Larger font
Smaller font
Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Ms 51, 1899

    The Seal of God


    April 2, 1899

    This manuscript is published in entirety in ST 11/01/1899, 11/08/1899. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    To the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience of the church. Subjects of intense interest and vast importance were presented to him in figures and symbols, that those who should turn from error to truth might become intelligent concerning the perils and conflicts before them. The history of the Christian world to the very close of time was revealed to him. With great clearness he saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records the closing message which is to ripen the harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner, or as fagots for the fires of the last day.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 1

    John beheld in vision the redeemed people of God. He saw the triumph of those who had gained the victory over the beast and over his image. He marked the trials which they had endured for the truth’s sake. He saw their unyielding firmness in adhering to the commandments of God against the oppressive powers that sought to force them to disobedience.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 2

    Under the symbols of a great red dragon, a leopard-like beast, and a beast with lamblike horns, the earthly governments, which would be especially engaged in trampling upon God’s law and persecuting His people, were presented to John. Their war is carried on till the close of time. The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, are represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still exists. Of these John speaks as “they which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” [Revelation 12:17.]14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 3

    Through paganism, and then through [the] Papacy Satan exerted his power for many centuries in an effort to blot from the earth God’s faithful witnesses. Heathen and papists were actuated by the same dragon spirit. They differed only in that the Romish apostate, making a pretense of serving God, was the more dangerous and cruel foe. Through the agency of Romanism, Satan took the world captive. The professed church of God was swept into the ranks of this delusion, and for more than a thousand years the people of God suffered under the dragon’s fire. At the time when [the] Papacy, robbed of its strength, was forced to desist from persecution, John beheld a new power coming up to echo the dragon’s voice, and carry forward the same cruel and blasphemous work.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 4

    This power, the last that is to wage war against the church and the law of God, was represented by a beast with lamblike horns. The beasts preceding it had risen from the sea, but this came up out of the earth, representing the peaceful rise of the nation which it symbolized. The “two horns like a lamb” [Revelation 13:11] well represent the character of our own government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, Republicanism and Protestantism. These principles are the secret of our power and prosperity as a nation. Those who first found an asylum on the shores of America rejoiced that they had reached a country free from the arrogant claims of popery and the tyranny of kingly rule. They determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 5

    But the stern tracings of the prophetic pencil reveal a change in this peaceful scene. The beast with lamblike horns speaks with the voice of a dragon, and “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.” Prophecy declares that he will say to them that dwell on the earth “that they should make an image to the beast,” and that it will cause “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.” [Verses 12, 14, 16, 17.] Thus Protestantism follows in the steps of [the] Papacy.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 6

    It is at this time that the third angel is seen flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming, “If any man worship the beast or his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture.” “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:9, 10, 12.] In marked contrast to the world, stands a little company that will not swerve from their allegiance to God. These are they of whom Isaiah speaks as repairing the breach which had been made in the law of God, they who are “building the old waste places,” “raising up the foundation of many generations.” [Isaiah 58:12.]14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 7

    The most solemn warning and the most awful threatening ever addressed to mortals is that contained in the third angel’s message. The sin which calls down the wrath of God unmixed with mercy must be of the most heinous character. Is the world to be left in darkness as to the nature of this sin? Most assuredly not; God does not deal thus with His creatures. His wrath is never visited upon the sins of ignorance. Before His judgments are brought upon the earth, the light in regard to this sin must be presented to the world, that men may know why these judgments are to be inflicted, and may have opportunity to escape them.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 8

    The message containing this warning is the last to be proclaimed before the revelation of the Son of man. The signs which He Himself has given declare His coming to be near at hand. For well-nigh forty years has the message of the third angel been sounding. The time has come when all who have an interest in their soul’s salvation should earnestly and solemnly inquire, What is the mark of the beast? How shall we avoid receiving it?14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 9

    In the issue of the great contest, two parties are developed: those who “worship the beast and his image,” and receive his mark, and those that receive “the seal of the living God,” who have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads.” [Revelation 14:9; 7:2; 14:1.] <This is not a visible mark.>14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 10

    The seal of God, the token or sign of His authority, is found in the fourth commandment. This is the only precept of the Decalogue which points to God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, thus clearly distinguishing the true God from all false gods. Throughout the Scriptures the fact of God’s creative power is cited as proof that He is above all heathen deities.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 11

    The Sabbath enjoined by the fourth commandment was instituted to commemorate the work of creation, thus to keep the minds of men ever directed to the true and living God. Had the Sabbath always been kept, there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The sacred observance of God’s holy day would have led the minds of men to their Creator. Everything of nature would have brought Him to their remembrance, and would have borne witness to His power and His love. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. It points to God as the Creator, and is the sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 12

    What, then, is the mark of the beast but the spurious sabbath which the world has accepted in the place of the true?14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 13

