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When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not.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 The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.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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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