Controversy. 1888 edition pages 590 - 592
And then the great
deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils.
The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their
troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual
reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the
violation of the Sunday-sabbath, that this sin has brought calamities which
will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced, and that
those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying
reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration
to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old
against the servant of God will be repeated, and upon grounds equally well
established. "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said
unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not
troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the
commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." [1 KINGS 18:17,
18.] As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will
pursue a course toward God's ambassadors very similar to that which apostate
Israel pursued toward Elijah.
The miracle-working power manifested through Spiritualism will
exert its influence against those who choose to obey God rather than men.
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.
Satan's policy in this final conflict with God's people is the
same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in Heaven. He
professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government,
while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work
which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish, he charged upon the loyal angels.
The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Romish Church. It
has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself
above God, and to change his law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered
death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evil-doers; they were
declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to
cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear, in the eyes of the people,
and even to themselves, as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. While
Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God's law he will cause them to be
accused as law-breakers, as men who are dishonoring God, and bringing judgments
upon the world.
God never forces the will
or the conscience; but Satan's constant resort--to gain control of those whom
he cannot otherwise seduce--is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he
endeavors to rule the conscience, and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish
this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to
the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies
of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing
anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth.
Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and
contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the
government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present
from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained
of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment-keepers will be
misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words;
the worst construction will be put upon their motives.
As the Protestant churches reject the clear, scriptural
arguments in defense of God's law, they will long to silence those whose faith
they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the
fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of
those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are
doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal Sabbath.
The dignitaries of church and State will unite to bribe,
persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine
authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is
destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America,
rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield 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 shall see exemplified the prophet's words: "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." [REV. 12:17.] -Great
Controversy. 1888 ed. pp 590-592