Mystery of iniquity (78)

    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                M y s t e r y    o f    i n i q u i t y            (  4  RELATED  PHRASES  )                     

                 The  phrase  'Mystery of iniquity'  appears  78  times in the published writings of EGW                        page not on Original site                                                                        Related phrase:    mystery of the cross  (11)  - -  Mystery of redemption  ( 36 )

  There are many, even of those engaged in this movement for Sunday enforcement, who are blinded to the results which will follow this action. They do not see that they are striking directly against religious liberty. There are many who have never understood the claims of the Bible Sabbath and the false foundation upon which the Sunday institution rests. Any movement in favor of religious legislation is really an act of concession to the papacy, which for so many ages has steadily warred against liberty of conscience.  Sunday observance owes its existence as a so-called Christian institution to “the mystery of iniquity;” and its enforcement will be a virtual recognition of the principles which are the very cornerstone of Romanism. When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.  { 5T 711.4}  also  { Maranatha, 131.3} 

 

  The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalon 2:3, 4, 7. Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy. { GC 49.1} 
Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, “the mystery of iniquity” carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ. { GC 49.2}   Read entire Chapter 3
  
 
  Terrible were the trials that were to beset the true church. Even at the time when the apostle was writing, the “mystery of iniquity” had already begun to work. The developments that were to take place in the future were to be “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” { AA 266.1} 

 

Early in the history of the church the mystery of iniquity foretold by the apostle Paul began its baleful work; and as the false teachers concerning whom Peter had warned the believers, urged their heresies, many were ensnared by false doctrines. Some faltered under trial and were tempted to give up the faith. At the time when John was given this revelation, many had lost their first love of gospel truth. But in His mercy God did not leave the church to continue in a backslidden state. In a message of infinite tenderness He revealed His love for them and His desire that they should make sure work for eternity. “Remember,” He pleaded, “from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” Verse 5. { AA 587.1} 
 
As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history.... { Ev 705.1} 

 

  Let not those who have the truth as it is in Jesus give sanction, even by their silence, to the work of the mystery of iniquity. Let them never cease to sound the note of alarm. Let the education and training of the members of our churches be such that the children and youth among us shall understand there are to be no concessions to this power, the man of sin. Teach them that although the time will come when we can wage the war only at the risk of property and liberty, yet the conflict must be met, in the spirit and meekness of Christ; the truth is to be maintained and advocated as it is in Jesus. Wealth, honor, comfort, home—everything else—is to be a secondary consideration. The truth must not be hid, it must not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed. { 2SM 369.3} 

 

As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history.... In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord. { TM 117.5} 
 
There are but two parties. Satan works with his crooked, deceiving power, and through strong delusions he catches all who do not abide in the truth, who have turned away their ears from the truth and have turned unto fables. Satan himself abode not in the truth; he is the mystery of iniquity. Through his subtlety he gives to his soul-destroying errors the appearance of truth. Herein is their power to deceive. It is because they are a counterfeit of the truth that spiritualism, theosophy, and the like deceptions gain such power over the minds of men. Herein is the masterly working of Satan. He pretends to be the savior of man, the benefactor of the human race, and thus he more readily lures his victims to destruction. { TM 365.2} 

 

  Shall we not as children of the living God, read the living oracle, purposing in our hearts that at whatever cost we will obey God, crucify self, and live unto Christ? No man is qualified to stand in a responsible position, authorized to direct the work, who is not daily directed of God. The whole confederacy of evil, led by Satan, is seeking diligently to increase the ranks of those who transgress the law of God; and the law of the land sustains them in their apostasy. Underneath every movement for the exaltation of the mystery of iniquity, there is a secret undercurrent of effort for the suppression of God’s truth in his holy requirement. Men are seeking again to enslave the souls of men by the decree of the law of the land. Is it not time that those who are under the counsel of God shall stand as representatives of Christ in every position of trust? While all the hosts of sin are earnest, zealous, sanguine in advancing their cause, and are stirred by a power from beneath, shall not those who stand in defense of truth manifest earnestness and zeal and enthusiasm? What if the sincere worker for God should be called a fanatic? This is the name that those who have been truly devoted to God have ever been called upon to bear. But infidels have been heard to say, “If I believed what Christians profess to believe, I would be far more zealous than they are.” Since even infidels see in the man who is stigmatized as an enthusiast the only consistent Christian, shall we take a neutral position? { RH March 14, 1893, par. 13 }

 

“The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:.... therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.” { RH April 19, 1898, par. 4 }
 
Certain ones are presented before me, with a representation of their words and works and influence. I am not to retract one word of the message I have borne. My message is, “Be not deceived: God is not mocked.” In the near future all will be judged. Very soon every hidden thing will be brought to light. O how untiringly the mystery of iniquity has worked! How many souls there are who will be lost as the result of the evil working of human agencies. { RH April 19, 1906, par. 6 }

