BLJ To Be Like Jesus by Ellen G White.

Jesus Kept the Sabbath by Doing Good

Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” Luke 6:9, NKJV. BLJ 152.1
It is no violation of the Sabbath to perform works of necessity, as ministering to the sick or aged, and relieving distress. Such works are in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. Our great Exemplar was ever active upon the Sabbath, when the necessities of the sick and suffering came before Him. The Pharisees, because of this, accused Him of Sabbathbreaking, as do many ministers today who are in opposition to the law of God. But we say, Let God be true, and every man a liar who dares make this charge against the Savior. BLJ 152.2
Jesus answered the accusation of the Jews thus, “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” He had already declared to them that He had kept His Father’s commandments. When He was accused of Sabbathbreaking in the matter of healing the withered hand, He turned upon His accusers with the question “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” In summing up His answer to the questioning of the Pharisees He said, “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” Here Christ justified His work as in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. – The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1878. BLJ 152.3
Those who hold that Christ abolished the law teach that He broke the Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same. Thus they are really taking the same ground as did the caviling Jews. In this they contradict the testimony of Christ Himself, who declared, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). BLJ 152.4
Neither the Savior nor His followers broke the law of the Sabbath. Christ was a living representative of the law. No violation of its holy precepts was found in His life. BLJ 152.5
Looking upon a nation of witnesses who were seeking occasion to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, “Which of you convicteth me of sin?” (John 8:46, RV)…. BLJ 152.6
“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath,” Jesus said. The institutions that God has established are for the benefit of humankind…. The law of Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath forms a part, God gave to His people as a blessing. “The Lord commanded us,” said Moses, “to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive” (Deuteronomy 6:24). – The Desire of Ages, 287, 288. BLJ 152.7

The Dead.

​KJV Psalms 115:17 

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.


Popular theology represents the righteous dead as in heaven, entered into bliss and praising God with an immortal tongue; but Hezekiah could see no such glorious prospect in death. With his words agrees the testimony of the psalmist: “In death there is no remembrance of Thee: in the grave who shall give Thee thanks?” “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalm 6:5; 115:17.{GC 546.1}

BLJ To Be Like Jesus

The Sabbath Not Jewish but Christ’s Holy Day, May 30

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. Luke 4:16, NKJV. BLJ 161.1
How can we account for the observance of the first day of the week by the majority of professed Christians, when the Bible presents no authority for this change either in the precepts or in the example of Christ or His followers? We can account for it in the fact that the world has followed the traditions of human beings instead of a “Thus saith the Lord.” This has been the work that Satan has always sought to accomplish – lead people away from the commandments of God to the veneration and obedience of the traditions of the world. Through human instrumentalities he has cast contempt upon the Sabbath of Jehovah, and has stigmatized it as “the old Jewish Sabbath.” BLJ 161.2
Thousands have thoughtlessly echoed this reproach, as though it were something to which was attached great weight of argument; but they have lost sight of the fact that the Jewish people were especially chosen of God as the guardians of His truth, the keepers of His law, the depositary of His sacred oracles. They received the lively oracles to give unto us. The Old and New Testaments both came through the Jews to us. Every promise in the Bible, every ray of light which has shone upon us from the Word of God, has come through the Jewish nation. BLJ 161.3
Christ was the leader of the Hebrews as they marched from Egypt to Canaan. In union with the Father, Christ proclaimed the law amid the thunders of Sinai to the Jews, and when He appeared on earth as a man, He came as a descendant of Abraham. Shall we use the same argument concerning the Bible and Christ, and reject them as Jewish, as is done in rejecting the Sabbath of the Lord our God? The Sabbath institution is as closely identified with the Jews as is the Bible, and there is the same reason for the rejection of one as of the other. But the Sabbath is not Jewish in its origin. It was instituted in Eden before there were such a people known as the Jews. The Sabbath was made for all humanity, and was instituted in Eden before the fall of Adam and Eve. The Creator called it “my holy day.” Christ announced Himself as the “Lord … of the sabbath.” Beginning with creation, it is as old as the human race, and having been made for human beings it will exist as long as they shall exist. – The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894. BLJ 161.4

The Image of The Beast

​Image of the beast
The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed – however important they might be from a Bible standpoint – must necessarily be waived. GC 444.2

Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of “the evangelical Protestant denominations” is “not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world’s convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!” – Sermon on “The Bible a Sufficient Creed,” delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force. GC 444.3

When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result. GC 445.1

The beast with two horns “causeth [commands] 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.” Revelation 13:16, 17. The third angel’s warning is: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” “The beast” mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two – horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13 – the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined. GC 445.2After the warning against the worship of the beast and his image the prophecy declares: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Since those who keep God’s commandments are thus placed in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, it follows that the keeping of God’s law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast. GC 445.3

The law of God, still abides.

