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    CHAPTER XII. - THE GREATEST APOSTASY, THE GREATEST DECEPTION, AND THE GREATEST RUIN

    In the developments of the Eastern Question since 1839-40, we have seen the Kings of the West became also the kings of the East and of the earth and the whole world.WGI 160.1

    In the present conditions of the Eastern Question and the present situation of these world-powers, we see that the world is very near to the time of the ending of the Turkish Empire, and in that the “way of the Kings of the East” “prepared” to be gathered to the battle of the great day and of Armageddon.WGI 160.2

    In the Scripture it is declared that it is “the spirits of devils working miracles” which go forth from “the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet” to “the Kings of the Earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,” and which do thus gather them to Armageddon.WGI 160.3

    We have found the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet to be the three great apostasies from God composing paganism, papacy, and false Protestantism; and we have found these three to be just now rapidly advancing to a three-fold coalition into a great world-religion, united with, and supported by, the great powers which are the kings of the East and of the earth and the whole world.WGI 160.4

    But with this great world-religion it is not enough that it should he only united with those powers and supported by them in the things which are to their particular interests. This world-religion must dominate these powers and use them to promote its interests first of all and over all. It must not be forgotten that in the three-fold coalition into the great world-religion the papacy will he predominant. And the essential spirit of the papacy is domination over all persons and things.WGI 161.1

    Indeed, the essential spirit of the three apostasies is the same; but in the papacy it has found its fullest development. And that spirit is simply and essentially the Satanic spirit. We have read the words of Schaff that “secular power has proved a Satanic gift to the Church.” It is only a Satanic gift to any religion; and yet it is the chiefest characteristic of each of the three apostasies, that is has become possessed of the secular power. And in their final form of three-fold coalition into one great world-religion, this char- acteristic of the Satanic gift will be proportionately developed.WGI 161.2

    Another thing that makes plain and emphatic this truth as to the Satanic gift in the case of each of the three, is the tracing, as well as the plain statements, of Revelation 12 and 13, concerning the war of Satan against Christ and his Church from the birth of Christ unto the end of the world.WGI 162.1

    First: There was a dragon standing ready to devour Christ as soon as he should be born. This failed and then the dragon turned his wrath upon the woman—the Church.WGI 162.2

    Second: That power of pagan Rome passed away, and then arose the beast: and to the beast the dragon gave his power and his seat and his great authority. And in worshiping the beast “they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast.”WGI 162.3

    Third: When the beast went into captivity, there was seen “coming up” the other beast, which causes the making of “an image to the beast:” and though he had “two horns like a lamb” yet it had also to be written of him, “he spake as a dragon.”WGI 162.4

    Thus the spirit and the life of the dragon is perpetuated throughout, and is found in all three separately. And throughout the whole story, that which is preeminently the dragon is plainly declared to be that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan. Revelation 12:9. This certifies to the exact truth of the Satanic character of that “gift” of civil power to the Church, or to any religion. And when this is plainly revealed in the case of each of the three apostasies, separately and in succession, how much more will it be revealed in the coalition of the three into one great world-religion, possessed of all the civil power of the world.WGI 162.5

    How appropriate to all this stands the Revelation that in the real workings of this coalition it is but the workings of the “spirits of devils!” Thus the culmination of apostasy, in the coalition of the three great apostasies of the world into one grand combination of apostasy in possession of all-world power, proves to be also the culmination of the development and manifestation of Satanic power in the world and before the universe. For those are the “spirits of devils working miracles,” which go forth to the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great clay of God Almighty, and which do indeed gather them to Armageddon.WGI 163.1

    These miracles are only Satanic miracles, for they are wrought by “the spirits of devils;” and they are wrought only to deceive. He “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do;” and “wrought miracles with which he deceived them.” Revelation 14:14; 19:20. And in another scripture this whole situation and combination is summed up in the statement that the coming of the Lord Jesus in his glory “is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.WGI 163.2

    Thus by the Scriptures it is made perfectly plain that the coalition of the three greatest apostasies of the world into the world’s one “greatest religion,” will prove to be only the world’s one greatest apostasy of all, and the world’s greatest possible deception; and only that which will the more hasten the world’s certain ruin. For these three great apostasies of the world’s history are the “three parts” of which the great Babylon of the Book of Revelation is composed in her final phase; and their coalition only hastens the day when the mighty angel shall cast into the sea that “stone like a great millstone,” and say, “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Revelation 16:19; 18:21.WGI 164.1

    And what can save anybody from this apostasy, from this miracle-working deception, and from this awful ruin?—The same thing that saves from the battle of the great day, and from the worship of the beast and his image: namely, a spiritual experience that knows that our names are written in the Book of Life, and that then manifests unswerving loyalty to God in Christ in the keeping of the Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus.WGI 165.1

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