Inspiration – Walk in the Light

I was shown that God’s people dwell too much under a cloud. It is not His will that they should live in unbelief. Jesus is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. His children are the children of light. They are renewed in His image, and called out of darkness into His marvelous light. He is the light of the world, and so also are they that follow Him. They shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The more closely the people of God strive to imitate Christ, the more perseveringly will they be pursued by the enemy; but their nearness to Christ strengthens them to resist the efforts of our wily foe to draw them from Christ.

I was shown that there was too much comparing ourselves among ourselves, taking fallible mortals for a pattern, when we have a sure, unerring pattern. We should not measure ourselves by the world, nor by the opinions of men, nor by what we were before we embraced the truth. But our faith and position in the world, as they now are, must be compared with what they would have been if our course had been continually onward and upward since we professed to be followers of Christ. This is the only safe comparison that can be made. …

With some the knowledge of their true state seems to be hidden from them. They see the truth, but perceive not its importance or its claims. They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not sanctified through obeying it. And yet they rest as unconcerned and well satisfied as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as token of God’s favor, went before them. They profess to know God, but in works deny Him. They reckon themselves His chosen, peculiar people, yet His presence and power to save to the uttermost are seldom manifested among them. How great is the darkness of such! yet they know it not. …They mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof. …

There are some who profess to be Christ’s followers, yet put forth no effort in spiritual things. In any worldly enterprise they put forth effort, and manifest ambition to accomplish their object, and bring about the desired end; but in the enterprise of everlasting life, where all is at stake, and their eternal happiness depends upon their success, they act as indifferent as though they were not moral agents, as though another were playing the game of life for them, and they had nothing to do but wait the result. Oh, what folly! what madness! If all will only manifest that degree of ambition, zeal, and earnestness for everlasting life that they manifest in their worldly pursuits, they will be victorious overcomers. Everyone, I saw, must obtain an experience for himself, each must act well and faithfully his part in the game of life. Satan watches his opportunity to seize the precious graces when we are unguarded, and we shall have a severe conflict with the powers of darkness to retain them, or to regain a heavenly grace if through lack of watchfulness we lose it.

But I was shown that it is the privilege of Christians to obtain strength from God to hold every precious gift. Fervent and effectual prayer will be regarded in heaven. When the servants of Christ take the shield of faith for their defense, and the sword of the Spirit for war, there is danger in the enemy’s camp, and something must be done. Persecution and reproach only wait for those who are endowed with power from on high to call them into action. When the truth in its simplicity and strength prevails among believers, and is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it will be evident that there is no concord between Christ and Belial. The disciples of Christ must be living examples of the life and spirit of their Master.

Young and old have a conflict, a warfare, before them. They should not sleep for a moment. A wily foe is constantly on the alert to lead them astray and overcome them. Believers in present truth must be as watchful as their enemy and manifest wisdom in resisting Satan. …

The life and spirit of Christ is the only standard of excellence and perfection, and our only safe course is to follow His example. If we do this He will guide us by His counsel and afterward receive us to glory. We must strive diligently and be willing to suffer much in order to walk in the footsteps of our Redeemer. God is willing to work for us, to give us of His free Spirit, if we will strive for it, live for it, believe for it; and then we can walk in the light as He is in the light. We can feast upon His love and drink in of His rich fullness.

Testimonies, vol. 1, 405–409.

Christ’s Workshop

As we each go through life, heartache, fear, failure, and uncertainty seem to color the vast majority of our existence. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the trouble that we go through, and discouragement taints our vision. Uncertainty abounds, and we feel powerless to alter the downward spiral despite our greatest efforts. We grope around in the darkness for something solid on which to lay our hands. Hallelujah! Praise God!

I know that those are not the first words that come to mind for most of us, and I do not say them to mock individual struggles. I say them because we are in God’s workshop, and that is reason to rejoice! God is using the anxiety and pain we feel in life to mold our character after that of Christ! Just as gold must be refined in the fires to eliminate impurities and be transformed into the purest form, so we are in the fires to be purified.

