Why Satan Hesitates to Enforce the Mark

The surprising election of Donald Trump in 2016, which defied all the polls and political prognosticators, was not due to personal charisma or superior political strategy, or even help from the Russians, as his defeated foes are trying to maintain.  It was an ’act of God,’ ( Daniel 4:17) and a fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 11:40.  The king of the south, represented by the anti-Christian forces of Marxist socialism, united with Hollywood’s sexual deviants and Islamic militancy, were defeated by the Christian-Judeo forces.  It appears that God anointed a modern-day Jehu to humble the arrogance of the anti-Christian powers that were beginning to target Christians who stood up for their principles. 

But Daniel 11:40 is still being played out in the US and around the world.  The king of the south represented by the democratic party and its anti-god, anti-Bible crowd, received a stunning blow on election night.  But they are desperately trying by nefarious means to overthrow what God has set up by His counsel.  And though it may seem that the king of the north is in danger of falling prey to his enemies, yet the prophecy of Daniel 11:40 tells us, “And the king of the north shall come against him (the king of the south) like a whirlwind.”  This part of the prophecy still waits to be completely fulfilled.

As long as Satan can use the principles of the king of the south to demoralize the world as well as the remnant church, he doesn’t need a Sunday law to control the masses of people. Persecution is Satan’s last resort upon those whom he cannot seduce.  When he sees the same principles that undergird the kingdom of the south making great strides in the very church that was raised up to uphold the principles of God’s law, he has hope to eventually eliminate the truth of God from the earth and those who live by its principles.  Ellen White wrote of the critical time that lies ahead. 

“There is a period of time just before us when the condition of the world will become desperate, when that true religion which yields obedience to a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ will become almost extinct" (5 Testimonies p. 523). 

Isaiah wrote of a time when

“Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey"  (Isaiah 59:14).

Satan’s plan is to involve the remnant people of God in the general iniquity and ruin that is coming upon the earth.  If he can unite them with the world in following the same principles, he will have gained everything that he would gain by enforcing the mark of the beast.  Perhaps that is why we are not presently seeing a decided push by the Christian-Judeo forces in America to enact a Sunday law.  Rather, we are seeing the forces of anarchy seeking to overthrow the government which, according to Daniel 4:17, God has set up.

Satan has nothing to fear when he sees the same principles of sexual deviancy, inclusiveness and social justice promoted in our churches and institutions as it is in the world.  Through a continual course of backsliding, professed Seventh-day Adventists are becoming spiritually paralyzed to the point that the slightest wind of opposition will blow them away.

However, we know according to prophecy that there will be a final test of the mark of the beast.  There will be a faithful people who will sealed by the outpouring of the latter rain which will result in the Third Angel’s message being proclaimed with a loud voice?  But why is Satan using all his disruptive forces to oppose the very coalition that is destined to bring about the setting up of his authority as supreme?

There is an irony to all this.  Satan knows that through a universal Sunday-law he can rule the world and receive universal homage.  The mark of the beast is the mark of his power and authority.  But he also knows that once the mark of the beast is enforced, it will be ’game over’ for him because that will be followed by the outpouring of the latter rain which will result in the greatest manifestation of spiritual power this world has ever witnessed.  All his deceptions will be so completely exposed that not one faithful soul remains in Babylon.  God’s character and the righteousness of His law will be so wonderfully manifested that there will be: 

“many souls who will come out of the world, the churches—even the Catholic church who. . . will come to the front, gird themselves with the whole armor of God, and exalt His law, adhere to the faith of Jesus, and maintain the cause of religious liberty which reformers defended with toil and for which they sacrificed their lives" (3 Selected Messages p. 386).

Satan is not anxious for that to happen.  It will mean the end of the great controversy and the ultimate destruction of his kingdom.  Therefore he is working feverishly to demoralize or dishearten God’s  people so that they cannot be used to bear the great, final witness to the truth under the power of the latter rain.

“There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of time “  Selected Messages 1, p. 124.  And  “  If the power of Satan can come into the very temple of God and manipulate things as he pleases, the time of preparation will be prolonged" (Publishing Ministry p. 389).

But God has a part to act in the wind-up of earth’s history. Even though the mark of the beast is the sign of Satan’s authority, God will use the ‘wrath of man to praise Him’ and to accomplish His purposes for these end times.  In 1 Selected Messages p. 370 we read, 

“The Lord has permitted the enemy of truth to make a determined effort against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. He designs by this means to awaken a decided interest in that question which is a test for the last days. This will open the way for the third angel's message to be proclaimed with power.”

There can be no loud cry until the Sabbath test is brought to bear upon God’s professed people.  Therefore, God will use this great test to accomplish His purposes.

473db070c6395ba68d1ef2c610a2de63.jpg

Anciently, God used Babylon to purify His professed people.  There was a great shaking in Israel when the dreadful armies of Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judea and devastated the land.  Only a faithful remnant escaped the fearful destruction brought about by the Babylonian invasion.  Likewise, God has revealed in these last days that He would bring the king of the north not only to over-run the king of the south, but also to enter the “glorious land,” the remnant church.  See Daniel 11:41.

In Ezekiel 38, we have a parallel prophesy regarding the king of the north. Here the king of the north is personified as “Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.”  And we again see the way that God will use  the king of the north to accomplish His purposes. In verses 15-17 we hear God addressing Gog, saying,

“And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?”

In this present situation, especially in the US, many professed believers have become skeptical about the imminence of a Sunday law.  Politically and socially things seem to be headed the other way.  The king of the north seems to be under constant and determined attack.  Many are predicting his soon demise.  But those who understand and believe the prophecies will know what the future holds.  Another surprise is awaiting the world like the stunning surprise of the election on November 8.  How soon the king of the north will come back “like a whirlwind” has not been revealed, but we know when that happens, it will “break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise”  Evangelism p. 623.  “ The final movements will be rapid ones.” 

 God’s faithful remnant will be a constant annoyance to Satan and his followers in this world.  Those whom he cannot deceive or persuade to unite with his party he will persecute and ostracize.  And since the Sabbath is the sign of God’s authority over the earth, Satan will set up the sign of his authority as supreme.  This test will thoroughly segregate the true followers of God from the nominal believers.  God will have a faithful remnant who will not succumb to the moral decay that seems to be overtaking the world and the church.  But these hidden ones are vastly outnumbered and obscured by those who have compromised their religious principles.  This situation calls for God to take action.

In 1 Selected Messages p. 370 we read, 

“The Lord has permitted the enemy of truth to make a determined effort against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. He designs by this means to awaken a decided interest in that question which is a test for the last days. This will open the way for the third angel's message to be proclaimed with power.”

In Ezekiel 38, the king of the north is personified as “Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.  And God’s involvement in the activities of the king of the north is indicated.  In verse sixteen of that chapter God says, “ and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” 

 

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, Fulcrum7 and the Adventist World magazines.