(Religious Liberty News is proud to publish this timeless jewel of prophetic writing for our readers by Mrs. Ellen G. White* and found in The American Sentinel, October 13, 1892. It’s a 123 years old but still very much relevant today?)
The question of Sabbath and Sunday observance is to be agitated everywhere, and the deceptions of Satan will flood the world. The man of sin has instituted a spurious Sabbath, and the Protestant world has taken this child of the Papacy and cradled and nurtured it. Satan means to make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of the fornication of Babylon. Men are binding themselves together in bonds of union to show their disloyalty to the God of heaven. The first day of the week is to be exalted and presented to all for observance. Shall we be partakers of this cup of abomination? Shall we bow to the authorities of earth and despise God? The powers of darkness have been gathering their forces to bring this crisis about in the world, so that the man of sin may exalt himself above God. God does not force the conscience of any man, but the powers of darkness have been trying to compel the consciences of men ever since Abel fell under the murderous blow from the hand of pitiless Cain because Abel’s works were righteous and his own were sinful.
Satan is ever seeking to bring about a state of things in which righteousness may be termed unrighteousness, and unrighteousness righteousness.
What are we to do? – We are to keep in living connection with the God of heaven, ranking in his army and under his banner, and we can not afford to be in such gross blindness that we can not discern truth from error. What we want to know is what is truth. Many say,
“The whole world is keeping the first day of the week, and do you think that all the great and good men are in error?”
God is going to bring around a condition of things where the good men and the men in authority will have an opportunity to know what is truth indeed. And because a people will not bow the knee to the image, and receive the mark of the beast in the hand or the forehead, but will stand to the truth because it is the truth, there will be oppression, and an attempt to compel the conscience; but those who have known the truth will be afraid to yield to the powers of darkness. God has a people who will not receive the “mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead.”1
We are to stand the trial and test of persecution because of allegiance to the truth. Not a move has been made in exalting the idol Sabbath, in bringing around Sunday observance through legislation, but Satan has been behind it, and has been the chief worker; but the conscience should not be compelled even for the observance of the genuine Sabbath, for God will accept only willing service.
The question is asked, “Shall we not obey the powers that be?” – Yes, when they are in with the higher powers that be. God made his law for all the universe. He created man, he gives the bounteous provisions of nature, holds our breath and life in his hand. He is to be recognized, his law honored, before all the great men and the highest earthly powers.
No law has ever been made to exalt the idol Sabbath but that Satan has taken a leading part in its enactment and its enforcement. Every law for the elevation of Sunday has a direct reference to the fourth commandment. Every move that has been made to enforce its observance is for the purpose of exalting the man of sin above God and above all that is worshiped. Satan would have us exalt the idol Sabbath, but we can not do it, for it would be disloyalty to God. In the face of Nebuchadnezzar’s decree of death, the three Hebrew children refused to bend the knee, preferring to be cast into the fiery ľurnace rather than bow to the golden image. They declared they were not careful to answer the king, and said, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”2
They were thrown into the burning fiery furnace, but the Lord was with them. The king looked into the furnace, and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”3 Angels of the Lord were watching by the side of the faithful three. God wished to show to the nations of the world who was the great I AM, the God of the heavens, the ruler of the universe, who alone was to be worshiped. Did not the Hebrews break the law of the king? – Yes, but the law of God was first to be obeyed.
*Mrs. Ellen White, Nov. 26, 1827 – July 16, 1915, was a wife, mother, leader, prophetess, speaker and prolific, inspired writer of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Her printed volumes aggregate more than five thousand pages in over 50 published works. Yet all of this with only a third grade education. She was also a staunch advocate of religious liberty. One of her greatest works, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, first published in 1888 has stood the test of time. Millions have read its historical and prophetic pages, looking for the fulfillment of Biblical truths therein foretold. The resurrection of the Papacy, the emergence of ecumenical “dominion theology,” the gradual disintegration of the American Constitution and the bitter end of our country and the world are all covered near the last few chapters. Her personal love for the Word of God, led her to encourage others to never neglect the study of it. Today, Mrs. White is resting peacefully, waiting for the resurrection, yet in words she stills reminds us again and again like a worried mom that: “Those who would stand in this time of peril must understand for themselves the testimony of Scripture.” 4 “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive.” 5 “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict…. The decisive hour is even now at hand.” 6
1 Revelation 13:16
2 Daniel 3:17, 18
3 Daniel 3:25
4 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 559
5 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 625
6 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 593, 594
Religious Liberty Wisdom
A legal creed can only create an irreligious people. The union of civil law and ecclesiasticism has never been and never will be anything else than an “alliance of fraud and force to degrade the nations, a compact of the priest and the potentate to crush the rights of conscience; a combination of regal and prelatic tyranny to repress true religion. – The American Sentinel