Pharaoh Megaflood is coming to California;As the storm approaches Many unite with the world and partake of its spirit

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. GC 608.2

A disastrous megaflood is coming to California, experts say, and it could be the most expensive natural disaster in history

By Payton Major, Judson Jones and Brandon Miller, CNN

Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT) August 13, 2022

Los Angeles and Orange counties could be devastated by a megaflood within the century.

Los Angeles and Orange counties could be devastated by a megaflood within the century.

(CNN)Many Californians fear the “Big One,” but it might not be what you think.

It’s not an earthquake. And it isn’t the mega drought. It’s actually the exact opposite.

A megaflood.

A new study by Science Advances shows climate change has already doubled the chances of a disastrous flood happening in California in the next four decades. And experts say it would be unlike anything anyone alive today has ever experienced.

In every generation God has sent His servants to rebuke sin, both in the world and in the church. But the people desire smooth things spoken to them, and the pure, unvarnished truth is not acceptable. Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible. But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible—doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.
Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.
As the controversy extends into new fields and the minds of the people are called to God’s downtrodden law, Satan is astir. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith. But their steadfast answer is: “Show us from the word of God our error”—the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances. Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.
Conscientious obedience to the word of God will be treated as rebellion. Blinded by Satan, the parent will exercise harshness and severity toward the believing child; the master or mistress will oppress the commandment-keeping servant. Affection will be alienated; children will be disinherited and driven from home. The words of Paul will be literally fulfilled: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God’s fear and love are removed.
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.
In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives. Yet when the storm of opposition and reproach bursts upon them, some, overwhelmed with consternation, will be ready to exclaim: “Had we foreseen the consequences of our words, we would have held our peace.” They are hedged in with difficulties. Satan assails them with fierce temptations. The work which they have undertaken seems far beyond their ability to accomplish. They are threatened with destruction. The enthusiasm which animated them is gone; yet they cannot turn back. Then, feeling their utter helplessness, they flee to the Mighty One for strength. They remember that the words which they have spoken were not theirs, but His who bade them give the warning. God put the truth into their hearts, and they could not forbear to proclaim it.
The same trials have been experienced by men of God in ages past. Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Tyndale, Baxter, Wesley, urged that all doctrines be brought to the test of the Bible and declared that they would renounce everything which it condemned. Against these men persecution raged with relentless fury; yet they ceased not to declare the truth. Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ’s ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty and leave results with God.
As the opposition rises to a fiercer height, the servants of God are again perplexed; for it seems to them that they have brought the crisis. But conscience and the word of God assure them that their course is right; and although the trials continue, they are strengthened to bear them. The contest grows closer and sharper, but their faith and courage rise with the emergency. Their testimony is: “We dare not tamper with God’s word, dividing His holy law; calling one portion essential and another nonessential, to gain the favor of the world. The Lord whom we serve is able to deliver us. Christ has conquered the powers of earth; and shall we be afraid of a world already conquered?”
Persecution in its varied forms is the development of a principle which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital power. No man can serve God without enlisting against himself the opposition of the hosts of darkness. Evil angels will assail him, alarmed that his influence is taking the prey from their hands. Evil men, rebuked by his example, will unite with them in seeking to separate him from God by alluring temptations. When these do not succeed, then a compelling power is employed to force the conscience GC 606.1 – GC 610.2

Can you buy on Sunday? Here’s what Texas law says, (And the serpent said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?Genesis:3:1)

Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. 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 GC 591.1

BY BRAYDEN GARCIA UPDATED AUGUST 11, 2022 10:51 AM

Texas law allows bars and restaurants inside hotels to serve alcoholic beverages on Sunday.

Liquor stores in Texas may be closed on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean it is dry. State laws regulating the use of adult beverages have changed substantially over the past few years.

There was a time when Sundays were dry in the Lone Star State. Originally, Texas placed “blue laws” on 42 items in 1961, banning the sale of certain products on consecutive weekend days such as pots, pans, cars, washing machines and liquor.

The law was repealed in 1985. But while kitchen tools can now be sold anytime during the week, liquor was still a no-no, according to The Dallas Morning News. Liquor stores to this day are shuttered on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sale of liquor is only allowed Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

With Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing of HB 1518 last year, the hours when beer and wine can be sold on Sunday have changed. You can even order the harder stuff in hotel bars and restaurant. Here is what you need to know: WHEN CAN YOU BUY BEER ON SUNDAY?

In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.
If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders.
Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world. The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine. (A.D. 321; see Appendix note for page 53.) This edict required townspeople to rest on “the venerable day of the sun,” but permitted countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits. Though virtually a heathen statute, it was enforced by the emperor after his nominal acceptance of Christianity GC 573.1 – GC 574.1

Beer can be bought at grocery stores or other retailers starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, and have until midnight to do so. Before HB 1518, consumers had to wait until noon on Sunday to purchase beer. Beer and wine can be served at festivals on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon with the proper permit.

WHEN CAN YOU BUY WINE ON SUNDAY?

Wine can be bought at grocery stores or other retailers starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, and have until midnight to do so. Before HB 1518, consumers had to wait until noon on Sunday to purchase wine. A wine-only package (liquor) store that holds a beer license can not sell wine containing more than 17% alcohol by volume on Sunday. If the wine-only package store doe not hold a beer license, it must operate the same hours as a liquor store, which means it is closed on Sunday. Wineries are allowed to operate from 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. Despite changes in Texas law on when beer and wine can be sold, liquor is still not allowed to be sold on Sunday at liquor stores.

The royal mandate not proving a sufficient substitute for divine authority, Eusebius, a bishop who sought the favor of princes, and who was the special friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced the claim that Christ had transferred the Sabbath to Sunday. Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwittingly acknowledges its falsity and points to the real authors of the change. “All things,” he says, “whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s Day.”—Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, page 538. But the Sunday argument, groundless as it was, served to embolden men in trampling upon the Sabbath of the Lord. All who desired to be honored by the world accepted the popular festival.
As the papacy became firmly established, the work of Sunday exaltation was continued. For a time the people engaged in agricultural labor when not attending church, and the seventh day was still regarded as the Sabbath. But steadily a change was effected. Those in holy office were forbidden to pass judgment in any civil controversy on the Sunday. Soon after, all persons, of whatever rank, were commanded to refrain from common labor on pain of a fine for freemen and stripes in the case of servants. Later it was decreed that rich men should be punished with the loss of half of their estates; and finally, that if still obstinate they should be made slaves. The lower classes were to suffer perpetual banishment GC 574.2 – GC 574.3

CAN YOU BUY LIQUOR ON SUNDAY? Despite changes in Texas law on when beer and wine can be sold, liquor is still not allowed to be sold on Sunday at liquor stores. But there are still a few ways to be served liquor on Sunday. One of the changes with HB 1518 was allowing hotel bars to serve guests alcoholic beverages at any time of the day. The bar has to be located inside the hotel and hold the proper permit or license to do so. A bar or restaurant not affiliated with a hotel is only allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from noon to midnight on Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to noon with purchase of food — thus making mimosas available for brunch. If a festival, fair or concert has the right licenses and permits, they can sell alcoholic beverages between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday. Establishments holding mixed beverage and private club permits can sell alcohol such as mixed drinks, wine, beer and malt beverages with food orders.