There are two places we can choose between to have our characters altered and refined. Satan has his own workshop we call the world. He is ever ready to victimize any unsuspecting person to his fires. God’s workshop is always open for those who choose to be fashioned after Jesus. He does not force anyone to enter, but gently invites. Satan will discreetly demolish conscience and discretion and allow us a feigned sense of security and contentedness. He will hone our tendencies toward conceit and anger and self justification, slowly obliterating any trace of God-given character with which we may be gifted. In Christ’s workshop, our hardships will be used to sharpen our awareness of His character and give us trust in His arm and strength to endure for Him. He will remove our inborn tendencies toward selfishness and pride, and will instill in us His strength to endure the wiles of the devil through Jesus Christ. Satan will do anything in his power to keep us far away from Christ’s workshop. He is the source of all pain. God is not the one who inflicts sorrow. We can give in to the devil and allow him to accomplish his end by becoming discouraged, angry, bitter, and laying the blame for our troubles at God’s feet. On the other hand, we can give our grief to God and allow Him to use the misery we are dealt to teach us to lean on Him, to trust Him in every circumstance. We can learn to set self aside and have faith that God will care for our every need. Matthew 6:30 promises His care for us. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” We live in a world of sin. We will suffer. Do we want to suffer Satan’s atrocities and allow him to wear on our hearts, or do we wish to set our burdens down at the feet of a loving Saviour and permit Him to use those troubles to create a character acceptable to Him?

Do not become discouraged believing that you should always be able to rejoice in hardship. We are human and will become downtrodden at times. However, there is not a need to stay there. The way we look at circumstances in our lives can make an immense difference in how we feel about them. God has promised us that we do not struggle in vain; rather, there is a divine purpose for all our anguish. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” And though we suffer, we are not alone. Christ has trod the same path ahead of us and He is there to encourage and strengthen. Ellen White, in a letter to her children, says, “Christ bore the test of character in our behalf that we might bear this test in our own behalf through the divine strength He has brought to us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 100. Isaiah 43:2 tells us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flames kindle upon thee.” We will most assuredly walk through the waters and fires, yet God promises His presence and that there will be no lasting detriment.

Though we may make the choice to ask God to shape us, there is usually the question of why we must go through such intense turmoil to be fashioned after Him. It is a common question with a very basic answer. Adam and Eve chose not to trust God. The moment their choice was made, they gave Satan dominion over them and all the earth. Sin has been inborn into each of us since that time, just as gold contains impurities in its raw form. The devil will go to great lengths to keep us from a personal relationship with God. It is the nature of sin, our tendency against Christ’s character, which requires us to be refined in the flames of life. There is no method to extract the impurities of any existing thing without drastic measures. Water must be boiled, gold melted, diamonds must be cut, and people must be tried. We still use the same modus operandi as Adam and Eve did when they sinned against God: skepticism, self-centeredness, and pride. Satan ensures that every human is born with these things in their minds and hearts. The horrible things that happen to us in life are a direct result of a sinful nature and are dealt by the devil’s hand.

Please bear in mind that, though it is essential for us to go through tribulation, it is by no means what God originally intended for us. God wanted us to learn through the joy of exploration and to grow in Him through daily communion with the Father. Yet, many tend to blame God for the despondency experienced at the hand of Satan. Though they realize that the devil is at the core of their suffering, they stand obstinately asserting that God could prevent the difficulty. He could, but would we truly, in our heart of hearts, wish Him to? Our purpose on earth is to perfect our characters for Heaven. How are we to accomplish this if there is no fire to remove our infirmities? We are sinful beings; sin is innate to us. God wants to eradicate this so that we may spend eternity with Him. In light of this, would we really wish to go through life unable to walk with Christ because of our evil natures? Or would we prefer to consent to the refinery so that God can rid us of our defects and we can live with Him? A common proverb says, “Short term pain, long term pleasure.” What is a lifetime of pain compared to an eternity of perfect peace and joy?

