Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

383/473

Ms 9, 1880

Agents of Satan

NP

Circa September 1880

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5T 137-148; TSB 104-107; 7MR 209-210.

I had the special burden of testimony while at the Boylston [Massachusetts] camp ground Friday night. I was unable to sleep. My soul was deeply burdened. I had spoken with one man upon the ground who occupied a tent with several women and children. In the night season, while pleading with God, there was distinctly revived in my mind a vision given me years ago, in which this man to whom I had been introduced was presented at the same time that the course of Nathan Fuller was shown me. There were three men shown me whom I should meet who would be acting over the same work of iniquity under the profession of godliness. This man was one of the three. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 1

As I bore my testimony in the morning meeting, the power and Spirit of God rested upon me, but I did not mention individual cases. Later in the day I felt clear in reference to my duty and bore my testimony, naming this one case as being peculiar and most marked. This man, while professedly keeping the fourth commandment was breaking the seventh. By his course of action, he has been doing directly opposite to the direction of the apostle to abstain from every appearance of evil. He was a licentious person. His influence was exerted to gather around him a company of women who accompanied him as a wife would accompany her husband. In this they disgraced their womanhood and wifehood and presented a cause of stumbling to those who would believe the truth were it not for such unchristianlike deportment, such undue familiarity with married and unmarried women. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 2

We are a people looked upon as peculiar. Our position and faith distinguish us from every other sect and denomination. If we as a people are in life and character no better than the world, they will point to us and say, “These are Seventh-day Adventists. We have here a sample of the people who keep the seventh day for Sunday.” The stigma which such a class rightly deserve is attached to all of those who are conscientiously keeping the seventh day, which is clearly pointed out in the fourth commandment. Oh, how much better it would be for us as a people if such a class would not make any pretensions to the truth! 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 3

This man, I was shown, was pursuing a course of deception and he is a reproach to the cause of God. He is an offense to God. The ledger of heaven testifies of him thus, “A deceiver, an adulterer, creeping into houses and leading captive women who ought to have wisdom, foresight, and judgment to despise the course of all such men.” How many souls he will destroy by his satanic sophistry, the judgment will tell. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 4

I felt called upon to rebuke this man in the name of the Lord and to call upon the women who were accompanying him from place to place as a faithful wife follows her husband to separate from him and withdraw their misplaced confidence, for unhappiness and ruin were in the path they had entered upon in being led by this man. Such men ought to be rebuked and discountenanced at once, that they may not deceive precious souls and lay stumbling blocks in the way of those who would believe the truth if it were not for the example of such professors of the truth. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 5

Temptation resisted improves virtue. Satan uses men and women as agents to solicit to sin and make it attractive. That he may rob God of His glory, he educates these faithful agents to disguise sin that he may the more successfully destroy the souls of men. Satan is the great enemy of God and man. He transforms himself through his agents into an angel of light, beguiling his deluded followers through his satanic cunning. In the Scripture he is called a destroyer, an accuser of the brethren, a deceiver, a liar, a tormentor, and a murderer. Satan has a great many in his employ, but is most successful when he can use professed Christians for his satanic work. Whoever entices to sin is his agent. Whoever inclines the hearts of men to disregard and transgress the law of God is a tempter. Every man and woman that he can engage in his service he employs. The greater their influence, the more elevated their position, the more knowledge they profess of God and His service, the more successfully can Satan use them. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 6

And now, as we near the close of this earth’s history, dangers and perils thicken around the people of God. A mere profession will not avail any of us. There must be a living connection with God. Strength must be daily drawn from Jesus Christ to make us discern Satan’s devices. We have been shown that great dangers and perils surround the church which will lead them lightly to regard sin, and if these are not promptly met and thoroughly put away from us, the frown of God will rest upon His people. We must be so closely connected with God that we can have spiritual eyesight to discern the wickedness which is in a most artful and secret manner finding place in our midst through those who profess our faith. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 7

The greatest sins are brought in through those who profess to be sanctified, who profess that they cannot sin, yet many of this class are corrupt in heart and life. Some of these men are influential and wicked, brilliant and corrupt, prostituting their great power to the satanic work of ruining souls, in alluring and deceiving. These profess God yet are living in sin, self-sufficient and self-righteous, making their own standard of righteousness and utterly failing to meet the Bible standard. These, notwithstanding their high claims, are strangers to the covenant of promise. It is a great mercy that God bears with their perversity and that they are not cut down as cumberers of the ground, but still remain within the possibilities of forgiveness if they repent of their transgressions. The mercy of God is continually abused, and His forbearance presumed upon. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 8