The decrees of councils proving insufficient, the secular authorities were besought to issue an edict that would strike terror to the hearts of the people and force them to refrain from labor on the Sunday. At a synod held in Rome, all previous decisions were reaffirmed with greater force and solemnity. They were also incorporated into the ecclesiastical law and enforced by the civil authorities throughout nearly all Christendom. (See Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, pt. 2, ch. 5, sec. 7.)
Still the absence of Scriptural authority for Sundaykeeping occasioned no little embarrassment. The people questioned the right of their teachers to set aside the positive declaration of Jehovah, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” in order to honor the day of the sun. To supply the lack of Bible testimony, other expedients were necessary. A zealous advocate of Sunday, who about the close of the twelfth century visited the churches of England, was resisted by faithful witnesses for the truth; and so fruitless were his efforts that he departed from the country for a season and cast about him for some means to enforce his teachings. When he returned, the lack was supplied, and in his after labors he met with greater success. He brought with him a roll purporting to be from God Himself, which contained the needed command for Sunday observance, with awful threats to terrify the disobedient. This precious document—as base a counterfeit as the institution it supported—was said to have fallen from heaven and to have been found in Jerusalem, upon the altar of St. Simeon, in Golgotha. But, in fact, the pontifical palace at Rome was the source whence it proceeded. Frauds and forgeries to advance the power and prosperity of the church have in all ages been esteemed lawful by the papal hierarchy.
The roll forbade labor from the ninth hour, three o’clock, on Saturday afternoon, till sunrise on Monday; and its authority was declared to be confirmed by many miracles. It was reported that persons laboring beyond the appointed hour were stricken with paralysis. A Miller who attempted to grind his corn, saw, instead of flour, a torrent of blood come forth, and the mill wheel stood still, notwithstanding the strong rush of water. A woman who placed dough in the oven found it raw when taken out, though the oven was very hot. Another who had dough prepared for baking at the ninth hour, but determined to set it aside till Monday, found, the next day, that it had been made into loaves and baked by divine power. A man who baked bread after the ninth hour on Saturday found, when he broke it the next morning, that blood started therefrom. By such absurd and superstitious fabrications did the advocates of Sunday endeavor to establish its sacredness. (See Roger de Hoveden, Annals, vol. 2, pp. 526-530.)
In Scotland, as in England, a greater regard for Sunday was secured by uniting with it a portion of the ancient Sabbath. But the time required to be kept holy varied. An edict from the king of Scotland declared that “Saturday from twelve at noon ought to be accounted holy,” and that no man, from that time till Monday morning, should engage in worldly business.—Morer, pages 290, 291.
But notwithstanding all the efforts to establish Sunday sacredness, papists themselves publicly confessed the divine authority of the Sabbath and the human origin of the institution by which it had been supplanted. In the sixteenth century a papal council plainly declared: “Let all Christians remember that the seventh day was consecrated by God, and hath been received and observed, not only by the Jews, but by all others who pretend to worship God; though we Christians have changed their Sabbath into the Lord’s Day.”— Ibid., pages 281, 282. Those who were tampering with the divine law were not ignorant of the character of their work. They were deliberately setting themselves above God GC 575.3 – GC 577.2

David Montesino WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL TO-GO ON SUNDAY?

The new law, HB 1024, also gave the green light for alcohol to-go sales. Under the bill, establishments holding mixed beverage and private club permits can sell alcohol such as mixed drinks, wine, beer and malt beverages with food orders. This includes alcoholic beverages with food orders for either pick up or delivery, according to TABC. And like beer and wine sales, the orders cannot be made before 10 a.m. on Sunday. This story was originally published August 9, 2022 5:57 AM.

These records of the past clearly reveal the enmity of Rome toward the true Sabbath and its defenders, and the means which she employs to honor the institution of her creating. The word of God teaches that these scenes are to be repeated as Roman Catholics and Protestants shall unite for the exaltation of the Sunday.
The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause “the earth and them which dwell therein” to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast “like unto a leopard.” The beast with two horns is also to say “to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;” and, furthermore, it is to command all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, “his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Paul states plainly that the “man of sin” will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.” Revelation 13:8. 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.
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, students of prophecy in the United States have presented this testimony to the world. In the events now taking place is seen a rapid advance toward the fulfillment of the prediction. With Protestant teachers there is the same claim of divine authority for Sundaykeeping, and the same lack of Scriptural evidence, as with the papal leaders who fabricated miracles to supply the place of a command from God. The assertion that God’s judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.
History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 578.2 – GC 581.2

Famine of Word of God @Twilight, Elijah No Dew, No Rain: Drought in England, fires rage in France as heatwave persists

Burdened ‘Angel’ Pope in the Burning Bush Gives Earth Healing Sun-day Sabbath, “With His stripes we are healed.”

Drought in England, fires rage in France as heatwave persists

By Stephane Mahe and Manuel Ausloos

The time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment.—The Review and Herald, November 24, 1904.
The time of trouble—trouble such as was not since there was a nation Daniel 12:1—is right upon us, and we are like the sleeping virgins. We are to awake and ask the Lord Jesus to place underneath us His everlasting arms, and carry us through the time of trial before us.—Manuscript Releases 3:305 (1906).
The world is becoming more and more lawless. Soon great trouble will arise among the nations—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes.—The Review and Herald, February 11, 1904.
We are on the very verge of the time of trouble, and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of are before us.—Testimonies for the Church 9:43 (1909).
We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed.—Prophets and Kings, 278 (c. 1914).
There are stormy times before us, but let us not utter one word of unbelief or discouragement.—Christian Service, 136 (1905). LDE 12.1 – LDE 12.6

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  • Summary
  • Firefighters from across Europe help France with monster fire
  • Drought officially declared in parts of England
  • Europe hit by successive heatwaves

SAINT-MAGNE, France, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Firefighters from across Europe came to France’s rescue on Friday to battle a massive wildfire, while fire also raged in Portugal and parts of England faced a severe drought, as successive heatwaves renewed the focus on climate change risks.

Reporting by Farouq Suleiman and Sachin Ravikumar, Myriam Rivet, Manuel Ausloos, Stephane Mahe, Layly Foroudi, Geert de Clercq, Farouq Suleiman, Andrei Khalip and Michael Hogan; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Alison Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see “God with us.”
Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.” Hebrews 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was “in all points tempted like as we are.” Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.
By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey. It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, “I AM THAT I AM…. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel’s deliverance. So when He came “in the likeness of men,” He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God “manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. And to us He says: “I AM the Good Shepherd.” “I AM the living Bread.” “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” John 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matthew 28:18. I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid. “God with us” is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven.
In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. “Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8. As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” Isaiah 53:5.
Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” DA 24.1 – DA 25.2

In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy—the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. “Babylon the great” was “drunken with the blood of the saints.” The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.
Popery had become the world’s despot. Kings and emperors bowed to the decrees of the Roman pontiff. The destinies of men, both for time and for eternity, seemed under his control. For hundreds of years the doctrines of Rome had been extensively and implicitly received, its rites reverently performed, its festivals generally observed. Its clergy were honored and liberally sustained. Never since has the Roman Church attained to greater dignity, magnificence, or power.
But “the noon of the papacy was the midnight of the world.”—J. A. Wylie, The History of Protestantism, b. 1, ch. 4. The Holy Scriptures were almost unknown, not only to the people, but to the priests. Like the Pharisees of old, the papal leaders hated the light which would reveal their sins. God’s law, the standard of righteousness, having been removed, they exercised power without limit, and practiced vice without restraint. Fraud, avarice, and profligacy prevailed. Men shrank from no crime by which they could gain wealth or position. The palaces of popes and prelates were scenes of the vilest debauchery. Some of the reigning pontiffs were guilty of crimes so revolting that secular rulers endeavored to depose these dignitaries of the church as monsters too vile to be tolerated. For centuries Europe had made no progress in learning, arts, or civilization. A moral and intellectual paralysis had fallen upon Christendom.
The condition of the world under the Romish power presented a fearful and striking fulfillment of the words of the prophet Hosea: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee: … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” “There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” Hosea 4:6, 1, 2. Such were the results of banishing the word of God. GC 59.3 – GC 60.3

