-TI- The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Four
-CT- The Snares of Satan
The Snares of Satan.
As the people of God approach the perils of the
last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his
angels as to the most successful plan of overthrowing
their faith. He sees that the popular churches are
already lulled to sleep by his deceptive power. By
pleasing sophistry and lying wonders he can continue
to hold them under his control. Therefore he directs
his angels to lay their snares especially for those who
are looking for the second advent of Christ, and
endeavoring to keep all the commandments of God.
Says the great deceiver: "We must watch those
who are calling the attention of the people to the
Sabbath of Jehovah; they will lead many to see the
claims of the law of God; and the same light which
reveals the true Sabbath, reveals also the ministration
of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and shows that
the last work for man's salvation is now going
forward. Hold the minds of the people in darkness till
that work is ended, and we shall secure the world
and the church also.
"The Sabbath is the great question which is to
decide the destiny of souls. We must exalt the
Sabbath of our creating. We have caused it to be
accepted by both worldlings and church-members;
now the church must be led to unite with the world
in its support. We must work by signs and wonders
to blind their eyes to the truth, and lead them to lay
aside reason and the fear of God, and follow custom
"I will influence popular ministers to turn the
attention of their hearers from the commandments of
God. That which the Scriptures declare to be a
perfect law of liberty shall be represented as a yoke
of bondage. The people accept their ministers'
explanations of Scripture, and do not investigate for
themselves. Therefore by working through the
ministers, I can control the people according to my
"But our principal concern is to silence this sect of
Sabbath-keepers. We must excite popular indignation
against them. We will enlist great men and
worldly-wise men upon our side, and induce those in
authority to carry out our purposes. Then the Sabbath
which I have set up shall be enforced by laws
the most severe and exacting. Those who disregard
them shall be driven out from the cities and villages,
and made to suffer hunger and privation. When
once we have the power, we will show what we can
do with those who will not swerve from their
allegiance to God. We led the Romish Church to inflict
imprisonment, torture, and death upon those who
refused to yield to her decrees, and now that we are
bringing the Protestant churches and the world into
harmony with this right arm of our strength, we
will finally have a law to exterminate all who will
not submit to our authority. When death shall be
made the penalty of violating our Sabbath, then
many who are now ranked with commandment-keepers
will come over to our side.
"But before proceeding to these extreme measures,
we must exert all our wisdom and subtlety to deceive
and ensnare those who honor the true Sabbath. We
can separate many from Christ by worldliness, lust,
and pride. They may think themselves safe because
they believe the truth, but indulgence of appetite or
the lower passions, which will confuse judgment and
destroy discrimination, will cause their fall.
"Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk
with the cares of this life. Present the world before
them in its most attractive light, that they may lay
up their treasure here, and fix their affections upon
earthly things. We must do our utmost to prevent
those who labor in God's cause from obtaining means
to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks.
The more means they obtain, the more they will
injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects.
Make them care more for money than for the
upbuilding of Christ's kingdom and the spread of the
truths we hate, and we need not fear their influence;
for we know that every selfish, covetous person will
fall under our power, and will finally be separated
from God's people.
"Through those that have a form of godliness but
know not the power, we can gain many who would
otherwise do us great harm. Lovers of pleasure
more than lovers of God will be our most effective
helpers. Those of this class who are apt and intelligent
will serve as decoys to draw others into our
snares. Many will not fear their influence, because
they profess the same faith. We will thus lead them
to conclude that the requirements of Christ are less
strict than they once believed, and that by conformity
to the world they would exert a greater influence
with worldlings. Thus they will separate from
Christ; then they will have no strength to resist our
power, and erelong they will be ready to ridicule
their former zeal and devotion.
"Until the great decisive blow shall be struck, our
efforts against commandment-keepers must be untiring.
We must be present at all their gatherings. In
their large meetings especially our cause will suffer
much, and we must exercise great vigilance, and
employ all our seductive arts to prevent souls from hearing
the truth and becoming impressed by it.
"I will have upon the ground, as my agents, men
holding false doctrines mingled with just enough
truth to deceive souls. I will also have unbelieving
ones present, who will express doubts in regard to
the Lord's messages of warning to his church.
Should the people read and believe these admonitions,
we could have little hope of overcoming them. But
if we can divert their attention from these warnings,
they will remain ignorant of our power and cunning,
and we shall secure them in our ranks at last. God
will not permit his words to be slighted with impunity.
If we can keep souls deceived for a time, God's
mercy will be withdrawn, and he will give them up
to our full control.
"We must cause distraction and division. We must
destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead
them to criticise, to judge, and to accuse and condemn
one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity.
For these sins, God banished us from his presence;
and all who follow our example will meet a similar