Daily Devotional: Our Father Cares

Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. Luke 21:8.
“In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, `Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.'”

Disguised as an angel of light, he [Satan] will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God.

He will declare that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week; and as lord of the first day of the week he will present this spurious Sabbath as a test of loyalty to him.

It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely.

Daily Devotional:Under Threat of Death

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14.
Wonderful events are soon to open before the world. The end of all things is at hand. The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God. Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sell, threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

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. . . . Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counterpower that reigns among the children of men. . . .

The Protestant world today see in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.

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. . . . 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. . . . 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

Daily Devotional: Former Brethren Worst Persecutors

Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Matt. 24:10.
As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.

The season of distress before God’s people will call for a faith that will not falter. His children must make it manifest that He is the only object of their worship, and that no consideration, not even that of life itself, can induce them to make the least concession to false worship.

At that time the gold will be separated from the dross. . . . Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness. Those who have assumed the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will then appear in the shame of their own nakedness.

Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. . . . In the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan’s supreme effort is made to cause “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones . . . will “shine as lights in the world.” . . . Philippians 2:15. The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine.

The Devil’s Strategy Against Sabbath keepers

Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. Ps. 94:20, 21.

As the people of God approach the perils of the last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his angels as to the most successful plan of overthrowing their faith….

Says the great deceiver: “… The Sabbath is the great question which is to decide the destiny of souls. We must exalt the Sabbath of our creating. We have caused it to be accepted by both worldlings and church members; now the church must be led to unite with the world in its support. We must work by signs and wonders to blind their eyes to the truth, and lead them to lay aside reason and the fear of God and follow custom and tradition.

“I will influence popular ministers to turn the attention of their hearers from the commandments of God….

But our principal concern is to silence this sect of Sabbathkeepers. We must excite popular indignation against them. We will enlist great men and worldly-wise men upon our side, and induce those in authority to carry out our purposes. Then the sabbath which I have set up shall be enforced by laws the most severe and exacting. Those who disregard them shall be driven out from the cities and villages, and made to suffer hunger and privation. When once we have the power, we will show what we can do with those who will not swerve from their allegiance to God. . . . Now that we are bringing the Protestant churches and the world into harmony with this right arm of our strength, we will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority. When death shall be made the penalty of violating our sabbath, then many who are now ranked with commandment keepers will come over to our side.

“But before proceeding to these extreme measures, we must . . . ensnare those who honor the true Sabbath. We can separate many from Christ by worldliness, lust, and pride. They may think themselves safe because they believe the truth, but indulgence of appetite or the lower passions, which will confuse judgment and destroy discrimination, will cause their fall.”

Daily Devotional: Satan’s Groundwork for the Final Conflict

He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. Dan. 7:25, R.V.

During the Christian dispensation, the great enemy of man’s happiness has made the Sabbath of the fourth commandment an object of special attack. Satan says, “I will work at cross purposes with God. I will empower my followers to set aside God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus I will show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day that does not bear the credentials of God, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead those who accept this day to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day.

“Through my vicegerent, I will exalt myself. The first day will be extolled, and the Protestant world will receive this spurious sabbath as genuine. Through the nonobservance of the Sabbath that God instituted, I will bring His law into contempt. The words, “A sign between me and you throughout your generations,’ I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath.

“Thus the world will become mine. I will be the ruler of the earth, the prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God’s Sabbath shall be a special object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws will be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.”

The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverter. 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.

Daily Devotioanl: The Results of False Visions

 

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:19, 20.
Several now living [1890] are skeptics, have no belief in the gifts of the church, no faith in the truth, no religion at all. Such, I have been shown, is the sure result of spurious visions. . . .

Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious–to lead away from the truth.

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them. . . .

There is nothing more detrimental to the soul’s interest, its purity, its true and holy conceptions of God, and of sacred and eternal things, than constantly giving heed to and exalting that which is not from God. It poisons the heart, and degrades the understanding. Pure truth can be traced to its divine Source, by its elevating, refining, sanctifying influence upon the character of the receiver. The Author of all truth prayed to His Father, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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 17:20, 21).

Things will be constantly arising to cause disunion, to draw away from the truth. This questioning, criticizing, denouncing, passing judgment on others, is not an evidence of the grace of Christ in the heart. It does not produce unity. Such work has been carried on in the past by persons claiming to have wonderful light, when they were deep in sin.

Daily Devotional: Fanaticism and Tongues Speaking

The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Cor. 14:32, 33.
A spirit of fanaticism has ruled a certain class of Sabbathkeepers. . . . They have sipped but lightly at the fountain of truth and are unacquainted with the spirit of the message of the third angel. Nothing can be done for this class until their fanatical views are corrected. . . .

Some of these persons have exercises which they call gifts and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man but by the Lord and all heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the Church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. . . . T

here are many restless spirits who will not submit to discipline, system, and order. They think that their liberties would be abridged were they to lay aside their own judgment and submit to the judgment of those of experience. The work of God will not progress unless there is a disposition to submit to order and expel the reckless, disorderly spirit of fanaticism from their meetings. Impressions and feelings are no sure evidence that a person is led by the Lord. Satan will, if he is unsuspected, give feelings and impressions. These are not safe guides. All should thoroughly acquaint themselves 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. . . . A trifling, joking, reckless spirit should be rebuked. It is no evidence of the grace of God upon the heart for persons to talk and pray with talent in meeting, and then give up to a rough, careless manner of talking and acting when out of meeting. . . .