A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power.
A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of the papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In past ages, when men were without God’s word and without the knowledge of the truth, their eyes were blindfolded, and thousands were ensnared, not seeing the net spread for their feet. In this generation there are many whose eyes become dazzled by the glare of human speculations, “science falsely so called;” they discern not the net, and walk into it as readily as if blindfolded. God designed that man’s intellectual powers should be held as a gift from his Maker and should be employed in the service of truth and righteousness; but when pride and ambition are cherished, and men exalt their own theories above the word of God, then intelligence can accomplish greater harm than ignorance. Thus the false science of the present day, which undermines faith in the Bible, will prove as successful in preparing the way for the acceptance of the papacy, with its pleasing forms, as did the withholding of knowledge in opening the way for its aggrandizement in the Dark Ages.
In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.
If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders.
Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world. The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine. (A.D. 321; see Appendix note for page 53.) This edict required townspeople to rest on “the venerable day of the sun,” but permitted countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits. Though virtually a heathen statute, it was enforced by the emperor after his nominal acceptance of Christianity.
The royal mandate not proving a sufficient substitute for divine authority, Eusebius, a bishop who sought the favor of princes, and who was the special friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced the claim that Christ had transferred the Sabbath to Sunday. Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwittingly acknowledges its falsity and points to the real authors of the change. “All things,” he says, “whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s Day.”—Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, page 538. But the Sunday argument, groundless as it was, served to embolden men in trampling upon the Sabbath of the Lord. All who desired to be honored by the world accepted the popular festival.
As the papacy became firmly established, the work of Sunday exaltation was continued. For a time the people engaged in agricultural labor when not attending church, and the seventh day was still regarded as the Sabbath. But steadily a change was effected. Those in holy office were forbidden to pass judgment in any civil controversy on the Sunday. Soon after, all persons, of whatever rank, were commanded to refrain from common labor on pain of a fine for freemen and stripes in the case of servants. Later it was decreed that rich men should be punished with the loss of half of their estates; and finally, that if still obstinate they should be made slaves. The lower classes were to suffer perpetual banishment.
Miracles also were called into requisition. Among other wonders it was reported that as a husbandman who was about to plow his field on Sunday cleaned his plow with an iron, the iron stuck fast in his hand, and for two years he carried it about with him, “to his exceeding great pain and shame.”—Francis West, Historical and Practical Discourse on the Lord’s Day, page 174.
Later the pope gave directions that the parish priest should admonish the violators of Sunday and wish them to go to church and say their prayers, lest they bring some great calamity on themselves and neighbors. An ecclesiastical council brought forward the argument, since so widely employed, even by Protestants, that because persons had been struck by lightning while laboring on Sunday, it must be the Sabbath. “It is apparent,” said the prelates, “how high the displeasure of God was upon their neglect of this day.” An appeal was then made that priests and ministers, kings and princes, and all faithful people “use their utmost endeavors and care that the day be restored to its honor, and, for the credit of Christianity, more devoutly observed for the time to come.”—Thomas Morer, Discourse in Six Dialogues on the Name, Notion, and Observation of the Lord’s Day, page 271.
The decrees of councils proving insufficient, the secular authorities were besought to issue an edict that would strike terror to the hearts of the people and force them to refrain from labor on the Sunday. At a synod held in Rome, all previous decisions were reaffirmed with greater force and solemnity. They were also incorporated into the ecclesiastical law and enforced by the civil authorities throughout nearly all Christendom. (See Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, pt. 2, ch. 5, sec. 7.)
Still the absence of Scriptural authority for Sundaykeeping occasioned no little embarrassment. The people questioned the right of their teachers to set aside the positive declaration of Jehovah, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” in order to honor the day of the sun. To supply the lack of Bible testimony, other expedients were necessary. A zealous advocate of Sunday, who about the close of the twelfth century visited the churches of England, was resisted by faithful witnesses for the truth; and so fruitless were his efforts that he departed from the country for a season and cast about him for some means to enforce his teachings. When he returned, the lack was supplied, and in his after labors he met with greater success. He brought with him a roll purporting to be from God Himself, which contained the needed command for Sunday observance, with awful threats to terrify the disobedient. This precious document—as base a counterfeit as the institution it supported—was said to have fallen from heaven and to have been found in Jerusalem, upon the altar of St. Simeon, in Golgotha. But, in fact, the pontifical palace at Rome was the source whence it proceeded. Frauds and forgeries to advance the power and prosperity of the church have in all ages been esteemed lawful by the papal hierarchy.
The roll forbade labor from the ninth hour, three o’clock, on Saturday afternoon, till sunrise on Monday; and its authority was declared to be confirmed by many miracles. It was reported that persons laboring beyond the appointed hour were stricken with paralysis. A Miller who attempted to grind his corn, saw, instead of flour, a torrent of blood come forth, and the mill wheel stood still, notwithstanding the strong rush of water. A woman who placed dough in the oven found it raw when taken out, though the oven was very hot. Another who had dough prepared for baking at the ninth hour, but determined to set it aside till Monday, found, the next day, that it had been made into loaves and baked by divine power. A man who baked bread after the ninth hour on Saturday found, when he broke it the next morning, that blood started therefrom. By such absurd and superstitious fabrications did the advocates of Sunday endeavor to establish its sacredness. (See Roger de Hoveden, Annals, vol. 2, pp. 526-530.)
In Scotland, as in England, a greater regard for Sunday was secured by uniting with it a portion of the ancient Sabbath. But the time required to be kept holy varied. An edict from the king of Scotland declared that “Saturday from twelve at noon ought to be accounted holy,” and that no man, from that time till Monday morning, should engage in worldly business.—Morer, pages 290, 291.
But notwithstanding all the efforts to establish Sunday sacredness, papists themselves publicly confessed the divine authority of the Sabbath and the human origin of the institution by which it had been supplanted. In the sixteenth century a papal council plainly declared: “Let all Christians remember that the seventh day was consecrated by God, and hath been received and observed, not only by the Jews, but by all others who pretend to worship God; though we Christians have changed their Sabbath into the Lord’s Day.”— Ibid., pages 281, 282. Those who were tampering with the divine law were not ignorant of the character of their work. They were deliberately setting themselves above God.
A striking illustration of Rome’s policy toward those who disagree with her was given in the long and bloody persecution of the Waldenses, some of whom were observers of the Sabbath. Others suffered in a similar manner for their fidelity to the fourth commandment. The history of the churches of Ethiopia and Abyssinia is especially significant. Amid the gloom of the Dark Ages, the Christians of Central Africa were lost sight of and forgotten by the world, and for many centuries they enjoyed freedom in the exercise of their faith. But at last Rome learned of their existence, and the emperor of Abyssinia was soon beguiled into an acknowledgment of the pope as the vicar of Christ. Other concessions followed. An edict was issued forbidding the observance of the Sabbath under the severest penalties. (See Michael Geddes, Church History of Ethiopia, pages 311, 312.) But papal tyranny soon became a yoke so galling that the Abyssinians determined to break it from their necks. After a terrible struggle the Romanists were banished from their dominions, and the ancient faith was restored. The churches rejoiced in their freedom, and they never forgot the lesson they had learned concerning the deception, the fanaticism, and the despotic power of Rome. Within their solitary realm they were content to remain, unknown to the rest of Christendom.
The churches of Africa held the Sabbath as it was held by the papal church before her complete apostasy. While they kept the seventh day in obedience to the commandment of God, they abstained from labor on the Sunday in conformity to the custom of the church. Upon obtaining supreme power, Rome had trampled upon the Sabbath of God to exalt her own; but the churches of Africa, hidden for nearly a thousand years, did not share in this apostasy. When brought under the sway of Rome, they were forced to set aside the true and exalt the false sabbath; but no sooner had they regained their independence than they returned to obedience to the fourth commandment. (See Appendix.)
These records of the past clearly reveal the enmity of Rome toward the true Sabbath and its defenders, and the means which she employs to honor the institution of her creating. The word of God teaches that these scenes are to be repeated as Roman Catholics and Protestants shall unite for the exaltation of the Sunday.
The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause “the earth and them which dwell therein” to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast “like unto a leopard.” The beast with two horns is also to say “to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;” and, furthermore, it is to command all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, “his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Paul states plainly that the “man of sin” will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.” Revelation 13:8. 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.
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, students of prophecy in the United States have presented this testimony to the world. In the events now taking place is seen a rapid advance toward the fulfillment of the prediction. With Protestant teachers there is the same claim of divine authority for Sundaykeeping, and the same lack of Scriptural evidence, as with the papal leaders who fabricated miracles to supply the place of a command from God. The assertion that God’s judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.
History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 572.2 – GC 581.2

Us returns haul of looted relics antiquities of extraordinary cultural value to Cambodia

As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world, and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled.

