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03. The Four Stages of the Sunday Law

Norman McNulty
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As Seventh-day Adventists, we understand that a National Sunday Law is coming. How will it be implemented? What should we expect? In this presentation, we will see that there are four phases or stages to the Sunday Law culminating with the death decree for God's people who are faithful and coinciding with the close of human probation.

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Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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  • June 18, 2020
    9:00 AM
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Greetings again and welcome to part 3 in our last day events explained series here on AudioVerse. My name is Norman McNulty and I'm so glad that you have chosen to join me for this study and I hope that you have been blessed and challenged as we've been going through these topics. Part one we talked about the trigger for end time events and we saw that’s the national Sunday law. Last week we looked at the abomination of desolation, how that develops through Scripture culminating with a national Sunday law at the end of time. Today we're going to look at the 4 stages of a Sunday law so I'm looking forward to going through that. Before we do that though we are going to answer a few questions and we've had. Some more good questions have come in this week. And just as a reminder, here on the screen you can see that you can send in questions to the email on the screen which is contact@audioverse.org. So I encourage you to keep sending the questions in. We had some more good questions come in and so I'm going to address some of them now. 

 

This question is from Terri and her question is “Will the shaken take place after the Sunday law is in place?” and what I would say to that is that the Bible makes it very clear that everything that can be shaken will be shaken and clearly after the Sunday law is passed that will be the final shaking of Adventism. But there is a shaking taking place even now in the church as people debate things such as creation and evolution, whether or not Ellen White has authoritative validity in the church, all of those things are shaking out the wheat and the tares even now and then the final harvest will come together once the Sunday law comes together. So that's an excellent question. 

 

Terry also mentions that there is a statement in Great Controversy page 589 that talks about how Satan will appear as a great physician who can heal all of our maladies but he will bring disease and disaster until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation and she was wondering if Covid-19 is phase one of the diseases he will bring to per se persuade men we are displeasing to heaven and I think that's a good thought. I mean, clearly Covid-19, this whole pandemic, is a sign of the coming of Jesus and if it doesn't get better and if more unrest takes place, that can certainly be a fulfillment if things continue to escalate. It would be something that could lead to a Sunday law. Time will tell. Excellent question. 

 

I got another question from Kylie and she asked the question, “Can you please address Satan's counterfeit appearing of Jesus in terms of what, how, when, where and why?” We are going to address that in this presentation in fact. And then the question was asked, “Could you please comment on this Ellen White that appears to be a dual prophecy attributing Satan and the beast power, the first beast Revelation 13 ruling for 42 months in the future?” And now before I read the statement, I will mention that this is a favorite quote of those who like to make a dual application in end time prophecy. Last week we talked about the 1290, the 1335, and even the 1260 and how some try to make a deal application for those. This statement is found in Manuscript 153, 1902. You can also find it in Manuscript Releases, Volume 19, page 282. And this statement says, “In the last days Satan will appear as an angel of light, with great power and heavenly glory, and claim to be the Lord of the whole earth. He will declare that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week; and as lord of the first day of the week he will present this spurious Sabbath as a test of loyalty to him. Then will take place the final fulfillment of the Revelator’s prophecy.” Now, Ellen White says, “Once Satan appears you're going to see the final fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation 13.” And then Ellen White quotes verses 4-18, which is basically verses 4 through the end of the chapter. Now I’ll mention, Kylie, as you shared this quote, you just shared verses 4 and 5. And you did mention that the whole chapter is quoted a bit. It's not just verses 4 and 5 that Ellen White quotes here. It’s the entire chapter. And so verse 4 talks about how the dragon is worshiped as well as the beast. So Satan will be worshiped, but he's personating Christ. And Ellen White then says that the final fulfillment of this prophecy will take place. Well, here’s what we can say if you want to say that there is a final fulfillment of this prophecy: what will be fulfilled with the final fulfillment is that which has not yet been fulfilled in the chapter and that would be the death decree and the whole fulfillment of Revelation 13. But what we're going to see in our study this week is that there is actually 4 stages to the Sunday law, that's what the purpose of this study is, and that Satan impersonating Christ happens in the last stage of the Sunday law. So in fact, the image to the beast has already been formed when Satan impersonates Christ. It's not as if he comes on to the scene initially to start a Sunday law. He comes on at the very end. And so much of Revelation 13 will have already been fulfilled, and so Ellen White says the final fulfillment of Revelation 13 takes place once Satan impersonates Christ, but by then you will have already seen the image to the beast form. You’ll have already seen the restriction of not being able to buy and sell. And so, this is leading up to the death decree when Satan impersonates Christ. So is there a 42 month literal fulfillment? At that point, no there is not. Ellen White, and we read this statement last week, this is Last Day Events, page 36, “Our position has been one of waiting and watching with no time proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord's coming.” So there's not 42 months of literal time between the time that Satan impersonates Christ to the second coming. That would be a time prophecy in Ellen White it is clear on that. Furthermore, again, by the time Satan comes and impersonates Christ, the Sunday law has already been in gear and now we're just waiting for the death decree which lays the close of probation and we'll get into that. So, don't be confused by some of these fanciful interpretations that are out there.