God warns us that the path of Christianity is one of hardship and toil. Matthew 7:13, 14 points this out clearly: “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Satan is going to try to win at all costs, even to end our lives. Had God no plan, this would be an insuperable trial. But with each tragedy in our lives, we have been promised that God can work it to His glory. Joan of Arc was one of those who dedicated her life to Christ for His work. She lived during the Hundred Year War between England and France. The English had for some time been warring with France over control of the country. Already they had a portion of Northern France and interspersed loyalties in villages further south. A treaty was drawn between the French and English, The Peace of Troyes, giving the English king the power to rule France. No provision was given, however, for the death of both the French and the English kings. The French Dauphin and the English prince both were vying for the crown, and Joan was called in the midst of this to lead France to victory against the English and see to the coronation of the Dauphin, Charles v11. Notwithstanding the great difficulty and the insults directed toward her, Joan, at the age of 17, was made General of the French army and turned the military into a formidable force. And on July 17, 1429, the Dauphin was coroneted. Not long after, she was captured by her own people, the French Burundians, who did not wish to see war with England, and was burned at the stake as a witch and heretic on May 30, 1431. Satan did not win through Joan’s murder though. The loyal Frenchmen, enraged by her execution, eventually eradicated the disloyal in France and drove England to respect the borders of their country. Yes, Joan lost her life for obedience to God’s calling, yet because she chose to obey, she was a significant force that led to the freedom of France from England. Satan tried to thwart God’s plan by killing His servant, and yet even through Joan’s death God was able to make a triumphant victory to cause His will to prevail. So it is with all of us. The devil can bring his greatest attacks against us, he can create as much pain as he is capable of, and yet God will use it to His end. We can take great comfort in that promise.

We are all soldiers, as Joan was. We are fighting in the war that dwarfs all wars: the great controversy between Christ and Satan. No soldier can undergo the fierceness of battle without conditioning. Here is where, once again, we choose whose workshop we are in; who will condition us for the battle. Satan will work his wiles on everyone to coerce them into battle against God. He will use force and brutality in our lives to accomplish this end. But God can use the vicious acts of the devil as conditioning tools to strengthen our trust and will for Him. They are the weights by which we gain spiritual muscle, if we so choose. Without this strength there is no possibility of our raising the Christian banner. For, just as the flag bearers in the great American wars, those who carry the banner of Christ are specifically targeted by the enemy. Without the development of our spiritual stamina, we would be no match for the battle. The test of faith outfits us to stand against doubt, the test of love helps us to eradicate hate, and the test of truth illuminates error. These are our weapons of war. We must be trained and sculpted with spiritual muscle. The Bible puts it like this: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:12–17.

Just as those beacons of purpose waved the colors in all the great battles of our nation, those who take a stand against the prince of darkness shall become primary targets in his scope. When we choose the life of Christ, fear is struck into the heart of Satan. He wants no one to know Jesus. The greatest injury we can inflict on the devil is to live our lives in a way that it is pleasing to our Creator. Satan knows better than to waste time with those who are already in his snare. There is no point in waging war on territory already obtained. His special attention, his wiles, sophistry, hatred, and fear are for any soldier of God, his mortal enemy. This in itself can be great comfort, though we are the center of such intense animosity. Knowing that the devil trembles before us because we are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit allows us to call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to counteract the blows hurled at us by Satan.

Our sinful natures, the war that we are fighting at Christ’s side, the devil’s fear of Christians—these are all understandable reasons why life would be unpleasant, but there is one purpose that we can hold in our hearts as cause to rejoice: we need to feel our need for Christ. We would soon die for lack of water if not for feeling thirsty. The same principle applies with our need for a Savior. If we do not thirst for Him, why would we search for Him? And what is it that awakens us to the knowledge that we need God? It is always in our deprivation of a need that we know we are in want. Without trial there would be no need to trust God. If there were no pain we would not need the comfort of a Heavenly Father. Had God revealed all things to us, there would be no need for faith. So then where would we need God? When life is simple and all is going well, there is no test of character. When we go through life untried there is no attention paid to character. There is just as much necessity to develop a character after that of Christ, but the urgency is not felt. We do not see the need to work hard for something when we are perfectly content with what we have. God has given us trials to keep us constantly searching for Him and incessantly working for His character in our hearts. Though this is not an easy endeavor to undergo we can find joy in the goal that we are working to attain.

