by Ellen White
Compiled by Robert Leo Odom
TWO GREAT CLASSES FORMED BY THE FINAL TEST —THE SABBATH: “The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty; for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 605.
MORE LIGHT WILL COME AS THE SCROLL UNROLLS: “The light we have received upon the third angel’s message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 17; Vol. 8, p. 159.
PEOPLE WILL UNITE UNDER ONE HEAD: As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment that harmony and unity exist among the Lord’s instrumentalities. The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head, —the papal power,— the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 182.
WHAT THE MARK OF THE BEAST IS: “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. ‘The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that cloth sanctify you.’ Exodus 31: 12, 13. Here the Sabbath is clearly designated as a sign between God and His people.
“The mark of the beast is the opposite of this, —the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.” —Idem, Vol. 8, p. 117.
(In comment on Revelation 14:9-12): “John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast or his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast.” —Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 133.
THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF SUNDAY WILL BE THE LAST ACT IN THE DRAMA: The substitution of the false for the true is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above the laws of God, when the powers of this earth try to force men to keep the first day of the week, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in majesty, and will shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity.” —Article “The Great Standard of Righteousness” in The Review and Herald, Vol. 78, No. 17 (April 21, 1901), p. 257. (See also Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 141.)
NOTE: It will be the universal, not a local or national, substitution that will bring the climax to the final crisis and will mark the hour when God shall interpose to deliver His people. Let this stand out as the great climactic day in the future toward which the steps presented in this study are to lead us.
PROTESTANTISM WILL FORM A CONFEDERACY WITH THE PAPACY: “The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony. Here the great crisis is coming upon the world. The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the time-serving concessions of the so-called Protestant world.” —Article “Our Present Dangers” in the Daily Bulletin of the General Conference, Vol. 4, No. 19 (April 13, 1891), p. 257.
THE PROTESTANTS OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE THE FOREMOST ACTORS: “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.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 588.
A NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW WILL BE THE ACT BY WHICH PROTESTANTS WILL JOIN HANDS WITH THE PAPACY: “When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 712.
PROTESTANTISM Is Now FORMING THE CONFEDERACY WITH POPERY: “Protestantism is now reaching hands across the gulf to clasp hands with the papacy, and a confederacy is being formed to trample out of sight the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and the man of sin, who, at the instigation of Satan, instituted the spurious sabbath, this child of the papacy, will be exalted to take the place of God.” —An Appeal to Ministers and Conference Committees, p. 38. (Printed by the General Conference in 1892.)
PROTESTANT GOVERNMENTS WILL PARTICIPATE: “The Protestant governments will reach a strange pass. The will be converted to the world. They will also, in their separation from God, work to make falsehood and apostasy from God the law of the nation.” —Article “Perilous Times” in The General Conference Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 5 (first quarter, 1900), p. 114.
HOW THE IMAGE TO THE BEAST WILL BE FORMED: “In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 443.
WHEN THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST WILL BE FORMED: “When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” —Idem, p. 445. (See also The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 278.)
“You say that Anna’s visions place the forming of the image of the beast after probation closes. This is not so. You claim to believe the testimonies, let them set you right on this point. The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided.” —Selected Messages, Book Two, p. 81.
WHAT THE IMAGE TO THE BEAST WILL BE: “The image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 445.
“Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to the papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.” —Idem, p. 446.
HOW THE WORSHIP OF THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE WILL BE EFFECTED: “The enforcement of Sunday-keeping on the part of the Protestant churches is an enforcement of the worship of the papacy —of the beast. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false instead of the true Sabbath, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. But in the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image to the beast; hence the enforcement of Sunday-keeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image.” —Idem, pp. 448, 449.
WHEN THE MARK OF THE BEAST WILL BE RECEIVED: “Christians of past generations observed the Sunday, supposing that in so doing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath; and there are now true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion, who honestly believe that Sunday is the Sabbath of divine appointment. God accepts their sincerity of purpose and their integrity before Him. But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whosoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome —‘the mark of the beast.’ And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.’” —Idem, p. 449. (See also pp. 604, 605.)
A SUNDAY LAW IN FREE AMERICA: “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’ (Revelation 12:17).” —Idem, p. 592.
NATIONAL RUIN WILL FOLLOW NATIONAL APOSTASY: “When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin.” —Article “David’s Prayer” in The Review and Herald, Vol. 65, No. 5 (December 18,1888), p. 785.
“It is at the time of national apostasy, when, acting on the policy of Satan, the rulers of the land will rank themselves on the side of the man of sin —it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national ruin.” —Article “Our Present Dangers” in the Daily Bulletin of the General Conference, Vol. 4, No. 19 (April 13, 1891), p. 259.