There are dangers before us that we are to avoid. Christ has laid down for His church great principles that are to be made known to the world in good works. His instruction on this point is given with authority. The principles to be maintained are valid for all time, shedding from age to age a clear, definite, steady light to be regarded by every tempest-tossed church that shall exist in our world. These principles are not to be confused with worldly-policy plans, but are to stand free from any binding about of God’s people.
In endeavoring to harmonize with worldly sentiments. Dr. Kellogg does not discern the influences that are exercised upon the commandment-keeping people of God. His spiritual eyesight is not clear. Not all of his work is approved by God. No one who has had the light of truth before him for years, and has not yielded to its influence, can be expected to be sensitive to the clear, gospel sentiments of the truth. There is constant danger that the obedient and the disobedient in the world and in the nominal churches will become so amalgamated that the line of demarcation between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not will become confused and indistinct.
The exaltation of a so-called medical missionary work, while the character of true medical missionary work has not been understood, has dishonored and displeased God. There is danger that the church, instead of being built upon the foundation Jesus Christ, will be marred by the introduction of objectionable, base material; that worldly-policy principles will steal in as a supposed necessity in order to maintain influence with unbelievers; that wood, hay, and stubble will take the place of gold, silver, and precious stones—representations of heavenly principles that abide through time and through eternity.
Dr. Kellogg has not magnified the holy principles God would present to His people. The Lord does not acknowledge the methods that he has brought into the medical missionary work. These methods are confusing to the minds of God’s people. Let Dr. Kellogg step from between his fellow physicians and the light of heaven for this time. Then they will be able to see with anointed eyes how closely the medical missionary work is to be bound up with the proclamation of the message for this time.


