“The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones” (Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 11).
The shoot-to-kill order issued by the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is a perfect example of government overreach. We are witnessing how passion and hysteria will soon abolish justice and reason. This is how free societies become police states.
The response to the coronavirus by some in government is completely oppressive and cruel. Governments are issuing orders that have no legal authority. Absolute and uncontrolled power is exercised by those in authority during times of crisis. The will of the people is being replaced with the will of the totalitarian state.
“The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place,—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis” (Evangelism, p. 194).
As long as people support these blatant abuses of power, our freedoms will keep disappearing. The blame does not just fall on the tyrants. It’s the people who are also at fault. It’s the people who are willing to sacrifice the constitution, the rule of law and their right to limit the authority of government who are responsible. Why will they allow despots to trample their liberties? For security from the coronavirus.
“Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude” (Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 11).
Concerned citizens do seek protection from their government in times of crisis. But what price are we willing to pay in order to be kept safe? Fear and collective hysteria? Outrageous exaggerations? Shoot-to-kill orders? Will we place entire populations under lockdown? Will we wipe out all the economies of the world? Will we destroy businesses and bankrupt our grandchildren and future generations? And will we replace our constitutional republic with a dictatorship?
There is a reason behind everything we are seeing. A precedent is being set for the coming tyranny against God’s people. All the anger, stress, bitterness, anxiety, fear, and hysteria that we see in our world will soon be directed towards the commandment-keeping people. Notice the following words of inspiration that describe what is just before us:
“Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government … In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives” (Great Controversy, p. 592).
This “shoot-to-kill order” is just a shadow of what is coming. Soon, God’s people will face opposition and wrath for their faithfulness to truth. A Laodicean experience is not going to help us get through the future times of trouble. Being a lukewarm church will not be enough to save us. We are living in a day that demands our full and undivided attention. We simply cannot think or live like we did 5 years ago. Those days are forever ended. Today we no longer live in ordinary times, and an ordinary experience will not suffice:
“We are coming to a crisis which, more than any previous time since the world began, will demand the entire consecration of every one who has named the name of Christ” (Gospel Workers, p. 323).