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.
In this Holy Spirit inspired series, filmed at the Stanborough Park Church in Watford England, Mark Finley talks about how we can become empowered by the Spirit. This is some of the best of Finley's messages on the Holy Spirit, and we pray you are richly blessed as you listen.
Ellen G. White writes, "Pray for the Conversion of Souls—If in one place there are only two or three who know the truth, let them form themselves into a band of workers..." and pray! (7T, 21) If ever there was a group of people that needed urgent prayer, it is those in the cities. Our hope is that these resources will inspire you to greater more intentional prayer on behalf of our brothers and sisters who live in the cities.
Would you like to learn how you can read through the entire Testimonies in just 16 months? This unique reading plan makes this goal achievable. When you sign up for the program you'll receive a free message daily with text and audio of ten pages from the Testimonies. Ellen White writes, “The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be introduced into every Sabbath keeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them." (4T 390)