If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if
they have kept my saying, they will keep your's also. John 15:20.
Persecution in its varied forms is the development of a principle
which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital
power. No man can serve God without enlisting against himself the
opposition of the hosts of darkness. Evil angels will assail him,
alarmed that his influence is taking the prey from their hands. Evil
men, rebuked by his example, will unite with them in seeking to separate
him from God by alluring temptations. When these do not succeed, then
a compelling power is employed to force the conscience.
But so long as Jesus remains man's intercessor in the sanctuary above,
the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and
people. It still controls to some extent the laws of the land. Were
it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be much worse
than it now is. While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan,
God also has His agents among the leading men of the nation. The enemy
moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede
the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by
holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments.
Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil. The
opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the third
angel's message may do its work. When the final warning shall be given,
it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the
Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand
with the people of God through the time of trouble. . . .
"Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord
your God. . . ." Joel 2:23. "In the last days, saith God,
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." "And it shall
come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall
be saved." Acts 2:17, 21.
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation
of the power of God than marked its opening.
From Maranatha - Page 31