ministry and press will be a power in flashing the light of truth on this untoward generation. Light, brethren, more light we need. Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in the holy mountain. Gather the host of the Lord, with sanctified hearts, to hear what the Lord will say unto His people; for He has increased light for all who will hear. Let them be armed and equipped, and come up to the battle—to the help of the Lord against the mighty. God Himself will work for Israel. Every lying tongue will be silenced. Angels’ hands will overthrow the deceptive schemes that are being formed. The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel’s message. As the Captain of the Lord’s host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord’s commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated. Let no soul complain of the servants of God who have come to them with a heaven-sent message.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 410.

Without a doubt, we need to preach the love of Christ, but the preaching of love is the Three Angels’ Messages in a whole sense.

The Narrow Path

God loves mankind; He wants to save them. But the saving path is narrow. He is not irritated or confused because there are just a few people with you on the path. Do not become insecure that you may be on the wrong path or that you may have come a bit too far out from the mother church. What do we read about those who thus fear? “Some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted, ‘Alleluia!’ Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below.” Early Writings, 14, 15. They are lost for eternity.

As it is for the pastors, when they turn the wrong way, the same will happen to those who follow them. We cannot allow ourselves to go this wrong way. We cannot allow ourselves not to give the loud cry. We cannot allow ourselves to go together with those who fall off the path of Christ.

Can two walk one way if they are not in unity? Impossible. What is said of the people of the 144,000? Are they in unity? Fully, completely, in all things. May the Lord’s people come and be led to this unity, through His Spirit, through His light. May the Lord give His mercy, that we belong to those who have learned this lesson and who are fitting to the words of Matthew 25:34: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Dr. Korinth is a physician living in Berlin, Germany. He is very active in spreading the Three Angels’ Messages throughout Europe. He and his family have a printing press in their home and have had tracts translated in most of the different European languages. He is a promoter of home churches and is very interested in working with other historic Seventh-day Adventist groups worldwide. He may be contacted by e-mail at: hkorinth@mefag.de.