Now at the present time God designs a new and fresh impetus shall be given to His work. Satan sees this, and he is determined it shall be hindered. He knows that if he can deceive the people who claim to believe present truth, [and make them believe] that the work the Lord designs to do for His people is a removing of the old landmarks, something which they should, with most determined zeal, resist, then he exults over the deception he has led them to believe. The work for this time has certainly been a surprising work of various hindrances, owing to the false setting of matters before the minds of many of our people. That which is food to the churches is regarded as dangerous, and should not be given them. And this slight difference of ideas is allowed to unsettle the faith, to cause apostasy, to break up unity, to sow discord, all because they do not know what they are striving about themselves. Brethren, is it not best to be sensible? Heaven is looking upon us all, and what can they think of recent developments? While in this condition of things, building up barriers, we not only deprive ourselves of great light and precious advantages, but just now, when we so much need it, we place ourselves where light cannot be communicated from heaven that we ought to communicate to others. 1888 518
O that we might gather up our forces of faith, and plant our feet on the rock Christ Jesus! You should believe that he will keep you from falling. The reason why you do not have more faith in the promises of God, is that your minds are separated from God, and the enemy meant it should be so. He has cast his shadow between us and our Saviour, that we may not discern what Christ is to us, or what he may be. The enemy does not desire us to understand what a comfort we shall find in Christ. We have only just begun to get a little glimmering of what faith is; for it is hard for those who have been absorbed in looking at dark pictures of unbelief, to see anything else save darkness. May God help us to gather up the jewels of his promises, and deck memory's hall with the gems of his word. We should be armed with the promises of God. Our souls should be barricaded with them. When Satan comes in with his darkness, and seeks to fill my soul with gloom, I repeat some precious promise of God. When our work grows hard because of the unbelief we have to meet in the hearts of the people, where faith should flourish, I repeat over and over, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." As I do this, the light of the glory of God fills my soul. I will not look at the darkness. 1888 559
There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.-- Letter 40, 1890. 1SM 48
I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: "Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus."
Solemn words were these, spoken by the angel. I asked the angel why so few were interested in their eternal welfare, so few preparing for their last change. Said he: "Earth attracts them, its treasures seem of worth to them." They find enough to engross the mind, and have no time to prepare for heaven. Satan is ever ready to plunge them deeper and deeper into difficulty; as soon as one perplexity and trouble is off the mind, he begets within them an unholy desire for more of the things of earth; and thus their time passes, and, when it is too late, they see that they have gained nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows and lost eternal life. Such will have no excuse. 1T 131F
And see the storms and tempests. Satan is working in the atmosphere; he is poisoning the atmosphere, and here we are dependent upon God for our lives--our present and eternal life. And being in the position that we are, we need to be wide awake, wholly devoted, wholly converted, wholly consecrated to God. But we seem to sit as though we were paralysed. God of heaven, wake us up!-- Manuscript 1, 1890. 2SM 52
I saw that it was impossible to have the affections and interests engrossed in worldly cares, to be increasing earthly possessions, and yet be in a waiting, watching position, as our Saviour has commanded. Said the angel: "They can secure but one world. In order to acquire the heavenly treasure, they must sacrifice the earthly. They cannot have both worlds." I saw how necessary a continuance of faithfulness in watching was in order to escape the delusive snares of Satan. He leads those who should be waiting and watching, to take an advance step toward the world; they have no intention of going further, but that one step removed them that much further from Jesus, and made it easier to take the next; and thus step after step is taken toward the world, until all the difference between them and the world is a profession, a name only. They have lost their peculiar, holy character, and there is nothing except their profession to distinguish them from the lovers of the world around them. 2T 193
He [Satan] is busily engaged in influencing those who are wholly unsuited in each other, to unite their interests. He exults in this work, for by it he can produce more misery and hopeless woe to human family than by exercising his skill in any other direction. 2T 248
In your letter-writing, leave match-making and guessing about the marriages of your friends. The marriage relation is holy, but in this degenerate age it covers vileness of every description. It is abused, and has become a crime which now constitutes one of the signs of the last days, even as marriages, managed as they were previous to the flood, were then a crime. Satan is constantly busy to hurry inexperienced youth into a marriage alliance. But the less we glory in the marriages which are now taking place, the better. When the sacred nature and claims of marriage are understood, it will even now be approved of Heaven, and the result will be happiness to both parties, and God will be glorified. 2T 252