 

  The mystery of iniquity, which had already begun to work in Paul’s day, will continue its work until it be taken out of the way at our Lord’s second coming. The climax of the working of iniquity will soon be reached. When the land which the Lord provided as an asylum for his people, that they might worship him according to the dictates of their own consciences, the land over which for long years the shield of Omnipotence has been spread, the land which God has favored by making it the depository of the pure religion of Christ,—when that land shall, through its legislators, abjure the principles of Protestantism, and give countenance to Romish apostasy in tampering with God’s law,—it is then that the final work of the man of sin will be revealed. 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. Then it will be time for God to work in mighty power for the vindication of his truth. { ST June 12, 1893, par. 12 }

 

The voice of Luther, that echoed in mountains and valleys, that shook Europe as with an earthquake, summoned forth an army of noble apostles of Jesus, and the truth they advocated could not be silenced by fagots, by tortures, by dungeons, by death; and still the voices of the noble army of martyrs are telling us that the Roman power is the predicted apostasy of the last days, the mystery of iniquity which Paul saw beginning to work even in his day. Roman Catholicism is rapidly gaining ground. Popery is on the increase, and those who have turned their ears away from hearing the truth are listening to her delusive fables. Papal chapels, papal colleges, nunneries, and monasteries are on the increase, and the Protestant world seems to be asleep. Protestants are losing the mark of distinction that distinguished them from the world, and they are lessening the distance between themselves and the Roman power. They have turned away their ears from hearing the truth; they have been unwilling to accept light which God shed upon their pathway, and are therefore going into darkness. They speak with contempt of the idea that there will be a revival of the past cruel persecution on the part of Romanists and those who affiliate with them. They do not recognize the fact that the word of God fully predicts such a revival, and will not concede that the people of God in the last days shall suffer persecution, although the Bible says, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” { ST February 19, 1894, par. 6 }
 
Book:  Spiritual Gifts ( Volume 1 ) - Chapter 18 — Mystery of Iniquity
It has ever been the design of Satan to draw the minds of the people from Jesus to man, and to destroy individual accountability. Satan failed in his design when he tempted the Son of God. He succeeded better as he came to fallen man. The doctrine of Christianity was corrupted. Popes and priests presumed to take an exalted position, and taught the people to look to them to pardon their sins, instead of looking to Christ for themselves. The Bible was kept from them, in order to conceal the truths which would condemn them. { 1SG 108.1 } 

 

 Book:  Early Writings - The Mystery of Iniquity  ( page 213 to 217 )
It has ever been the design of Satan to draw the minds of the people from Jesus to man, and to destroy individual accountability. Satan failed in his design when he tempted the Son of God; but he succeeded better when he came to fallen man. Christianity became corrupted. Popes and priests presumed to take an exalted position, and taught the people to look to them for the pardon of their sins, instead of looking to Christ for themselves. { EW 213.2} 
 
Book:  Story of Redemption - Chapter 45 — The Mystery of Iniquity
The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7. Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the Papacy. { SR 326.1} 

 

What was the origin of the great apostasy? How did the church first depart from the simplicity of the gospel? By conforming to the practices of paganism, to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the heathen. The apostle Paul declared, even in his day, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7. During the lives of the apostles the church remained comparatively pure. But “toward the latter end of the second century most of the churches assumed a new form; the first simplicity disappeared, and insensibly, as the old disciples retired to their graves, their children, along with new converts, ... came forward and new-modeled the cause.”—Robert Robinson, Ecclesiastical Researches, ch. 6, par. 17, p. 51. To secure converts, the exalted standard of the Christian faith was lowered, and as the result “a pagan flood, flowing into the church, carried with it its customs, practices, and idols.”—Gavazzi, Lectures, page 278. As the Christian religion secured the favor and support of secular rulers, it was nominally accepted by multitudes; but while in appearance Christians, many “remained in substance pagans, especially worshiping in secret their idols.”—Ibid., page 278. { GC 384.5}    Read entire chapter 21
 
Many who are working for Sunday enforcement have never understood the claims of the Bible Sabbath, and the false foundation on which the Sunday institution rests. And they are blinded to the results of Sunday legislation. They do not see that it would be a blow against religious liberty. But any movement in favor of religious legislation is really an act of concession to the Papacy, which for so many ages has steadily warred against liberty of conscience. Sunday owes its existence as a so-called Christian institution to the “mystery of iniquity;” and its enforcement will be a virtual recognition of the principles which are the very corner-stone of Romanism. When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with the Papacy; it will be giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism. { ST November 28, 1900, par. 2 }

 

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