McComber is a teacher of doctrines that defile the body, the temple of God. There is scarcely a ray of hope for him. He has deceived himself and deluded others so long. He has been engaged in doing the work of Satan so long that he (Satan) has almost entire control of his mind and body. If the professed robe of godliness can be dropped from him, and his vile purposes and thoughts be exposed so that he will not continue to lead others in the paths of hell, it will be all we may expect. His purpose is to seduce women. His conscience has become so seared and stupefied that it has ceased its functions. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 9

The light of God has been first hated and then resisted, because it brought his own wicked course to be seen in the light of God’s law. It is one of the saddest evidences of the blinding influences of sin that months and years roll on, and there is no awakening to repentance. With a firm persistence this man has pursued his hellish course. In the soul of this sinful man, there are no bitter feelings of remorse, no dread of heaven’s vengeance. If by deception and lies he can cover his sins from the observation of man, he is well content. All sense of right and wrong are dead within him. His conscience is seared with sin. He is an artful, corrupt man, whose fruits are briers and thorns, and what he sows he shall also reap. A harvest is before him that he will be horrified to gather. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 10

If punishment immediately followed the transgression of God’s law, there would be greater fear to sin. Dark and horrid designs are deliberately planned to separate man and wife. All his satanic work is done under pretensions of being a representative of Jesus Christ, when he is a representative of Satan, who artfully plans and then accomplishes his work. One sinner dressed up as an angel of light can do incalculable harm, especially when he works under the pretense of piety. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 11

Desolation and death are in the slimy tracks of this man, and what is to be the most deplored is that some conscientious souls are being deceived. Said the apostle, “Of this sort are they which creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:6)—not one kind of lust, but divers lusts. But these licentious characters by their false pretensions enter respectable families, creeping in like the slimy serpent, practicing their deceptive wiles and intrigues until conscientious souls are led astray by their errors. Damnable heresies are received as truths, and the most revolting, disgusting sins are committed as acts of righteousness, for conscience has become stupefied and confused. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 12

This man’s mind and soul are permeated with defilements. His very thoughts are polluted. This man professed and embraced the unpopular doctrine that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. To his religious experience this gave a semblance of honesty. But this did not make him one jot more acceptable to God, for he was one who held the truth in unrighteousness. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 13

Our position has been clearly defined and brought out in our publications. The truth was sought for with much persevering study and earnest prayer. Divine light from the Lord shone upon the Word, and the solemn testing truths for this time were revealed. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 14

This man McComber took these truths, concealed the fact that they were brought out in our publications, and tried to make others believe that God had given him the light upon the truth. Then he mixed his damnable heresies with the truth and presented a confused mass to the people as truths for this time. By professing to have great light to give to the people on the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and kindred truths, he has an appearance of really being led of God. When the confidence of the woman is once gained, then his satanic work commences of wresting the Scriptures. He makes void the seventh commandment, seeking to show that the adultery condemned in the law of God means something else than what it is generally understood to mean. He really tries to make sensible women believe it not offensive to God for wives to be untrue to their marriage vows and to commit adultery. He will not admit that this would be breaking the seventh commandment. He wrests the Word of God to his own destruction and to the ruination of souls. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 15

Satan would be glad if sinners could enter the church professedly Sabbathkeepers while he would control their minds and affections, causing them to deceive and corrupt others. A man professing to be keeping the law of God, who will drag those who have confidence in him into the depths of wickedness and sin in the transgression of that law, commits one of the highest crimes against heaven of which a man can be guilty. He says of such, “What hast thou to do to declare My statutes?” Psalm 50:16. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 16

Many will be deceived through the professedly pious ones. Says David, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold.” Psalm 119:126, 127. David in his time thought that men had exceeded the boundaries prescribed to the longsuffering of God and that God must interfere and vindicate His honor and restrain the fast-growing unrighteousness. Men who receive the truth in unrighteousness while professing to be conscientiously obeying the law of God will be working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to make souls think lightly of God’s positive commands, that they may be led away by the error of the wicked into transgression of the law. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 17