I have been shown families where the husband and father has not preserved that reserve, that dignified, godlike manhood, which is befitting a follower of Christ. He has failed to perform the kind, tender, courteous acts due to his wife, whom he has promised before God and angels to love, respect, and honour while they both shall live. The girl employed to do the work has been free and somewhat forward to dress his hair and to be affectionately attentive, and he is pleased, foolishly pleased. In his love and attention to his wife he is not as demonstrative as he once was. Be sure that Satan is at work here. Respect your hired help, treat them kindly, considerately, but go no further. Let your deportment be such that there will be no advances to familiarity from them. If you have words of kindness and acts of courtesy to give, it is always safe to give them to your wife. It will be a great blessing to her, and will bring happiness to her heart, to be reflected upon you again. 2T 461
The brother referred to felt a lack in his system; he was not nourished, and he thought that meat would give him the needed strength. Had he been suitably cared for, his table spread at the right time with food of a nourishing quality, all the demands of nature would have been abundantly supplied. The butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. 2T 485
Satan is continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down the barriers which separate them from the world. Ancient Israel were enticed into sin when they ventured into forbidden association with the heathen. In a similar manner are modern Israel led astray. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."[1 2 COR. 4:4.] All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan. In the unregenerate heart there is love of sin, and a disposition to cherish and excuse it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin, and determined resistance against it. When Christians choose the society of the ungodly and unbelieving, they expose themselves to temptation. Satan conceals himself from view, and stealthily draws his bandage across their eyes. They cannot see that such company is calculated to do them harm, and while all the time assimilating to the world in character, words, and actions, they are becoming more and more blinded. familiarity with sin inevitably causes it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan soon ceases to fear their master. 4SP 327
In the wilderness of temptation Christ met the great leading temptations that would assail man. There He encountered, single-handed, the wily, subtle foe, and overcame him. The first great temptation was upon appetite; the second, presumption; the third, love of the world. Satan has overcome his millions by tempting them to the indulgence of appetite. Through the gratification of the taste, the nervous system becomes excited and the brain power enfeebled, making it impossible to think calmly or rationally. The mind is unbalanced. Its higher, nobler faculties are perverted to serve animal lust, and the sacred, eternal interests are not regarded. When this object is gained, Satan can come with his two other leading temptations and find ready access. His manifold temptations grow out of these three great leading points. 4T 44
You will always find Satan on the side of the oppressor. God does not oppress. God does not bring them [people] in by persecution, for He has let them live all this time, but when Satan gets the lines in his hands, he takes the spurious sabbath and sets it up against the perfection of Christ and [says] you have got to keep it. That is the spirit of persecution and oppression and bondage. It goes right with the spurious sabbath that has not one syllable for its sanctity in the Word of God. "If you do not keep Sunday, you will not buy or sell." And not only that, but they work their oppression in every way possible, but thank God, He lives. He lived in the days of the apostles when the priests said, "Do not preach any more in the name of Jesus Christ." Somebody else's law was to come in there and show that God had a government. He sent His angel and said, "Go and tell Peter to go and make known My words." And when they came from Peter, lo he was not there. And one came and said, "He is in the Temple preaching." And they sent officers to bring him without violence, and they brought him before the council. They said to them [him], "Why do you teach in His name?" But Peter answer and said, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye." 5MR 47
Many marriages can only be productive of misery, and yet the minds of the youth run in this channel because Satan leads them there, making them believe that they must be married in order to be happy. 5T 122
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. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God. 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. By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a "Thus saith the Scriptures" to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people. 5T 450
I saw Satan would work more powerfully now than ever he has before. He knows that his time is short and that the sealing of the saints will place them beyond his power; he will now work in every way that he can and will try his every insinuation to get the saints off from their guard and get them asleep on the present truth or doubting it, so as to prevent their being sealed with the seal of the living God.--Ms 7, 1850, pp. 2, 3. ("A Vision God Gave Me at Brother Harris', August 24, 1850.) 8MR 220
