Chapter 10—The Little Time of Trouble
A Time of Trouble Before Probation Closes
On page 33 [of Early Writings] is given the following: “... At the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.”
This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now the fulfillment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel.—.
The End of Religious Liberty in the United States
The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom religious liberty will come to an end. The contest will be decided over the Sabbath question, which will agitate the whole world.—.
A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the Sabbath.—.
Seventh-day Adventists will fight the battle over the seventh-day Sabbath. The authorities in the United States and in other countries will rise up in their pride and power and make laws to restrict religious liberty.—
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.—.
Church and State Oppose God's People
All who will not bow to the decree of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin, to the disregard of God's holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.—
Those religious bodies who refuse to hear God's messages of warning will be under strong deception and will unite with the civil power to persecute the saints. The Protestant churches will unite with the papal power in persecuting the commandment-keeping people of God....
This lamb-like power unites with the dragon in making war upon those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.—
The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and in this work papists and Protestants unite.—.
Before the Courts
Those who live during the last days of this earth's history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth's sake. In the courts injustice will prevail. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal to the commandments of God because they know the arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. They will say, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” God's law is nothing to them. “Our law” with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, but those who will not bow to the idol sabbath have no favors shown them.—
In cases where we are brought before the courts, we are to give up our rights, unless it brings us in collision with God. It is not our rights we are pleading for, but God's right to our service.—.
Adventists Will Be Treated With Contempt
The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law....
Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith.—
There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors.—
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.—
All who in that evil day would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of conscience, will need courage, firmness, and a knowledge of God and His Word, for those who are true to God will be persecuted, their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, and their names cast out as evil.—.
All Kinds of Persecution
The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined.—
Satan has a thousand masked batteries which will be opened upon the loyal, commandment-keeping people of God to compel them to violate conscience.—
We need not be surprised at anything that may take place now. We need not marvel at any developments of horror. Those who trample under their unholy feet the law of God have the same spirit as had the men who insulted and betrayed Jesus. Without any compunctions of conscience they will do the deeds of their father the devil.—
Let those who desire to be refreshed in mind and instructed in the truth study the history of the early church during and immediately following the Day of Pentecost. Study carefully in the book of Acts the experiences of Paul and the other apostles, for God's people in our day must pass through similar experiences.—.
Every Earthly Support Will Be Cut Off
Hoarded wealth will soon be worthless. When the decree shall go forth that none shall buy or sell except they have the mark of the beast, very much means will be of no avail. God calls for us now to do all in our power to send forth the warning to the world.—
The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since, but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth.—
In the last great conflict in the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers they will be forbidden to buy or sell.—
Satan says ... “For fear of wanting food and clothing they will join with the world in transgressing God's law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.”— (c. 1914).
Some Are Imprisoned for Their Faith
Some will be imprisoned because they refuse to desecrate the Sabbath of the Lord.—
As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible, but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God's fear and love are removed.—
If we are called to suffer for Christ's sake, we shall be able to go to prison trusting in Him as a little child trusts in its parents. Now is the time to cultivate faith in God.—
Many Will Be Put to Death
The best thing for us is to come into close connection with God and, if He would have us be martyrs for the truth's sake, it may be the means of bringing many more into the truth.—Selected Messages 3:420 (1886).
Many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ's sake in standing in defense of the truth.—.
There is a prospect before us of a continued struggle, at the risk of imprisonment, loss of property and even of life itself, to defend the law of God.—.
Men will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who are true to God will be menaced, denounced, proscribed. They will be “betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends,” even unto death.— (c. 1914).
We are not to have the courage and fortitude of martyrs of old until brought into the position they were in.... Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism.—.
The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed.—.
How to Stand Firm Under Persecution
We shall find that we must let loose of all hands except the hand of Jesus Christ. Friends will prove treacherous and will betray us. Relatives, deceived by the enemy, will think they do God service in opposing us and putting forth the utmost efforts to bring us into hard places, hoping we will deny our faith. But we may trust our hand in the hand of Christ amid darkness and peril.—.
The only way in which men will be able to stand firm in the conflict is to be rooted and grounded in Christ. They must receive the truth as it is in Jesus. And it is only as the truth is presented thus that it can meet the wants of the soul. The preaching of Christ crucified, Christ our righteousness, is what satisfies the soul's hunger. When we secure the interest of the people in this great central truth, faith and hope and courage come to the heart.—.
Many, because of their faith, will be cut off from house and heritage here, but if they will give their hearts to Christ, receiving the message of His grace, and resting upon their Substitute and Surety, even the Son of God, they may still be filled with joy.—.
Persecution Scatters God's People
As enmity is aroused in various places against those who observe the Sabbath of the Lord, it may become necessary for God's people to move from those places to places where they will not be so bitterly opposed.
God does not require His children to remain where, by the course of wicked men, their influence is made of no effect and their lives endangered. When liberty and life are imperiled it is not merely our privilege, it is our positive duty to go to places where the people are willing to hear the Word of life and where the opportunities for preaching the Word will be more favorable.—
The time is soon coming when God's people, because of persecution, will be scattered in many countries. Those who have received an all-round education will have the advantage where they are.—.
Persecution Leads to Unity Among God's People
When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front. In view of the common peril strife for supremacy will cease, there will be no disputing as to who shall be accounted greatest.—.
A Crisis Makes God's Interference More Marked
From time to time the Lord has made known His manner of working. He is mindful of what is passing upon the earth. And when a crisis has come, He has revealed Himself and has interposed to hinder the working of Satan's plans. He has often permitted matters with nations, with families, and with individuals to come to a crisis that His interference might become marked. Then He has let the fact be known that there was a God in Israel who would sustain and vindicate His people.
When the defiance of the law of Jehovah shall be almost universal, when His people shall be pressed in affliction by their fellow men, God will interpose. The fervent prayers of His people will be answered, for He loves to have His people seek Him with all their heart and depend upon Him as their Deliverer.—.
For a time the oppressors will be permitted to triumph over those who know God's holy commandments.... To the last, God permits Satan to reveal his character as a liar, an accuser, and a murderer. Thus the final triumph of His people is made more marked, more glorious, more full and complete.—.
Affliction Purifies God's People
Soon there is to be trouble all over the world. It becomes everyone to seek to know God. We have no time to delay....
God's love for His church is infinite. His care over His heritage is unceasing. He suffers no affliction to come upon the church but such as is essential for her purification, her present and eternal good. He will purify His church even as He purified the temple at the beginning and close of His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon the church in test and trial comes that His people may gain deeper piety and more strength to carry the triumphs of the cross to all parts of the world.—
Afflictions, crosses, temptations, adversity, and our varied trials are God's workmen to refine us, sanctify us, and fit us for the heavenly garner.—.
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