By Elder Lawrence Nelson
In this series we have discovered Satan’s masterpiece of a gigantic system of false religion that will quickly force the entire world to worship Lucifer as the god of this earth. In order to ensure that such a goal will be reached Satan is determined to develop a one-world government, which we know today as the United Nations. This one-world government is to have power of enforcement with a well developed army and international criminal court system based on Catholic law and with the ability to tax everyone living on the earth.
Through this present worldwide ecumenical program every religion in the world is to be eventually to be united into a one-world church whose teaching of love and unity will be agreeable to all. Thus it will be possible for a one-world government, a one-world religion, a one-world Bible, and a one-world holy day of worship all with the one distinct purpose to honor the antichrist.
At this crucial time God’s remnant church is to meet its greatest crisis. “The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long-standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering – a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition.” Great Controversy p. 582.
God has revealed how serious this struggle will become for it will produce “a time of trouble such as never was.” Daniel 12:1. Don’t think for a moment that I am exaggerating for the papacy has already openly declared what it expects to do. I am quoting from the book The Keys of This Blood by the Jesuit Malachi Martin. I am quoting p 15, “The world and all that’s in it – our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs; our trade and commerce and money; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted – all [notice – all] have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched.” What a prediction of changes soon to come.
But before we continue, let us pray. Our loving Father, soon we shall meet a crisis that will exceed anything we may have dreamed of. Help us, dear Father, to fully understand this undeniable fact. We know that it is only by Thy divine power that we shall be able to individually remain faithful during this coming One World Order of Satanic power. May this message contain heavenly guidance in preparing for what is shortly to come upon the world. And we ask this guidance in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Now let us consider this scripture of divine assurance in the things that are to come. I’m reading Isaiah 43:1,2, “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Let us go back in time when this promise was actually fulfilled on the plain of Dura of old Babylon. This was the time period of 606 BC to 538 BC when King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the world. God had graciously given this king a dream revealing the future history of the world from his day to the very end of time. But King Nebuchadnezzar determined that Babylon the Great was to continue forever and there would be no other kingdoms to follow. And he would produce a great statue somewhat similar to what God had revealed to prove God to be wrong.
We read in Daniel 2 about this great image of a man with a head of gold, chest of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay representing a deterioration of coming earthly kingdoms. But Nebuchadnezzar’s image would be of solid gold from head to toes, approximately 100 feet in height, to represent his kingdom which was to last forever. This image was so beautiful and priceless that the king would demand all to worship this golden image making it a part of the state religion of Babylon. Here we see Satan working through this king to thwart the divine purpose of God for the human race of this world.
When the day of dedication for this idol arrived a vast concourse from all peoples, nations and tongues assembled around this great image. When the music sounded the king commanded the entire assembly to fall down and worship this golden image. But there were three Sabbath keepers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, worshipers of the true God enthroned in heaven, who determined not to worship this golden image. Jealous wise men quickly brought word to the king that three of his subjects had dared to disobeyed his command.
When these three men were brought before the king he inquired, “Do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image, which I have set up?” Daniel 3:14.Then pointing to the fiery furnace he threatened them with death if they would not unite with the multitude and worship the idol god. But the king recognized that these three men had been his most trusted subjects. They had faithfully performed every assigned duty. So he determined to give them another trial.
But if they would not unite to worship his image in defiance he cried, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15. The three faithful worshipers of the true God, now facing the fiery furnace, replied, (and I am reading from Prophets and Kings p. 508), “‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, [if this be thy decision], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.’ Their faith strengthened as they declared that God would be glorified by delivering them, and with triumphant assurance born of implicit trust in God, they added, ‘But if not, be it know unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’”
At these words, the king’s wrath knew no bounds. He commanded the furnace to be heated seven times hotter. I continue to read, “As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Saviour revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume.” Prophets and Kings p. 508. What a God! Praise His name!
The king arose from his royal seat expecting to see these three men utterly destroyed but suddenly his face grew pale for as he stares into the fiery furnace he cries, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?…Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:24.
