Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God's people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.
Satan knew this, and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled on the truth. I saw that the mysterious knocking in New York and other places was the power of Satan, and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb so as to lull the deceived to greater security and to draw the minds of God's people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teachings and power of the Holy Ghost.
I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching or praying, some would fall prostrate and helpless, not by the power of the Holy Ghost, but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents, and through them to the people. While preaching, praying, or conversing, some professed Adventists who had rejected present truth used mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost. Some even that used it were so far in the darkness and deception of the devil that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such a one as themselves and had valued His power as a thing of nought.
Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints--those whom they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a Satanic influence. Oh, that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan and be on their guard! I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God's people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling.
Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God's people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also.
I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders and false reformations would increase and spread. The reformations that were shown me were not reformations from error to truth. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.” Early Writings, p. 45.
The author wrote, “It is a fearful thing to treat lightly the truth which has convinced our understanding and touched our hearts. We cannot with impunity reject the warnings which God in mercy sends us.” This portion of the quote above was written regarding the Protestants who rejected the message from heaven given through William Miller concerning the literal second coming of Jesus.
But, should not the same principle apply to Adventists who reject the messages from heaven given to them in the Testimonies for the Church? In those nine volumes and many other Spirit of Prophecy books make up the guidelines for steering the remnant church as it follows behind its pillar of cloud and fire through this long wilderness wandering. The Lord made a covenant with the Advent movement in 1844 similar to that given to Israel by Moses.
To the Adventists after the Disappointment, Jesus said, “Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,
Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into His oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day:
That He may establish thee to day for a people unto Himself, and that He may be unto thee a God, as He hath said unto thee, and as He hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:
(For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;
And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst….” (Deut. 29:10-19).
There needs to be a little translating for these last verses to be properly understood in modern language and concepts. When the Adventists came together around the advent message, they came away from the last of the papal captivity still holding Protestantism. Their faith had been severely tested, and now they were ready to receive the great light of the last remaining doctrines held by the ancient apostolic church.
The “gods of these nations” would be the misconceptions and falsehoods held on to by the Protestant churches which has since led them into ecumenism with Rome and the new push to unite church and state, and the Charismatic and New Age movements.
Someone “blessing himself in his heart” describes a person like Paul, who wrote, “I was alive without the law once.” (Rom. 7:9). And John, who wrote, “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (Jn. 3:20). When I disregard the law, I think myself a pretty good person. But God says my heart is self-serving and bitterly rebellious, with a dire thirst for peace. Ignoring the truth, I make myself drunk on self-exaltation and I live in a fairy tale reality of self-acclaimed greatness, which in no way satisfies the lack of peace in my thirsty soul.
People want certainty of salvation. Those who believe salvation comes through justification will do what is required to achieve it. Then they will expect their reward, they will want to believe they are justified. This is natural; God designed us this way. But if the sky-high standard is not sought, then sin appears only mildly sinful. And those who desire justification for salvation—certain contact with a real heaven of love, the touch by the Holy Spirit—but who purposely avoid the mile-high standard will not know the exceeding sinfulness of their sin and will never need an exceedingly gracious Savior and Judge, until they turn to the sky-high Law of God and testimonies of the prophets.
Neither will they rejoice exceedingly, nor receive exceedingly great power from above. Their departure from the Law has left them without needing an exceedingly gracious Savior for sin and from sin, and they can’t be driven to seek Him. If they are never forced to seek Him, they will never find Him. Thus, because they never find Him, they must settle for a lukewarm acceptance with heaven and obtain a lackluster behavior modification. They have been buried alive, dunked but not baptized, which far from satisfies a certainty of salvation. Thus, the soul of many is squirming and unsettled about their relationship with Jesus, even if they want to have one. This will be especially the case as we near the end of the Investigative Judgment.
It is only those who chose to keep looking at the sky-high standard in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, and felt the heavy hand of God’s displeasure toward their unacceptable faults and sinfulness, who found the strait gate and narrow way. It's those who remained in the furnace of God’s affliction, whether their choice to stay in the furnace was consciously made or unconsciously, who received the rich reward of justification and grace, and won the prize.
The end result of looking at the high-standard is a solid hold on God’s grace, and being and staying healed of the bitter root of rebellion. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1Tim. 1:5-7). “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15).
As Paul wrote, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14). And, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Heb. 10:36). Like Abram and Hannah and a host of others who patiently bore with whatever form of affliction God gave them. Even if they suffered ignorantly, oblivious of the cause of their affliction, or not even intelligently recognizing that God was afflicting them, they subconsciously made choices toward mercy and faith that God counted as rewardable. The lost sheep knew it was lost but had not enough wherewithal to get home. The lost coin couldn’t even comprehend its forsaken condition; much less know to seek out its owner.
But humans whom the lost coin represents have enough intelligence to hope for something better than their present condition. And the Holy Spirit acting on their dull spiritual senses gently leads them to choose to grasp a hand reaching down from heaven whom they know not. So that even those lacking strong intellect or lost deeply in a maze of worldiness and drugs, or the infant and toddler too young to know of a God bigger than Dad and Mom, not recognizing their choices made toward mercy and truth, God can eventually save and lead them to full cognizance of their Savior, of His work in saving them and their full certainty of salvation. As Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” (Jn. 6:37).
Often the Lord works without notice of the soul for whom He ministers. “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction...
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,
To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.” (Job 33:14-16,28-30).
“In the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God….
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” (1Cor. 1:21,26-28).
No imitation justification, no false faith, no counterfeit conversion will God accept or reward with His Holy Spirit of grace and peace. He will spew them out of His mouth. But those who seek Him will find Him.
“An highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Is. 35:8).
“For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Ps. 1:6).