Scripture teaches that men ought to, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13. Christ’s testimony, is that, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:10. Christ did not just keep the law for his own good but for, “an example, that ye should follow his steps:” – 1Peter 2:21. In the plan of human redemption, the life of Christ is essential. His life  is a testimony, that humanity and divinity can overcome sin; but we need to follow his example, especially obedience to his law.

Scripture also teaches that, “until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” And that, “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” – Romans 5:12,1John 3:4, Romans 5:13. The testimony of the scriptures stated, is that at the creation, man was place under God’s law and it was the violation of his law that brought sin and death into this world. It also testifies that, so long as God’s creation continues, so long will his law continue. The law wrought love, the main principle of heaven. Love worketh no ill, but Christ was wounded and crucified for the violation of this principle. Christ dying on the cross is the most strongest argument, that his law can never be annulled or abrogated. If the law could have been changed, Christ could have been spared from his cruel death; but nevertheless, “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” – 1Peter 3:18.

Christ did not only die for our sins, and to do away with the pending death sentence against us; but for the new covenant promises which scripture has made mention of,”But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”- Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10-11. The new covenant promise is that, God will write his law upon our mind and heart, this too, is another evidence that his law is ever abiding and that man is under solemn obligation to keep every precept of the law. In writing the law upon our heart and mind, God is ensuring that every man will know his will from the least to the greatest. God’s will is that everyone should have true knowledge of sin. That sin is a violation of his law, and that its wages is death.- Romans 6:23. By obtaining this knowledge, conversion will begin, men will turn to Christ, who alone can save man from death and restore their relationship with God. But if man disregard his law, how then shall he know he is a sinner, and that he needs Christ to make him righteous and holy? So the law remains and cannot be changed. In closing I leave you with the words of the saviour, “Till heaven and earth pass,” said Jesus, “one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The sun shining in the heavens, the solid earth upon which you dwell, are God’s witnesses that His law is changeless and eternal. Though they may pass away, the divine precepts shall endure. “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. The system of types that pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God was to be abolished at His death; but the precepts of the Decalogue are as immutable as the throne of God. – DA 308.3.

The Mark of the beast and the Seal of God

The Mark of beast? Many have heard the term, but who truly understand it? There are many theories about the mark, and the image  but, are they biblical? In this study we will get a biblical perspective on this issue.

The Mark of the beast is first mentioned in Revelation thirteen. The warning of receiving this mark, is given in the third angel’s message, in Revelation fourteen. Before we go any further, we need to unveil the  identity of the beast, so we can better understand what his mark and image is.

One of the identifying characteristics, that defines the beast identity, is found in these words, “and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” revelation 13:2. The beast received his power and authority from the Dragon.  The Dragon primarily represents Satan, revelation 12:9. The dragon also represents Pagan Rome, who Satan was working through, to kill Christ as soon as he was born, Revelation 12:4-5; Matthew 2:13-16.  In history, the event that marked, the giving of the dragon seat and authority  to the beast, is when emperor Justinian declared the pope to be head of  the church, in 533 AD. This was the beginning of the establishment of the papacy. It wasn’t until 538 AD, that the papacy was fully established.  As we go on to read verse three of the same chapter, it reads, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”- Revelation 13:3; He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. – Revelation 13:10. In the preceding text, (13:2) we have seen the rise and the establishment of the papacy. Now we shall see their fall. The papacy received their deadly wound in 1798, by the French army. When Napoleon General, took Pope Pius VI, captive in France, where he later died. This is the event that fulfilled the prophecy mentioned in revelation 13:10. The wound was to be healed, as prophecy foretold in revelation 13:3. The deadly wound which the papacy had received by the French army, began to heal in 1929; at the signing of the lattern treaty, February 11,1929. What that did for the papacy, was to give them back autonomy or the power to govern themselves. They had lost that power as a result of the deadly wound they received.

What is the image of the beast,and how is it to be formed? When I think of image, my mind goes back to Genesis, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:26 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27. Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. – PP 45.2

Christ alone is “the express image” (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will. – PP 45.2

Here we have it, man was made in God’s image, being made in God’s image, man possess his attribute and characteristics. The same can be said of the image of the beast. It is the lamb like beast who shall make an image to the first beast, the papacy. But what nation is represented by the lamb like beast? We find our answer in revelation 13, and it reads, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” – Revelation 13:11. The rising of the this beast is different from the first beast or any other beast mentioned in the bible. The first beast rises out of the sea, the sea or body of water represents:nations, tongues, kindreds, and people-Revelation 17:15. This rising is the same exact rising mentioned, in Daniel chapter 7. When the great winds of strife strove on the sea, four great beast came out. This is the representation of conquest in which kingdoms are setup.  To come out of the earth, is the opposite of rising out of the sea. The lamb like beast did not have to overthrow any kingdoms, but rose or grew peacefully, in an area unoccupied. Also this beast or kingdom is liken to a lamb, which is a representation of Christ, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36