This man had a corrupt mind. His religion was a deception. He used his influence to beguile souls into sin. He had not a high reverence for God. He had no brilliant talents or attractive personal appearance, but his pretensions to purity were his power of influence. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 18

There will be found in this degenerate age men who are so corrupt and so blinded to the sinfulness of sin that they choose a licentious life because it suits the natural and perverse inclination of the heart. Instead of facing the mirror, the law of God, and bringing their hearts and characters to God’s standard, His holy precepts, they allow Satan’s agents to erect his standard in accordance with his satanic character. Corrupt men think it easier to misinterpret the Scriptures to sustain them in their iniquity than to yield up their corruption and sin and be pure in heart and life. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 19

Some women who are naturally sympathetic and are pure and true have a reverence for those they think honored of God. Such are liable to be deceived and beguiled by these supposed very good and righteous men. The course of action of this man was in direct opposition to the law of God and all the teachings of Christ. Souls are deceived by him. He comes to those unacquainted with him and presents the light upon the Sabbath and professes to be conscientiously observing it. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 20

The arguments as furnished in our publications are so clear that they may be presented by those who are not holy in heart or life. People may, and some do, accept the truth from the weight of evidence, reposing confidence in the one who was instrumental in bringing them the light and truth. This man has error mingled with truth. He is teaching heresies for truth, and souls will be deceived by the errors of this wicked man. He has done a work he will not be flattered to have appear in the day of final reckoning. There are men of this stamp who will lead astray those not on their guard, many more than we have any idea of. Cases of this kind will be multiplied as we draw near the end, and many will be deceived and infatuated unless they are rooted and grounded in all the truths of the Bible and have a living connection with God. Dangers unseen beset our path. Our only safety is in constant watchfulness and prayer. The nearer we live to Jesus Christ the more shall we partake of His holy and pure character, the more offensive will sin appear to us, and the more exalted and desirable the purity and brightness of Christ. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 21

That he might make the sin of adultery and licentiousness appear harmless and cover his corrupt life, this man will labor to bring portions of Scripture and cite instances where good men have fallen into sin. There should be no hesitancy in deciding the cases of such dangerous characters. They are Satan’s special agents to allure and destroy souls. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 22

Paul met with just such in his day, and the church has been cursed with them in all ages. At Miletus Paul called the elders of the church together and warned them in regard to what they would meet. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 23

But he who holds the truth in unrighteousness, who makes declaration of belief in the truth and wounds it every day by his inconsistent life in surrendering himself to the service of Satan, practicing iniquity and leading souls to ruin, Jesus is ashamed to call “brother.” This class hold intercourse with fallen angels and are aided by them in their cruel power over minds, deceiving and being deceived. This class fill the minds of those who listen to them with fanciful ideas and follies, unfitting those minds for high and holy thoughts and solemn realization of truth, because they are infatuated with earthly, sensual gratifications and so have no relish for pure, unadulterated truth. God is forgotten, the man is extolled, [and] secret licentiousness is practiced by these deceived souls as a virtue. It is a species of witchcraft. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 24

The question of the apostle to the Galatians may well be asked, “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1. There is always a bewitching power in heresies and in licentiousness. There is a sorcery that holds the mental powers as under a spell and paralyzes them. The mind is so deluded that it cannot reason intelligently, and an illusion is continually leading it from purity. And he who is instrumental in this satanic work, either by precept or example, in seducing others into sin and covering the sin of licentiousness with the cloak of Christianity, should bear the righteous indignation of all true Christians and will be the subject of God’s wrath. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 25

These tamperers with virtue, whose favorite sin is licentiousness, are not few or scarce in this age of degeneracy. Men will lead astray unwise women and blind their consciences by dressing up the foul sin of adultery in a religious garment, calling it righteousness. The spiritual eyesight becomes blurred, and even women of heretofore untainted morals become confused under the satanic sorcery and delusive sophistry of these agents of Satan professing to be messengers of light. It is this delusion which gives them power. Should they come out boldly and make their advances openly, inviting to sin, they would be repulsed without a moment’s hesitation; but they work first to gain sympathy and secure faith and confidence in them as holy men of God, as God’s special messengers. Then their artful work begins to draw away souls from the path of rectitude by their attempts to make void the law of God. Some women have so great confidence in men professing piety that they think they cannot err and that nothing they do or say must be called sin. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 26