“The people of the United States have been a favored people; but when they restrict religious liberty, surrender Protestantism, and give countenance to popery, the measure of their guilt will be full, end ‘national apostasy’ will be registered in the books of heaven. The result of this apostasy will be national ruin.” —Article “Results of Casting Away the Law of God” in The Review and Herald, Vol. 70, No. 18 (May 2, 1893), p. 274.
WHEN OUR NATIONS CUP WILL BE FULL: By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p 451.
THIS APOSTASY WILL BE A SIGN THAT PROBATION IS ABOUT TO CLOSE: “As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.” —Idem, Vol. 5, p. 451.
LOUD CRY SOUNDED DURING STORM OF PERSECUTION: “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. . .
“Thus will the truth be brought into practical life, and thus will be answered the prayer of Christ, uttered just before His humiliation and death, ‘That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.’ John 17:21. The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 401.
THE SABBATH WILL BE PROCLAIMED MORE FULLY WHEN TROUBLE COMMENCES: “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.” —Early Writings, p. 33.
(In a later communication, Mrs. White explained more fully the statement mentioned in the paragraph above, saying:) “‘The commencement of the 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. At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and-prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” —Idem, pp. 85, 86.
THE DATE OF THE CLOSE OF PROBATION HAS NOT BEEN REVEALED: “We are to bear the third angel’s message to the world, warning men against the worship of the beast and his image, and directing them to take their places in the ranks of those who ‘keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12. God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty. It is our duty to watch and work and wait, to labor every moment for the souls of men that are ready to perish.” —Article “Consequences of Adam’s Sin a Warning to Men” in The Review and Herald, Vol. 71, No. 40 (October 9, 1894), pp. 625, 626.
A NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW WILL BE THE SIGNAL FOR GOD’S PEOPLE TO LEAVE THE LARGE CITIES: As tile siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 464, 465.
THEN SHALL BE SEEN THE MARVELOUS WORKING OF SATAN: “When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near.” —Idem, p. 451.
NOTE: The marvelous working of Satan with great signs and lying wonders through spiritism is foretold in Matthew 24:24; in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; and Revelation 13:13; 16:14.
EVERY COUNTRY ON THE GLOBE WILL FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE UNITED STATES: “Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.” —Idem, Vol. 6, p. 395.
“As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example.” —Idem, p. 18. (See also a testimony in The General Conference Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. I [January 27, 28, 1893], p. 16.)
“In both the Old and the New World, the papacy will receive homage in the honor paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman Church.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 579.
WHEN THE CUP OF THE NATIONS WILL BE FULL: “God keeps a record with the nations: the figures are swelling against them in the books of heaven; and when it shall have become a law that the transgression of the first day of the week shall be met with punishment, then their cup will be full.” —Article “The Government of God” in the Review and Herald, Vol. 63, No. 10 (March 9, 1886), p. 146.
WHEN THE GREAT CRISIS WILL COME: “This crisis will be reached when the nations shall unite in making void God’s law.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 524.
THIS UNION WILL BE SEEN AS A GRAND MOVE FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE WORLD: “Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world, and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 588.
STRICTER SUNDAY OBSERVANCE WILL BE DEMANDED: “It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday-sabbath; that this sin had 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.” —Idem, p. 590.
DEMONS WILL SECOND THE TESTIMONY OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS: “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 rejectors 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.” —Idem, pp. 590, 591.
THE FAITHFUL WILL BE DECLARED ENEMIES OF SOCIETY: “While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as lawbreakers, as men who are dishonoring God, and bringing judgments upon the world.” —Idem, p. 591.
“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 placed upon their motives.” —Idem, p. 592.
CALAMITIES WILL BE CHARGED TO GOD’S PEOPLE: “I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed.” —Early Writings, pp. 33, 34.
A DEATH DECREE WILL BE ISSUED BY THE UNITED POWERS OF EARTH AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE: “The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 604.
IT WILL BE A UNIVERSAL DEATH DECREE: “Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.” —Prophets and Kings, p. 512.
WORLD LEADERS WILL CONSULT TOGETHER AND ISSUE THE DECREE: “I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death.” —Early Writings, p. 282.
NOTE: Thus “a certain time” will elapse between the date of the publication of the death decree and the date of its execution. The following passages bear out this same thought.
WHAT THE DEATH DECREE WILL DEMAND: “The decree will go forth that they must disregard the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and honor the first day, or lose their lives.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 353, 354.
A SIMILAR COURSE WILL BE PURSUED IN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW WORLD: “As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand, will make them objects of universal execration. It will then be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. . . . This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, pp. 615, 616.
THE DEATH DECREE WILL BE ISSUED AFTER THE CLOSE OF PROBATION: “I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble.” —Early Writings, pp. 36, 37.
