Mordecai in the Gate

TimeWatch Editorial
February 28, 2017

There is an incredible story recorded in the Bible that has been preserved as a warning for those who live in these our times. Events that are taking place in the world around us may seem to be distant enough from our personal lives. But such a view would be a serious mistake. The definite shift that is taking place, the movement from freedom to coercion represents the first steps along a new path. America has grown to be the nation that she is, because of the God given rights she has embraced. The Liberty of Conscience that has been the hallmark of this nation has provided not just the freedom to worship according to one’s conviction, but has been accompanied by the blessings of heaven. We have been warned, however that this will change. There will ultimately be a conflict between the true Church of God and the State, which will necessitate the making of a personal choice by every living being. The Review and Herald published the following statement on January 23rd 1908:

“The trying experiences that came to God's people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone. The Revelator, looking down the ages to the close of time, declared by inspiration, "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." In the near future we shall see these words fulfilled, as the Protestant churches unite with the world and with the papal power against commandment-keepers. The same spirit that actuated those who persecuted the true church in ages past, will lead Protestants to pursue a similar course toward those who will maintain their loyalty to God. Church and state are now making preparations for the last great conflict.”  {Review and Herald, January 23, 1908 par. 20} 

There are those who believe that in comparison with the larger denominations and religions, smaller denominations need not worry. The opposite is in fact true; the smaller the faith, the more likely the coercive intimidation. Listen to what Testimonies Volume 5 says on that matter.

“Our people have been regarded as too insignificant to be worthy of notice, but a change will come. The Christian world is now making movements which will necessarily bring commandment-keeping people into prominence. There is a constant supplanting of God's truth by the theories and false doctrines of human origin. Movements are being set on foot to enslave the consciences of those who would be loyal to God. The lawmaking powers will be against God's people. Every soul will be tested. Oh, that we would, as a people, be wise for ourselves and by precept and example impart that wisdom to our children! Every position of our faith will be searched into; and if we are not thorough Bible students, established, strengthened, and settled, the wisdom of the world's great men will lead us astray.”  {Testimonies Volume 5, page 546 paragraph 2}

On February 23rd 2017 The NEW STATESMAN published an article entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism in Donald Trump’s America” By Lola Adesioye. In that article she notes that:

“Anti-Semitism is once again on the rise in America. Since January alone, there have been 67 bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in around 27 states around the country. On Monday, a Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri was desecrated, with over 100 headstones overturned. There has been a large increase in online anti-Semitic threats and hate speech. Swastikas have been spray painted on the streets of New York.” Lola Adesioye, “The Rise of Anti-Semitism in Donald Trump’s America” February 23rd 2017 The NEW STATESMAN

The author, based upon the article seems to place the blame for the rise in Anti-Semitism squarely upon the shoulders of the New Administration. Whether or not this might be so, I would suggest that the original hatred of Jews finds its origin much further back. Hitler’s hatred and “Final Solution” that is the eradication of Jews, was founded upon a certain lifestyle that was different. Some evangelicals still blame them for the crucifixion of Christ, but one of the peculiarities of Judaism is the keeping of the Sabbath. During the domination of The Papacy, those who insisted upon keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath were accused of “Judaizing.” It would not at all be surprising if that practice, even though unspoken, remains a part of the element of rejection, still experienced by Jews today. This is why Testimonies Volume 5, page 450 is a sound of warning.

“The Protestant world today see in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord, and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.” --Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 450. 

We must therefore be determined, come what may, to maintain our faith, never wavering. The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 84, 85 puts it this way:

Every indignity, reproach, and cruelty that Satan could instigate human hearts to devise, has been visited upon the followers of Jesus. And it will be again fulfilled in a marked manner; for the carnal heart is still at enmity with the law of God, and will not be subject to its commands. The world is no more in harmony with the principles of Christ today than it was in the days of the apostles. The same hatred that prompted the cry "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" the same hatred that led to the persecution of the disciples, still works in the children of disobedience. The same spirit which in the Dark Ages consigned men and women to prison, to exile, and to death, which conceived the exquisite torture of the Inquisition, which planned and executed the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and which kindled the fires of Smithfield, is still at work with malignant energy in unregenerate hearts. The history of truth has ever been the record of a struggle between right and wrong. The proclamation of the gospel has ever been carried forward in this world in the face of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering.”--The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 84, 85. 

Be ready!

Cameron A. Bowen

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