History of the Enemy’s Work

Free Bible illustrations at Free Bible images of Noah building the Ark and the great flood. (Genesis 6:9 - 9:17): Slide 11

Since that tragic day in Eden when he introduced sin into the world and caused the fall of man, Satan has cast in the way of each redemptive movement, a different stumbling block upon which multitudes have tripped and fallen.  Most assuredly, therefore, he must be expected to have some such distinctive danger planted in our way today.  We, though, having in this age the tremendous advantage of knowing the respective pitfalls which have proved fatal to the multitudes in past movements, shall suffer a proportionately greater condemnation and punishment if we fail to recognize ours.

  And what is more, if we fail, we shall witness thereby to the universe that we are the weakest of the weak. We must stand–stand against the most ingenious special trap ever set by the Evil One!  But how shall we do this if we know not what it is or where it is?

To find the danger where it really lurks, let us briefly view in retrospect previous snares, by periods in which they occurred, beginning with the first recorded church movement:

THE NOATIC MOVEMENT was ordained to build the ark both as a warning of the impending deluge and as a refuge from it.  The special block of stumbling which Satan cast in the way of the multitudes at that time, he devised from the fact that never in all nature had man seen anything that lent the remotest evidence to the possibility of there ever materializing such a phenomenon as rain.  Accordingly, leaning upon their finite knowledge of nature and its potentialities, they scoffed and scorned Noah’s science and his warning of doom, and continued their “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.”  Matt. 24: 38, 39.

Their exalting human science and disregarding divine science, therefore, was the special snare which took the antediluvians.  Their fate solemnly warns us carefully to avoid their mistake.

IN THE ABRAHAMIC MOVEMENT, the father of the faithful was called to depart from the cities of the ancient world, in the hope that someday the movement would triumphantly possess the promised land.  Fully aware of this fact, Satan worked mightily to sidetrack the movement into the cities of the nations along the way.  On this block of stumbling Lot fell, with the result that when the Lord finally snatched him from the destruction of Sodom, as a brand plucked from the burning, he came out the poorest of the poor.

Thus the worldly cities were the quicksands to the first postdiluvians.  May we not lose all therein, as did Lot.

THE MOSAIC MOVEMENT was led out of Egypt to possess the land of promise, and there to become a kingdom.  Cunningly suiting his temptations to their predispositions, Satan inspired those who were of age when they left the land of Pharoah, to continuous murmuring, complaining, office-seeking and rebelling, and finally to fearing the giant inhabitants of the promised land.  Failing to see that their strength was the strong hand of the Lord, they were consequently forced to wander forty long years in the desert, and there to leave parching the bones of all but two of their members who were of age when they left Egypt.

Unbelief, stiffneckedness, distrust of divine leadership, and office seeking, therefore, were the four-headed monster that devoured the people of the Exodus.  And these will devour every Present Truth believer who strays into their lair.

THE CANAAN MOVEMENT UNDER JOSHUA was ridded of all sinners and commissioned to possess the land, drive out the heathen, and set up an everlasting kingdom.  Knowing that its continuance was contingent on their obedience to the Lord’s instructions through His prophets, Satan moved upon the people to mock the messengers of God, despise His words, and misuse His prophets, “until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chron. 36:16), and He gave them back to captivity.

Hence to the subjects of the kingdom, the prophets were the great rock of offense–a rock upon which no age before or since has been free from stumbling.  The wise today, therefore, will “despise not prophesyings.” 1 Thess. 5:20.

THE APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT was brought forth to proclaim the transferring of the earthly sanctuary service to the heavenly “tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:2), and to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19) all who should repent of their sins.  But to frustrate its purpose, Satan set to work to fashion another deception, and with the departure of the Apostles he quickly succeeded in causing the church completely to lose sight both of the truth of the priesthood of Christ and the truth of baptism, and to establish in their stead an earthly priestcraft and infant baptism.

Thus being led to disbelieve and disregard the sanctuary services and baptism, their very salvation, the Christian church fell through Satan’s trapdoor into error.  And that door is still set to take the feet of the unwary–all who disregard or lightly esteem the ever advancing truth unfolded in the special sealing message for today.

THE PROTESTANT MOVEMENTS were raised up to declare and to exploit the primacy of the Bible, because thepre-reformation world was bound in darkness by uninspired man’s religious rule, disallowing the common people the right to possess a Bible, and making them dependent upon his private interpretation of it.  Hence came the Protestant churches in their succession, to restore the down-trodden Truth, each protesting against these abuses and usurpations of human rights, each being called forth to make the Christian world realize the need of true Inspiration and of freedom of religion, the right to own a Bible and to study for themselves, and the duty to make the Bible and the Bible only, the rule of their faith.

Being determined, though, to bring the Reformation to naught, Satan has from its beginning constantly worked to cause every church member to revel in private interpretation of the Scriptures and in extra-Biblical theories.  Consequently, Protestantism today finds itself following not merely in the way of the uninspired Bible interpretations of one man but in the ways of the uninspired interpretations of thousands of men!  And the result is that Christendom teems with schism and confusion unrivaled in history–evidence that the great work of the founding fathers of the Protestant Reformation has been perverted and turned into an undermining force for the frustration of God’s special design for the church today.

