Editorial – The Last Resort

The last resort of every false religion is the use of force and you may be certain that any religion that uses force is not the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him.” The Desire of Ages, 22.

“Trial and persecution will come to all who, in obedience to the word of God, refuse to worship this false sabbath. Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. We need the same spirit that was manifested by God’s servants in the conflict with paganism.” The Signs of the Times, May 6, 1897.

“God does not force the conscience of any man, but the powers of darkness have been trying to compel the consciences of men ever since Abel fell under the murderous blow from the hand of pitiless Cain … .” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.

“All persecution, all force employed to compel conscience, is after Satan’s own order; and those who carry out these designs are his agents … .” Ibid., January 10, 1893.

“ ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up’ (Daniel 3:16–18). The sentence of death did not change their decision. The martyrs knew what would lessen the fierceness of the fire kindling upon nerve and muscle. In beholding Christ, in the manifestation of His presence, the most cruel death was made bearable.” The Signs of the Times, September 2, 1897.