This kingdom or nation, is also liken to lamb or Christ, because this nation and kingdom, exercise some of his attributes. The attribute or characteristics that this kingdom assimilate, is the ability to make men free. The bible bares record to Jesus doing just that, John 8:32-36, Luke 4:18. So the kingdom or nation, represented by the lamb like beast, is the United states of America. This christian nation grew silently into power after 1798, securing the freedom of it’s citizens, freedom such as religious freedom. But of the lamb like beast it is said, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon”. – Revelation 13:11 “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.” – Revelation 13:12 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” – Revelation 13:13 “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.” – Revelation 13:14

Prophecy has shown, that the United states, will take a drastic change from its former policies. It will adopt the principles of the Papacy, even religious intolerance and persecution. This can only happen when, “the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” – GC 445.1

As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite “the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; … because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.”—Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, page 58. What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church—“the mark of the beast”? – GC 448.1

When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome,—“the mark of the beast.” And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”—The Great Controversy, 449 (1888). – Ev 233.4

There is no time left to argue over this issue, for the time is at hand. Whether you believe this or not it will come. There will be a national Sunday law in honor to the Pope, for the holy scriptures teaches this. The real question is when the holy spirit convicts of this great truth, will you in defiance receive the mark of the beast?

Liberty of conscience threatened part 5.

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The Pope visit to America is prophetic

As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil, and as the inevitable result they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry. GC 571.4

A large class, even of those who look upon Romanism with no favor, apprehend little danger from her power and influence. Many urge that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of her dogmas, superstitions, and oppression, and that the greater intelligence of modern times, the general diffusion of knowledge, and the increasing liberality in matters of religion forbid a revival of intolerance and tyranny.The very thought that such a state of things will exist in this enlightened age is ridiculed. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shining upon this generation. In the open pages of God’s Holy Word, light from heaven has been shed upon the world. But it should be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the darkness of those who pervert and reject it. GC 572.1

A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God.They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power. GC 572.2

A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of the papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In past ages, when men were without God’s word and without the knowledge of the truth, their eyes were blindfolded, and thousands were ensnared, not seeing the net spread for their feet. In this generation there are many whose eyes become dazzled by the glare of human speculations, “science falsely so called;” they discern not the net, and walk into it as readily as if blindfolded. God designed that man’s intellectual powers should be held as a gift from his Maker and should be employed in the service of truth and righteousness; but when pride and ambition are cherished, and men exalt their own theories above the word of God, then intelligence can accomplish greater harm than ignorance. Thus the false science of the present day, which undermines faith in the Bible, will prove as successful in preparing the way for the acceptance of the papacy, with its pleasing forms, as did the withholding of knowledge in opening the way for its aggrandizement in the Dark Ages. GC 572.3

In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists.Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them. GC 573.1

If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders. GC 573.2

Liberty of conscience Threaten part 4.

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Ever wonder why the pope is coming American?

Such was the fate of Rome’s opponents. For her adherents she had the discipline of the scourge, of famishing hunger, of bodily austerities in every conceivable, heart-sickening form. To secure the favor of Heaven, penitents violated the laws of God by violating the laws of nature. They were taught to sunder the ties which He has formed to bless and gladden man’s earthly sojourn.The churchyard contains millions of victims who spent their lives in vain endeavors to subdue their natural affections, to repress, as offensive to God, every thought and feeling of sympathy with their fellow creatures.GC 569.3

If we desire to understand the determined cruelty of Satan, manifested for hundreds of years, not among those who never heard of God, but in the very heart and throughout the extent of Christendom, we have only to look at the history of Romanism. Through this mammoth system of deception the prince of evil achieves his purpose of bringing dishonor to God and wretchedness to man. And as we see how he succeeds in disguising himself and accomplishing his work through the leaders of the church, we may better understand why he has so great antipathy to the Bible. If that Book is read, the mercy and love of God will be revealed; it will be seen that He lays upon men none of these heavy burdens. All that He asks is a broken and contrite heart, a humble, obedient spirit. GC 570.1

Christ gives no example in His life for men and women to shut themselves in monasteries in order to become fitted for heaven. He has never taught that love and sympathy must be repressed. The Saviour’s heart overflowed with love. The nearer man approaches to moral perfection, the keener are his sensibilities, the more acute is his perception of sin, and the deeper his sympathy for the afflicted. The pope claims to be the vicar of Christ; but how does his character bear comparison with that of our Saviour?Was Christ ever known to consign men to the prison or the rack because they did not pay Him homage as the King of heaven? Was His voice heard condemning to death those who did not accept Him? When He was slighted by the people of a Samaritan village, the apostle John was filled with indignation, and inquired: “Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?”Jesus looked with pity upon His disciple, and rebuked his harsh spirit, saying: “The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:54, 56. How different from the spirit manifested by Christ is that of His professed vicar. GC 570.2