The Lord has presented before me the dangers that are threatening His people who have the sacred work of proclaiming the third angel’s message with clearness and distinctness. God’s people must beware lest they be ensnared by unsanctified propositions. Our young people must not be placed where they will be mislead by wrong sentiments. The truth is not to be blanketed. The message for these last days is to be given in no indistinct utterance.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of the harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:1-5.
This Scripture represents the character of the people of God for these last days. The everlasting gospel is to be preached, and it is to be practiced in true missionary work carried forward not after the wisdom that men may devise, but after the wisdom of God. All who walk in safe paths are to understand that the third angel’s message is of consequence to the whole world and must be carried to the world in clear, straight lines, and in its distinctive features, as Christ revealed it to John.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verses 6-12. This is the message we have to bear; this is the work we have to do. This is the message God has kept before the Seventh-day Adventist people. The truth of this message will not decrease, but will increase in force and importance as we are brought down to the close of the work of God on earth. We have no time to lose.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Verse 13. Since the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, many standard bearers have fallen asleep in Jesus; they have laid off their armor, but their works do follow them. The work advances, and the faithful ones hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end.
This vision that Christ presented to John, presenting the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is to be definitely proclaimed to all nations, people, and tongues. The churches, represented by Babylon, are represented as having fallen from their spiritual state to become a persecuting power against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To John this persecuting power is represented as having horns like a lamb, but as speaking like a dragon.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb; and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth 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 in the sight of the beast; 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.” Revelation 13:11-17.
As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world, and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history. God’s presentation of the detestable works of the inhabitants of the ruling powers of the world who bind themselves into secret societies and confederacies, not honoring the law of God, should enable the people who have the light of truth to keep clear of all these evils. More and more will all false religionists of the world manifest their evil doings; for there are but two parties, those who keep the commandments of God and those who war against God’s holy law.
One of the marked characteristics of these false religious powers is that while they profess to have the character and features of a lamb, while they profess to be allied to heaven, they reveal by their actions that they have the heart of a dragon, that they are instigated by and united with satanic power, the same power that created war in heaven when Satan sought the supremacy and was expelled from heaven.
Now, in these last days of this earth’s history, the commandment-keeping people of God by keeping His law are to make earnest efforts to exalt the Lord God of heaven. The Word of God is specific, marking to a certainty the opposing influences against the seventh-day Sabbath which is the sign of God, and by which the loyalty of His people is tested. “And 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 doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:12-17.
The Sabbath was God’s sign between Him and His people, an evidence of His kindness, mercy, and love, a token by which His people are distinguished from all false religionists of the world. And God has pledged Himself that He will bless them in their obedience, showing Himself that He is their God, and has taken them into covenant relation with Himself, and that He will fulfil His promise to all that are obedient. Not upon the first day, but upon the seventh day, God rested and was refreshed—satisfied with His work of creation. Then the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, and now man’s observance of the Lord’s day of rest will again cause joy among the angels of heaven. The time in which we live is a time when the church militant will realize the oppressive power of persecution, because they keep the Sabbath of creation which God has sanctified and blessed.
The observance of the Sabbath is a line of demarcation between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. It is God’s great memorial of the fact that in six days He created the heavens and the earth and in the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. It is His memorial to preserve among the nations a clear, definite, unmistakable knowledge of the only true God, an evidence that He is a God above all gods. For this reason He set apart the day on which He rested after creating the world, a day in which no common work should be done. God has given men six days in the week in which to labor and do all their work; the one day wherein He rested after creating the world and all things that are therein was to be His own holy day, when men should worship Him, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This portion of time is especially set apart for rest and for worship, that men may look upon the heavens and the earth and honor, worship, praise, and exalt the God who created all things by Jesus Christ.
By observing the Sabbath day wherein God rested, the knowledge of God would be preserved. It is a “sign between Me and you … that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Verse 13. Those who keep the Sabbath holy as the Lord has specified reveal that they are His peculiar people, and that He who made the heavens and the earth is their God.
In His ministerial labors Christ declared to the Pharisees and to the Sadducees and to all the Gentile world, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19. Thus did He rebuke the pretentious piety of the Pharisees, and thus did He correct their erroneous ideas of the law of God.
In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord. He has called them to bear the sign of God, to exalt the Lord in keeping holy His law; for it is a transcript of His character. No part of the law of God and their covenant obligation to keep that law holy is to lose its binding claims upon all the world. Those who have had the light upon keeping the law of Jehovah are to stand firmly in the faith, and to make that light shine forth in clear, distinct rays.
The thirteenth chapter of Revelation presents a power that is to be made prominent in these last days. Let all understand that it is Christ, the Captain of the Lord’s host, who gave these visions to John. Christ came in person to the lonely isle of Patmos and showed John the things that must be, that were of the highest importance to His people. (?) (Through the person of His highest angels. He had veiled His own glory.) This message is to come to God’s people straight, sharp, and clean from all mixture of human wisdom and tradition.
The enmity between the seed of the woman and the serpent is clearly defined by the Lord. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:15, 17-19.
By following his own way, by acting in harmony with Satan’s temptations and in opposition to the known will of God man vainly attempted to elevate and bless himself. Thus he gained an experimental knowledge of disobedience to God’s commandments. Thus he knew good and evil; thus he lost his fidelity and loyalty to God and opened the floodgates of evil and suffering to the whole human family. How many today are making the same experiment! When will man learn that the only means for his safety is through a full confidence in a “thus saith the Lord.”
Satan is seeking to intrude his own inventions upon the children of God through human methods. He is seeking to be received as God, or even to be placed above God. In changing the Sabbath to the first day of the week, he leads men to disbelieve God’s declarations, and so to regard their own ways and plans that they appear exceeding wise in their own eyes and in their perverted judgment. Through human policy he leads men to regard the expressed commandments of God as of less force than human tradition and to regard a deviation from that law which is always holy and just and good as of little account. He sees that by thus preventing human agencies from walking as obedient children in harmony with God, he can hinder the accomplishment of God’s work in our world.
But Satan’s connivings with human agencies who stand in responsible positions are just as much to be feared and shunned now, after the experiment of sin has been tried, as it was in the case of our first parents. I am instructed to say that the men who are placed in positions of responsibility in the work of God have overestimated their right to control others. The position a man occupies does not change his character. Some have seemed to feel that they must devise for churches and for sanitariums, and that there was to be no questioning of their judgment. Let them learn of Jesus at every step. He should be the chief authority for every man.
The One who has often been our Instructor says, “How hard it is for man to walk humbly with his God, in a contrite spirit taking God’s way and rejecting Satan’s propositions which seem to present great worldly advantages.” The influence of man’s having his own way in the place of firmly standing on the solid foundation, that God alone has laid, has been repeated over and over again. Refusing to walk in the straight paths that God has signified will bring them to confusion and will not teach wisdom to others who have the same test and trial. When will man learn that God is God, and not a man that He should change?
Some who have departed from the right way have been in a continual fever to grasp responsibilities that God has not laid upon them. God calls upon every minister and every physician to maintain the simplicity of the truth. The Son of God who is revealed in both the old and new testaments is the Saviour of our world today. From Him every medical missionary is to receive his training. Unless he shall separate himself from the prince of the power of the air, he will mislead souls who have confidence in him. Let all beware of men who are so educated and uplifted that their plans cannot be understood by the common people.
The intrigues of sin surpass infinite conception. Every calamity, every suffering and death is an evidence, not only of the power of evil, but of the truth of the living God. Having known the truth, the Word of the living God, which abideth forever, and which through obedience gives life, man’s weakness in conforming to Satan’s ingenuity is surpassingly strange. All who are taught of God recognize Christ as His Son. All who disbelieve the known declarations of God demonstrate the popularity of sin, and are not working on the side of life and immortality which are brought to light through perfect sanctification of the truth. Unless they make a change in character, in words, and in spirit, souls will be lost.
There is no middle path to Paradise restored. The message given to man for these last days is not to become amalgamated with human devising. We are not to lean upon the policy of worldly lawyers. We must be humble men of prayer, not acting like those who are blinded by Satan’s agencies.
Many have a faith, but not a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Saving faith is not simply a mere belief of the truth. “The devils also believe and tremble.” James 2:19. The inspiration of the Spirit of God gives to men a faith that is an impelling power, a power that molds character and leads men higher than mere formal actions. The words, the actions, and the spirit are to bear testimony to the fact that we are followers of Christ.
The greatest light and blessing that God has bestowed is not a security against transgression and apostasy in these last days. Those whom God has exalted to high positions of trust may turn from heaven’s light to human wisdom. Their light will then become darkness, their God-entrusted capabilities a snare, their character an offense to God. God will not be mocked. A departure from Him has been and always will be followed by its sure results. The commission of acts that displease God will, unless decidedly repented of and forsaken instead of seeking to justify them, lead the evil doer on step by step in deception, till many sins are committed with impunity. All who would possess a character that would make them laborers together with God and receive the commendation of God must separate themselves from the enemies of God, and maintain the truth which Christ gave to John to give to the world.
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea! And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet were like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as one dead! And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:10-20.
The revelation of Christ to John is a wonderful, dignified, exalted, solemn message. To present this message with decided emphasis demands all the talents of capabilities that God has given to man. When John received it, he was worked by the Holy Spirit, for Christ Himself came from heaven and told him what to write.
Those who claim to be disciples of Christ often express hardness of heart and blindness of mind, because they do not choose and practice God’s way instead of their own. Selfish motives come in and take possession of mind and character, and in their self-confidence they suppose their own way to be full of wisdom. They are not particular to follow the ways and words of God. Circumstances, they say, alter cases. Worldly policy comes in and they are tempted and drawn away. They move according to their own unsanctified desires, making crooked paths for their own feet and for the feet of others to tread in. The lame and weak suppose them to be led by God and therefore think that their judgment must be right. Thus many follow in false paths that are not cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.
The leaders are responsible not only for their own unsanctified mistakes, but for the mistakes of those who follow their example. When reproved for bringing in wrong principles they manifest a perverse spirit, a spirit that will not be corrected or humbled. “Shall I not judge for these things, saith the Lord of hosts?” Jeremiah 5:9. Their own wisdom and their own judgment they hold fast as a precious possession and sullenly pursue their own ways. This is the reason that the Holy Spirit of God is not manifest in our churches.
If those who have had the blessings of being corrected would humble themselves before God, and gladly take the Lord’s way, reforming their own ways, Jesus Christ would bestow upon them rich gifts and grant answers to humble, contrite prayers. By walking in the light given, they would better understand their own individual character. Those who think they can improve upon God’s plan, that some other course would be better than that which Christ has laid down in His Word, savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. They harden their hearts and close their eyes in regard to the ways of the Lord and prefer their own ways. Unless these are transformed in every respect, in thought, in word, and in deed, they will be requested to take the lowest seat.
If men only knew that their own wisdom exercised without Christ is a dangerous element that will mislead! If those who occupy positions of trust would be benefited by the intercessions of Christ, and receive the rich blessings of His commendation, if they would be owned of God in the judgment, they must hear His counsels and be governed by His will; they must hold their confidence firm unto the end, never deviating from a plain “thus saith the Lord.” Prevarication, even in the slightest shadow, must not be seen; every jot and tittle of this must be put away, because no falsehood can honor God. There is no man who works in obedience to Christ’s life in this world, who does all in Christ’s name and to His glory, but will be honored. Those who hope to gain worldly recognition, who desire to be the highest in authority, and yet refuse to maintain Bible principles, principles of unselfish character in the service of God—however they may be exalted by those who themselves have not wisdom to obey God in keeping all His commandments—such exaltation and honor is of no value, for it is not recognized or endorsed in the heavenly courts. Seeking to stand as supreme in wisdom by securing the approval of men does not exalt them one tittle with God. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17.
But few in our churches are Christians. But few are bright and shining lights amid the moral darkness of this world. Were those who occupy positions as teachers worked by the Holy Spirit, Satan could not take possession of their hearts and minds.
We call for a decided, earnest seeking of God. Satan has come down in great power to our world and is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.
There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message given to the Laodiceans. Sabbath after Sabbath they meet together and with effort sing the songs that are assigned, but that do not come from heart. The joy of Christ in the heart will make songs to come from inspired lips and warm, thankful hearts.
The Lord would be much better glorified if His people possessed the spirit of meekness and humility. Personal labor is needed in our churches. Men and women inspired with an evangelistic spirit should go forth and invigorate others with the hope of the gospel.
Let all our assemblies be stirred by the old heart-searching truths of the gospel. These truths will bring conviction to souls. Say to those assembled, “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? Be warned, be entreated to arise from lethargy, and remove this self-complacent spirit.” See Luke 18:8. When true faith is exercised, the Spirit of God will mold and fashion the soul that it may become a pure and holy place, a dwelling place for God. When Christ is “formed within, the hope of glory,” a new life is imparted. Colossians 1:27.
Satan is busily at work in our crowded cities. His work is to be seen in the confusion, the strife and discord between labor and capital, and the hypocrisy that has come into the churches. That men may not take time to meditate, Satan leads them into a round of gaiety and pleasure-seeking, of eating and drinking. He fills them with ambition to make an exhibition that will exalt self. Step by step, the world is reaching the conditions that existed in the days of Noah. Every conceivable crime is committed. The lust of the flesh, the pride of the eyes, the display of selfishness, the misuse of power, the cruelty, and the force used to cause men to unite with confederacies and unions—binding themselves up in bundles for the burning of the great fires of the last days—all these are the working of satanic agencies. This round of crime and folly men call “life.”
Death, eternal death, will soon be the portion of all who reject Christ. All heaven is looking on to see what is being done by those who know the truth. Many are in the condition that Christ speaks of as “neither cold nor hot.” Revelation 3:15. The works of such testify against them that they are not walking, and working, and praying, and teaching the Word of life.
The world, who act as though there were no God, absorbed in selfish pursuits, will soon experience sudden destruction and shall not escape. Many continue in the careless gratification of self until they become so disgusted with life that they kill themselves. Dancing and carousing, drinking and smoking, indulging their animal passions, they go as an ox to the slaughter. Satan is working with all his art and enchantments to keep men marching blindly onward until the Lord arises out of His place to punish the inhabitants of earth for their iniquities, when the earth shall disclose her blood and no more cover her slain. The whole world appears to be in the march to death.
Will the message to the Laodicean church now be heeded? Christ represents Himself as being disgusted with the churches of today. He cannot endure their taste; but yet He offers for them a word of hope. “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.” Verse 19. Let every one heed the words that come to the people of God today, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. Shall we by confessing our sins seek the Lord before the terrible spirit from beneath becomes the sole ruling power in our lives? 18LtMs, Ms 139, 1903, par. 2 – 18LtMs, Ms 139, 1903, par. 47