There is something beautiful and miraculous in our sorrows. It is through our tribulation that we see Jesus most clearly. It is not during the day that we see the innumerable stars, but at night. Likewise, it is not in times of tranquility that God’s love and purity are most visible, but in heartache and sorrow. Satan hurls trials at us in an attempt to force us away from God, just as he did with Job. The devil’s desire was to compel Job to curse God through the violence he brought to Job’s life. Come what may, Job’s fidelity to God was steadfast. God rewarded Job’s loyalty and blessed him doubly in the end. Satan’s designs on Job resulted in just the opposite effect of what he had hoped. Instead of separating the faithful servant from the Master, his attacks brought the two closer than before. In the same way, through unwavering devotion to our Lord, Satan’s devices can be used, not to tear us away, but rather, to fling us into the arms of our Father. In essence, the devil is then a springboard which drives us to Christ’s feet. Satan has a design, but that same design is used by Christ to a very different end. Through Jesus we can reverse the course of Satan’s weapons, and he is thus pierced with his own arrows. We have the privilege of trusting in a tender Father who will work with us on our behalf to turn the devil’s attacks into immense blessings. What greater blessing could there be than to be in the tender arms of Christ?

Before I close with you, I would like to leave you with one more thought. There is yet another purpose for our trials, one in which all created beings in all universes are involved. We are living out the great controversy to allow every being in every world to behold the infallibility of God’s law. Every world and created being is going to see His justice, mercy, love, and faithfulness. How would we know the true nature of Satan and our immense necessity of Christ if our lives were neatly packaged with a bow? No, we need to see the prince of darkness for what he truly is. Every being in every universe is bent toward earth and the harrowing struggle taking place here. Each must see the malevolence of the devil. God’s glory and power, His gentility and love, His integrity and purity are all made manifest alongside the diabolical sophistries of Satan. Through our distress God has an opportunity to demonstrate the immensity of His love and mercy.

“With sorrow and indignation the angels heard the choice made by the people and the sentence passed upon Christ. But they could not interfere; for in the great controversy between good and evil, Satan must be given every opportunity to develop his true character, that the heavenly universe and the race for whom Christ was giving His life might see the righteousness of God’s purposes. Those under the control of the enemy must be allowed to reveal the principles of his government.” Signs of the Times, March 28, 1900.

Though life is harrowing and agonizing we rest in the faith that God has each of us in the palm of His hand. He alone can turn the blows of the devil into showers of blessings on our behalf. It is obvious to all that Satan does not have our best interest at heart. There is no lasting reward in following his path. We are going to suffer regardless of which road we choose to traverse. In our anguish do we wish to be in the grip of Satan who wishes nothing other than the demise of all, or would we rather be in the arms of Christ and suffer for His good purpose? In whose workshop do you want to be?

Alicia Freedman works at Steps to Life as a part of the LandMarks team. She can be reached by e-mail at:

Editorial – When God is Displeased With the Church Part II

Wherever the will of God is violated by nations or by individuals a day of retribution comes. Many set aside the wisdom of God and prefer the wisdom of man and adopt some human invention or device. . . . Turning from inspired men and those who spread the Word before them praying God to shed light upon it, many make lies their refuge.

“We have more than a royal path to heaven—we have a divine road. We are to stand before the great white throne, and hear the decisions of the infallible Judge of the quick and of the dead. Some act as if they were at liberty to cancel the decisions of the Judge, to review them, and take the warnings given of God, cut them up, choose one part and reject another, endorse or reverse at pleasure. In this way the messages of God are made void and made to bend to men’s likings, ideas, and judgments.

“Those who have the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps will not be found on the side with those who pronounce judgment upon the works of God and His messages of reproof and warning. We must bring our religion to the Bible standard. We must not place ourselves where we claim wisdom to welcome or reject God’s words at pleasure. Never let the world think that the Christian and the world are the same in mind and judgment. There is a line drawn between the eternal God and the church on one side and the world on the other. There is no unity between the two. One chooses the way of the Lord, the other the ways of Satan.