 

Another question was, “You mention in section two in response to one of the questions that in your understanding the judgment of the living begins when the Sunday law is passed. By implication then would you disagree with the belief by some of the churches that probation closes for Seventh-day Adventists when the Sunday law is introduced?” Yes, I do not believe that probation closes for Seventh-day Adventists when the Sunday law passes. There is one cause of probation and that's when Michael stands up in Daniel 12:1 and in Revelation 22:11 where we see, “He that is unjust, let him be and just still,” and so forth. However the opportunity for preparation ends when the Sunday law passes. There's the wise virgins; there's the foolish virgins of those are ready to go forth to meet the bridegroom. But only after they go forth to meet Him, wide awake as a people, only in a few verses later does the bridegroom appear and they that are ready to go with him into the marriage and the door shut so there's a period of time between when the Sunday law 1st starts at the midnight cry to when the door of probation closes. So no, I don't believe that probation closes at the Sunday law. 

 

Now I do want to mention there was a question that came in from an individual who wanted to know how to convince a family member to move to the country. That came in a couple of weeks ago. I will get to that when we get to the little time of trouble and country living and things of that nature. So I'm not ignoring that question, but will address that at that point. 

 

So, at this point I'm going to just mention one other thing I want to remind you. If you haven't gotten a copy of my book already I would encourage you to check out my book on Daniel that you can get from Remnant Publications. Again, this is a great time to be studying Bible prophecy. This makes prophecy practical but it goes through all of the theory, so if you have a chance, check that out as well. 

 

And now we're going to get to our study for today so I’m going to ask the Lord to be with us as we go through this presentation so that things will be clear. So let's just pray. “Lord, I pray that as we go through this presentation on the 4 stages of the Sunday law that things will be clear to us, that we would understand, and I pray that we would be found and ready when You come. And so, give us clarity and understanding, I pray, in Jesus name, amen.”

 

So the title for this presentation is Four Stages of the Sunday Law. You see the picture there of the president of the United States shaking the hand of the pope. I'm not picking on this particular president. I've shared slides of the previous presidents and similar pictures in similar presentations in the past. This just happens to be our current president and I believe that any United States president could be the president that could be the one to pass the Sunday law, but I'm not singling out one president in particular. I'm not here to be political, but this is just the fact that the United States of America will work closely with the papacy to bring about a Sunday law. So we're going to look at the 4 stages of the Sunday law, and just as an overview of where we're headed, we're going to see that in the 1st stage it's going to be a refrain from working on Sunday. And as it progresses it will be honoring Sunday, but it’s still able to worship on the Sabbath. Then it progresses to you cannot worship on Sabbath, only on Sunday; fines and imprisonment are imposed. You can't buy or sell. Finally, stage 4 is the death penalty to those who worship on Sabbath and disregard Sunday. This is certainly worth a further discussion and to see how it all plays out. And sometimes I find that Adventists kind of have this idea that when the Sunday law comes, bang - everything is over and it is just within a few weeks the whole world comes to an end. It's not going to be a few weeks but there's not a set time that we can ascribe to it. It's going to take a little bit of time for everything to play out. Now we saw in our first presentation that, yes, the final movements will be rapid ones, so it's not going to take forever either. But it's going to be more than a few days or a few weeks so there are some stages to the Sunday law. So let's look at that. 