Thus we see that the Reformation, which, originally under the direction of inspired men, lifted the church out of one morass, later under the direction of uninspired men, plunged her into another, wherein she has been floundering ever since.  And unless we let the truth extricate us from this fatal bog of confusion, we cannot defeat the enemy of Inspiration in his tireless and powerful efforts to pervert the implements of our salvation into weapons for our destruction.

THE S.D.A. MOVEMENT was appointed to declare the sanctuary message: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment [the harvest] is come” (Rev. 14:7) upon all the dead who, from Adam’s time on, failed to get the extra oil (truth) in their vessels (Matt. 25:4), double their talents (verses 15 through 30), or put on “the wedding garment.”  Matt. 22:11.  These shall have their names blotted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

This proclamation concerning the dead was to prepare the living for their impending judgment.  For this reason, Satan has employed his every device to lull Adventists into being merely hearers and preachers but not doers of the Word; into tithing mint and anise and cummin, as it were, but omitting the weightier matters of the law. 

In short, he has made them to become wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked by failing on the one hand to be faithful themselves in doing what they teach others to do, and by failing on the other hand to keep themselves free from doing what they teach others not to do.  And to prevent them from awakening to this “terrible deception” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 254), he keeps them lukewarm, complacently dreaming of being rich in truth and of having need of nothing, though in fact they are in misery and in need of everything.

Clearly, then, lukewarmness and the hallucination of being rich are the faults peculiar to the Laodiceans, and are the dangers which if not recognized and removed are finally to result in God’s spuing them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).  Thus again the Lord mercifully pleads with Present Truth believers to walk in the light and shun lukewarmness, lest they fall back into thinking themselves rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, and again become poor and in need of everything.

THE ELEVENTH-HOUR MOVEMENT affects us today most immediately and intimately.  Being the last gospel effort, it must “give power and force” to the Third Angel’s Message and “lighten the earth with his glory” (Rev. 18:1); it must triumph, though every movement before it has failed.  It is destined, not to “prophesy again to many nations” (Rev. 10:11), but to “all.”  And as it is to go to those who have not heard of His fame, and to bring to the house of the Lord all the saints “out of all nations” (Isa. 66:19, 20), it is consequently foreordained to endure. 

To effect this predetermined purpose, God is now taking the reins in His own Hands (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), to purify the church by removing from it the tares, and to preserve it free from them henceforth, so that it may stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1).

Indeed, in the very nature of the case, the Eleventh-Hour movement must triumph, for, being the last, the one to garner in the harvest, then should it fail, everyone in the world today would forever remain lost.  Double, therefore, are the reasons that the Lord purposes it to stand.  Thus the Davidians have been called to “the Kingdom for such a time as this.”

“For,” declares the Word, “by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….And I will send them that escape of them unto the nations….And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.  And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations.”  Isa. 66:16-20.

“And they [the Gentiles] shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord.”  Isa 62:12.

“But who may abide the day…?  Who shall stand when He appeareth?  for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.”  Mal. 3:2.

All the more reason, then, that its adherents must be tested and proved worthy.  What, therefore, is the first and gravest danger con-fronting Present Truth believers today?

With the end of the long journey in view, the work was never so great, the time in which to do it never so short, and the laborers never so few, as now.  Self-evident, therefore, is the fact that Satan’s supreme effort at this hour must be to cause the time to be wasted and the work to go undone.

Rouse, then, O Present Truth believer!  Rise speedily to the task set, and “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Eccles. 9:10.  No longer let a moment be wasted, for every precious one is vital to the salvation of your own soul and to the souls of others.

Thus with the day already at hand, finding “the last movements rapid ones” (Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 11), to no avail now will be one’s zeal, efficiency, and speed unless they match that held up to view in the following warning to

Redeem The Time.

“The day is at hand.  For the lessons to be learned, the work to be done, the transformation of character to be effected, the time remaining is but too brief a span.”–Education, p. 184.

“Every year millions upon millions of human souls are passing into eternity unwarned and unsaved.  From hour to hour in our varied life, opportunities to reach and save souls are opened to us.  These opportunities are continually coming and going.  God desires us to make the most of them.  Days, weeks, and months are passing; we have one day, one week, one month, less in which to do our work.  A few more years at the longest, and the Voice which we cannot refuse to answer will be heard, saying, ‘Give an account of thy stewardship.'”–Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 373, 374.

“The life of Christ from His earliest years was a life of earnest activity.”– Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 345.

“Our time belongs to God.  Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory.  Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time.

“The value of time is beyond computation.  Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it.  Life is too short to be trifled away.  We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity.  We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin.  It is now that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life.  It is now that we are to prepare for the searching Judgment.”

Scarcely begun to live when they begin to die, and the world’s incessant labor ends in nothingness unless a true knowledge in regard to eternal life is gained.  The man who appreciates time as his working day will fit himself for a mansion and for a life that is immortal.  It is well that he was born.”

