ALL THOSE WHO HATE PROPHECY HATE JESUS CHRIST AND THEY ARE READY TO ABANDON THE FAITH AND JOIN THE OPPOSITION.
John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
OUR FORMER BRETHREN WILL BE ONE OF SATAN’S GREAT AGENTS IN THE COMING PERSECUTION. THEY WILL BE WORST ENEMIES AND PERSECUTORS.
THE FINAL TEST: THE LAST ACT IN THE DRAMA REVEALS THE JUDAS AMONG GOD’S PEOPLE.
LIKE, JUDAS, GOD’S PEOPLE SHALL BE BETRAYED BY THEIR FORMER BRETHREN.
Matthew 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. GC 608.2
Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church.—Testimonies for the Church 4:89 (1876). LDE 173.5
The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church.—Testimonies for the Church 5:81 (1882). LDE 173.6
In the absence of the persecution there have drifted into our ranks men who appear sound and their Christianity unquestionable, but who, if persecution should arise, would go out from us.—Evangelism, 360 (1890). LDE 174.1
When the law of God is made void the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.—Selected Messages 2:368 (1891). LDE 174.2
Superficial Believers Will Renounce the Faith
The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative [Ellen White is not here distinguishing theological conservatives from their liberal counterparts; she is describing those who put “worldly conformity” first and God’s cause second.] class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith.—Testimonies for the Church 5:463 (1885).
On every occasion that persecution takes place, the witnesses make decisions, either for Christ or against Him. Those who show sympathy for the men wrongly condemned, who are not bitter against them, show their attachment for Christ.—The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1901. LDE 181.2
Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the half-hearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter than in days of prosperity.—The Great Controversy, 602 (1911). LDE 181.3
New Converts Will Take the Places of Those Who Leave
Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks.—Early Writings, 271 (1858). LDE 182.1
The broken ranks will be filled up by those represented by Christ as coming in at the eleventh hour. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God’s destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who [now] have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched, His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time.—Letter 103, 1903. LDE 182.2
Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God.—Testimonies for the Church 8:41 (1904). LDE 182.3
Beauty of Truth Made Apparent by Opposition
The zeal of those who obey the Lord will be increased as the world and the church unite in making void the law. Every objection raised against the commandments of God will make way for the advancement of truth and enable its advocates to present its value before men. There is a beauty and force in the truth that nothing can make so apparent as opposition and persecution.—Manuscript Releases 13:71, 72 (1896). LDE 140.4
This time, when there is such an effort made to enforce the observance of Sunday, is the very opportunity to present to the world the true Sabbath in contrast to the false. The Lord in His providence is far ahead of us. He has permitted this Sunday question to be pressed to the front that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment may be presented before the legislative assemblies. Thus the leading men of the nation may have their attention called to the testimony of God’s Word in favor of the true Sabbath.—Manuscript Releases 2:197 (1890). LDE 141.1
We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men
The adherents of truth are now called upon to choose between disregarding a plain requirement of God’s Word or forfeiting their liberty. If we yield the Word of God and accept human customs and traditions, we may still be permitted to live among men, to buy and sell, and have our rights respected. But if we maintain our loyalty to God it must be at the sacrifice of our rights among men, for the enemies of God’s law have leagued together to crush out independent judgment in matters of religious faith and control the consciences of men…. LDE 141.2
The people of God will recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and will by precept and example teach obedience to it as a sacred duty so long as its authority is exercised within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God we must choose to obey God rather than men. The Word of God must be recognized and obeyed as an authority above that of all human legislation. “Thus saith the Lord” is not to be set aside for a “Thus saith the church or the state.” The crown of Christ is to be uplifted above all the diadems of earthly potentates.—The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893. LDE 142.1
Satan offers to men the kingdoms of the world if they will yield to him the supremacy. Many do this and sacrifice heaven. It is better to die than to sin; better to want than to defraud; better to hunger than to lie.—Testimonies for the Church 4:495 (1880). LDE 142.2