The truth of God will never degrade, but will elevate the receiver, refine his taste, sanctify his judgment, and perfect him for the company of the pure and holy angels in the kingdom of God.

Daily Devotional: Our Father Cares

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matt. 7:15.
In the work in which my husband and I were called by the providence of God to act a part, even from its very beginning in 1843 and 1844, we have had the Lord to devise and plan for us, and He has worked out His plans through His living agents. False paths have been so often pointed out to us, and the true and safe paths so clearly defined in all the enterprises connected with the work given us to do, that I can say of a truth I am not ignorant of Satan‘s devices, nor of the ways and works of God. We have had to tax every power of mind, relying upon wisdom from God to guide us in our investigations, as we have had to review the different theories brought to our attention, weighing their merits and defects in the light shining from the Word of God and the things God has revealed to me through His Word and the testimonies, in order that we might not be deceived nor deceive others. We surrendered our will and way to God, and most earnestly supplicated His aid; and we never sought in vain. Many years of painful experience in connection with the work of God have made me acquainted with all kinds of false movements. Many times I have been sent to different places with the message, “I have a work for you to do in that place; I will be with you.” When the occasion came, the Lord gave me a message for those who were having false dreams and visions, and in the strength of Christ I bore my testimony at the Lord’s bidding. . .

During the past forty-five years, I have had to meet persons claiming to have from God messages of reproof to others. This phase of religious fanaticism has sprung up again and again since 1844. Satan has worked in many ways to establish error. Some things spoken in these visions came to pass; but many things–in regard to the time of Christ’s coming, the end of probation, and the events to take place–proved utterly false. . . .

“Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luke 8:18), is an admonition of Christ. . . . Examine closely, “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). . . . This is the counsel of God; shall we heed it?

Daily Devotional: Low State of Morals

 

Fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. Eph. 5:3.
There is an alarming commonness in conversation at the present day, which shows a low state of thoughts and morals. True dignity of character is very rare. True modesty and reserve are seldom seen. There are but few who are pure and undefiled. . . .

Polluted thoughts harbored become habit, and the soul is scarred and defiled. Once do a wrong action and a blot is made which nothing can heal but the blood of Christ; and if the habit is not turned from with firm determination, the soul is corrupted and the streams flowing from this defiling fountain corrupt others.

There are men and women who invite temptation; they place themselves in positions where they will be tempted, where they cannot but be tempted, when they place themselves in society that is objectionable. The best way to keep safe from sin is to move with due consideration at all times and under all circumstances, never to move or act from impulse. Move with the fear of God ever before you and you will be sure to act right.

The moral dangers to which all, both old and young, are exposed are daily increasing. Moral derangement, which we call depravity, finds ample room to work, and an influence is exerted by men, women, and youth professing to be Christians that is low, sensual, devilish. . . .

Those who have learned the truth and do not have works corresponding with their profession of faith are subject to Satan‘s temptations. They encounter danger at every step they advance. They are brought into contact with evil, they see sights, they hear sounds, that will awaken their unsubdued passions; they are subjected to influences that lead them to choose the evil rather than the good, because they are not sound at heart. . . .

There is no training we need so much now as the preparing of young men and women to have moral rectitude and to cleanse their souls of every spot and stain of moral defilement.


Daily Devotioanl: Beware of Man-Made Tests

Beware . . . of evil workers. . . . For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Phil. 3:2, 3.
There are those who need in their hearts the touch of the divine Spirit. Then the message for this time will be their burden. They will not search for human tests, for something new and strange. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time.

The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time. . . . The time is coming when all those who worship God will be distinguished by this sign. They will be known as the servants of God, by this mark of their allegiance to Heaven. But all man-made tests will divert the mind from the great and important doctrines that constitute the present truth.

It is the desire and plan of Satan to bring in among us those who will go to great extremes–people of narrow minds, who are critical and sharp, and very tenacious in holding their own conceptions of what the truth means. They will be exacting, and will seek to enforce rigorous duties, and go to great lengths in matters of minor importance, while they neglect the weightier matters of the law–judgment and mercy and the love of God. Through the work of a few of this class of persons, the whole body of Sabbathkeepers will be designated as bigoted . . . and fanatical. . . .

God has a special work for the men of experience to do. They are to guard the cause of God. They are to see that the work of God is not committed to men who feel it their privilege to move out on their own independent judgment, to preach whatever they please, and to be responsible to no one for their instructions or work. Let this spirit of self-sufficiency once rule in our midst, and there will be no harmony of action, no unity of spirit, no safety for the work, and no healthful growth in the cause….Christ prayed that His followers might be one as He and the Father were one. Those who desire to see this prayer answered, should seek to discourage the slightest tendency to division, and try to keep the spirit of unity and love among brethren.