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High. GC 571.1The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent.“Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy” (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ? GC 571.2

It is not without reason that the claim has been put forth in Protestant countries that Catholicism differs less widely from Protestantism than in former times. There has been a change; but the change is not in the papacy. Catholicism indeed resembles much of the Protestantism that now exists, because Protestantism has so greatly degenerated since the days of the Reformers. GC 571.3

Liberty of conscience Threaten part 3.

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Did you ever wonder why the Pope is coming to America?

Brilliancy of style is not necessarily an index of pure, elevated thought. High conceptions of art, delicate refinement of taste, often exist in minds that are earthly and sensual. They are often employed by Satan to lead men to forget the necessities of the soul, to lose sight of the future, immortal life, to turn away from their infinite Helper, and to live for this world alone. GC 567.1

A religion of externals is attractive to the unrenewed heart. The pomp and ceremony of the Catholic worship has a seductive, bewitching power, by which many are deceived; and they come to look upon the Roman Church as the very gate of heaven. None but those who have planted their feet firmly upon the foundation of truth, and whose hearts are renewed by the Spirit of God, are proof against her influence.Thousands who have not an experimental knowledge of Christ will be led to accept the forms of godliness without the power. Such a religion is just what the multitudes desire. GC 567.2

The church’s claim to the right to pardon leads the Romanist to feel at liberty to sin; and the ordinance of confession, without which her pardon is not granted, tends also to give license to evil. He who kneels before fallen man, and opens in confession the secret thoughts and imaginations of his heart, is debasing his manhood and degrading every noble instinct of his soul. In unfolding the sins of his life to a priest,—an erring, sinful mortal, and too often corrupted with wine and licentiousness,—his standard of character is lowered, and he is defiled in consequence. His thought of God is degraded to the likeness of fallen humanity, for the priest stands as a representative of God. This degrading confession of man to man is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world and fitting it for the final destruction. Yet to him who loves self-indulgence, it is more pleasing to confess to a fellow mortal than to open the soul to God. It is more palatable to human nature to do penance than to renounce sin; it is easier to mortify the flesh by sackcloth and nettles and galling chains than to crucify fleshly lusts.Heavy is the yoke which the carnal heart is willing to bear rather than bow to the yoke of Christ. GC 567.3

There is a striking similarity between the Church of Rome and the Jewish Church at the time of Christ’s first advent. While the Jews secretly trampled upon every principle of the law of God, they were outwardly rigorous in the observance of its precepts, loading it down with exactions and traditions that made obedience painful and burdensome.As the Jews professed to revere the law, so do Romanists claim to reverence the cross. They exalt the symbol of Christ’s sufferings, while in their lives they deny Him whom it represents. GC 568.1

Papists place crosses upon their churches, upon their altars, and upon their garments. Everywhere is seen the insignia of the cross. Everywhere it is outwardly honored and exalted.But the teachings of Christ are buried beneath a mass of senseless traditions, false interpretations, and rigorous exactions. The Saviour’s words concerning the bigoted Jews, apply with still greater force to the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church: “They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4.Conscientious souls are kept in constant terror fearing the wrath of an offended God, while many of the dignitaries of the church are living in luxury and sensual pleasure. GC 568.2 The worship of images and relics, the invocation of saints, and the exaltation of the pope are devices of Satan to attract the minds of the people from God and from His Son.To accomplish their ruin, he endeavors to turn their attention from Him through whom alone they can find salvation. He will direct them to any object that can be substituted for the One who has said: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. GC 568.3

It is Satan’s constant effort to misrepresent the character of God, the nature of sin, and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. His sophistry lessens the obligation of the divine law and gives men license to sin. At the same time he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion and expressed in modes of worship. Thus the minds of men are blinded, and Satan secures them as his agents to war against God. By perverted conceptions of the divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of Deity; and horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry.GC 569.1

The Roman Catholic Church, uniting the forms of paganism and Christianity, and, like paganism, misrepresenting the character of God, has resorted to practices no less cruel and revolting. In the days of Rome’s supremacy there were instruments of torture to compel assent to her doctrines. There was the stake for those who would not concede to her claims. There were massacres on a scale that will never be known until revealed in the judgment. Dignitaries of the church studied, under Satan their master, to invent means to cause the greatest possible torture and not end the life of the victim. In many cases the infernal process was repeated to the utmost limit of human endurance, until nature gave up the struggle, and the sufferer hailed death as a sweet release. GC 56