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. 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.”...
Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. An example of this is given in the long-continued persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of nonconformist ministers were forced to flee from their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.
It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy—the beast. Said Paul: “There” shall “come a falling away..., and that man of sin be revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast.
Satan will work with all power and “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, and delusions of these last days. Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are leavening the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great apostasy will develop into darkness deep as midnight. To God’s people it will be a night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of persecution for the truth’s sake. But out of that night of darkness God’s light will shine.
If you ask for prayer requests at a typical prayer meeting or church service, you may notice the responses have common themes—prayers for health, jobs, finances, or relationships. You may notice something missing, however: deeply personal prayer requests about internal battles, spiritual struggles, or for help in facing doubt, fear, and discouragement. Are we praying about our own needs in moments alone with God? Are we wrestling with Him through personal conflict? Asking for guidance and wisdom? Talking to Him like a friend about the things on our hearts? Prayer doesn’t only change the world around us. It changes us. (Please join us for this upcoming Oct. 5 day of prayer and fasting. Program materials and posters for download!)
When you open your Bible, where do you start? Perhaps you’ve asked these questions: Where do I start in my Bible? Is there any difference between reading and studying (or “basking in”) the Bible? How can I get to know the Person behind the words on the pages of my Bible? No matter your age or life circumstance, you will find encouragement, advice, and practical strategies in this new book by our friend Nina Atcheson. In it, you will discover how basking in the power of God’s Word will make you want to linger with God—because time with Him is so sweet.
Wondering how to start a ministry for God's glory? Use what you have! Watch this inspiring story of how one woman followed God's call to do something special for the young people around the world. This first prayer room she started, in the vault at the Ellen G. White Centre at Avondale College, has now led to a global prayer movement that is reaching multiple countries. Learn how you can be a part!