Love Under Fire


Intemperance Has Beclouded Many

Courts are corrupt, rulers are driven by desire for money and by love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the minds of many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Judges are corrupted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and partying, dishonesty of every sort, are found among those who administer the laws. Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under control by denying people the Scriptures, he resorts to other ways to accomplish the same objective. To destroy faith in the Bible serves just as well as to destroy the Bible itself. LF 238.2

As in past ages, Satan has worked through the churches to move his plans forward. In combating unpopular truths in the Scriptures, they adopt interpretations that sow the seeds of unbelief far and wide. Clinging to the Catholic error of natural immortality and human consciousness in death, they reject the only defense against the false teachings of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to reject the Bible. As the claims of the fourth commandment are presented, people see that it calls for them to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Seeing no other way to free themselves from a duty they are not willing to perform, popular teachers throw out the law of God and the Sabbath together. As Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of God's law to avoid the fourth commandment will become nearly universal. Religious leaders open the door to unbelief, spiritualism, and contempt for God's holy law—a fearful responsibility for the evils that exist in the Christian world. LF 238.3

Yet these very people claim that enforcing Sunday observance would improve the morals of society. It is one of Satan's deceptions to combine falsehood with just enough truth to make it believable. The leaders of the Sunday movement may campaign for reforms that the people need, principles in harmony with the Bible. But while they combine these with a requirement contrary to God's law, His servants cannot join with them. Nothing can justify setting aside the commandments of God for human laws. LF 239.1

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the immortality of the soul lays the foundation of spiritualism, Sunday sacredness creates ties of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will take the lead in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will also reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this three-part union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. LF 239.2

As spiritualism imitates the popular Christianity of the day, it has great power to deceive. Satan himself seems “converted.” He will appear as an angel of light. Through spiritualism, miracles will take place, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. LF 239.3

Catholics who boast of miracles as a sign of the true church will be easily deceived by this wonder-working power, and Protestants, who have thrown away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Catholics, Protestants, and secular people will all see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world. LF 239.4

Through spiritualism, Satan appears to be someone who blesses humanity, healing diseases and presenting a new system of religious faith, but at the same time he leads many people to ruin. Alcohol use overcomes reason; sensual indulgence, conflict, and bloodshed follow. War stirs up the worst passions of the heart and sweeps its victims into eternity, covered in vice and blood. It is Satan's goal to prod the nations to war, because in this way he can divert people from preparing for the judgment and eternity. LF 239.5

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 who shields His creatures from the destroyer. But the Christian world has shown contempt for His law, and the Lord will do what He said He would—remove His protecting care from those who rebel against His law and who force others to do the same. Satan has control of everyone whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to advance his own plans, and he will bring trouble on others and lead them to believe that God is the one who is mistreating them. LF 239.6

While appearing to be a great physician who can heal all their illnesses, Satan will bring disease and disaster until crowded cities are reduced to ruin. In accidents by sea and land, in great fires, in fierce tornadoes and hailstorms, in gales, floods, hurricanes, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in a thousand forms, Satan is exerting his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and misery follow. He gives the air a deadly taint, and thousands die. LF 239.7

And then the great deceiver will persuade people to blame all their troubles on the believers whose obedience to God's commandments is a constant rebuke to those who break God's law. They will say that these people are offending God by violating Sunday, and that this sin has brought disasters that will not stop until Sunday observance is strictly enforced. They will claim that those who destroy reverence for Sunday are preventing their restoration to God's favor and material prosperity. They will repeat the accusation urged long ago against the servant of God: “When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is it you, you troubler of Israel?’” (1 Kings 18:17, 18, NRSV). LF 240.1

Satan will use miracle-working power against those who obey God rather than human laws. The “spirits” will declare that God has sent them to convince those who reject Sunday that they are wrong. They will act sad over the great wickedness in the world, and they will support the testimony of religious teachers that the low state of morals is the result of desecrating Sunday. LF 240.2

Under Rome's rule, people said that those who suffered for the gospel were evildoers in partnership with Satan. It will be the same way now. Satan will cause those who honor God's law to be accused as people who are bringing judgments on the world. He uses fear to try to rule the conscience, persuading religious and secular authorities to enforce human laws and defy the law of God. LF 240.3

Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be blamed as enemies of law and order, breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing lawlessness and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God on the earth. They will be accused of undermining the government. Ministers who deny that people need to keep God's law will preach about the duty of obeying the civil authorities. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment-keepers will be condemned. People will put a false slant on their words and the worst construction on their motives. LF 240.4

Leaders of church and state will unite to persuade or force everyone to honor Sunday. Even in free America rulers and legislators will give in 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 will see the prophet's words fulfilled: “The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). LF 240.5