Chapter 1—The Present Situation

A Repetition of the Same Sins—The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the Flood.... Te 227.1

Eating, drinking, and dressing are carried to such excess that they become crimes. They are among the marked sins of the last days, and constitute a sign of Christ's soon coming. Time, money, and strength, which belong to the Lord, but which He has entrusted to us, are wasted in superfluities of dress and luxuries for the perverted appetite, which lessen vitality, and bring suffering and decay.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 11, 12. Te 227.2

A Succession of Falls—From Adam's day to ours there has been a succession of falls, each greater than the last, in every species of crime. God did not create a race of beings so devoid of health, beauty, and moral power as now exists in the world. Disease of every kind has been fearfully increasing upon the race. This has not been by God's especial providence, but directly contrary to His will. It has come by man's disregard of the very means which God has ordained to shield him from the terrible evils existing. Obedience to God's law in every respect would save men from intemperance, licentiousness, and disease of every type. No one can violate natural law without suffering the penalty.—The Review and Herald, March 4, 1875. Te 227.3

Thousands Selling Their Mental Capabilities—What man would, for any sum of money, deliberately sell his mental capabilities? Should one offer him money if he would part with his intellect, he would turn with disgust from the insane suggestion. Yet thousands are parting with health of body, vigor of intellect, and elevation of soul, for the sake of gratifying appetite. Instead of gain, they experience only loss. This they do not realize because of their benumbed sensibilities. They have bartered away their God-given faculties. And for what? Answer. Groveling sensualities and degrading vices. The gratification of taste is indulged at the cost of health and intellect.—The Review and Herald, March 4, 1875. Te 228.1

The Insidious Gradual Change—The use of intoxicating liquor dethrones reason, and hardens the heart against every pure and holy influence. The inanimate rock will sooner listen to the appeals of truth and justice than will that man whose sensibilities are paralyzed by intemperance. The finer feelings of the heart are not blunted all at once. A gradual change is wrought. Those who venture to enter the forbidden path are gradually demoralized and corrupted. And though in the cities liquor saloons abound, making indulgence easy, and though youth are surrounded by allurements to tempt the appetite, the evil does not often begin with the use of intoxicating liquors. Tea, coffee, and tobacco are artificial stimulants, and their use creates the demand for the stronger stimulus found in alcoholic beverages. And while Christians are asleep, this giant evil of intemperance is gaining strength and making fresh victims.—The Signs of the Times, December 6, 1910. Te 228.2

Temptations on Every Hand—In private lunchrooms and fashionable resorts, ladies are supplied with popular drinks, under some pleasing name, that are really intoxicants. For the sick and the exhausted, there are the widely advertised “bitters,” consisting largely of alcohol. Te 229.1

To create the liquor appetite in little children, alcohol is introduced into confectionery. Such confectionery is sold in the shops. And by the gift of these candies the liquor seller entices children into his resorts. Te 229.2

Day by day, month by month, year by year, the work goes on. Fathers and husbands and brothers, the stay and hope and pride of the nation, are steadily passing into the liquor dealer's haunts, to be sent back wrecked and ruined.—The Ministry of Healing, 338, 339. Te 229.3

On the “March to Death”—That men may not take time to meditate, Satan leads them into a round of gaiety and pleasure seeking, of eating and drinking. He fills them with ambition to make an exhibition that will exalt self. Step by step, the world is reaching the conditions that existed in the days of Noah. Every conceivable crime is committed. The lust of the flesh, the pride of the eyes, the display of selfishness, the misuse of power, the cruelty, ... all these are the working of satanic agencies. This round of crime and folly men call “life.” ... Te 229.4

The world, who act as though there were no God, absorbed in selfish pursuits, will soon experience sudden destruction, and shall not escape. Many continue in the careless gratification of self until they become so disgusted with life that they kill themselves. Dancing and carousing, drinking and smoking, indulging their animal passions, they go as an ox to the slaughter. Satan is working with all his art and enchantments to keep men marching blindly onward until the Lord arises out of His place to punish the inhabitants of earth for their iniquities, when the earth shall disclose her blood and no more cover her slain. The whole world appears to be in the march to death.—Evangelism, 26. Te 229.5