NOTE: Note that the death decree will be issued after probation shall have closed, and after the seven last plagues shall have begun to be poured out upon the earth. This seems to be implied in Revelation 16:5, 6. Can we, then, wait until we see these things happen before we begin to get ready for the end? (See Matthew 24:42, 44.)
THEN THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE WILL BEGIN: “The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 451; The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 616. (Copied from G. C.)
NOTE: The time of Jacob’s trouble is described in Jeremiah 30:5-7.
THE DEATH DECREE WILL BE SIMILAR TO THAT ISSUED BY AHASUERUS: “The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther.” —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 450.
NOTE: A period of time will elapse between the issuance of the decree and its execution.
A SIMULTANEOUS MOVE WILL BE PLANNED TO KILL GOD’S PEOPLE IN ONE NIGHT: “When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 635.
NOTE: Here it is said that it will be at night that the death decree will go into effect. According to the civil law, the legal day begins at midnight. Hence we may suppose that the date for the execution of this decree will begin at midnight. We shall note later in this study that it will be at midnight that God will manifest His power for the deliverance of His people.
THE DEATH DECREE WILL BE ANTICIPATED BY SOME: “Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment-keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages, but the swords raised against them break and fall as powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.” —Idem, p. 631.
“In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them.” —Early Writings, p. 283.
NOTE: It is reasonable to believe that God’s people will take advantage of the time and flee before the arrival of the date of the execution of the death decree. (See Matthew 10:23, first part; Acts 14:5, 6; John 7:1.)
GOD’S PEOPLE WILL BE ATTACKED AT HOME AND WHILE IN FLIGHT: “In the time of trouble we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with a sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell as powerless as A straw.” —Early Writings, p. 34.
“God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation, and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate God, would be gratified. And oh, what a triumph it would be for his Satanic majesty, to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved! Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints’ going up will witness the care of God for His people, and behold their glorious deliverance.
“As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God’s people broke and fell as powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints.” —Idem, pp. 284, 285.
SOME OF THE FAITHFUL WILT BE IMPRISONED: “As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment-keepers shall withdraw the protection of government, and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. . . . But many of all nations, and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help. . . . Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, pp. 626, 627.
THE WICKED WILL BE URGED ON BY HOSTS OF DEMONS: “They [God’s people] seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. . . . But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God’s people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede, and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back.
“It was an hour of fearful, terrible agony to the saints. Day and night they cried unto God for deliverance. To outward appearance, there was no possibility of their escape. The wicked had already begun to triumph, crying out: ‘Why don’t your God deliver you out of our hands? Why don’t you go up, and save your lives?’ But the saints heeded them not. . . . The angels, faithful to their trust, continued their watch. . . . The time had nearly come when He [God] was to manifest His mighty power, and gloriously deliver His saints.” —Early Writings, pp. 283, 284.
THE HOUR OF DELIVERANCE: “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.” —Article “Perilous Times” in The General Conference Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 5 (first quarter, 1900), pp. 113, 114.
“The people of God —some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains— still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, p. 635.
DELIVERANCE WILL COME AT MIDNIGHT: With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. . . . It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up, and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying, ‘It is done.’
“That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ Revelation 16:17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of the hurricane, like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea.
Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness, are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the Great has come in remembrance before God, ‘to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.’ Revelation 16:19, 21. Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent,’ are doing their work of destruction. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world’s great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God’s people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.” —Idem, pp. 635-637.
NOTE: Here it is said that at midnight God will deliver His people. It was at midnight that God interposed to deliver Israel from Egypt. (Exodus 12:29, 30.) Immediately after the pronouncement “It is done” the seventh plague follows. (See Job 34:20.)
THE WICKED WILE SLAY EACH OTHER WITH THE ARMS INTENDED TO KILL GOD’S PEOPLE: “After the saints had been delivered by the voice of God, the wicked multitude turned their rage upon one another. The earth seemed to be deluged with blood, and dead bodies were from one end of it to the other.” —Early Writings, p. 290.
“The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. ‘We are lost!’ they cry, ‘and you are the cause of our ruin;’ and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most, will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels, will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God’s people, are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.” —The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, pp. 655, 656.
THE DELIVERER COMES: “Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour, and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.” —Idem, pp. 640-641.
The object of this compilation has been to bring together from the several Ellen G. White sources a few of the striking statements regarding the future experience of the people of God. The limits of space of this compilation make it impossible to include all that might be desirable. While an earnest effort has been made to assemble the statements so as to present an unfolding picture of events in their order, it is not possible to fix positively and with absolute certainty the exact relationship of certain of the events, as there may be some overlapping. This is particularly true of the time of the sounding of the loud cry. We refer the reader to the connected accounts given in Early Writings and more fully in The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan.
ROBERT LEO ODOM, Compiler
THE SOUTHERN PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE 37202
Printed in U.S.A.