1. More light to come as scroll unrolls.
"The light that we have upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, and will not be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world."--"Testimonies," Vol. VIII, p. 159.
2. Universal Sunday exaltation last act of drama.
"The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself."—Id., Vol. VII,
(Note.—It is the universal, not a local or national, "substitution" that marks the climax of the final crisis and the hour when God will interpose. Let this point stand out as a beacon of the future toward which the steps presented in this study are to lead us.)
3. Protestants to be foremost actors.
''The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power ; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience."—"The Great Controversy," p. 588.
4. When the United States will fill up her cup.
"By the decree enforcing the institution of the Papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness."—"Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 451.
5. Time for Satan's marvelous working.
"When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near."Ibid. (Compare with 2 Thess. 2 :9-12 ; Rev. 53 ;53; 16 :14.)
6. A sign that our nation has filled her cup.
As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God's forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation's iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return."—Ibid.
(Note.—Observe also that at this time probation is about to close.)
7. The time of Jacob's trouble then comes.
"The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob's trouble."—/bid.
8. A sign to leave the large cities.
"As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains."—Id., pp. 464, 465.
9. Sunday-law act of joining hands with Papacy.
"When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery ; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism."—Id., p. 712.
10. All nations to follow the United States' example.
"Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world."—Id„ Vol. V.I, p. 395.
"As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the Papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example."—Id., p. 18.
"In both the Old and the New World, the Papacy will receive homage in the honor paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman church."—"The Great Controversy," P. 579.
11. Calamities will be charged to the saints.
"I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed."—"Early Writings," pp. 33, 34.
12. spirits will urge that measure.
"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."—"The Great Controversy," pp. 590, 591.
13. Great wrath will be excited against the saints of God.
"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."—.M., p. 591.
"Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives."—Id., P. 592.
14. A death decree after plagues begin to fall.
"I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would .then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble."—"Early Writings," pp. 36, 37.
(Note.—From this it is seen that the death decree will be issued after probation has closed and after the plagues have begun to fall on the earth. This seems to be implied also in Revelation 16:5, 6. Can we then afford to wait until we see these come before thinking of being ready for the end? See Matt. 24:42, 44.)
15. Powers of earth unite—death penalty results.
"The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that all, 'both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond' [Rev. 13 :16], shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death."—"The Great Controversy," p. 604.
16. At last a universal death decree.
"Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment ; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death."--"Prophets and Kings," p. 512.
17. Similar course in both Old and New World.
"As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand, will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated ; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. . . This argument will appear conclusive ; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts."—"The Great Controversy," pp. 615, 616.
18. Decree similar to-that of time of Esther.
"The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther."—'Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 450.
(Note.—The decree of Ahasuerus was issued on the thirteenth day of the first month (Esther 3:7, 12), and was to be executed upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. Esther 3:13; see also Esther 8:12; 9:1. Hence a period of eleven months lapsed between the date of the issuing of the decree and that of its execution.)
19. Decree to disregard the Sabbath.
"The decree will go forth that they must disregard the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and honor the first day, or lose their lives."—Id., Vol. 1, pp. 353, 354.
20. Leaders of earth consult. Copies of decree.
"I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death."—"Early Writings," pp. 282, 283.
(Note.—Here it is seen that a "certain time" lapses between the publication of the death decree and the date of its execution. The following passages also bear out this thought.)
21. Flight—some escape, others caught.
"As the decree, issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government, and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. . . . But many of all nations, and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help."—"The Great Controversy," p. 626.
22. Attacked while in flight.
"In the time of trouble we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with a sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell as powerless as a straw."—"Early Writings," p. 34.
"As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God's people broke and fell as powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints."—Id., pp. 284, 285.
23. General death decree anticipated by some.
"Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages ; but the swords raised against them break and fall as powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war."—"The Great Controversy," p. 631.
"In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them."—"Early Writings," p. 283.
(Note.—It is reasonable to believe that God's people will take advantage of the time and flee before the date arrives.)
24. Simultaneous move to kill God's people in one night.
"When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof."—"The Great Controversy," p. 635.
(Note.—Here it is said to be at night that the decree of death in to take effect. According to civil law, the legal day begins at midnight. Hence the date for the execution of the decree would begin at midnight. "It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people." See No. 27. It is then also that the seventh plague will fall, See "The Great Controversy," p. 636.)
25. Wicked urged on by host of demons.
"They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. . . . But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God's people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede, and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back.
It was an hour of fearful, terrible agony to the saints. Day and night they cried unto God for deliverance. To outward appearance, there was no possibility of their escape. The wicked had already begun to triumph, crying out: 'Why doesn't your God deliver you out of our hands? Why don't you go up, and save your lives?' But the saints heeded them not. . . . The angels, faithful to their trust, continued their watch. . , . The time had nearly come when He was to manifest His mighty power, and gloriously deliver His saints."—"Early Writings," pp. 283, 284.
26. The hour of God's interposition to save.
"The people of God—some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains—still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen."—"The Great Controversy,"
He gloriously interposes to save His chosen.)
27. God's people delivered.
"It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance." etc. (See "The Great Controversy," page 636 and onward.)
28. Arms for killing saints turned on false pastors.
"The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things ; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. 'We are lost!' they cry, 'and you are the cause of our ruin;' and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most, will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels, will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people, are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed."—Id., Pp, 655, 656.
(Note—Here is the fulfillment of Revelation 17:16. The fate of apostate Christianity in the reactions of the French and Russian revolutions, and in the recent Spanish civil war, will be mild as compared with that of the last crisis.)