 

Great Controversy, page 603, and Ellen why is making reference to Revelation 18 and the loud dry, and this is from the chapter Earth’s Final Warning. She says, “I saw another angel,” she's quoting revelation 18. “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with His glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” The quote goes on to say “This Scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. A terrible condition of the religious world is here described ... in defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred.” So, here we see that part of this loud cry message is  pointing out one of the precepts of the Decalogue has been trampled on. That’s the fourth Commandment. That is the Sabbath. And this will lead to persecution of those who hold that sacred. 

 

Now we've read this statement already in a previous presentation: Signs of the Times, June 12, 1893, where Ellen White again quotes Revelation 18. Now, I'm not going to read this whole screen here because we just read basically the same thing. Where this time she brings in the verse and verse 5 was she says her sins are reached into heaven and God hath remembered her inequities and in this statement as we've read before Ellen White says, “When do her sins reach unto heaven? When the law of God is finally made void by legislation. Then the extremity of God's people is his opportunity to show who is the governor of heaven and earth.” So, Babylon’s sins reach heaven at the Sunday law. And there's going to be some stages to that Sunday law, but this is the prophetic catalyst that wakes up a sleep church, and we talked about that in our first presentation. 

 

Now, when the sleeping church wakes up at the midnight cry, as we talked about in the first presentation, the wise virgins receive the outpouring of the Latter Rain to give the loud cry message. And notice the statement from Great Controversy page 605. “Heretofore those who presented the truths of the third angel's message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and state would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd. It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been - the defender of religious freedom. But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.” Now I have to say as a Seventh-day Adventist, and I can't tell you how many times I've heard other Adventists scoff at the idea of a Sunday law. And when I was in my medical training and residency I was sitting on call when evening with a group of fellow residents who were laughing at the idea that a Sunday law would happen someday. And so, this Sunday law will empower the church to give a loud cry message because it's been so long doubted and disbelieved. There's many scoffers in the church even today who question whether this will really ever take place, but it will happen and when it does it will produce an effect of the 3rd in his message that we have not yet seen. 

 