US returns looted relics of ‘extraordinary cultural value’ to Cambodia

Published 9th August 2022

Seized items are displayed during an announcement of the repatriation and return to Cambodia of 30 Cambodian antiquities sold to U.S. collectors and institutions by Douglas Latchford and seized by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

US returns looted relics of ‘extraordinary cultural value’ to Cambodia

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

New York officials have returned 30 cultural artifacts to Cambodia, including a 10th-century Khmer sculptural “masterpiece,” after the items were illegally sold to private collectors and a US museum.

The antiquities, which had been taken from temples and archeological sites during periods of civil conflict in the country, entered the international art market via an “organized looting network,” according to the US Department of Justice.

On Monday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York hosted a repatriation ceremony for the works, with Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, Keo Chhea, in attendance.

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The 10th-century sandstone statue "Skanda on a Peacock" was among 30 items returned to Cambodia.

The 10th-century sandstone statue “Skanda on a Peacock” was among 30 items returned to Cambodia. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

“These statues and artifacts, which range in age from the bronze age to the 12th century, are of extraordinary cultural value to the Cambodian people and we are delighted to be sending them home today,” said prosecutor Damian Williams during a press conference.

Controversial art dealer’s daughter will return over 100 antiquities to Cambodia

The artifacts include “Skanda on a Peacock,” a 10th-century sandstone sculpture of the Hindu war deity Skanda, which was stolen from the Prasat Krachap temple at Koh Ker, an archeological site, in the 1990s.

Also among the returned items was a three-ton sculpture of the Hindu elephant god Ganesha — a statue listed among the Antiquities Coalition’s 10 “most-wanted” looted artifacts — as well as a 6th- or 7th-century bronze Buddha.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lee Satterfield, pictured alongside some of the looted artifacts at Monday's repatriation ceremony.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lee Satterfield, pictured alongside some of the looted artifacts at Monday’s repatriation ceremony. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

The retrieval of these items, most of which were voluntarily returned by a private collector, is part of an ongoing investigation into Southeast Asian artifacts bought and sold by the late antiquities dealer, Douglas Latchford. Once considered a leading scholar of Khmer art, Latchford was accused by US prosecutors of trafficking artifacts and deceiving clients, from private collectors to major institutions.

“For years, Douglas Latchford operated an illegitimate enterprise by smuggling looted antiquities into the United States with blatant disregard for US Customs laws,” said Ricky J. Patel, a special agent at Homeland Security Investigations, in a statement in January. “Latchford facilitated this by falsifying customs documentation and providing deceptive paperwork to collectors for sale on the international art market.”

In 2014, a 10th-century statue linked to Latchford was withdrawn from an auction and returned to Cambodia after investigators concluded it had been illegally removed from a temple during the country’s civil war. Five years later, US prosecutors charged Latchford with wire fraud and smuggling but he died in Thailand in 2020 before answering the charges.

A 10th-century sandstone sculpture pictured ahead of the repatriation ceremony in New York City.

A 10th-century sandstone sculpture pictured ahead of the repatriation ceremony in New York City. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

At Monday’s repatriation ceremony, ambassador Chhea told Reuters that the antiquities will be displayed at the National Museum of Cambodia in the capital city Phnom Penh.

A London museum will return its stolen Benin bronzes to Nigeria

Speaking to reporters at the press conference, he said: “We need to commit and to continue our fight to protect our soul of cultural heritage and prevent the priceless antiquities from being further plundered, looted and spirited away from the country.”

“We know that this problem goes much further, much deeper than the activity of one man,” Chhea added. “It is a global problem that involves wealthy collectors, private dealers, gallery owners and even some of the world’s most prestigious places.”

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“Pope Transformed Angel in Burning Bush Makes War”: For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, … the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.Exodus:23:23

Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practice of fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil.
Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the faculties of many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, passion, envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.
The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By introducing the belief that God’s law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man’s consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God’s holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.
Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called “Christian sabbath,” and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. 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.
As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.
The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. 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.
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 favor 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.
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 favor 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.
Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. 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.
God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
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 put upon their motives.
As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath.
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. GC 585.2 – GC 592.3

Follow Me: Pope Francis New World Order Sabbath Game!, Pandemic and War Rattle Globalization

Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practice of fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil.
Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the faculties of many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, passion, envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.
The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By introducing the belief that God’s law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man’s consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God’s holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.
Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called “Christian sabbath,” and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. 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.
As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.
The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. 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.
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 favor 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.
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 favor 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.
Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. 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.
God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
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 put upon their motives.
As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath.
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. GC 585.2 – GC 592.3

Perfect Wave of Imperialism, King America Apostasy, 450 Apostate Protestantism, Rome Old Prophet Strong delusions- War of Annihilation 1Kings 13, Rev13,17

Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe. The power attending the last warning has enraged the wicked; their anger is kindled against all who have received the message, and Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution.
When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God’s dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.
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 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. The same argument many centuries ago was brought against Christ by the “rulers of the people.” “It is expedient for us,” said the wily Caiaphas, “that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50. 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 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. “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace…. All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7.
Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau (Genesis 32:24-30), represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble. Because of the deception practiced to secure his father’s blessing, intended for Esau, Jacob had fled for his life, alarmed by his brother’s deadly threats. After remaining for many years an exile, he had set out, at God’s command, to return with his wives and children, his flocks and herds, to his native country. On reaching the borders of the land, he was filled with terror by the tidings of Esau’s approach at the head of a band of warriors, doubtless bent upon revenge. Jacob’s company, unarmed and defenseless, seemed about to fall helpless victims of violence and slaughter. And to the burden of anxiety and fear was added the crushing weight of self-reproach, for it was his own sin that had brought this danger. His only hope was in the mercy of God; his only defense must be prayer. Yet he leaves nothing undone on his own part to atone for the wrong to his brother and to avert the threatened danger. So should the followers of Christ, as they approach the time of trouble, make every exertion to place themselves in a proper light before the people, to disarm prejudice, and to avert the danger which threatens liberty of conscience.
Having sent his family away, that they may not witness his distress, Jacob remains alone to intercede with God. He confesses his sin and gratefully acknowledges the mercy of God toward him while with deep humiliation he pleads the covenant made with his fathers and the promises to himself in the night vision at Bethel and in the land of his exile. The crisis in his life has come; everything is at stake. In the darkness and solitude he continues praying and humbling himself before God. Suddenly a hand is laid upon his shoulder. He thinks that an enemy is seeking his life, and with all the energy of despair he wrestles with his assailant. As the day begins to break, the stranger puts forth his superhuman power; at his touch the strong man seems paralyzed, and he falls, a helpless, weeping suppliant, upon the neck of his mysterious antagonist. Jacob knows now that it is the Angel of the covenant with whom he has been in conflict. Though disabled and suffering the keenest pain, he does not relinquish his purpose. Long has he endured perplexity, remorse, and trouble for his sin; now he must have the assurance that it is pardoned. The divine visitant seems about to depart; but Jacob clings to Him, pleading for a blessing. The Angel urges, “Let Me go, for the day breaketh;” but the patriarch exclaims, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” What confidence, what firmness and perseverance, are here displayed! Had this been a boastful, presumptuous claim, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his weakness and unworthiness, yet trusts the mercy of a covenant-keeping God GC 614.3 – GC 616.3

The war, begun in 1898, between the kingdom of Spain and the republic of the United States is now at an end, and the laurels of victory are worn by the armies and the navy of the Western Giant. Few were the battles and brief the campaign which laid the feeble foe prostrate in the dust. Continued violation of natural law had produced internal weakness and disintegration. Spain fell an easy and helpless prey, not simply on account of the superiority of American prowess and gunnery, but because of inherent weakness, produced by her own sin.
It was altogether fitting that the long struggle which the Iberians had carried on against their own colonies for the purpose of enforcing the ideas that all men are not created equal, and that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, should be abruptly terminated by that nation which was conceived in principles the exact reverse of these theories.
That Providence willed it so, there can be no doubt. Only the hand that was free from the stain of despotism could be used to inflict punishment upon her whose every garment was spotted with its leprosy. With the surrender of Cuba and Porto Rico, Spain relinquished the last acre of that great landfall which Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought to the united thrones of Aragon and Castile. Spain’s administration of these domains was one long series of national crime. Long ago the King of kings arraigned her at the bar above, and there and then it was justly decreed that the unjust steward should have her stewardship taken away. Instalments of the penalty have fallen due from time to time. Just now we have witnessed the last payment, that of the uttermost farthing. And in the words of Lincoln, “As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”
As the stereopticon pictures dissolve upon the sheet upon which they are thrown, and fade away from view, so in a. d. 360 the empire of the Romans began dissolving upon the great sheet of time and space upon which all nations are cast, until in a. d. 476 the last faint traces and shadowy outlines of her once great power and glory had utterly vanished. But as her fleeting specter disappeared from off the canvas, the Visigoths, in the childlike bloom of semi-barbaric virginity, may be seen in that dim twilight of time stealthily gliding in to occupy the rich peninsula which the fall of Rome had left without a tenant. Weal might have been their day; glorious with white and gold the years of the hoar hair of their national existence, the harvest of their allotted span. By their own choice alone it has brought forth only tears and woe,-first to others, and finally to themselves. They followed in the steps of Rome, they repeated her history, and as far as colonial empire is concerned, they have met her end, while their own dissolution, the last grand tableau in the tragedy, already looms in the offing of time. For as God is no respecter of persons, even so he is no respecter of nations.
Columbus sailed with the intent of finding, not the West, but the East Indies. To the day of his death he never discovered his mistake. It was his intent there to plant the monarchical tyranny of Spain. Four hundred years have passed away since then, and it is passing strange that these United States, after breaking the power of Spain in the West, are even now engaged in fastening upon that land which Columbus sought to reach, those same Spanish principles of power and tyranny which he would fain have taken there.
An Old World power has been driven from Cuba, but an Old World idea has invaded and well-nigh captured the republic of the United States,-the idea that all men are not created equal, and that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. There have been times when the ship of state in the United States has been partially diverted from her course, and greed has used her officers for private ends and personal emoluments. But now the very foundation-stones of the fabric governmental are being undermined.
Prior to the year 1898 this government was a republic pure and simple. Its foundations were laid in principle , and not in power. It was not an empire in any sense of the word, for the foundations of an empire are laid in power , and not in principle. It was built upon that everlasting rock that right makes might . Against this the coming of floods and the blowing and beating of winds are alike powerless, for it standeth sure and falleth not forever. But empires, on the other hand, are built upon that sinking sand that might makes right. Against these the floods come, and the winds blow and beat, and they fall, and great is the fall thereof.
To-day this nation is in danger of abandoning the rock and settling upon the sand. The love of power, so prone to the human breast, is smothering priceless, eternal principle. From being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is being rapidly transformed into a government of some of the people, by a few of the people, for all the people. This is imperialism as opposed to republicanism, and this is national apostasy.
Until the summer of 1898 the word “imperialism” was but little heard from the lips of Americans. Now the very atmosphere is fairly drenched with it. A perfect wave of imperialism has swept over the land, and the desire for an Imperial America, or an “Imperial Republic,” as it has been styled, sits supreme upon hundreds of scores of souls. But an imperial republic cannot exist. With equal sense and propriety one might talk about “good badness.”
What means this wild babel of tongues clamoring for subjects over which to exercise sway? What means this strange jargon, formed from an Old World monarchical vocabulary? Are men crazed with the madness sometimes begotten by victory at arms? Are men drunken with the lust of colonial empire? Are men raving in the delirium of that dread fever, earth-hunger, in which all the monarchies of the Old World are writhing? Think they in the hour of triumph over a foe, outclassed at every point, to build a tower of national greatness which will reach to the very heavens, and at the same time to lay its unrighteous foundations on the stricken forms of vassal peoples? The result will surely be as it was before in the case of the builders of Babel, there will be confusion of tongues, and the dissolution of the nation.
In his day, Abraham Lincoln said that in the days of the Fathers “our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and thought to include all; but now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed, and sneered at, and construed, and hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all recognize it.” PRUS 79.1 – PRUS 81.4

US vows to defend Philippines in the face of China ‘dangerous actions’

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BREAKING NEWS IRGC: Israeli crimes in Gaza speed up collapse of occupying regime

      

Sunday, 07 August 2022 4:49 PM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 07 August 2022 4:49 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he boards his plane at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on August 6, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has promised to defend the Philippines in the face of China’s “destabilizing and dangerous” actions, during a visit to the Southeast Asian country.

On a visit to Manila, Blinken met with the Philippines’ newly elected leader, President Ferdinand Marcos, on Friday.

Blinken reassured Marcos of Washington’s full support in the face of what he called China’s “destabilizing and dangerous” actions.

“An armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft will invoke US mutual defense commitments under that treaty,” Blinken said, referring to a 70-year-old mutual defense treaty between Washington and Manila.

Under the treaty, the US military has permission to store defense equipment and supplies on several Philippine bases. It also allows US troops to access certain military bases in the country.

“The Philippines is an irreplaceable friend, partner, and ally to the United States,” Blinken added.

Barely mentioning China in the context of the Philippines’ territorial disputes with Beijing, Blinken said that Washington “looked at strengthening our cooperation to better address current and emerging security threats and cross-cutting challenges.”