Now the king forgets his dignity. He goes up to the very entrance of the furnace and cries, “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth.” Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego come forth untouched by the flames. Not a hair of their head had been singed. Here we discover the important lesson of this presentation. I am reading from Prophets and Kings p. 512, “In this our day, many of God’s servants, though innocent of wrongdoing, will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. Especially with the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.”
This opens our subject – the soon-coming National Sunday Law. The New World Order of the United Nations, which we know to be the right hand political power of Rome, will use our nation as the example to be followed by all nations of the world. This is why what takes place in America is of such great importance. A National Sunday Law will jump-start a list of crucial events, which will lead to the grand climax of Christ’s Second Coming to deliver His saints from certain death.
Listen carefully as we look at some of these very important quotations. I’m reading from Last Day Events p 128, “Sooner or later Sunday laws will be passed.” If this were written today I believe it would read, “Sooner.” Believe me, as we progress in this study it will be sooner than many of us think. God in His mercy has graciously given us many details. First, we will notice that the Sunday law will take place by a national act not by state laws enacted here and there.
I’m reading from Spirit of Prophecy , Volume 4, p. 410, “Our land is in jeopardy. The time is drawing on when its legislators shall so abjure the principles of Protestantism as to give countenance to the Romish apostasy. The people for whom God has so marvelously wrought, strengthening them to throw off the galling yoke of popery, will by a national act give vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, and thus arouse the tyranny which only waits for a touch to start again into cruelty and despotism.” O what dramatic words!
Enforcement of a Sunday law will be mandatory because it will be the law of the nation. In Bible Commentaries, Volume 7, p. 985 we are told, “A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law.”
And now hear this: The clergy will endeavor to make the Sunday law a religious amendment to the constitution. I am quoting from the Review and Herald, December 24, 1889, “If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution and compel the nation to keep Sunday.” Now here is a picture of what this ecumenical movement will finally achieve. How sad to know that our church leadership is promoting this papal, ecumenical program.
Now let us consider the hidden objective for a national Sunday law:
1. It is to destroy religious freedom in America. I am quoting Evangelism p. 236, “I have been shown that Satan is stealing a march upon us. The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom, religious liberty will come to an end. The contest will be decided over the Sabbath question which will agitate the whole world.” What a tragedy when this happens! For it will be time then to dismantle the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor which was given to us by France to honor this nation in which every individual could worship God as their conscience leads them.
2. This Sunday law will make it possible for papal Rome to force the conscience as it did in the Dark Ages. Maranatha p. 179 says, “Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the Papacy; by a national act enforcing the false sabbath, they will give life and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience.”
3. This law will crush the spirit of freedom in America, something that has not been experience for over 200 years. I quote again, “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel man against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the sabbath.” Review and Herald, December 11, 1888.
And so, what will take place? All business will stop on Sunday; religious liberty ends. Sabbath keepers will suddenly find themselves opposed, hated and thrust into a battle for their very life. Manuscript Releases, Volume 4, p. 278 tells us, “Soon the Sunday laws will be enforced, and men in position of trust will be embittered against the little handful of God’s commandment keeping people.” In the book Last Day Events 144 I read, “Seventh-day Adventists will fight the battle over the seventh-day Sabbath.”
Dear friend, there will be no fence sitting by Seventh-day Adventists when the National Sunday Law is passed for by the stroke of a pen the tares will be separated from the wheat. The enactment of a National Sunday Law will produce the fulfillment of Revelation 13:11-18 , which I now read: “And I beheld another beast coming upon of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 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. And he causeth 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. Here is wisdom, Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
Notice how The Great Controversy points out three outstanding steps that will take place,
1. A worship of the beast.
2. The making of an image to the beast.
3. The placement of the mark of the beast.
I am reading from Great Controversy p. 578 which says, “The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with the lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them that dwell therein’ (notice – #1) to worship the papacy – there symbolized by the beast ‘like unto a leopard.’ The beast with two horns is also to say ‘to them that dwell on the earth’ (#2) that they should make an image to the beast; and furthermore, it is to command all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ (#3) to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance.”
