SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 13

1, 2, 11. See EGW on ch. 12:3-6, 13-17. 7BC 975.1

8. See EGW on chs. 3:5; 20:12-15; Hebrews 9:11-14, 22. 7BC 975.2

11. A Unique Symbol—Here is a striking figure of the rise and growth of our own nation. And the lamblike horns, emblems of innocence and gentleness, well represent the character of our government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, republicanism and Protestantism (The Spirit of Prophecy 4:277). 7BC 975.3

Shield of Omnipotence Over America—The United States is a land that has been under the special shield of the Omnipotent One. God has done great things for this country, but in the transgression of His law, men have been doing a work originated by the man of sin. Satan is working out his designs to involve the human family in disloyalty (Manuscript 17, 1906). 7BC 975.4

The Prospect Before Us—Prophecy represents Protestantism as having lamblike horns, but speaking like a dragon. Already we are beginning to hear the voice of the dragon. There is a satanic force propelling the Sunday movement, but it is concealed. Even the men who are engaged in the work, are themselves blinded to the results which will follow their movement. 7BC 975.5

Let not the commandment-keeping people of God be silent at this time, as though we gracefully accepted the situation. There is the prospect before us of waging a continuous war, at the risk of imprisonment, of losing property and even life itself, to defend the law of God, which is being made void by the laws of men (The Review and Herald, January 1, 1889). 7BC 975.6

11-17 (ch. 14:9-12; Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; see EGW on Revelation 17:13, 14; 18:1-5). Persecuting Hand of the Enemy—[Revelation 13:11-13 quoted.] Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession and claiming to have the characteristics of a lamb, will show by their acts that they have the heart of a dragon, and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God's people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God's plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws. 7BC 975.7

The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God's people are to stand firm for Him. And the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods (Manuscript 135, 1902). 7BC 975.8

Church and the World in Corrupt Harmony—The Word of God plainly declares that His law is to be scorned, trampled upon, by the world; there will be an extraordinary prevalence of iniquity. The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony. 7BC 975.9

Here the great crisis is coming upon the world. The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the timeserving concessions of the so-called Protestant world (The General Conference Daily Bulletin, April 13, 1891). 7BC 975.10

13, 14 (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; see EGW on ch. 16:13-16; Matthew 7:21-23). Miracles Performed in Our Sight—The time is at hand when Satan will work miracles to confirm minds in the belief that he is God. All the people of God are now to stand on the platform of truth as it has been given in the third angel's message. All the pleasant pictures, all the miracles wrought, will be presented in order that, if possible, the very elect will be deceived. The only hope for anyone is to hold fast the evidences that have confirmed the truth in righteousness (The Review and Herald, August 9, 1906). 7BC 975.11

Miracles Wrought Under Supervision of the Enemy—[Matthew 7:21-23 quoted.] These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, “Lord, Lord”; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty. In the near future there will be still more marked manifestations of this miracle-working power; for it is said of him, “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1885). 7BC 975.12

14. Preparing for the Image of the Beast—Already preparations are advancing, and movements are in progress, which will result in making an image to the beast. Events will be brought about in the earth's history that will fulfill the predictions of prophecy for these last days (The Review and Herald, April 23, 1889). 7BC 976.1

14-17 (ch. 14:9-12). Tested by the Image—The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided.... [Revelation 13:11-17 quoted.] ... 7BC 976.2

This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed. All who proved their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast (Letter 11, 1890). 7BC 976.3

Apostasy and National Ruin—When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church—then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin (The Signs of the Times, March 22, 1910). 7BC 976.4

The Mark of Apostasy and God's Patience—There are many who have never had the light. They are deceived by their teachers, and they have not received the mark of the beast. The Lord is working with them; He has not left them to their own ways. Until they shall be convicted of the truth and trample upon the evidence given to enlighten them, the Lord will not withdraw His grace from them (Letter 7, 1895). 7BC 976.5

15-17 (see EGW on 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). Perfecting the Device of Satan—When the legislature frames laws which exalt the first day of the week, and put it in the place of the seventh day, the device of Satan will be perfected (The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890). 7BC 976.6

16, 17 (Daniel 3:1-18; see EGW on 1 John 2:18). History Will Be Repeated—History will be repeated. False religion will be exalted. The first day of the week, a common working day, possessing no sanctity whatever, will be set up as was the image at Babylon. All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath. This is Satan's plan to make of no account the day instituted by God, and given to the world as a memorial of creation. 7BC 976.7

The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world. In a limited degree, it has already gone forth. In several places the civil power is speaking with the voice of a dragon, just as the heathen king spoke to the Hebrew captives. 7BC 976.8

Trial and persecution will come to all who, in obedience to the Word of God, refuse to worship this false sabbath. Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. We need the same spirit that was manifested by God's servants in the conflict with paganism (The Signs of the Times, May 6, 1897). 7BC 976.9

(Ch. 14:9-12.) Men in Authority to Hear—God is going to bring around a condition of things where the good men and the men in authority will have an opportunity to know what is truth indeed. And because a people will not bow the knee to the image, and receive the mark of the beast in the hand or the forehead, but will stand to the truth because it is truth, there will be oppression, and an attempt to compel the conscience; but those who have known the truth will be afraid to yield to the powers of darkness. God has a people who will not receive the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead.... 7BC 976.10

Not a move has been made in exalting the idol sabbath, in bringing around Sunday observance through legislation, but Satan has been behind it, and has been the chief worker; but the conscience should not be compelled even for the observance of the genuine Sabbath, for God will accept only willing service (The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890). 7BC 977.1

The Law of God Made Void—A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God's people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin (The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888). 7BC 977.2

Contempt for the Great Lawgiver—The sins of the world will have reached unto heaven when the law of God is made void; when the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled in the dust, and men are compelled to accept in its stead an institution of the papacy through the strong hand of the law of the land. In exalting an institution of man above the institution ordained of God, they show contempt for the great Lawgiver, and refuse His sign or seal (The Review and Herald, November 5, 1889). 7BC 977.3

Prepared for Injustice—As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated because they are obedient to the commandments of God. If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal and condemned to death, His disciples must expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character. 7BC 977.4

Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God's holy commandments are despised and trampled underfoot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God (The Review and Herald, December 26, 1899). 7BC 977.5

(2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.) Living in a Momentous Period—We are living in a momentous period of this earth's history. The great conflict is just before us. We see the world corrupted under the inhabitants thereof. The man of sin has worked with a marvelous perseverance to exalt the spurious sabbath, and the disloyal Protestant world has wondered after the beast, and has called obedience to the Sabbath instituted by Jehovah disloyalty to the laws of the nations. Kingdoms have confederated to sustain a false sabbath institution, which has not a word of authority in the oracles of God (The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900). 7BC 977.6

(Ch. 7:2, 3). The Question Before Us Now—The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict, in which all the world will act a part. Men have honored Satan's principles above the principles that rule in the heavens. They have accepted the spurious sabbath, which Satan has exalted as the sign of his authority. But God has set His seal upon His royal requirement. Each Sabbath institution, both true and false, bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each. 7BC 977.7

The great decision now to be made by every one is, whether he will receive the mark of the beast and his image, or the seal of the living and true God (The Signs of the Times, March 22, 1910) 7BC 977.8

Mark of Beast Not Yet Applied—Sundaykeeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. The time will come when this day will be the test, but that time has not come yet (Manuscript 118, 1899). 7BC 977.9