Ties between Washington and Manila were shaken by former president Rodrigo Duterte’s overtures toward China. Rodrigo was known for his anti-US rhetoric and threats to downgrade their military ties.

The US diplomat is currently on a ten-day trip to Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, Congo, and Rwanda.

His visit to the region comes amid a diplomatic flare-up over the controversial visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) on Tuesday.

China has long considered the self-ruled island as part of its sovereign territory and has publicly stated that it may take it by force one day, if propitious.

Prior to Pelosi’s visit, Beijing issued stern warnings that the visit will have a “severe impact” on bilateral ties, and that her move “gravely undermines” regional peace and stability.

Chinese Military live fire drill around Taiwan response to Pelosi visit

Chinese Military live fire drill around Taiwan response to Pelosi visit

China has carried out military drills across six zones surrounding Chinese Taipei, performing a conventional missile assault in the waters east of Taiwan, utilizing over one hundred fighter Jets and bombers, supported by more than 10 destroyers and frigates.

In response to the visit, China launched large-scale military drills in the South China Sea and sanctioned Pelosi and her family. China also withdrew from key talks on climate change and defense with the US over the visit.

Under the “one China” policy, nearly all countries across the globe, the US included, recognize Beijing’s sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

Washington, however, continues to court the secessionist government in Taipei, support its anti-China stance, and supply it with massive amounts of armaments.

The US also takes sides with Beijing’s rivals in a maritime dispute in the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by Beijing. It routinely sends warships and warplanes to the waters to assert what it calls its right to freedom of navigation.

China has repeatedly called on Washington to stop the provocative actions, which undermine peace and stability in the strategic waters.


South China Sea Nancy Pelosi Philippines Taiwan One China policy US China tensions Anthony Blinken

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‘Father of His Country’: ‘Manifest Destiny’ -NATIONAL APOSTASY US to hold joint war games with India near Chinese border

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China suspends cooperation with US on several issues, sanctions Pelosi over Taiwan visit
US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

A US soldier aims his assault rifle while participating in the Yudh Abhyas 2012 military exercise in Rajasthan, India. (Photo by AFP)

US and Indian military forces will hold joint war games in the Himalayan mountains in October, less than 100 kilometers from India’s disputed border with China, a report says.

The military drills will be waged in mid-October near the Indian town of Auli in the country’s northern state of Uttarakhand, CNN reported on Saturday citing an Indian army officer, noting that the town sits on the southern slopes of the Himalayas and that the war games will focus on warfare at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The location of the drills was announced amid intensifying tensions between the US and China over the self-ruled island territory of Taiwan while India and China have also been engaged in clashes along their mountainous borders.

According to the report, Auli is also situated nearly 100 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control, a loosely-defined border that divides India and China. While both sides claim territory on the other side of the line, it has served as the de-facto border between the two countries since the end of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

Clashes also broke out along this line in 2020 after China objected to India’s construction of a road in its claimed territory. India claimed that it lost 20 soldiers, while China reported four casualties.

The development comes as ties between Washington and Beijing have also deteriorated significantly in the wake of a visit to Chinese Taipei earlier in the week by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing reacted strongly to the deliberately provocative visit by launching large-scale military drills near Taiwan, cutting imports from island territory, sanctioning Pelosi and her family, and severing diplomatic ties with Washington in a number of key areas.

China holds second day of drills around Taiwan as US tensions flare

China holds second day of drills around Taiwan as US tensions flare

For the second straight day, China continued its largest-ever military exercises around Chinese Taipei on Friday in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

With China’s ongoing military exercises continuing into the weekend, White House national security spokesman John Kirby declared on Thursday that the US would conduct “air and maritime transits” through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks, while the USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier Strike Group will remain stationed in the region.

China ignores phone calls by US Defense Sec.

Meanwhile, as both sides are flexing their military muscle, the US-based Politico news outlet reported on Friday that Chinese defense officials are ignoring phone calls from their US counterparts.

Citing people with knowledge of the attempts, the report said top Chinese military officials “have not returned multiple calls from their American counterparts this week” as a crisis erupted in the Pacific over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China suspends cooperation with US on several issues, sanctions Pelosi over Taiwan visit

China suspends cooperation with US on several issues, sanctions Pelosi over Taiwan visit

China is set to end cooperation with the US on several key issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military dialogue.

Beijing’s ghosting of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley comes as China continues launching missiles and positioning warships and aircraft in unprecedented military drills around Taiwan, it added, noting that US officials and experts view China’s silence as “a shortsighted and reckless move that increases the risk of escalation in an already tense situation.”

India US Taiwan military drills China-US tensions

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Anglicans recognize Pope as ‘father of the Church in West’, says Archbishop of Canterbury, Acting ‘God’

The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7. Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.
Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, “the mystery of iniquity” carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.
This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of “the man of sin” foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.
Satan once endeavored to form a compromise with Christ. He came to the Son of God in the wilderness of temptation, and showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, offered to give all into His hands if He would but acknowledge the supremacy of the prince of darkness. Christ rebuked the presumptuous tempter and forced him to depart. But Satan meets with greater success in presenting the same temptations to man. To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth; and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan—the bishop of Rome.
It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled “Lord God the Pope” (see Appendix), and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage.
But those who fear and reverence God meet this heaven-daring assumption as Christ met the solicitations of the wily foe: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8. God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church. The doctrine of papal supremacy is directly opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures. The pope can have no power over Christ’s church except by usurpation.
Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.
Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power. It was by the word that even the Saviour of the world had resisted his attacks. At every assault, Christ presented the shield of eternal truth, saying, “It is written.” To every suggestion of the adversary, He opposed the wisdom and power of the word. In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, and establish the authority of the papal usurper, he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. Thus the pope came to be almost universally acknowledged as the vicegerent of God on earth, endowed with authority over church and state.
The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to “think to change times and laws.” Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council (see Appendix) finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.
The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as “the venerable day of the sun.” This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.
To prepare the way for the work which he designed to accomplish, Satan had led the Jews, before the advent of Christ, to load down the Sabbath with the most rigorous exactions, making its observance a burden. Now, taking advantage of the false light in which he had thus caused it to be regarded, he cast contempt upon it as a Jewish institution. While Christians generally continued to observe the Sunday as a joyous festival, he led them, in order to show their hatred of Judaism, to make the Sabbath a fast, a day of sadness and gloom.
In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire. (See Appendix.) The day of the sun was reverenced by his pagan subjects and was honored by Christians; it was the emperor’s policy to unite the conflicting interests of heathenism and Christianity. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians and heathen, it would promote the nominal acceptance of Christianity by pagans and thus advance the power and glory of the church. But while many God-fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment.
The archdeceiver had not completed his work. He was resolved to gather the Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honored as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.
The great apostate had succeeded in exalting himself “above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He had dared to change the only precept of the divine law that unmistakably points all mankind to the true and living God. In the fourth commandment, God is revealed as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and is thereby distinguished from all false gods. It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship. Satan strives to turn men from their allegiance to God, and from rendering obedience to His law; therefore he directs his efforts especially against that commandment which points to God as the Creator.
Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But Scripture evidence is lacking. No such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, R.V.) which, even in Paul’s day, had begun its work. Where and when did the Lord adopt this child of the papacy? What valid reason can be given for a change which the Scriptures do not sanction?
In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of Rome was declared to be the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13:2. And now began the 1260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7. (See Appendix.) Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman’s ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: “Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.” Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: “The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days.” Revelation 12:6.
The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them. Sin was disguised in a garb of sanctity. When the Scriptures are suppressed, and man comes to regard himself as supreme, we need look only for fraud, deception, and debasing iniquity. With the elevation of human laws and traditions was manifest the corruption that ever results from setting aside the law of God.
Those were days of peril for the church of Christ. GC 49.1 – GC 55.2