We are on the very verge of the time of trouble, and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of are before us. A power from beneath is leading men to war against Heaven. Human beings have confederated with satanic agencies to make void the law of God. The inhabitants of the world are fast becoming as the inhabitants of the world in Noah's day, who were swept away by the Flood, and as the inhabitants of Sodom, who were consumed by fire from heaven. The powers of Satan are at work to keep minds diverted from eternal realities. The enemy has arranged matters to suit his own purposes. Worldly business, sports, the fashions of the day --these things occupy the minds of men and women. Amusements and unprofitable reading spoil the judgement. In the broad road that leads to eternal ruin there walks a long procession. The world, filled with violence, revelling, and drunkenness, is converting the church. The law of God, the divine standard of righteousness, is declared to be of no effect. 9T 43
And let none flatter themselves that sins cherished for a time can easily be given up by and by. This is not so. Every sin cherished weakens the character and strengthens habit; and physical, mental, and moral depravity is the result. You may repent of the wrong you have done, and set your feet in right paths; but the mould of your mind and your familiarity with evil will make it difficult for you to distinguish between right and wrong. Through the wrong habits formed, Satan will assail you again and again. COL 281
With intense interest he [Satan] watched the sacrifices offered by Adam and his sons. In these ceremonies he discerned a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. He set himself to intercept this communion. He misrepresented God, and misinterpreted the rites that pointed to the Saviour. Men were led to fear God as one who delighted in their destruction. The sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appease His wrath. DA 115
Since he [Satan] had lost heaven, he was determined to find revenge by causing others to share his fall. This he would do by causing them to undervalue heavenly things, and to set the heart upon things of earth. DA 116
The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges, to condemn Christ's work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its Advocate and Judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgement upon every soul. DA 210
During that sad night on the lake, when they were separated from Christ, the disciples were pressed hard by unbelief, and weary with fruitless toil. But His presence kindled their faith, and brought them joy and success. So it is with us; apart from Christ, our work is fruitless, and it is easy to distrust and murmur. But when He is near, and we labour under His direction, we rejoice in the evidence of His power. It is Satan's work to discourage the soul; it is Christ's work to inspire with faith and hope. DA 249
It is Satan's work to discourage the soul; it is Christ's work to inspire with faith and hope. DA 249
So it will be in the great final conflict of the controversy between righteousness and sin. While new life and light and power are descending from on high upon the disciples of Christ, a new life is springing up from beneath, and energising the agencies of Satan. Intensity is taking possession of every earthly element. With a subtlety gained through centuries of conflict, the prince of evil works under a disguise. He appears clothed as an angel of light, and multitudes are "giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils."[1 1 TIM. 4:1.] DA 257
Satan's influence is constantly exerted upon men to distract the senses, control the mind for evil, and incite to violence and crime. He weakens the body, darkens the intellect, and debases the soul. Whenever men reject the Saviour's invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department of life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today. It is because of this that violence and crime have overspread the earth, and moral darkness, like the pall of death, enshrouds the habitations of men. Through his specious temptations Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is found in the presence of Jesus. DA 341
Those who fail to realise their constant dependence upon God will be overcome by temptation. We many now suppose that our feet stand secure, and that we shall never be moved. We may say with confidence, I know in whom I have believed. . . But Satan is planning to take advantage of our hereditary and cultivated traits of character, and to blind our eyes to our own necessities and defects. Only through realising our own weakness and looking steadfastly unto Jesus can we walk securely. DA 382
Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God's people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.
Satan knew this, and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled on the truth. I saw that the mysterious knocking in New York and other places was the power of Satan, and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb so as to lull the deceived to greater security and to draw the minds of God's people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teachings and power of the Holy Ghost. EW 43
I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching or praying, some would fall prostrate and helpless, not by the power of the Holy Ghost, but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents, and through them to the people. While preaching, praying, or conversing, some professed Adventists who had rejected present truth used mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost. Some even that used it were so far in the darkness and deception of the devil that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such a one as themselves and had valued His power as a thing of nought.
Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints--those whom they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a Satanic influence. Oh, that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan and be on their guard! I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God's people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling.
Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God's people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also. EW 43
God's long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. . . . The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob's trouble. FLB 339
He is in attendance when men assemble for the worship of God. Though hidden from sight, he is working with all diligence to control the minds of the worshipers. Like a skilful general he lays his plans beforehand. As he sees the messenger of God searching the Scriptures, he takes note of the subject to be presented to the people. Then he employs all his cunning and shrewdness so to control circumstances that the message may not reach those whom he is deceiving on that very point. The one who most needs the warning will be urged into some business transaction which requires his presence, or will by some other means be prevented from hearing the words that might prove to him a savour of life unto life. GC 518,519
Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind. There has ever been a class professing godliness, who, instead of following on to know the truth, make it their religion to seek some fault of character or error of faith in those with whom they do not agree. Such are Satan's right-hand helpers. Accusers of the brethren are not few, and they are always active when God is at work and His servants are rendering Him true homage. GC 519
Satan sees the Lord's servants burdened because of the spiritual darkness that enshrouds the people. He hears their earnest prayers for the divine grace and power to break the spell of indifference, carelessness, and indolence. Then with renewed zeal he plies his arts. He tempts men to the indulgence of appetite or to some other form of self-gratification, and thus benumbs their sensibilities so that they fail to hear the very things which they most need to learn. GC 519
Seeing the failure of his efforts to crush out the truth by persecution, Satan had again resorted to the plan of compromise which led to the great apostasy and the formation of the Church of Rome. He had induced Christians to ally themselves, not now with pagans, but with those who, by their devotion to the things of this world, had proved themselves to be as truly idolaters as were the worshipers of graven images. And the results of this union were no less pernicious now than in former ages; pride and extravagance were fostered under the guise of religion, and the churches became corrupted. Satan continued to pervert the doctrines of the Bible, and traditions that were to ruin millions were taking deep root. The church was upholding and defending these traditions, instead of contending for "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Thus were degraded the principles for which the Reformers had done and suffered so much. GC11 298
Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.
Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would--He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favour and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.
While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away," "the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:4, 5. GC11 589
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has 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 favour and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God's ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.
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 rejecters 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. GC11 590
As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God's people in the time of trouble. And as he accused Jacob, he will urge his accusations against the people of God. He numbers the world as his subjects; but the little company who keep the commandments of God are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. He sees that holy angels are guarding them, and he infers that their sins have been pardoned; but he does not know that their cases have been decided in the sanctuary above. He has an accurate knowledge of the sins which he has tempted them to commit, and he presents these before God in the most exaggerated light, representing this people to be just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favour of God. He declares that the Lord cannot in justice forgive their sins and yet destroy him and his angels. He claims them as his prey and demands that they be given into his hands to destroy. GC11 618
Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavour to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted their profession and the more honourable the position which they hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God and the more sure the triumph of their great adversary. Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless. GC11 620
Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world's Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is "the great power of God." Acts 8:10. GC11 624
We are not to be so overwhelmed with the thought of our sins and errors that we shall cease to pray. Some realise their great weakness and sin, and become discouraged. Satan casts his dark shadow between them and the Lord Jesus, their atoning sacrifice. They say, It is useless for me to pray. My prayers are so mingled with evil thoughts that the Lord will not hear them.
Many, not understanding that their doubts come from Satan, become fainthearted and are defeated in the conflict. Do not, because your thoughts are evil, cease to pray. If we could in our own wisdom and strength pray aright, we could also live aright, and would need no atoning sacrifice. But imperfection is upon all humanity. Educate and train the mind that you may in simplicity tell the Lord what you need. As you offer your petitions to God, seeking for forgiveness for sin, a purer and holier atmosphere will surround your soul. HP 78
Had Elder Smith exercised more firmness and boldness in defending the right and condemning the wrong, my husband would not have been forced to take such firm, decided positions. This disposition on the part of Elder Smith to overlook wrong, and leave evils uncorrected, which, though small at first, would increase till they finally destroyed the purity of the church, has forced my husband to act, and caused his course, in contrast with Elder Smith's, to seem very severe and dictatorial. Had Elder Smith stood as a bold soldier for Jesus Christ, had he called sin, fraud, and dishonesty by their right names, had he given these evils their just rebuke, less of such disagreeable work would have fallen upon my husband, and less cause would have been given for temptation in regard to his course of action.
God would have the facts appear as they are. Elder Smith has neglected to cultivate those traits of character which it is so needful that all who are engaged in the work of God should possess. Pleasing or unpleasing to human nature, faithfulness, vigilance, and boldness must be exercised, or sin will triumph over righteousness. A failure to see and sense the wants of the cause for this time, and to reprove sin, is called by some, meekness; God calls it unfaithfulness, and spiritual sloth. He gives no credit to those who shun the cross and neglect the disagreeable duties, thereby imperilling his church. Envy, jealousy, dishonesty, falsehoods, and evil surmisings have ever had to be met. They existed in the time of ancient Israel, and will ever be found in modern Israel. Some one must meet this element, and whoever does will displease some; it cannot be otherwise, for there will ever be those who will sympathise with wrong-doers. Those who have shunned that part of the work which requires anxiety and care, boldness and fortitude, will receive no reward for their silence and their peaceful demeanour; but condemnation will be written against them....