The Curse Carried to Heathen Nations—From so-called Christian lands the curse is carried to the regions of idolatry. The poor, ignorant savages are taught the use of liquor. Even among the heathen, men of intelligence recognize and protest against it as a deadly poison; but in vain have they sought to protect their lands from its ravages. By civilized peoples, tobacco, liquor, and opium are forced upon the heathen nations. The ungoverned passions of the savage, stimulated by drink, drag him down to degradation before unknown, and it becomes an almost hopeless undertaking to send missionaries to these lands. Te 230.1

Through their contact with peoples who should have given them a knowledge of God, the heathen are led into vices which are proving the destruction of whole tribes and races. And in the dark places of the earth the men of civilized nations are hated because of this.—The Ministry of Healing, 339. Te 230.2

Even the Christian Churches Paralyzed—The liquor interest is a power in the world. It has on its side the combined strength of money, habit, appetite. Its power is felt even in the church. Men whose money has been made, directly or indirectly, in the liquor traffic, are members of churches, “in good and regular standing.” Many of them give liberally to popular charities. Their contributions help to support the enterprises of the church and to sustain its ministers. They command the consideration shown to the money power. Churches that accept such members are virtually sustaining the liquor traffic. Too often the minister has not the courage to stand for the right. He does not declare to his people what God has said concerning the work of the liquor seller. To speak plainly would mean the offending of his congregation, the sacrifice of his popularity, the loss of his salary.—The Ministry of Healing, 340. Te 230.3

Ministers Have Dropped the Banner—The Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the earth who are living in this time of peril and corruption. Ministers of the gospel have departed from the Lord, and those who profess the name of Christ are guilty of not holding aloft the banner of truth. Ministers are afraid to be open prohibitionists, and they hold their peace concerning the curse of drink, fearing lest their salaries should be diminished or their congregations offended. They fear lest, if they should speak forth Bible truth with power and clearness, showing the line of distinction between the sacred and the common, they would lose their popularity; for there are large numbers who are enrolled as church members who are receiving a revenue, either directly or indirectly, from the drink traffic. Te 231.1

These people are not ignorant of the sin that they are committing. No one needs to be informed that the drink traffic is one that entails upon its victims, misery, shame, degradation, and death, with the eternal ruin of their souls. Those who reap a revenue, either directly or indirectly, from this traffic, are putting into the till the money which has come through the loss of souls of men. Te 231.2

The churches that retain members who are connected with this liquor business, make themselves responsible for the transactions that occur through the drink traffic.... Te 231.3

Money Stained With the Blood of Souls—The world and the church may unite in eulogizing the man who has tempted the appetite, and answered the craving of the appetite he has helped to create; they may look with a smile upon him who has helped to debase a man who was formed in the image of God, until that image is virtually effaced; but God looks with a frown upon him, and writes his condemnation in the ledger of death.... Te 231.4

This very man may make large donations to the church; but will God accept of the money that is wrung from the family of the drunkard? It is stained with the blood of souls, and the curse of God is upon it. God says, “For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering.” The church may praise the liberality of one who gives such an offering; but were the eyes of the church members anointed with heavenly eyesalve, they would not call good evil and iniquity righteousness. The Lord says, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? ... When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me.” “Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?”—The Review and Herald, May 15, 1894. Te 232.1

Conditions Which Call for God's Judgments—Because of the wickedness that follows largely as the result of the use of liquor, the judgments of God are falling upon our earth today. Have we not a solemn responsibility to put forth earnest efforts in opposition to this great evil?—Counsels on Health, 432. Te 232.2

A Reformation Due—There needs to be a great reformation on the subject of temperance. The world is filled with self-indulgence of every kind. Because of the benumbing influence of stimulants and narcotics the minds of many are unable to discern between the sacred and the common.—Counsels on Health, 432. Te 232.3

God's Call to Help the Inebriate—Your neighbor may be yielding to the temptation to destroy himself by liquor drinking and tobacco using. He may be burning up his vital organs by fiery stimulant. He is pursuing this course to the ruination of himself and his wife and children, who have no success in trying to stay the feet that are traveling the road to perdition. God calls upon you to work in His vineyard, to do all in your power to save your fellow creatures.—Manuscript 87, 1898. Te 232.4

As we face these things, and see the terrible consequences of liquor drinking, shall we not do all in our power to rally to the help of God in fighting against this great evil?—Evangelism, 265. Te 233.1