Ellen G. White photograph
Did God send a prophet?
• Home Page •

This button 
							will send a version of your page to your printer that has been specially 
							formatted to fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Printer-friendly Page
• About Us •
• Audio Books •
• Streaming Videos •
• Web Resources •
• Site Map •
• Contact Us •
Share |

Find out more today how to purchase a hardcover or paperback copy of Early Writings.

www.EllenWhite.info - The Ellen White information website.

Early Writings

by Ellen G. White

Table of Contents    Chapters:  

< Prev  ...  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  ...  Next >

The Mystery of Iniquity

As Christianity became corrupted, the people were taught that the popes and priests were Christ's representatives.
As Christianity became corrupted, the people
were taught that the popes and priests
were Christ's representatives.

Photo of Pope Pius XII — Wikimedia Commons

It has ever been the design of Satan to draw the minds of the people from Jesus to man, and to destroy individual accountability. Satan failed in his design when he tempted the Son of God; but he succeeded better when he came to fallen man. Christianity became corrupted. Popes and priests presumed to take an exalted position, and taught the people to look to them for the pardon of their sins, instead of looking to Christ for themselves. {EW 213.2} [214]

The people were wholly deceived. They were taught that the popes and priests were Christ's representatives, when in fact they were the representatives of Satan, and those who bowed to them worshiped Satan. The people called for the Bible; but the priests considered it dangerous to let them have it to read for themselves, lest they should become enlightened and expose the sins of their leaders. The people were taught to receive every word from these deceivers as from the mouth of God. They held that power over the mind which God alone should hold. If any dared to follow their own convictions, the same hate which Satan and the Jews exercised toward Jesus would be kindled against them, and those in authority would thirst for their blood. {EW 214.1}

I was shown a time when Satan especially triumphed. Multitudes of Christians were slain in a dreadful manner, because they would preserve the purity of their religion. The Bible was hated, and efforts were made to rid the earth of it. The people were forbidden to read it, on pain of death; and all the copies which could be found were burned. But I saw that God had a special care for His Word. He protected it. At different periods there were but a very few copies of the Bible in existence, yet He would not suffer His Word to be lost, for in the last days copies of it were to be so multiplied that every family could possess it. I saw that when there were but few copies of the Bible, it was precious and comforting to the persecuted followers of Jesus. It was read in the most secret manner, and those who had this exalted privilege felt that they had had an interview with God, with His Son Jesus, and with His disciples. But this blessed privilege cost many of them their lives. If discovered, they were taken to the headsman's block, to the stake, or to the dungeon to die of starvation. {EW 214.2} [215]

Satan could not hinder the plan of salvation. Jesus was crucified, and rose again the third day. But Satan told his angels that he would make the crucifixion and resurrection tell to his advantage. He was willing that those who professed faith in Jesus should believe that the laws regulating the Jewish sacrifices and offerings ceased at the death of Christ, if he could push them farther and make them believe that the law of ten commandments also died with Christ. {EW 215.1}

I saw that many readily yielded to this device of Satan. All heaven was moved with indignation as they saw the holy law of God trampled underfoot. Jesus and all the heavenly host were acquainted with the nature of God's law; they knew that He would not change or abrogate it. The hopeless condition of man after the fall caused the deepest sorrow in heaven, and moved Jesus to offer to die for the transgressors of God's holy law. But if that law could be abrogated, man might have been saved without the death of Jesus. Consequently His death did not destroy the law of His Father, but magnified and honored it and enforced obedience to all its holy precepts. {EW 215.2}

Had the church remained pure and steadfast, Satan could not have deceived them, and led them to trample on the law of God. In this bold plan, Satan strikes directly against the foundation of God's government in heaven and on earth. His rebellion caused him to be expelled from heaven. After he rebelled, in order to save himself he wished God to change His law, but was told before the whole heavenly host that God's law was unalterable. Satan knows that if he can cause others to violate God's law, he has gained them to his cause; for every transgressor of that law must die. {EW 215.3}

Satan decided to go still farther. He told his angels that some would be so jealous of God's law that [216] they could not be caught in this snare; the ten commandments were so plain that many would believe that they were still binding, and therefore he must seek to corrupt only one of the commandments. He then led on his representatives to attempt to change the fourth, or Sabbath, commandment, thus altering the only one of the ten which brings to view the true God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Satan presented before them the glorious resurrection of Jesus, and told them that by His rising on the first day of the week, He changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. {EW 215.4}

Thus Satan used the resurrection to serve his purpose. He and his angels rejoiced that the errors they had prepared took so well with the professed friends of Christ. What one looked upon with religious horror, another would receive. Thus different errors were received and defended with zeal. The will of God, so plainly revealed in His Word, was covered up with errors and traditions, which have been taught as the commandments of God. Although this heaven-daring deception will be suffered to be carried on until the second appearing of Jesus, yet through all this time of error and deception, God has not been left without witnesses. Amid the darkness and persecution of the church there have always been true and faithful ones who kept all of God's commandments. {EW 216.1}

I saw that the angelic host were filled with amazement as they beheld the sufferings and death of the King of glory. But I saw that it was no marvel to them that the Lord of life and glory, He who filled all heaven with joy and splendor, should break the bands of death, and walk forth from His prison house, a triumphant conqueror. Therefore, if either of these events should be commemorated by a day of rest, it is the crucifixion. But I saw that neither of these [217] events was designed to alter or abrogate God's law; on the contrary, they give the strongest proof of its immutability. {EW 216.2}

Both of these important events have their memorials. By partaking of the Lord's supper, the broken bread and the fruit of the vine, we show forth the Lord's death until He comes. The scenes of His sufferings and death are thus brought fresh to our minds. The resurrection of Christ is commemorated by our being buried with Him by baptism, and raised out of the watery grave, in likeness of His resurrection, to live in newness of life. {EW 217.1}

I was shown that the law of God would stand fast forever, and exist in the new earth to all eternity. At the creation, when the foundations of the earth were laid, the sons of God looked with admiration upon the work of the Creator, and all the heavenly host shouted for joy. It was then that the foundation of the Sabbath was laid. At the close of the six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made; and He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work. The Sabbath was instituted in Eden before the fall, and was observed by Adam and Eve, and all the heavenly host. God rested on the seventh day, and blessed and hallowed it. I saw that the Sabbath never will be done away; but that the redeemed saints, and all the angelic host, will observe it in honor of the great Creator to all eternity. {EW 217.2}

Table of Contents    Chapters:  

< Prev  ...  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  ...  Next >

Site published by

Click here if you have a question on Ellen White or the Bible.
Click here to report a dead link or send a comment to the webmaster.


Web hosting by