The two armies will stand distinct and separate, and this distinction will be so marked that many who shall be convinced of the truth will come on the side of God’s commandment-keeping people. When this grand work is to take place in the battle, prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth.… You will not be tempted above what you are able to bear. Jesus bore all this and far more. Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 385
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” (Revelation 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[Satan quoted] “But our principle concern is to silence this sect of Sabbath keepers. We must excite popular indignation against them. We will enlist great men and worldly wise men upon our side and induce those in authority to carry out our purposes. Then the sabbath which I have set up shall be enforced by laws the most severe and exacting. Those who disregard them shall be driven out from the cities and villages and made to suffer hunger and privation. When once we have the power we will show what we can do with those who will not swerve from their allegiance to God. We led the Romish churches to inflict imprisonment, torture and death upon those who refused to yield to her decrees: and now that we are bringing the Protestant churches and the world into harmony with the right arm of our strength, we will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority. When death shall be made the penalty of violating our sabbath, then many who are now ranked with Sabbath-keepers will come over to our side.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 473
When the fifth seal was opened, John the revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth of Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out from Babylon. [Revelation 18:1–5 quoted]. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 968, or Maranatha, p. 199
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and there brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 6:9-11
I saw our people in great distress, weeping, and praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while the wicked were all around us, mocking us, and threating to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness, they mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with the words calculated to cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy nor sell, and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see how we could live without the world; we were dependent upon the world, and must conceded to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it. If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored the appearances were awfully against us. They declared that they had the truth, that miracles were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them, that great power, and signs and wonders were performed among them, and this was the Temporal Millennium, which they had been expecting so long. The whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law, and this little feeble people stood out in defiance of the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and claimed to be the only ones right on the earth. Maranatha, p. 209
The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will be betrayed “both by parents, and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends.” Luke 21:16 Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 231
When the Sabbath shall become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration.* Satan will excite indignation against the humble remnant who conscientiously refuse to accept the customs and traditions of error. Blinded by the prince of darkness, popular religionists will see only as he sees, and feel as he feels. They will determine as he determines, and oppress as he has oppressed. Liberty of conscience, which 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.
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 against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will finally be issued a decree denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. (See, also Signs of The Times, vol. 3, p. 479, Revelation 13:15). *[Act of cursing, utter detestation, to abhor]. Signs of the Times, vol. 4, p. 502
Men trample underfoot God’s law and say to the people, as the Jews said of Christ, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die” (John 19:7). Over and over this will be repeated in the courts. Christ tells us that in the world we shall have tribulation, but that in Him we shall have peace.
Those who live in the last days of this world’s history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth’s sake. Injustice will prevail in the courts. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal and true to the commandments of God, and will say, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” God’s law is nothing to them; “our law” with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, but those who will not bow to their idol sabbath have no favors shown them. An Adventist Apocalypse, 268
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Revelation 13:15
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
Laws will be made condemning Sabbath keepers to death. In addition, many death sentences will be carried out through national and international criminal court systems. Yet, it seems probable that many, many martyrs of God will seal their fate by their blood as they are witnessing. Others will be cut down by angry mobs. While still others will be murdered as they go about their daily lives. Others will be formally tried and sentenced to death by corrupt courts of law. These atrocities are already taking place, as individuals and even whole groups of people are killed for religious or ethnic reasons, from Rwanda to Yugoslavia. If this is happening now in a supposed enlightened age what more when God’s people become objects of universal hatred and scorn, and Satan has control of men who have rejected Christ and His law.