It is a committal of these very sins by the world at large which is defiling the earth under the inhabitants thereof. The cup of iniquity is almost full. When ministers take advantage of the confidence and reverence with which the people look upon them, to lead them to regard sin as righteousness because committed by those who profess to be holy, they make themselves as much more guilty in the sight of God than is the common sinner as their profession is higher. In the day of God, when the great ledger of heaven is opened, there will be found the names of ministers who have made pretensions to purity of heart and life and professed to be entrusted with the gospel to win souls to Christ, but have taken advantage of their position to allure souls to transgress the law of God. They will reap that which they have sown, a crop of licentiousness. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 27

They have deceived the unwary, and a sure harvest awaits them. These souls that they have led to ruin through their influence as messengers from the God of the whole earth, will confront them. They cause members of the church to transgress the seventh commandment, alluring them on with the devil’s sophistry that there is a spiritual harmony or union existing between them and that with such, licentious indulgence is not sinful. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 28

Such will feel the sentence of God’s condemnation and retributive justice in accordance with the exalted position they assumed. The carnal-minded minister whose works are works of iniquity, giving himself up to debasing practices and ruining bodies and souls of his flock whom he pretends to be a wise shepherd over, will have a harvest of the kind he has sown. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 29

A minister who would even approach to a suggestion of impurity to a woman should be judged as a base deceiver. Souls are blindly led into a course of licentiousness by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. It is almost impossible to recover men out of the horrible snare into which they have fallen by coming under this corruptive power of Satan, so that they will ever again have pure thoughts and clear conception of God’s requirements or discern between purity and corruption. Sin, to their deceived minds, has been sanctified by the minister and is never again regarded in the loathsome light in which God looks upon it. After a man has, through a satanic influence, drawn souls, breaking down the moral standard of right by misinterpreting its principles, thus lessening their sense of sin and leading them to corrupt their ways before God, their judgment becomes perverted and they look upon sin as righteousness and righteousness as sin. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 30

The character of men and women who associate with those whose inclinations and habits are not elevated and pure ere long will become like theirs. Habits, tastes, and principles are almost unconsciously adopted. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 31

Women will not choose the society of one man above another unless they are better pleased with his habits and principles. If the society of a man of impure mind and licentious habits is chosen in preference to that of the virtuous and pure, there can be no surer indication that the inclinations and tastes harmonize. This level is called by these deceived, blinded, infatuated souls, a high and holy affinity of spirit, a spiritual harmony. The apostle terms this as “spiritual wickedness in high places,” against which we are to institute a vigorous warfare whenever it may be discovered. [Ephesians 6:12.] Give it no quarter. It is the track of the old serpent, whose sting is death. It ruins the body. Its influence is fatal upon the soul. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 32

When the deceiver commences his deceptive work, he frequently finds dissimilarity of tastes and habits, but through his pretensions to godliness, he gains the confidence. When this is done, his wily deceptive power is exercised in his own way to carry out his own device. By associating with this dangerous element, women become accustomed to breathe the atmosphere of impurity and are drawn into a low, defiling current. Almost insensibly to themselves, they become permeated with the spirit of such a man. His thoughts are their thoughts and their identity is lost in him and becomes his shadow. The distinctive qualities of mind are gone, and the characteristics, tastes, and spirit of their seducer, whom they will defend against the world, take their place. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 33

Men professing to have great and new light, claiming to be reformers, will have great power over a certain class of minds that are convinced of the heresies that exist and are not satisfied with the spiritual condition of the churches. With true, honest hearts they desire to see a reform for the better, a coming up to a higher standard. And if the servants of Jesus Christ would present to this class the truth for this time, pure and unadulterated, they would accept it and purify themselves by obeying the truth. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 34

But Satan, ever vigilant and seeking whom he may devour, sets upon the track of these inquiring souls. Someone making high profession as a reformer comes to souls (as Satan came to Christ) as an angel of light; he gains the confidence of these souls and then uses his influence to deceive them. His garments of righteousness cover a soul leprous with sin. We look and wonder how it is possible for such men to obtain the least influence over women of virtue and of good reasoning powers when the Word of God is so plain and definite upon the points where they are deceived. Paul had to meet just such characters in his day. He writes, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 35