Now let's look at stage one of the Sunday law. So, as the Sunday law begins to be agitated widely it's going to start off with an encouragement to refrain from working on Sunday a day. A day of rest will be encouraged. And this will be an opportunity for us as God's people to engage in missionary labor. Now I'm going to talk about this next week in our presentation on the New World Order about the Green Sabbath Project, but I'm just going to give you a bit of a preview here. On their website if you go to GreenSabbathProject.net, they say “One day every week, do nothing. Take a weekly day of rest. Make it a real Sabbath for you, for earth. Don't drive. Don't shop. Don't build.” Now again I'm not saying this is a fulfillment of stage one of the Sunday law; it’s not. I'm just saying that these sentiments are starting to gather steam in certain corners of the earth in a way that we have not seen before, so pay attention. Jesus is coming and the things we have always said as Seventh-day Adventists are going to happen. And these are even secularists. These are environmentalists. These aren't even evangelical Christians, necessarily, that are agitating this idea. So notice what Ellen White says about this stage one where we will be encouraged to take a day of rest for our own good and to refrain from working. This is Testimonies volume 9, page 280. She says, “Dear Brother, I will try to answer your question as to what you should do in the case of Sunday laws being enforced. The light given me by the Lord at a time when we were expecting just such a crisis as you seem to be approaching, was that when the people were moved by a power from beneath to enforce Sunday observance, Seventh-day Adventists were to show their wisdom by refraining from their ordinary work on that day, devoting it to missionary effort.” In other words, don't make a big stink about stopping from doing your business work. She goes on to say, “To defy the Sunday laws will but strengthen in their persecution the religious zealots who are seeking to enforce them. Give them no occasion to call you lawbreakers. If they are to rein upon men who fear and neither God nor man, the reining will soon lose its novelty for them, and they will see that it is not consistent nor convenient for them to be strict in regard to the observance of Sunday. Keep right on with your missionary work, with your Bibles in your hands, and the enemy will see that he has worsted his own cause. One does not receive the mark of the beast because he shows that he realizes the wisdom of keeping the peace by refraining from work that gives offense, doing at the same time a work of the highest importance,” (9T 232.3). So now listen, refraining from work is not receiving the mark of the beast. What will constitute the mark of the beast is actually worshipping on the day prescribe but refraining from work is actually an opportunity for us to go out and do missionary work, to do door-to-work door work, as Ellen White says, “So servants of God with their faces lighted up will hasten from place to place to give the message.” So that will be a time to give the message. So refraining from labor isn't receiving the mark of the beast. Receiving the mark of the beast will be worshipping on that day. So, another statement here from Testimonies volume 9, page 232. “When we devote Sunday to missionary work, the whip will be taken out of the hands of the arbitrary zealots who would be well pleased to humiliate Seventh-day Adventists. When they see that we employ ourselves on Sunday in visiting the people and opening the Scriptures to them, they will know that it is useless for them to try to hinder our work by making Sunday laws.” And then she says, “Make,” on the next page, “make no demonstration on Sunday in defiance of law.” Now you know there are some things happening right now in this in this world where there are some just causes that are being protested for, now as I said before, we are not advocating for rioting or looting, but Ellen White says that when the Sunday welcomes, that's not a time to make a demonstration in defiance of the law. Go out and preach the third angel’s message. And so she goes on to say, “We can use Sunday as a day in which to carry forward work that would tell on the side of Christ. We are to do our best, working with all meek and lowliness.” Now, I'm not going to take the time to read all of these statements from Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students page 551 about it is, I refer you to that quote and she is telling teachers, “Employ Sunday in doing missionary work for God.” So again, during phase one, when we are told to refrain from work, this is a time where we can refrain from working but to do missionary labor to warn the world of what is soon to come because it's going to us to escalate very quickly. I don't think it will stay in that stage for very long. I don't know for how long but it won't be for too long. We’ll get to stage two pretty quickly. Stage two of the Sunday law is going to say you can still “observe” your Sabbath and I put observe in quotes because now a law is put in place that says you must honor and worship on Sunday. You must honor that day by worshipping on that day. You can still do your seventh-day worship, but in addition to just refraining from work, you need to honor and worship on that day. If you want to worship on your seventh day you can do that but Sunday is the day. So now social pressure will increase. And once there is a law that actually enforces the worship of Sunday this is the beginning of the little time of trouble this is the beginning of the mark of the beast crisis where if you worship on that day you are receiving the mark of the beast the either in your forehead or in your hand and at this point many Seventh-day Adventists will compromise, even though it hasn't reached the point that we're going to see in phases 3 and 4 where there's fines and imprisonment you can't buy or sell and finally a death agree, many Seventh-day Adventist are in willing to compromise even with this pressure. And this next statement is rather sad from Great Controversy 608, which I think many of us are familiar with, where Ellen White says, “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the 3rd angels 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.” And that's a warning for us even now. If you're not being sanctified through obedience to the truth, if the sweet spirit of Jesus and the fruits of the Spirit are not developing in your heart on a daily basis, you're preparing to receive the mark of the beast. If you're learning to unite with the spirit of the world and to choose the easy, popular side whenever there is a crisis, you are prepared to receive the mark of the beast. And so, when that first phase of the Sunday law comes that enforces Sunday worship, many Seventh-day Adventists will cave immediately. So there is phase one that says refrain from work, and we say fine, we'll do missionary labor on that day. But when phase two comes, which is the first part of enforced worship, that's a time where we cannot compromise in any way. It's not ok to just go along and say, “Well I go to church on Sunday and I’ll go to church on Sabbath.” So I'm back to that conversation I had with fellow Adventist residents way back about 15 years ago. That's what one of them said exactly. He said, “If they pass some kind of a law I'll just go to church on Saturday and I'll go to church on Sunday.” That's mark-of-the-beast thinking, unfortunately.

 

Now, that quote goes on to say, “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). So, I pray that none of you watching this will ever join the easy, popular side and turn against God's people, but unfortunately that is going to happen. 