Let us now explore each of these three events in detail. First, let us take the words, “to worship the beast.” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, p. 525, “The decree shall go forth requiring all to worship the beast and his image.” This means force is to be used symbolizing a police state. In Great Controversy p. 578 I read, “The beast with lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them that dwell therein’ to worship the papacy.”
Believe me friend, America is fast preparing to become a police state for congress has voted millions [of dollars] for a hundred-thousand extra police. And don’t overlook that foreign troops are now stationed on American soil to be used, if necessary, to force its people to obey the will of the government. Detention camps stand ready to incarcerate millions.
Did you know that by the stroke of the president’s pen, for a reason such as international tension, internal unrest, or a financial crisis the following can immediately take place? I have before me eleven executive orders. I shall read each of them:
Order #10995 requires the government to take over all communications.
Order #10997 takes away all electric power, petroleum, gas and fuel and minerals.
Order #10998 the government will take over all food resources and farms.
Order #10999 takes over all means of transportation, controlling highways and seaports.
Order #11000 drafts all citizens into a work force under government supervision.
Order #11001 takes over all health, welfare and educational functions.
Order #11002 empowers the postmaster general to register all citizens nation-wide.
Order #11003 takes over all airports and aircraft.
Order #11004 takes over housing and finance authorities, designates areas to be abandoned as unsafe or establishes new locations for populations, relocates communities, builds new housing with public funds.
Order #11005 takes over all railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
Order #11051 designates responsibilities of the office of emergency planning, gives authorization to put the above orders into effect in time of increased international tension or economic or financial crisis. Under President Nixon these orders were combined into executive order #11490. President Carter added a few minor amendments on July 20, 1979. Now all of them can be imposed upon us in one moment any time there is in the president’s opinion international tension, internal unrest or financial crisis. If you have any question, just as your congressman.
This is the time when such action takes place, I believe, to enforce a Sunday law. The image of the beast becomes manifest. In Review and Herald, December 11, 1886, I read, “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the Sabbath.”
In Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, p. 212 we read, “The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!”
Thus this Sunday law will bring God’s final test to mankind. I am reading from Great Controversy p. 604, 605where we are told, “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. The warning from heaven is, ‘If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives 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 into the cup of His indignation.’ Revelation 14:9,10.” So it is clear that no one will receive the mark until he understands the issue and personally chooses to obey the Sunday law.
The great controversy will divide all into two groups – those who receive the mark of the beast and those who will receive the seal of the living God. Every nation on earth will follow the United States in passing a Sunday law of this New World Order. In Revelation 17:13 we read, “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
In Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 392 it explains the meaning of these words, “These have one mind.” I am quoting, “There will be a universal bond of union. One great harmony, a great confederacy of Satan’s forces. ‘And shall give their power and strength unto the beast.’ Thus is manifested the same arbitrary oppressive power against religious liberty, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of conscience as was manifested by the papacy, when in the past it persecuted those who dared to refuse to conform with the religious rites and ceremonies of Romanists.”
So, we can now make these statements each backed by inspiration:
1. [The] Sunday-keeping decree will be forced upon all the world. Bible Commentaries, Volume 7, p. 976 says, “The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.”
2. All the world will accept and participate. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, p. 352 tells us, “The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict in which all the world will act a part.”
3. Foreign nations will accept a Sunday law. In Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, p. 395 we read, “Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Thought she leads out yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.”
4. All nations will obey. I’m reading from Maranatha 214, “All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath. This is Satan’s plan to make of no account the day instituted by God, and given to the world as a memorial of creation. The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.”
Let’s dig just a little bit deeper. Consider the no buying or selling provision found in Revelation 13:16,17 where we are told, “And he causeth 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.”
