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From Here to Forever

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    Intemperance Has Beclouded Many

    Courts are corrupt, rulers are actuated by desire for gain and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves as well as to destroy the Bible itself.HF 358.1

    As in former ages, he has worked through the churches to further his designs. In combating unpopular truths in the Scriptures, they adopt interpretations which sow broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man's consciousness in death, they reject the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. As the claims of the fourth commandment are urged, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty they are unwilling to perform, popular teachers cast away the law of God and the Sabbath together. As Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. Religious leaders open the door to infidelity, spiritualism, and contempt for God's holy law—a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.HF 358.2

    Yet this very class claim that the enforcement of Sunday observance would improve the morals of society. It is one of Satan's devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement contrary to God's law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.HF 359.1

    Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.HF 359.2

    As spiritualism imitates the Christianity of the day, it has great power to deceive. Satan himself is “converted.” He will appear as an angel of light. Through spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed.HF 359.3

    Papists who boast of miracles as a sign of the true church will be readily deceived by this wonderworking power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world.HF 359.4

    Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing diseases and presenting a new system of religious faith, but at the same time he leads multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. War excites the worst passions of the soul and sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is Satan's object to incite the nations to war, for he can thus divert the people from preparation to stand in the day of God.HF 359.5

    Satan has studied the secrets of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. It is God that shields His creatures from the destroyer. But the Christian world has shown contempt for His law, and the Lord will do what He declared that He would—remove His protecting care from those who rebel against His law and force others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some, in order to further his own designs; and he will bring trouble upon others, and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.HF 360.1

    While appearing as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, Satan will bring disease and disaster until populous cities are reduced to ruin. In accidents by sea and land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish.HF 360.2

    And then the great deceiver will persuade men to charge all their troubles on those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men offend God by the violation of Sunday, that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced. “Those who destroy reverence for Sunday are preventing restoration of divine favor and prosperity.” Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated. “When Ahab saw Elijah, ... Ahab said unto him, art thou he that troubleth Israel?” 1 Kings 18:17, 18.HF 360.3

    Miracle-working power will exert its influence against those who obey God rather than men. The “spirits” will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday.HF 361.1

    Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered for the gospel were denounced as evildoers in league with Satan. So it will be now. Satan will cause those who honor God's law to be accused as men who bring judgments on the world. Through fear he endeavors to rule the conscience, moving religious and secular authorities to enforce human laws in defiance of the law of God.HF 361.2

    Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God on the earth. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of obedience to civil authorities. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment-keepers will be condemned. A false coloring will be given their words; the worst construction will be put on their motives.HF 361.3

    Dignitaries of church and state will unite to persuade or compel all to honor Sunday. Even in free America rulers and legislators will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience which has cost so great a sacrifice will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words, “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.” Revelation 12:17.HF 361.4

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