“We are admonished to redeem the time.  But time squandered can never be recovered.  We can not call back even one moment.  The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption.”

“In him who does this, a transformation of character takes place.  He becomes a son of God, a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King.  He is fitted to be the companion of the angels.”

“Now is our time to labor for the salvation of our fellowmen.  There are some who think that if they give money to the cause of Christ, this is all they are required to do; the precious time in which they might do personal service for Him passes unimproved.  But it is the privilege and duty of all who have health and strength to render to God active service.  All are to labor in winning souls to Christ.  Donations of money can not take the place of this.”

“Every moment is freighted with eternal consequences.  We are to stand as minute men, ready for service at a moment’s notice.  The opportunity that is now ours to speak to some needy soul the word of life may never offer again.  God may say to that one, ‘This night thy soul shall be required of thee,’ and through our neglect he may not be ready.  In the great Judgment-day, how shall we render our account to God?”

“Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal and earthly matters, in a treadmill of care and anxiety for the things that are but an atom in comparison with the things of eternal interest.  Yet God has called us to serve Him in the temporal affairs of life.  Diligence in this work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion.  The Bible gives no endorsement to idleness.  It is the greatest curse that afflicts our world.  Every man and woman who is truly converted will be a diligent worker.”

“Upon the right improvement of our time depends our success in acquiring knowledge and mental culture.  The cultivation of the intellect need not be prevented by poverty, humble origin, or unfavorable surroundings.  Only let the moments be treasured.” 

“A few moments here and a few there, that might be frittered away in aimless talk; the morning hours so often wasted in bed; the time spent in traveling on trains or railway cars, or waiting at the station; the moments of waiting for meals, waiting for those who are tardy in keeping an appointment,–if a book were kept at hand, and these fragments of time were improved in study, reading, or careful thought, what might not be accomplished.  A resolute purpose, persistent industry, and careful economy of time, will enable men to acquire knowledge and mental discipline which will qualify them for almost any position of influence and usefulness.”

“It is the duty of every Christian to acquire habits of order, thoroughness, and dispatch.  There is no excuse for slow bungling at work of any character.  When one is always at work, and the work is never done, it is because mind and heart are not put into the labor.  The one who is slow, and who works at a disadvantage, should realize that these are faults to be corrected.  He needs to exercise his mind in planning how to use the time so as to secure the best results.  By tact and method, some will accomplish as much work in five hours as another does in ten. 

“Some who are engaged in domestic labor are always at work, not because they have so much to do, but because they do not plan so as to save time.  By their slow, dilatory ways, they make much work out of very little.  But all who will, may overcome these fussy, lingering habits.  In their work let them have a definite aim.  Decide how long a time is required for a given task, and then bend every effort toward accomplishing the work in the given time.  The exercise of the will power will make the hands move deftly.”

“Through lack of determination to take themselves in hand and reform, persons can become stereotyped in a wrong course of action; or by cultivating their powers they may acquire ability to do the very best of service.  Then they will find themselves in demand anywhere and everywhere.  They will be appreciated for all that they are worth.

“By many children and youth, time is wasted that might be spent in carrying home-burdens, and thus showing a loving interest in father and mother.  The youth might take upon their strong young shoulders many responsibilities which some one must bear.”– Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 342-345.

“It is the very essence of all right faith to do the right thing at the right time.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 24.


Setting before His followers the “two ways” for life’s “travelers,” the Saviour early in His ministry warned: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  Matt. 7:13, 14.

While viewing their own steps with complacency and perhaps even thinking themselves securely on the royal road to the Kingdom, the masses in the broad way view with scorn the handful in the narrow way, regarding them as apostates, fanatically on the way to perdition. 

But being thus sadly mistaken, the majority fail to see that the broad way which begins at the wide gate, leads not to “life” but “to destruction,” and that the narrow way which begins at the strait gate, and which they scorn, leads instead “unto life.”  By this great error, they give full evidence that they are yet carnal–wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and know it not.

“The enemy,” says the Spirit of Truth, “is preparing for his last campaign against the church.  He has so concealed himself from view that many can hardly believe that he exists, much less can they be convinced of his amazing activity and power.  They have to a great extent forgotten his past record, and when he makes another advance move, they will not recognize him as their enemy, that old serpent, but they will consider him a friend, one who is doing a good work.(Testimonies, vol.5, p.294)

 (We hope you’ve been blessed by this report. The above was written by brother Victor T. Houteff in 1942, found in the Symbolic Code, Vol.8, no.1-12, p.6-9. For the full article, click this link  http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/symbolic%20Code/8sc_01_12.html )

6 Responses to “History of the Enemy’s Work”

  1. wilfred ragogi ondande Says:

    No doubt i must print and use the message in my next meeting this week.i am impressed in the way it was researched.may i then seek your permission to use it.!it is very practical !

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Yes my brother, any post is yours to copy and spread. May the people be blessed.

  3. mahargtrebla2 Says:

    Right on, as always, bro.

  4. vegaraw Says:

    I was mindblown to see the advice given on the daily chores in COL: this is something that I could read in productivity books in modern times, yet it was written around 150 years ago. Must be from heaven!

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