This exactly represents the case of ministers in our day. It is an evil day. Satan is continually at work to press his temptations among us. At first he presents little deviations from right; then after the senses have become accustomed to this slight departure from the light which God has given, he presents another temptation to lead away from former positions and principles. Then as the mind becomes accustomed to that, he presents a still greater departure from the simplicity of our faith, until the barriers are broken down, and idolatry in various forms is at home in our midst. God then moves upon those who will not shun to declare his whole counsel, and charges them, "Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, . . . as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God." Those who ought to be humiliating their souls before God will then begin to justify themselves:--
"What an easy, happy time we were having. The church was in a pleasant condition. We were doing well. But, lo! here come Elder White and his wife, the disturbers of Israel. They always create a trouble whenever they come. If they only had the sweet spirit of Elder Smith; he never hurts any one's feelings, he never says sharp and cutting things." But these blind ones do not see that this very pleasing, careless indifference on the part of men at Battle Creek who have failed to keep the fort, has created the necessity for the alarm to be sounded and the cutting rebukes to be given. Where would the church drift, were it not for the plain, close, searching testimonies to arouse them from their slumber? PH043 9-13,16
Young men and young women who have tried to be Bible Christians are persuaded to join the party, and they are drawn into the ring. They did not prayerfully consult the divine standard, to learn what Christ had said in regard to the fruit to be borne on the Christian tree. They do not discern that these entertainment are really Satan's banquet, prepared to keep souls from accepting the call to the marriage supper of the Lamb; they prevent them from receiving the white robe of character which is the righteousness of Christ. They become confused as to what it is right for them as Christians to do. They do not want to be thought singular, and naturally incline to follow the example of others. Thus they come under the influence of those who have never had the divine touch on heart or mind. PH048 14
The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing, and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan. PH048 15
By accepting the work of rearing children in these last days of uncertainty and peril, many place themselves in a position where they cannot labour either in the canvassing field or in any other branch of the cause of God, and some lose all interest to do this. They are content with a common, low level, and assimilate to the position they have chosen. The bewitching power of Satan's deceptions wrought within the human heart its evil work. Instead of candidly considering the time in which we live, and the work they might do in leading others to the truth, they reason from a selfish standpoint, and follow the impulse of their own unconsecrated hearts. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh." The natural appetites and passions become a controlling power, and the result is that spiritual growth ceases; the soul is, as it were, paralysed. PH048 29
The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honourable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honour, does yet wilfully transgress one precept of God's holy law, has perverted his noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may become decoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipice of ruin for this life and the life to come. PH048 8
Satan and his angels will appear on this earth as men, and will mingle with those of whom God's word declares, "Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." The world is full of men and women whom Satan uses as his agencies. Christ has bought them with a price,--even His life-blood. But they have given themselves into Satan's control. They are blind, and have forgotten that they were purged from their sins. PH058 2
The faith of Jesus and the testimony of Jesus are blended. They are to be clearly presented to the world. But in God's word we are shown the consequences of proclaiming this message. "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." A refusal to obey the commandments of God, and a determination to cherish hatred against those who proclaim these commandments, leads to the most determined war on the part of the dragon, whose whole energies are brought to bear against the commandment-keeping people of God. "He causeth all, both small and great . . . to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." Not only are men not to work with their hands on Sunday, but with their minds are they to acknowledge Sunday as the Sabbath. "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of this name." PH086 6
Turn to another scene. In the streets of the city is a party gathered for a bicycle race. In this company also are those who profess to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. But who that looks upon the exciting race would think that those who were thus exhibiting themselves were the followers of Christ? Who would suppose that any of that party felt their need of Christ? Who would think they realised the value of their time and their physical powers as gifts from God, to be preserved for his service? Who thinks of the danger of accident, or that death may be the result of their wild chase? Who have prayed for the presence of Jesus, and the protection of the ministering angels? Is God glorified by these performances? Satan is playing the game of life for these souls, and he is well pleased with that which he sees and hears. PH154 27