“There will always be found a necessity to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. With the spirit of Christ, the model character, before us, we must ever strive for perfection. Every soul has a character to form for everlasting life. The Christian’s life is a constant warfare against the slavery of passion.

“Men of the world hate the Bible, because it will not let them sin just as they please and carry along with them their hereditary and cultivated traits of character. They want their own ideas to be cherished as the mind of God. . . .

“In the same way will those who claim to believe the truth war against the testimonies in collision with their ways, their opinions, and when reproved, they will hate them with an intense hatred, will, like Canright, laugh at them and misconstrue them and pour all the contempt upon them that is possible. We must, if we are true and genuine Christians, be diligent soldiers for Christ and listen attentively to all the warnings given us. The works of sin and all uncleanness must be forever removed, and we must put on the armor of Christ’s righteousness, which is proof against all temptations. . . .

“I now beg of you for Christ’s sake to make a decided change. Be true to your faith, true to your God.—Letter 16, 1888.” [Excerpts from the last part of a letter written to an administrator who had committed adultery and had refused to confess his sin and make things right.] Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 169, 170.

The Enemy in Our Midst

We are at war. Just before us is the final phase of this war of all wars. The remnant church is being invaded by a terrible power. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17. Since we are the only church on earth that keeps the Ten Commandments and has the Spirit of Prophecy, this warning is for you and me. It is a wake-up call and is described like this: “The present activity of Satan in working upon hearts, and upon churches and nations, should startle every student of prophecy.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 537. “Ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world with the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in heavenly warfare.” Ephesians 6:12. Weymouth’s Translation.

Surely, this should awaken us out of our sleep. We are being confronted with wicked spirits, unseen but real, ruthless and deadly. In order to stand successfully against such powers, we must know and trust our heavenly resources beyond any doubt. But we must also know about the enemy, his purposes, his methods, his plans and especially the agencies he uses to attack us. We should never underestimate any of his satanic plans.

First, we should be aware that our day is like the days when Christ was on earth. He was continually in combat with the evil one, both within and outside the church. Daily, Christ was surrounded by spies watching His every move to find something that He said or did that might be used to destroy Him.

Some years ago, as a representative of the General Conference, I visited one of our churches behind the iron curtain to encourage our youth to share their faith. One Sabbath during the preliminaries of the church service, the elder pointed out three different spies whom he recognized in the audience. He told me that they would go immediately to the government headquarters and report every word that I spoke. Then the elder went over a list of things that I must not mention, including our church youth organization or anything that might be misconstrued, such as the second coming of Christ (which would end the reign of the present political powers). He handed me a list of eighteen subjects that I should not mention unless I wanted to be deported out of the country before the next sunrise. That was one of the most difficult sermons I ever presented. Today, I am again aware of a similar situation. I know that every audiotape and book that I prepare is finding its way to the conference headquarters. But what is more alarming, they are being gathered by the agencies of Catholicism to use against me. How do I know this to be a fact?

During my days of active evangelism, I well remember a certain evening when I spoke on the subject of the Beast of Revelation 13 to a packed hall in a mid-west town. At the conclusion, I was shaking hands with the people as they left and I noticed one lady lingering so that she might be the last in line. When she finally stepped up, she said she had been sent to talk to me by the Knights of Columbus. I shall never forget her words. “Are you not afraid to speak as you do? I have been sent here to warn you that we are keeping a file of every sermon you preach and all the printed material you have ever written. Think it over.” With that she turned and walked away.


Satan in Our Homes


Generally speaking, we expect to find Satan in such places as the night clubs, the gambling hells (as Ellen White called them), the brothels and the dope joints. But now Satan has found his way into our homes, our Adventist homes, and into our everyday activities! Satan” is intruding his presence in every department of the household, in every street of our cities, in churches, in the national councils, in the courts of justice, perplexing, deceiving, seducing, everywhere ruining the souls and bodies of men, women and children, breaking up families, sowing hatred, emulation, strife, sedition, murder.” The Great Controversy, 508.

What a list! This is happening today. “Satan is intruding his presence in every department of the household.” I believe no true Sabbath-keeper will enter a theater. Yet, the majority of Adventists allow Satan to enter their homes by way of the television. “Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school of morality and virtue, as it is often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence, as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 652, 653. (See also the E.G. White Index under the topic “Theater.”)