    The prophetic declaration that the Papacy was to oppose and exalt itself “above all that is called God, or that is worshiped,” was strikingly fulfilled in the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. [2 Thessalonians 2:4.] Wherever the papal sabbath is honored in preference to the Sabbath of the Lord, there is the man of sin exalted above the Creator of the heavens and the earth.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 14

    Those who assert that Christ changed the Sabbath are directly contradicting His own words. In His sermon on the mount He declared, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle 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.]14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 15

    Roman Catholics acknowledge that the change in the Sabbath was made by their church, and they cite this very change as evidence of the supreme authority of the church. They declare that by observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath, Protestants are recognizing her power to legislate in divine things. The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to infallibility, and when the world and the Protestant churches accept a spurious sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Sabbath of jehovah, they virtually acknowledge this claim. They may cite the authority of the apostles and fathers as authority for this change, but the fallacy of their reasoning is easily discerned. The papist is sharp enough to see that Protestants are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the Sunday institution gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 16

    The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish Church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God’s appointment.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 17

    But no one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 18

    With rapid steps we are approaching this period. When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and State. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 19

    Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties, and representing that her spirit of persecution no longer exists. But the Papacy is still the same. She may clothe herself in Christlike garments, the better to carry forward her purposes, but she still retains the venom of the serpent. Her principles are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in churches, and in the hearts of men; but she is the same as in the days of [the] Reformation when men of God stood up at the peril of their lives to expose her iniquity. Popery is the same as when it assumed the power to control kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Its spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when it crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 20

    Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery by compromises and concessions, giving her vantage ground which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. The Protestant world needs to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 21

    When the State shall enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church, then will Protestant America have formed an image of [the] Papacy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution as were God’s people in ancient times. Almost every century furnishes instances of what human hearts, controlled by rage and malice, can do under a plea of serving God by protecting the rights of the church and State. The Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. How many non-conformist ministers have suffered under the power of the Church of England! Persecution always follows favoritism in doctrine or religion on the part of secular governments.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 22

    It is urged by many that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of the dogma, superstition, and oppression of popery, and that the general diffusion of knowledge and the well-nigh universal acceptance of the principles of religious liberty, forbid a revival of superstition and tyranny. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shining upon this generation. Since 1844 light from the heaven of heavens has beamed from the open door of the temple of God. But it is to be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the delusion and darkness of those who reject the Word of God and accept fables, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 23

    Satan will excite the indignation of apostate Christendom against the humble remnant who conscientiously refuse to accept their customs and traditions. Blinded by the prince of darkness, popular religionists will see only as he see, and feel as he feels. They will determine as he determines, and oppress as he has oppressed. Liberty of conscience, which has cost this nation so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. The church and the world will unite, and the world will lend to the church her power to crush out the right of the people to worship God according to His Word.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 24

    The decree which is to go forth against the people of God in the near future is in some respects similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman toward Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done Haman harm, but he had refused to flatter his vanity by showing him the reverence which belongs only to God. The king’s decision against the Jews was secured under false pretenses, through a misrepresentation of that peculiar people. Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counter-power that reigns among the children of men. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to protect the people of God, and the plots of their adversaries returned upon their own heads.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 25

    History repeats itself. The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is now at work to gain control of the falling churches, that through them he may condemn and put to death all who will not worship the idol sabbath. We have not to battle with men, as it may appear. We war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places. But if the people of God will put their trust in Him, and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 26

    The decree is to go forth that all who will not receive the mark of the beast shall neither buy nor sell, and, finally, that they shall be put to death. But the saints of God do not receive this mark. The prophet of Patmos beheld those that had gotten the victory over the beast and over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God, and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 27

    To every soul will come the searching test, Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Satan is putting forth his utmost efforts in the rage of a last despairing struggle against Christ and His followers. In this closing scene false teachers are employing every possible device to stimulate the hardened sinner in his rebellious daring, to confirm the questioning, the doubting, the unbelieving, and by misrepresentation and falsehood to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. Who are prepared to stand firmly under the banner on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and faith of Jesus”? [Revelation 14:12.]14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 28

    Christ never purchased peace and friendship by compromise with evil. Though His heart overflowed with love toward the human race, He could not be indulgent to their sins. Because He loved them He was a stern reprover of their vices. The life of Jesus, the suffering which He endured from a perverse nation, demonstrate to His followers that there must be no sacrifice of principle. God’s tried people must maintain continual watchfulness, with fervent prayer, lest in their eagerness to prevent discord, they surrender truth, and thus dishonor the God of truth. Peace is too dearly obtained if purchased by the smallest concession to Satan’s agencies. The least surrender of principle entangles us in the snare of Satan.14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 29

    Paul writes to the Romans, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” [Romans 12:18.] But there is a point beyond which it is impossible to maintain union and harmony without the sacrifice of principle. Separation then becomes an absolute duty. The laws of nations should be respected when they do not conflict with the laws of God. But when there is collision between them, every true disciple of Christ will say, as did the apostle Peter when commanded to speak no more in the name of Jesus, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” [Acts 5:29.]14LtMs, Ms 51, 1899, par. 30

    Larger font
    Smaller font