There's no one better qualified to engage in a conversation on end-time events than Ellen White. The following interview allows us to hear what her writings have to say about being prepared.—Editors.
We’ve heard the warnings about end-time events for a long time. They may not seem current anymore.
When God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed with reasoning powers to heed the message. The fearful judgments denounced against the worship of the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9-11) should lead all to a diligent study of the prophecies to learn what the mark of the beast is, and how they are to avoid receiving it.1
It is for the interest of all to understand what the mark of the beast is, and how they may escape the dread threatenings of God. Why are [people] not interested to know what constitutes the mark of the beast?2
The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. . . . The mark of the beast is the opposite of this—the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.3
Christians of past generations observed Sunday supposing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath, and there are now true Christians in every church who honestly believe that Sunday is of divine appointment. God accepts their sincerity and integrity.But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law and the world shall be enlightened concerning the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God to obey a precept of Rome will thereby honor popery above God. . . . It is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”4
The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death.5
Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God—candidates for heaven. Go forward. . . . Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.6
When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday.7
The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment—since this is the sign of His creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the contest all Christendom will be divided into two great classes—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark.8
Satan is ever seeking to bring about a state of things in which righteousness may be termed unrighteousness, and unrighteousness righteousness. What are we to do? We are to keep in living connection with the God of heaven. . . . God has a people who will not receive the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead. God has a place for His people to fill in this world, to reflect light. You are God’s sentinels.9
Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming—a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation—God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his host cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them.10
Live the life of faith day by day. Do not become anxious and distressed about the time of trouble, and thus have a time of trouble beforehand. Do not keep thinking, “I am afraid I shall not stand in the great testing day.” You are to live for the present, for this day only. Tomorrow is not yours. Today you are to maintain the victory over self. Today you are to live a life of prayer. Today you are to fight the good fight of faith. Today you are to believe that God blesses you. And as you gain the victory over darkness and unbelief, you will meet the requirements of the Master, and will become a blessing to those around you.”11
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.