Here is why millions within the Adventist Church seem to have no desire to leave this world of sin for a better heavenly land. This is the real reason why so many youth are leaving our church today. They have been educated in the Television Theater since they were in diapers. Many of our churches bring the evils of the theater into the church by drama and so-called Christian rock music—which accelerates the youth down the path to hell.

I am not a fanatic. I have a television in my home. But I can say before my God, I never look at movies or anything theatrical. I watch news broadcasts and occasionally some wonderful nature programs. I hope that you, too, are able to control your TV. If you can’t, get rid of it as soon as possible! Do not trust your children or teenagers to make right decisions regarding the television. The temptations are far too great.

Satan is introducing his presence in the streets of our cities. The streets of our metropolitan cities are controlled by thousands of gangs who engage in open warfare over territories to control drug sales. There are one hundred thousand gang members in Los Angeles and in New York City. Hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, have been murdered in their drive-by shootings.

Satan is introducing his presence in the church. “Satan and his angels are in the assemblies where the gospel is preached. While angels of heaven endeavor to impress hearts with the word of God, the enemy is on the alert to make the word of no effect.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 44. When the pastor stresses an important truth that could change your life and help you prepare for the kingdom, the devil tries to distract your mind, or suddenly you become sleepy and doze off, or a baby cries and this confuses your thinking ability.

We are at war. Satan our enemy is trying his best to distract us from God’s saving truth. I had a personal experience with devils when I was in evangelism. Each night two spiritualistic mediums would come early. As I was preparing the hall for the meeting, straightening the chairs and doing the details, they followed me and told me the stories, the names of individuals I was going to mention, the texts and all about the subject matter that I had planned to preach that night.

How did they know? I had told no one, not even my wife. “As he (Satan) sees the messenger of God searching the Scriptures, he takes note of the subject to be presented to the people. Then he employs all his cunning and shrewdness so to control circumstances that the message may not reach those whom he is deceiving on that very point.” The Great Controversy, 518.

I am writing this to arouse you so that you will flee to God for help. “There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devices.” The Great Controversy, 516. This is why I must warn you of what is to come and even now is appearing.

No longer can we believe every word printed on our presses. Not too long ago I sat in my pastor’s study with my six church elders. The Conference President had come to persuade me to preach differently because he did not like what I was telling the people. He stated clearly that he could find nothing wrong with my theology, but he felt that I was divisive because I was warning the flock about things that were taking place. I replied, “Tell me why the Pacific Press prints The Desire of Ages one day and the next day they will print a book that is contrary to what Ellen White wrote?” It is interesting to note that the President had brought with him the former president of the North Pacific Union Conference to put pressure on me. To this day I admire him for his honesty. He said, “Brother Nelson, I can answer that question. I am well acquainted with the policy of the Pacific Press, for I was the Chairman of the Board for many years. The Pacific Press used to print nothing contrary to our beliefs, but the present policy is to give complete freedom to write without censor.”

I will never forget those words: “to give complete freedom to write without censor.” He plainly admitted that there are new books coming off their presses that contain theology absolutely contrary to our belief. Inspiration has warned us, “The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 204.

As a result of these policies of “non-censorship,” we hear sermons by leaders in the church denying the Sanctuary in heaven with a Holy and Most Holy Place, claiming all we need to be saved is to believe. They say, “Christ obeyed for us on the cross and all have been saved by the cross. So, relax, sit back and enjoy your church religion for we are all saved by faith alone.” These words from God’s Book are ringing in my ears: “faith without works is dead.” You know as well that a dead faith can save no one, so let us beware. Every kind of doctrine is blowing today. Satan’s purpose is the same as it was in Jesus’ day. Satan was determined to crush the life of God’s dear Son. He has not changed. His aim today is to crush the followers of Christ.

God admonishes us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. And again, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11. Oh, how we need the help of heavenly angels every day as we meet the commander of thousands of evil angels.

If we only realized what is coming, our family worship would take on a far different meaning. “Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard.” The Great Controversy, 589. “Evil angels are upon our track every moment.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 302.