And here is a question: Is this the same as the Sunday law or is this some separate decree or law? – We are not told much about this. It could be the follow-up legislation but then the penalties of the original National Sunday Law are so strong that all but a few would yield to keep Sunday sacred and receive the mark of the beast. For we are told that the threat of imprisonment and death are included in the Sunday law. And such is even stronger than the no buy or sell without the mark.
But now, let us look at other information God has given. And the details are amazing. For instance, all assets will be worthless. I am reading from Last Day Events p. 148, “Hoarded wealth will soon be worthless. When the decree shall go forth that none shall buy or sell except they that have the mark of the beast, very much means will be of no avail.”
Remember, this no buy or sell restriction applies to only commandment keepers. In Christian Service p. 40 I read, “There is a time coming when commandment keepers can neither buy nor sell. Make haste to dig out your buried talents. If God has entrusted you with money, show yourself faithful to your trust; unwrap your napkin, and send your talents to the exchangers, that when Christ shall come, He may receive His own with interest.”
In Desire of Ages p. 121 is the following, “In the last great conflict of the controversy between Satan and those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death. See Revelation 13:11-17. But to the obedient is given the promise, ‘He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.’ Isaiah 33:16.” Praise God! God is going to care for His own.
By this promise, the children of God will live. “When the earth shall be wasted with famine they shall be fed. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psalms 37:19.
And this no buy or sell law will be worldwide for the entire world will be under the New World Order of the papacy. Prophets and Kings p. 184 tells us, Satan says, (notice how he plans to achieve this) “For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.”
Now this brings us back to our opening remarks. Manuscript Releases, Volume 14, Manuscript 91, 1896 says, “As Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death.”
With such admonition, which we have just read, we should not overlook other warnings given in Inspiration and that is that we should make every effort now, while it is possible, to leave the large cities and move to the country. I am reading from Selected Messages, Book 2, p.142, “Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country where they can obtain a small piece of land and make a home for themselves and their children. But erlong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities that those who wish to leave will not be able.” We must be preparing for these issues. And again and again comes the urgent words found in Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 356, “Get out of the cities as soon as possible.”
Furthermore we have also been instructed that unions will have a definite part in this final conflict. Therefore we are to have nothing to do with them.
1. We are not to unite with them. Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 144, “Those who claim to be children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us?”
2. Membership in unions will wrap you in the fold of the enemy. I am reading from Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 142, “The work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force. In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed (and friend, we hear of this almost every day in the news). Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the fold of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trade unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men.”
3. And don’t overlook the unforgettable statement of the most terrible violence that is to come. In Letter 99, 1904, page 3, I quote, “There is a great work before us. The enemy has succeeded in occupying the minds of those who believe the truth for this time, and hindrance after hindrance has been placed in the way of the advancement of God’s work…. It will be more difficult in the future than it is today. Satanic agencies are becoming more determined in their rebellion against God. (And notice this) The trade unions will be the cause of the most terrible violence that has ever been seen among human beings.” This is so clearly stated that there can be no misunderstanding.
In summary let me state: When the substitution of the false for the true shall become universal it will be time for God to act. The substitution of the laws of men for the laws of God, the exaltation by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama. “When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. …He will arise in His majesty, and will shake terribly the earth.” Bible Commentaries, Volume 7, p. 980.
And so, beloved, let us remember, our redemption draweth nigh. For in the book Maranatha 311 we find these encouraging words, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28.”
O friend, the coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warnings saying, “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” Matthew 24:44.
We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time, not a moment to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his words, “The Lord delayeth his coming.” Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come.
The Lord is soon to come and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart life to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming and we must we ready and waiting for His appearing. O how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones.
Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we are but to see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud, “Homeward Bound.” We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home. Long have we waited for our Savior’s return. But nevertheless such is the promise, “Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living streams flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He has brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads and touching our golden harps we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Adventist Home p. 544. Thank you God, thank you again for such encouragement.
Let us pray, Loving Father, help us to keep our thoughts constantly centered upon Thy soon coming and the reward promised to the faithful. May we be among those who are worthy, we ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.