Till the conflict is ended, there will be those who will depart from God, Satan will so shape circumstances that unless we are kept by divine power, they will almost imperceptibly weaken the fortifications of the soul. We need to inquire at every step, "Is this the way of the Lord?" So long as life shall last, there will be need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose. Not one moment can we be secure except as we rely upon God, the life hidden with Christ. Watchfulness and prayer are the safeguards of purity. PK 83,84
Impressions and feelings are no sure evidence that a person is being led by the Lord. Satan will, if he is unsuspected, give feelings and impressions. These are not correct and safe guides. All should acquaint themselves thoroughly with the evidences of our faith, and the great study should be how they can adorn their profession, and bear fruit to the glory of God. RH AUG.03,1886
Satan exults as he sees men looking to men, and trusting in men to be wisdom for them. The soul that looks to men as to God, is left exposed to the temptations and assaults of the enemy, and the evil one sees to it that human defects shall mar the work of God. Satan will make the man whom the brethren look up to as to God, a target for his fiery darts, and will ply him with his fiercest temptations. Though at first the brother may be reluctant to take so great a responsibility as that of being a counsellor to his brethren, if he does do it, he will finally encourage the very dependence that he once lamented, and he will come to feel grieved if matters are not brought to his attention. He will want to understand the reason for movements made in the cause, that have no connection with his branch of the work. RH AUG.14,1894
From the light which God has given me, I know that the Lord would do far more for us as a people if we would walk in humility before him. Every one of God's people will be tested and proved, and we want you to be in a position where you will bear the proving of God, and not be found wanting when your moral worth is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. We want you to be constantly moving onward and upward; but that which hinders your progress in a large degree is your self-esteem, the high opinion that you entertain of your own ability. If there was ever a place where self needed to die, it is here. Let us see the death struggle. Let us hear the dying groans. Self-exaltation ever separates the soul from God, no matter in whom it is found, whether in those in responsible positions or in those who are in some less important place. Whatever has been done to attract the attention to self, has detracted from the glory that should have been rendered to God, and has brought leanness to your souls. It is through this avenue of self-esteem and self-sufficiency that Satan will seek to ensnare the people of God. RH JUN.18,1889
Much depends upon the work done by the members of the church in connection with and following the tent-meetings that shall be held in our cities. During the meeting, many, convicted by the Spirit, may be filled with a desire to begin the Christian life; but unless there is constant watchfulness on the part of the workers who remain to follow up the interest, the good impressions made on the minds of the people will become indistinct. The enemy, full of subtle reasoning, will take advantage of every failure on the part of God's workers to watch for souls as they that must give an account. RH MAR.02,1905
Satan would be pleased to have anyone and everyone become his allies in the work of weakening the confidence of brother in brother, and sowing discord among those who profess to believe the truth. Satan can accomplish his purpose most successfully through professed friends of Christ who are not walking and working in Christ's lines. Those who in mind and heart are turning away from the Lord's special work for this time, those who do not co-operate with him in establishing souls in the faith by leading them to heed his words of warning, are doing the work of the enemy of Christ. RH NOV.27,1900
It is a most serious matter to go from house to house, and, under pretence of doing missionary work, scatter the seed of mistrust and suspicion. Such seed speedily germinates, and there is created a distrust of God's servants, who have his message to bear to the people. When God speaks through his servants, the seed sown has developed into a root of bitterness. The word falls upon ears that will not hear, and hearts that will not respond. No earthly or heavenly power can find access to the soul. Who is accountable for these souls? Who shall eradicate that poisonous root of bitterness that has prevented them from receiving the word of the Lord? A sister or brother in the church planted the evil seed, but who will restore the soul thus imperilled? The tongue that should have been used to the glory of God in speaking words of faith and hope and confidence in God's workmen, has turned a soul away from Jesus Christ. Those who themselves despised the words of Christ, and refused to hear his voice and to be converted, have leavened other minds with the leaven of evil-surmising and evil-speaking. RH NOV.27,1900
This is the day of the Lord's preparation. We have no time now to talk unbelief or to gossip, no time now to do the devil's work. Let everyone beware of unsettling the faith of others by sowing seeds of envy, jealousy, disunion; for God hears the words, and he judges, not by assertions which are yea and nay, but by the fruit of one's course of action. "By their fruits ye shall know them." The seed sown will determine the character of the harvest. RH NOV.27,1900