 

Now we're going to go to stage 3. Stage 3 escalates things further. This law, as it escalates, prohibits worship on Sabbath and you can only worship on Sunday and connected to that are fines and imprisonment and you cannot buy or sell. Now, Daniel 11 shows a nice development of this. In Daniel 11:43 where he has power over the treasures of Egypt and so that's where the papacy, as the king of the North, gains financial monetary control of the entire world. Before the final escalation in verses 44 and 45 with the death decree and Revelation 13:7 he makes it very clear that if you don't have the mark of the beast you cannot buy or sell. And if you're used to compromising to take care of your family, you're going to receive the mark of the beast because your mentality is such that God understands and he wouldn't want my family to go hungry and I need to pay my bills. And so if you're compromising, such as taking a job on Sabbath or whatever else it may be so that you can pay the bills or if you're cheating God on tithe of that you can pay the bills, whatever it is -- that's preparing yourself to receive the mark of the beast, because self preservation is a natural human mechanism but self privacy preservation goes against faith and when God asks us to follow him when it doesn't make sense at all times from a human standpoint, this is where we are going to exercise faith now by not working on Sabbath, by paying tithe even if we don't know where the money is going to come from. Those kinds of faith experiences prepare us to choose to receive the seal of God and avoid receiving the mark of the beast because we've learned that God is faithful. 

 

Now let's look at some statements. This is Great Controversy, 607, which describes the escalation of the Sunday law crisis. “As the controversy extends into new fields and the minds of the people are called to God’s downtrodden law, Satan is astir. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it.” So the loud cry message is going with great power so it maddens those who oppose it. “The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest that light should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers.” So notice, this work will become more bold and decided. Now notice that this, “They,” that’s God’s people, “will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith.” So don't fall for that. You'll be offered money, position, fame, power if you just fill along with the Sunday movement. But then the catch is, if you don't go along with it, we're going to fine you, we’ll take all your money away, we're going to imprison you. And notice the faithful and their steadfast answer. They say, “ ‘Show us from the Word of God our error’ the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances. Those who were arraigned before the courts make a strong of vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths,” (GC 607.1). Now just as an aside I've heard people say there's nothing we can do to vindicate God. Well, it's true that in our own strength we cannot vindicate God, but through the power of God, when we are faithful, that's a vindication of the truth and that's a vindication of Jesus who is the truth. So don't buy into the argument that nothing can be done by God's people to indicate God. It's through the power of God that God vindicates Himself through His people but he is vindicated through their faithfulness. 

 

Then we get to stage four. So, stage one: refrain from work but we engage in missionary labor. Stage two: you can honor Sabbath but you must worship on Sunday, and that's when the mark of the beast crisis begins, and that's when the little time of trouble begins. And then Stage three escalates to where you can't worship on Sabbath; you can only worship on Sunday and find that imprisonment is imposed and you cannot buy or sell. Finally, we reach the point where there is a death decree and this death decree is very, very clearly mentioned in Revelation 13:15-17 and it's worth reading here because the Bible is very clear that someday those who refused to receive the mark of the beast will be given a death decree. In verse 15 is says, “He had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beasts should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” And so, Daniel 11:44-45 talks about how tidings out of the east and out of the North troubled the king of the North therefore he will go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many.” That’s a death decree. And then he plants the tabernacles of his palace between the seas and the glorious Holy Mountain and I mentioned in last week's presentation that the sea represents the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. I failed to mention that it's symbolic, of course, and that the sea represents the people of the world who are on the side of the papacy who is pushing this final abomination of desolation which is a death decree. So the whole world is against this little remnant. Now in stage four of the Sunday law there’s this death decree, Satan impersonates Christ, probation closes, and the time of Jacob's trouble begins. 

 

Now I want to just read a few statements. This is Great Controversy 604. “Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of the 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.” So there is the death decree and you can see the escalation, where it starts with civil penalties and then eventually the death decree. “On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator's rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts. With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whoever shall trample upon God's law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God.” 

 

And here's the thing, people will be receiving the mark of the beast at various stages of the mark of the beast crisis especially from Stage 2 on when Sunday worship is enforced. That might just come from social pressure. It might come when you're faced with fines and imprisonment and not being able to buy and sell. And some will eventually receive it when they face death. Unfortunately, some will compromise of various stages, so the mark of the beast doesn't just come at the death decree. It can come at any point along that line. And it goes on to say, “The warning from heaven is: ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark on his forehead, or in his hand, the same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.’” Now this is going to be part of the loud cry message that we as Seventh-day Adventist are giving during the Sunday law crisis. We're going to be telling the world, “Don't fall for this false religious law that is going to cause you to receive the mark of the beast because if you receive the mark of the beast you will receive the wrath of God which is the 7 last plagues. Stand on God's side even though it seems like the whole world may be against you. With God on your side, he will be with you right through this crisis.” That's going to be the final giving of the third angels message. 

