From Here to Forever


The Fatal Error

The fatal error which wrought such woe for France was the ignoring of this one great truth: true freedom lies within the proscriptions of the law of God. “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18. Those who will not read the lesson from the Book of God are bidden to read it in history. HF 177.3

When Satan wrought through the Roman Church to lead men away from obedience, his work was disguised. By the working of the Spirit of God his purposes were prevented from reaching their full fruition. The people did not trace the effect to its cause and discover the source of their miseries. But in the Revolution the law of God was openly set aside by the National Council. And in the Reign of Terror which followed, the working of cause and effect could be seen by all. HF 177.4

The transgression of a just and righteous law must result in ruin. The restraining Spirit of God, which imposes a check upon the cruel power of Satan, was in a great measure removed, and he whose delight is the wretchedness of men was permitted to work his will. Those who had chosen rebellion were left to reap its fruits. The land was filled with crimes. From devastated provinces and ruined cities a terrible cry was heard of bitter anguish. France was shaken as if by an earthquake. Religion, law, social order, the family, the state, and the church—all were smitten down by the impious hand that had been lifted against the law of God. HF 178.1

God's faithful witnesses, slain by the blasphemous power that “ascendeth out of the bottomless pit,” were not long to remain silent. “After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Revelation 11:11. In 1793 the decrees which set aside the Bible passed the French Assembly. Three years and a half later a resolution rescinding these decrees was adopted by the same body. Men recognized the necessity of faith in God and His Word as the foundation of virtue and morality. HF 178.2

Concerning the “two witnesses” [the Old and New Testaments] the prophet declares further: “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Revelation 11:12. “God's two witnesses” have been honored as never before. In 1804 the British and Foreign Bible Society was organized, followed by similar organizations upon the continent of Europe. In 1816 the American Bible Society was founded. The Bible has since been translated into many hundreds of languages and dialects. (See Appendix) HF 178.3

Preceding 1792, little attention was given to foreign missions. But toward the close of the eighteenth century a great change took place. Men became dissatisfied with rationalism and realized the necessity of divine revelation and experimental religion. From this time foreign missions attained unprecedented growth. (See Appendix) HF 179.1

Improvements in printing have given impetus to circulating the Bible. The breaking down of ancient prejudice and national exclusiveness and the loss of secular power by the pontiff of Rome have opened the way for the entrance of the Word of God. The Bible has now been carried to every part of the globe. HF 179.2

The infidel Voltaire said: “I am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it.” Millions have joined in the war upon the Bible. But it is far from being destroyed. Where there were a hundred in Voltaire's time, there are now a hundred thousand copies of the Book of God. In the words of an early Reformer, “The Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” HF 179.3

Whatever is built upon the authority of man will be overthrown; but that which is founded upon the rock of God's Word shall stand forever. HF 179.4