Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16.
Men are inspired by Satan to execute his purposes against God. The Lord has said, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations” (Exodus 31:13). None should disobey this command in order to escape persecution. But let all consider the words of Christ, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:23). If it can be avoided, do not put yourselves into the power of men who are worked by the spirit of antichrist. If the payment of a fine will deliver our brethren from the hands of these oppressors, let it be paid.... Everything that we can do should be done that those who are willing to suffer for the truth's sake may be saved from oppression and cruelty.
We have the history of religious persecution from the fall of Adam down to the present time. How much of cruelty, perfidy, and corrupt intrigue is revealed. Satan is still leading men to strive for the mastery over other minds, and all this striving is designed to counterwork a “Thus saith the Lord.”
Christ died a victim to the mob spirit created by the religious prejudice of His own nation. Others will suffer in like manner. But they will not have to stand under the curse of the transgression of the law of God, as did Christ in behalf of the sinful world....
The Lord encourages all who seek Him with the whole heart. He gives them His Holy Spirit, the manifestation of His presence and favor. But those who forsake God in order to save their lives will be forsaken by Him. In seeking to save their lives by yielding the truth, they will lose eternal life.
Natural affection for relatives and friends should not lead any soul who sees the light to reject the light, to dishonor God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Every possible excuse for disobedience will be framed by men who choose, as many did in Christ's day, the favor of men rather than the favor of God. If one chooses wife or children, father or mother, before Christ, that choice will stand through eternal ages, with all its weight of responsibility....
The greater man's influence for good, under the control of the Spirit of God, the more determined will be the enemy to indulge his envy and jealousy toward him by religious persecution. But all heaven is on the side of Christ, not of antichrist. Those who love God and are willing to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings, God will honor.—Manuscript 9, January 26, 1900, “Our Duty Under Persecution.”
From The Upward Look - Page 40