The devil has become very adept at distracting God’s people from focusing on those things that really matter in their spiritual experience.
If he can keep their attention on what he is doing and away from what Christ is doing, he will succeed in preventing them from preparing for the close of probation and Christ’s second coming. As we near the end, Satan multiplies his allurements to distract everyone he can. He uses the world to keep unsuspecting professed believers under his influence. These are in grave danger. “Perilous is the condition of those who, growing weary of their watch, turn to the attractions of the world “ Great Controversy p. 491.
But Satan doesn’t only work through the channels of this present world. He has different distractions in the church which are occupying a lot time to counteract.. We have the women’s ordination issue and the acceptance of the LGBT sexual deviancy. We have the insidious infiltration of spiritualism in the emergent church movement with its spiritual formation and mysticism. We are witnessing the fracturing of the denominational structure by the maverick NAD and the rogue unions that are accessory to it. While it will be necessary to meet these distractions of the devil head on, it must not get our minds so occupied with fighting the devil that we have no time for the truth, which is a life and death issue in this end time.
There is a real danger that focusing on what the devil and his agents are doing will take the attention away from the most momentous work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary at this time. Judgment begins at the house of God. Our eternal destiny is decided at the judgment. In Satan’s last-day consultation with his angels recorded in Testimony to Ministers p.472, he counsels his angels, saying,
“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."
God has warned us against getting distracted from the special message committed to us. Early Writings p.63 says,
“I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause."
Then it tells us where our main attention should be focused:
“But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.”
When Christ repeatedly directs us to a specific truth that is of utmost importance to understand, we need to pay attention. We can see the importance of focusing our attention on His closing work in the heavenly sanctuary by the urgency of His admonitions.
In 5 Testimonies p. 520 He tells us to make it our “constant study “ and that“We should teach our children what the typical Day of Atonement signified.” And if the children can be taught it, there is no excuse for adults to not understand it. On page 420-421 of the same book He tells us:
“This is the great day of preparation, and the solemn work going on in the sanctuary above should be kept constantly before the minds of those employed in our various institutions. Business cares should not be allowed to absorb the mind to such a degree that the work in heaven, which concerns every individual, will be lightly regarded. The solemn scenes of the judgment, the great day of atonement, should be kept before the people, and urged upon their consciences with earnestness and power.”
In 9 Testimonies p. 19 this truth is represented as “of the most solemn import” and that“There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.” In Great Controversy p. 488-489 we read,
“The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative Judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. . . It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects, and be able to give an answer to every one that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them. . . .”The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was his death upon the cross.”
What other subject in the Bible carries with it such urgency for us who are living in these end times. There are many precious truths which have been a great blessing and comfort in the past. We do not want to forget or discard them. But it is present truth that the flock needs now. Yet how often is this subject preached or taught in our churches or written out in our books? Has Satan succeeded in his diabolical scheme to hold the minds of God’s people in darkness until the judgment is finished and the unsaved cry out, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).
Christ gives an urgent call to His remnant in Early Writings p.67:
“Said the angel, ‘Deny self; ye must step fast.’ Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn and much to learn again.”
What is it that makes the truth of Daniel 8:14 and Revelation 14:6-12 so critical to our salvation? Understanding this truth will preserve us from the strong delusion which Satan is foisting upon this generation. It will sanctify and ultimately perfect our characters. In the judgment, Christ will“perfect forever them that are sanctified “ Hebrews 10:14. Our sins will be blotted out so that no remembrance of them will be found. Gone will be the debilitating, inhibiting effect of the filthy garments of past, confessed sins. Then the purified soul temple will be filled with the fullness of the Spirit and sealed eternally secure from the tempters devices. Are not these exceeding great and precious promises something to rejoice about?
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen" (Jude 1:24-25).
Floyd Sayler attended Walla Walla College as a music major and completed his diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto. Along with a passion for Bible study & research, Floyd also enjoys writing for Creation Illustrated and the Adventist World magazines.