Words of Hope…
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the immortality of the soul lays the foundation of spiritualism, Sunday sacredness creates ties of sympathy with Rome.
Through spiritualism, Satan appears to be someone who blesses humanity, healing diseases and presenting a new system of religious faith, but at the same time he leads many people to ruin. Alcohol use overcomes reason; sensual indulgence, conflict, and bloodshed follow. War stirs up the worst passions of the heart and sweeps its victims into eternity, covered in vice and blood. It is Satan’s goal to prod the nations to war, because in this way he can divert people from preparing for the judgment and eternity.
Satan has studied the secrets of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. It is God who shields His creatures from the destroyer. But the Christian world has shown contempt for His law, and the Lord will do what He said He would— remove His protecting care from those who rebel against His law and who force others to do the same. Satan has control of everyone whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to advance his own plans, and he will bring trouble on others and lead them to believe that God is the one who is mistreating them.
While appearing to be a great physician who can heal all their illnesses, Satan will bring disease and disaster until crowded cities are reduced to ruin. In accidents by sea and land, in great fires, in fierce tornadoes and hailstorms, in gales, floods, hurricanes, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in a thousand forms, Satan is exerting his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and misery follow. He gives the air a deadly taint, and thousands die.
And then the great deceiver will persuade people to blame all their troubles on those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a constant rebuke to those who break God’s law. They will say that these people are offending God by violating Sunday, and that this sin has brought disasters that will not stop until Sunday observance is strictly enforced. They will claim that those who destroy reverence for Sunday are preventing their restoration to God’s favor and material prosperity. They will repeat the accusation urged long ago against the servant of God: “When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is it you, you troubler of Israel?’” (1 Kings 18:17, 18, NRSV).
Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be blamed as enemies of law and order, breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing lawlessness and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God on the earth. They will be accused of undermining the government. Ministers who deny that people need to keep God’s law will preach about the duty of obeying the civil authorities. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment-keepers will be condemned. People will put a false slant on their words and the worst construction on their motives.
Leaders of church and state will unite to persuade or force everyone to honor Sunday. Even in free America rulers and legislators will give in to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we will see the prophet’s words fulfilled: “The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
Servants of God, their faces shining with holy devotion, will hurry from place to place to tell the message from heaven. Miracles will take place, the sick will be healed. Satan also works with deceptive miracles, even bringing down fire from heaven (Revelation 13:13). These things will move the inhabitants of the earth to choose sides.
The message will succeed not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented, publications have exerted their influence, yet Satan has kept many from fully understanding the truth. Now they see the truth in its clearness. Family relationships and church connections are powerless to stop the honest children of God now. Regardless of the forces combined against the truth, a large number take their stand on the Lord’s side.
People will think that those who honor the law of God are the cause of the fearful conflict and bloodshed that fill the earth with misery. The power that accompanies the last warning has enraged the wicked, and Satan will stir up the spirit of hatred and persecution against all who have received the message.
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Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, pp. 68-70.