I live in Oregon in a small country community of about three thousand people. Recently there were six burglaries within a couple of miles of where I live. A prowler, who was going up the stairs of someone’s home, just two blocks away, was shot to death. I was checking the locks of my home and these words came to my mind, “We carefully secure the houses with bolts and locks to protect our property and our lives from evil men; but we seldom think of the evil angels who are constantly seeking access to us, and against whose attacks we have, in our own strength no method of defense. If permitted, they can distract our minds, disorder and torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives.” The Great Controversy, 517.

This is what evil angels do. As a spiritual watchman on the wall of Zion, I urge you to know what the devil is doing. “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” 2 Corinthians 2:11—or are we? “The followers of Christ know little of the plots which Satan and his hosts are forming against them.” The Great Controversy, 528.

“His rage increases; we do not realize his power.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 302. And again, “While men are ignorant of his devices, this vigilant foe is upon their track every moment.” The Great Controversy, 508.


He is Working Through Calamities


“Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power.” The Great Controversy, 589.

In The Youth’s Instructor, April 18, 1967, a survey was made regarding floods, hailstorms and hurricanes over a period of twenty-six years. The damage resulting from each disaster was astounding. Tornadoes, from 1916 to 1964 doubled yearly. Earthquakes increased in destructive power some seven hundred percent.

During the years since the time of that survey the number of natural disasters has continued to skyrocket. We have seen the greatest hurricane ever to hit America. It hit Florida and caused thirty billion dollars worth of destruction. We have also had the greatest floods in the history of America, and Los Angeles and San Francisco had catastrophic earthquakes.

Satan’s power to destroy is constantly increasing. “Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.” Prophets and Kings, 277.

The most tragic news is that the worst is yet to come. We have not seen anything yet. “I have been shown that Satan has not been stupid and careless these many years, since his fall, but has been learning. He has grown more artful. His plans are laid deeper, and are covered with a religious garment to hide their deformity. The power of Satan now to tempt and to deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased and it will increase.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 277.

Satan’s power to deceive has increased ten-fold since the days of the apostles? That is a thousand percent! In order to withstand successfully the devil and his angels, we should be spending a thousand times more time in prayer and study than the disciples did.

In reality, we are only now in what we might call the Cold War. Soon will come the all-out last offensive by the devil in a time of trouble. “The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 11.

“Satan is standing ready, burning with zeal to inspire the whole confederacy of satanic agencies, that he may cause them to unify with evil men and bring upon the believers of truth speedy and severe suffering.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 241, 242. The servant of God, our own prophet, Ellen White, told us over one hundred years ago what world leaders are now telling us—that everything in this world is soon to change?

I believe the serpent is coiling for the final strike against the followers of the Lamb. Now is the time to prepare our hearts by heeding the counsel of God. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always.” Ephesians 6:13–18.

“If God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils, and every position of truth which we hold will be severely criticized.” The Review and Herald, December 11, 1888. Over and over, again and again, she stresses the terrible ordeal just before us. “In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. It will finally be decreed that they should be put to death.” The Desire of Ages, 121. How thankful we are to our God that He has revealed fully, in the Book of Revelation and the inspired writings of Ellen White, all that is needed to know.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1. Not all the power of evil can conquer the soul that trusts in the sufficient grace of Jesus. Stronger is He than a strong man armed. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

“Not one cloud has fallen upon the church that God is not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork the work of God but He has foreseen. All has taken place as he predicted through His prophets. He has not left His church in darkness, forsaken, but has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur, and through His providence, acting in its appointed place in the world’s history, He has brought about that which His Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell. All His purposes will be fulfilled and established. His law is linked with His throne, and satanic agencies combined with human agencies cannot destroy it. Truth is inspired and guarded by God; it will live, and will to be overshadowed. The gospel of Christ is the law exemplified in character. The deceptions practiced against it, every device for vindicating falsehood, every error forged by satanic agencies, will eventually be eternally broken, and the triumph of truth will be like the appearing of the sun at noonday. The Sun of Righteousness will shine forth with healing in His wings, and the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 108.