The unsanctified heart is desperately wicked. The indulgence of sin darkens the spiritual vision and blunts and stupefies the perceptive faculties of the soul. The guilt, corruption, and shame which are results of licentiousness defile the whole man and bring dishonor upon the precious cause of truth. The unhappiness and degradation that follow in its train have close relation to death and hell and cannot be estimated. The world is defiled under its inhabitants. It is the transgression of God’s laws that mars God’s image in man. It corrupts our entire nature. It deranges and degrades every power and capacity of our beings. The world has nearly filled up the measure of their iniquity, but that which will bring the heaviest retribution is the practice of iniquity under the cloak of godliness. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 36

The Redeemer of the world never spurned true repentance, however great the guilt, but He hurled burning denunciations against Pharisees and hypocrites whose fruit was briers and thorns. There is more hope for the open sinner than for this class. The blight of God’s curse is upon the pretender, as was represented in the fruitless fig tree. The Saviour of man sees the soul temple—for which He has paid the price of His own blood—degraded, desecrated, and defiled with deeds of darkness and sin, its Godlike chambers converted into a robber’s haunt, a den of thieves. The soul that has been wept over and entreated and borne with becomes doomed and blighted, a monument of avenging wrath. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 37

“That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 38

This man and those deceived by him who love not the truth and have pleasure in unrighteousness come under the specification of the apostle. They are given up to strong delusion. What stronger delusion can come upon minds than that there is nothing that is displeasing to God in licentiousness and adultery? Paul writes to Titus of those who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 39

Why will so many be indifferent to the warnings given from Peter’s time down to the present and be deceived and ensnared? “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily (not openly) shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1. In no way can Christ be so decidedly denied as in the iniquitous works of licentiousness which bring the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience by those who profess to be His followers. “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the truth shall be evil spoken of.” Verse 2. The class here referred to are not those who openly claim to have no faith in Christ. It is a people who profess to believe the truth and by their vileness of character bring a reproach upon the cause of truth, causing it to be evil spoken of. “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” Verse 3. “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. ... 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 40

“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity,” boasting of their light, their knowledge, and their love of the truth, “they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 41

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Verses 12-19. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 42

I see the necessity in this age of corruption, when our adversary the devil is as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour, of lifting my voice of warning, “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” [Mark 14:38.] There are many men with brilliant talents who wickedly prostitute them to the service of Satan. What warnings can I give to a people who profess to have come out from the world and to have left its works of darkness? What warnings can I give to a people whom God has made the repositories of His law and who like the pretentious fig tree flaunt their apparently flourishing branches in the very face of the Almighty, yet bear no fruit to the glory of God? They cherish impure thoughts, unholy imaginings, unsanctified desires, and base passions. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 43

God hates the fruits borne upon such a tree. Angels, pure and holy, look upon their course with abhorrence. Satan exults over it, for it is the mortal sting which he gives. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 44

Oh, that men and women would consider and inquire what is to be gained by transgressing God’s law. At all times and in all places, under any and every circumstance, transgression is a terrible mistake, a dishonor to God, and a curse to man. We must regard it thus, however fair its guise and by whomsoever it is committed. As Christ’s ambassador I entreat of you who profess present truth promptly to resent any approach to impurity and forsake the society of those who intimate or breathe an impure suggestion. Loathe these defiling sins with the most intense hatred. Fly from those who would even in conversation let their minds run in such a channel, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” [Matthew 12:34.] Shun them as you would the leprosy. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 45

I call upon all who have had any confidence in these pretenders, whose lives are not elevated and whose conversation is not pure, to measure them by the gospel rule: “to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. Let the mirror of God’s Word reflect upon them and discern the defects in their moral character. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 46

We are in an age of the world when there is a fascinating mesmeric power in all that class who would gloss over sin, secretly insinuating impure thoughts and coming as angels of light while they are the servants of sin. They do not sense the offensive character of sin, or the retributive justice of God that will fall upon the sinner. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 47

I tremble for those who are not fully upon their guard and who will be in danger of being deceived and corrupted. As a servant of Jesus Christ, I warn you to shun the company of this class. Let them not into your houses, neither bid them Godspeed. Separate yourselves from their company, for they corrupt the very atmosphere you breathe. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 48

