An Overwhelming Surprise Part 2 – The Surprise Continues
As we continue our investigation into the overwhelming surprise, let’s look at some Spirit of Prophecy statements that shine more light on Sunday laws and the environment:
“In the last scenes of this earth’s history, war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague, and famine. The waters of the deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood.” -Maranatha 174
Have you heard the warnings of science that the oceans will rise?
“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows… While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. ‘The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Isaiah 24:4, 5.’
Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.” -The Great Controversy 587
What is of a temperance nature that could cause the world to establish Sunday laws? Would they do it to control alcohol or drug usage?
There is only one kind of temperance that would be accepted globally that could result in a Sunday law, that is, conservation and care for the earth, and yes, that is a temperance issue.
“Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance.” The Great Controversy, pg.592 , 1888
This adds a new dimension to the process; the impetus comes from the people, not the church or government.
“While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it will reveal the spirit of the dragon.” Testimonies Vol. 5, 452
The issue is hidden or disguised, thus the great surprise.
“Satan is working in the atmosphere; he is poisoning the atmosphere, and here we are dependent upon God for our lives–our present and eternal lives. And being in the position that we are, we need to be wide awake, wholly devoted, wholly converted, wholly consecrated to God. But we seem to sit as though we were paralyzed. God of heaven, wake us up!”–2Selected Messages 52.
“God has not restrained the powers of darkness from carrying forward their deadly work of vitiating the air, one of the sources of life and nutrition, with a deadly miasma. Not only is vegetable life affected but man suffers from pestilence… These things are the result of drops from the vials of God’s wrath being sprinkled on the earth, and are but faint representations of what will be in the near future”.–3SM 391. [GOD TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT WHICH HE ALLOWS OR DOES NOT PREVENT. SEE EXODUS 7:3; 8:32; 1 CHRONICLES 10:4, 13, 14.]
When we realize what the definitions for “miasma” and “vitiate” are, this statement is far more relevant today than when it was originally written. The dictionary says that miasma is “harmful fumes: a harmful or poisonous emanation, especially one caused by burning or decaying organic matter “. “Vitiate” is “to destroy or drastically reduce the effectiveness of something. Scientists today say that the greatest cause of pollution is the burning fossil fuels (or organic material).”
Now let’s look at some Bible verses:
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD [is] near in the valley of decision.” -Joel 3:9-14
These verses from Joel are a call for the powers of earth to unite and make themselves ready for the last battle with the servants of God. Notice how they are called to change their “garden tending tools” into weapons. Environmental measures to take care of the earth are referred to as, “tending the garden.” Therefore, the world will be using these tools as weapons against us in the final battle.