The deceiving power of Satan will continually increase to the very end. Through his agencies he will do great wonders, "so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do, . . . saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." ST JUN.04,1894
When we go to Him for wisdom or grace, we are not to look to ourselves to see if he has given us a special feeling as an assurance that he has fulfilled his word. Feeling is no criterion. Great evils have resulted when Christians have followed feeling. Satan can give feelings and impressions, and those who take these as their guide will surely be led astray. How do I know that Jesus hears my prayer?--I know it by his promise. He says he will hear the needy when they cry unto him, and I believe his word. He has never said to the seed of Jacob, "Seek ye me in vain." ST MAY 15,1884
We should study the Bible more that we may become familiar with the promises of God; then when Satan comes in, flooding the soul with his temptations, as he surely will, we may meet him with, "It is written." We may be shut in by the promises of God, which will be as a wall of fire about us. We want to know how to exercise faith. Faith "is the gift of God," but the power to exercise it is ours. If faith lies dormant, it is no advantage to us; but in exercise, it holds all blessings in its grasp. It is the hand by which the soul takes hold of the strength of the Infinite. It is the medium by which human hearts, renewed by the grace of Christ, are made to beat in harmony with the great Heart of love. Faith plants itself on the promises of God, and claims them as surety that he will do just as he said he would. Jesus comes to the sinful, helpless, needy soul, and says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Believe; claim the promises, and praise God that you do receive the things you have asked of him, and when your need is greatest, you will experience his blessing and receive special help. ST MAY 22,1884
We should study the Bible more than we may become familiar with the promises of God, then when Satan comes in, flooding the soul with his temptations, as he surely will, we may meet him with, "It is written." We may be shut in by the promises of God, which will be as a wall of fire about us. We want to know how to exercise faith. Faith "is the gift of God" but the power to exercise it is ours. If faith lies dormant, it is no advantage to us; but in exercise, it holds all blessings in its grasp. It is the hand by which the soul takes hold of the strength of the Infinite. It is the medium by which human hearts, renewed by the grace of Christ, are made to beat in harmony with the great Heart of love. Faith plants itself on the promises of God, and claims them as surety that he will do just as he said he would. Jesus comes to the sinful, helpless, needy soul, and says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Believe; claim the promises, and praise God that you do receive the things you have asked of him, and when your need is greatest, you will experience his blessing and receive special help. ST MAY 22,1884
Whether rich or poor, high or low, Satan finds employment for the youth who are not trained to useful industry, and guarded and barricaded with principle. ST NOV.12,1896
Satan is very ready to insinuate that prayer is a mere form, and avails us nothing. He cannot bear to have his powerful rival appealed to. At the sound of fervent prayer the hosts of darkness tremble. Fearing that their captive may escape, they form a wall around him, that Heaven's light may not reach his soul. But if in his distress and helplessness the sinner looks to Jesus, pleading the merits of his blood, our compassionate Redeemer listens to the earnest, persevering prayer of faith, and sends to his deliverance a re-enforcement of angels that excel in strength. And when these angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armoury of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, the angels of darkness fall back, well knowing that their battle is lost, and that one more soul is escaping from the power of their influence. ST NOV.18,1886
We [Satan and his angels] must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticise, to judge, and to accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. For these sins, God banished us from His presence; and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate. TM 475
Satan will not sift the chaff, because he gains nothing in this. He sifts the wheat. The devil will not try and tempt and persecute those whom he is sure of, because [they are] living in known transgression of the law of God. Those who have enlisted in the army of the Lord standing under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, Satan will seek to harass and destroy. Christians will meet and have many and severe conflicts with the wily foe, who is merciless. He will bring them into the most difficult places and then exult in their distress. But, thank God, Jesus lives to make intercession for every one of us. Our safety is in committing ourselves to God and resting by faith in His merits who has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5). UL 222
But Satan will bring to the mind many things to crowd out matters of eternal interest. It is his opportunity to confuse the right by mixing it up with the wrong. Through attendance at worldly gatherings a taste is created for exciting amusements, and moral power is weakened. Those who love pleasure may keep up a form of godliness, but they have no vital connection with God. Their faith is dead, their zeal has departed. They feel no burden to speak a word in season to souls who are out of Christ, and to urge them to give their hearts to the Lord. YI MAR.30,1893