 

Now, Satan does impersonate Christ during this last great act of the drama and this provides an impetus for the death decree. We see this death decree as well in Revelation 12:17 and Daniel I1:44-45, as I've already mentioned. Great Controversy, 624, points out “As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Savior’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come in different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation,” (GC 624.2). So he's going to look like Jesus. And then it goes on, “The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when he was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody.” Now notice this. “In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Savior uttered; he healed the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least of the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is ‘the great power of God,’ Acts 8:10,” (GC 624.2). And so, many who have been teetering on the fence will be swept away by this last great deception by Satan which will be very unfortunate. But notice, “But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false Christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshippers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out,” (GC 625.1). So we're not going to be deceived even when Satan comes and impersonates Christ, because anyone who says that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday we know is a false Christ or a false prophet. And so, these are the stages of the Sunday law. 

 

And then Ellen White also says in Great Controversy, 635, I’m just going to summarize some of these points, that there is going to be the withdrawal of the protection of human laws and there's going to be a time appointed when the death decree will be enacted, and we're going to talk about this in a later presentation, and God's people throughout the earth will be crying out for deliverance in the hour of their of the utmost extremity. And just when it seems that God's people will be destroyed and you see shouts of jeering, triumph, and imprecation from evil men, the dense blackness falls upon the wicked as they come to attempt to destroy God's people. And we will see that God's people will be delivered and we will deal with that in a later presentation.

 

So as we bring this to a close, I just want to give you a few things to think about in this preparation for the coming crisis. There is a season of a distress that is before us and how are you preparing? I mean now that this pandemic has come and the civil unrest is happening in the world around us, you know it would be a shame if your character today was the same as it was 3 months ago, or 6 months ago. I would hope and pray that this crisis has brought you closer to the Lord and I want to read a couple of statements to you as we bring this to a close. This is Great Controversy 621, “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger -- a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God's promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded,” (GC 621.2). Listen friends, I pray that right now, that you are laying hold on God's promises; that you are allowing God to strengthen and develop your faith, because this is the time of opportunity and preparation to be ready for that final crisis. Now I’m going to read another statement. This is Great Controversy, 623, “Now, while our great high priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Savior be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: ‘The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble,” (GC 623.1). You know there's a lot of false theology, even in the Adventist church today that basically says you can be covered by the righteousness of Christ while sin is in your life, and Ellen White very clearly here from the pen of inspiration says, “While Christ is making atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by thought could our Savior be brought to yield to the power of temptation,” (GC 623.1). In other words, that's going to be our condition. We won't be yielding even in our thoughts of the power of temptation. Satan couldn't find anything in Christ, and as the mystery of God is finished in our lives, Christ in you the hope of glory, as we receive the seal of the Living God, in the time of trouble Satan will find nothing in us. That will be the condition that we will stand through the time of trouble. So be careful about theology that says sanctification won't be complete until Jesus comes. After probation closes, at the death decree, and we're standing through the time of trouble, if you're still found with sin in your life, you won't be found ready for Jesus to come. And so these 4 stages of the Sunday law tell us how things are going to play out. And we want to be found ready. We want to be ready for those 4 stages. We want to be the wise virgins with the extra while in our vessels with our lamps having the fruits of the Spirit. And Christ is more than willing to aid each one of us in our preparation for that time. So as we bring this to a close, I'm just going to ask for the Lord's blessing to be with each one of us, so let's pray. “Father, we've considered a number of things in this presentation about the 4 stages of the National Sunday law. And I pray, Lord, that we would be ready for what's going to come upon this world as an overwhelming surprise. Lord, help us to be ready for your coming. Help us to be preparing in our hearts for what is soon to come. And I pray that we would be helping others to be ready as well. May we have a spirit now of being faithful unto death and to not compromise no matter what, so that as the pressure escalates, first through us through social pressure, and then with fines, then imprisonment, not being able to buy or sell, and finally with a death decree, even with delusions all around us, I pray that we would be found faithful and that we would give the loud cry message fearlessly under the power of God. So thank you for this time that we've had to study and be with us until next week. I pray in Jesus name, amen.” 

 

Again I want to invite you to be in our study next week when we look at this concept of the New World Order. What does that mean and how we should be aware of all of that. So, thank you, and we'll see you next week. 

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