SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW)

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Chapter 8

12 (see EGW comments on ch. 5:18-23). Satan Seeks to Widen Distance Between Heaven and Earth—The satanic agencies are constantly at work, sowing and watering the seeds of rebellion against the law of God, and Satan is gathering souls under his black banner of revolt. He forms a confederacy with human beings to contend against purity and holiness. He has worked diligently, perseveringly, increasing the number who will confederate with him. By his representations he seeks to widen the distance between heaven and earth, and he grows into the conviction that he can wear out the patience of God, extinguish His love for man, and bring condemnation upon the whole human family (The Review and Herald, October 21, 1902). 4BC 1141.6

No Confederacy With Those Opposing the Truth—Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism in exalting tradition above Scripture, reason above revelation, and human talent above the divine influence and the vital power of godliness (The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896). 4BC 1141.7

The Divine Touch Needed—The gospel is now resolutely opposed on every hand. Never was the confederacy of evil greater than at the present time. The spirits of darkness are combining with human agencies to set them firmly against the commandments of God. Traditions and falsehoods are exalted above the Scriptures; reason and science above revelation; human talent above the teachings of the Spirit; forms and ceremonies above the vital power of godliness. We need the divine touch (The Review and Herald, March 19, 1895). 4BC 1142.1

Fallen Men and Fallen Angels in Same Confederacy—Through apostasy, fallen men and fallen angels are in the same confederacy, leagued to work against good. They are united in a desperate companionship. Through his evil angels, Satan contrives to form an alliance with professedly pious men, and thus he leavens the church of God. He knows that if he can induce men, as he induced the angels, to join in rebellion, under the guise of servants of God, he will have in them his most successful allies in his enterprise against heaven. Under the name of godliness, he can inspire them with his own accusing spirit, and lead them to charge God's servants with evil and guile. They are his trained detectives; their work is to create feuds, to make charges which create discord and bitterness among brethren, to set tongues in active service for Satan, to sow seeds of dissension by watching for evil, and by speaking of that which will create discord. 4BC 1142.2

I beseech all who engage in the work of murmuring and complaining because something has been said or done that does not suit them, and that does not, as they think, give them due consideration, to remember that they are carrying on the very work begun in heaven by Satan. They are following in his track, sowing unbelief, discord, and disloyalty; for no one can entertain feelings of disaffection, and keep them to himself. He must tell others that he is not treated as he should be. Thus they are led to murmur and complain. This is the root of bitterness springing up, whereby many are defiled. 4BC 1142.3

Thus Satan works today through his evil angels. He confederates with men who claim to be in the faith; and those who are trying to carry forward the work of God with fidelity, having no man's person in admiration, working without hypocrisy and partiality, will have just as severe trials brought against them as Satan can bring through those who claim to love God. Proportionate to the light and knowledge these opposers have is Satan's success. The root of bitterness strikes deep, and is communicated to others. Thus many are defiled. Their statements are confused and untruthful, their principles are unscrupulous, and Satan finds in them the very helpers he needs (The Review and Herald, September 14, 1897). 4BC 1142.4

What Is a Confederacy?—The question has been asked, What do you mean by a confederacy? Who have formed confederacies? You know what a confederacy is,—a union of men in a work that does not bear the stamp of pure, straightforward, unswerving integrity (Manuscript 29, 1911). 4BC 1142.5

(2 Corinthians 6:17.) The wicked are being bound up in bundles, bound up in trusts, in unions, in confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organizations. God is our Ruler, our Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” If we refuse to do this, if we continue to link up with the world, and to look at every matter from a worldly standpoint, we shall become like the world. When worldly policy and worldly ideas govern our transactions, we cannot stand on the high and holy platform of eternal truth (Manuscript 71, 1903). 4BC 1142.6

Good and Evil Angels in Human Form on Field of Action—Satanic agencies in human form will take part in this last great conflict to oppose the building up of the kingdom of God. And heavenly angels in human guise will be on the field of action. Men and women have confederated to oppose the Lord God of heaven, and the church is only half awake to the situation. There needs to be much more of prayer, much more of earnest effort among professed believers. 4BC 1142.7

The two opposing parties will continue to exist till the closing up of the last great chapter in this world's history. Satanic agencies are in every city. We cannot afford to be off our guard for one moment (Letter 42, 1909). 4BC 1142.8