By associating with this class, you assume their character and will be weighed in the same scales in which they are weighed. The soul is corrupted by imbibing the spirit of the impure. It is most difficult to purify the soul from its defilement made under a satanic delusion assuming a form of exalted sanctity. The common and unclean are placed upon one level. Loose indulgence and the gratification of the carnal passions have debased the judgment. In this class the sense of sin has become so weak they fall under temptation until the chains of habit become so firm they are held in the slavery of sin. Sins upon which they once looked with horror have become as second nature. Satan holds control of soul and body, working through them to bring others into the same snare. These spiritual deceivers pervert the Scriptures, turning the truth of God into a lie. They wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 49

If the conscience of one of their number is awakened and troubled by a sense of his guilt, his associates in sin will ridicule and threaten him, opposing any effort he may make to break his fetters and will wall him in with difficulties which, combined with the infatuation of vicious habits, make overcoming a work of extreme difficulty. Have no sympathy with the corrupt, for those who do will eventually lose their virtue and upright principles and will sacrifice health, reputation, peace, happiness, and hereafter, heaven. Never look with favor one instant upon any man or woman who shall make improper advances toward you. Whoever solicits to sin is a tempter, and whatever shall incline any of us to transgress the law of God is a temptation. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 50

The very sins they would tempt you to commit are of the same character that called down the wrath of God upon the inhabitants of the old world and caused His vengeance to be visited upon Sodom. Solicitations which would draw us away from holiness and away from God will meet us on every hand. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 51

As Moses called to Israel that they leave the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, we would call for all to leave these corrupt men alone to suffer the disgrace and punishment of their crimes. [Numbers 16:26.] 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 52

As God has shown me how abhorrent in His sight are these defiling sins, and as they are steadily increasing in our world and would intrude into our churches, I warn you to give no place to the devil. Fly from the seducer. Though a minister, he is Satan in the form of a man. He has borrowed the livery of heaven that he may serve his master and deceive souls. You should not for one moment give place to an impure, covert suggestion. Grant no indulgence. Rebuke them. Associate not with them, no, not so much as to eat [with them]. Regard with no compliance the words that would tarnish your soul’s purity. Even listening to an impure suggestion will stain the soul, as foul, impure water will defile the channel through which it passes. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 53

Choose poverty, separation from friends, losses, reproaches, or any suffering, rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the transgression of God’s law should be the motto of every Christian. As a people professing to be reformers, treasuring the most sacred, solemn, purifying truths of God’s Word, we must elevate the standard far higher than it is at the present time. Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may fear God. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp of the Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church. When the individual members of the church shall act as true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, there will be less covering up and excusing of sin. All will strive to act at all times as if in God’s presence. They will realize that the eye of God is ever upon them and that the most secret thought is known to Him. The character, the motives, the desires and purposes are as clear as the light of the sun to the eye of the Omniscient. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 54

By far the larger class do not bear this in mind, because they do not cultivate spirituality and test their character by God’s standard of right. They do not bear constantly in mind that a fearful account must be rendered at the bar of God by all the transgressors of His law. The life must be ordered and fashioned as in the eye of the great Taskmaster. Can you who have professed to receive such great light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth be content with a low level? 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 55

Oh, how earnestly and constantly should we seek for the divine presence, that there may be not only a profession, but a realization of the solemn truths that the end of all things is at hand and that the Judge of all the earth standeth at the door! How can you disregard His just and holy requirements? How can you transgress in the very face of Jehovah? Can you pursue a course of sin in full view of the consequences? Can you cherish unholy thoughts and base passions in the full view of the pure angels and of the Redeemer, who gave Himself for you that He might redeem you from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works? Can we be guiltless and cherish sin in the sight of God? As you contemplate the matter in the light which shines from the cross of Christ, will not sin appear too mean, too perilous, too fearful to indulge in? 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 56

Sinful corruptions! How sinful at any time, but how much more so now, when standing upon the very borders of the eternal world! I speak to my people. If you draw close to Jesus and seek to adorn your profession by a well-ordered life and godly conversation, your feet will be kept from straying into forbidden paths. If you will only watch, continually watch unto prayer, if you will do everything as if you were in the immediate presence of God, you will be saved from yielding to temptation and may hope to be kept pure, spotless, and undefiled unto the end. If you hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end, all your way will be established in God, and what grace has begun, glory shall crown in the kingdom of our God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23. If Christ be within us, we shall crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. 3LtMs, Ms 9, 1880, par. 57