"The Impending Conflict"

by Ellen G. White

From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has 
been Satan's purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to 
accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the 
Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued 
the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead 
them to transgress God's law, is the object which he has 
steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting 
aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the 
result will be ultimately the same. He that offends "in one 
point," manifests contempt for the whole law; his influence 
and example are on the side of transgression; he becomes "guilty 
of all." James 2:10. 

In seeking to cast contempt upon the divine statutes, Satan has 
perverted the doctrines of the Bible, and errors have thus become 
incorporated into the faith of thousands who profess to believe the 
Scriptures. The last great conflict between truth and error is but the 
final struggle of the long-standing controversy concerning the law 
of God. Upon this battle we are now entering--a battle between the 
laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah, between the religion of 
the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition. 

The agencies which will unite against truth and righteousness in this 
contest are now actively at work. God's holy word, which has been 
handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little 
valued. The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who 
really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an 
alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many 
have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the 
Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the 
inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity 
of the law of God, are practically rejected, either wholly or in part, 
by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who 
pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it as 
an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible; 
they think it a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the 
Scriptures and to spiritualize and explain away their most 
important truths. Many ministers are teaching their people, and 
many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that 
the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and those who 
regard its requirements as still
valid, to be literally obeyed, are thought to be deserving only of 
ridicule or contempt. 

In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the 
law of God, they deny the authority of the Law-giver. It is as easy 
to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an by 
but few. Thousands deify nature while they deny the God of nature. 
Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world 
today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of 
Elijah. The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, 
poets, politicians, journalists--the god of polished fashionable 
circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological 
institutions--is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.  

No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly 
against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to 
the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than 
the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God's law is 
no longer binding upon men. Every nation has its laws, which 
command respect and obedience; no government could exist 
without them; and can it be conceived that the Creator of the 
heavens and the earth has no law to govern the beings He has 
made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach 
that the statutes which govern their land and protect the rights of 
its citizens were not obligatory--that they restricted the liberties of 
the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would 
such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to 
disregard the laws of states and nations than to trample upon those 
divine precepts which are the foundation of all government? 

It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes, 
and permit the people to do as they please, than for the Ruler of 
the universe to annul His law, and leave the world without a 
standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient. Would we 
know the result of making void the law of God? The experiment 
has been tried. Terrible were the scenes enacted in France when 
atheism became the controlling power. It was then demonstrated 
to the world that to throw off the restraints which God has 
imposed is to accept the rule of the cruelest of tyrants. When the 
standard of righteousness is set aside, the way is open for the
 prince of evil to establish his power in the earth. 

Wherever the divine precepts are rejected, sin ceases to appear 
sinful or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to 
the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. 
Through their pernicious teachings the spirit of insubordination is 
implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally 
impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. 
While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements 
of God, the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They 
give the rein to lust and practice the sins which have called down 
judgments upon the heathen. Those who teach the people to regard 
lightly the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap 
disobedience. Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly 
cast aside, and human laws would soon be disregarded. Because 
God forbids dishonest practices, coveting, lying, and defrauding, 
men are ready to trample upon His statutes as a hindrance to their
worldly prosperity; but the results of banishing these precepts 
would be such as they do not anticipate. If the law were not 
binding, why should any fear to transgress? Property would no longer 
be safe. Men would obtain their neighbor's possessions by violence, 
and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be 
respected. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred 
bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he 
desired, take his neighbor's wife by violence. The fifth 
commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would 
not shrink from taking the life of their parents if by so doing they 
could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world 
would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest, 
and happiness would be banished from the earth. 

Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God's 
requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and 
opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, 
dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an over-
whelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, 
even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil 
surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of 
sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious 
principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and 
framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to 
fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for 
their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions 
as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is 
given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the 
revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practice of 
fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his 
hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, 
the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order 
and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be 
done to stay the tide of evil. 

Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain 
and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the 
faculties of many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. 
Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, 
passion, envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among 
those who administer the laws. "Justice standeth afar off: for truth 
is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14. 
The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly 
is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world 
loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite 
them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into 
the ranks of spiritualism. 

What will you do?
Does it really matter what we do? With 350 different so-called 
"Christian" denominations in this country alone, can we even know 
which one is God's choice? The popular belief today is that we are 
all heading in the same direction and to the same place. Each one 
must find his own way to God and to heaven. But is this what the 
Bible teaches? If indeed the law or rules of God are still in effect 
for us today, does it make any sense at all that each person, or even 
church, can decide what is right for them? It is important that we 
understand, before it's too late, that there is only one way to God 
and heaven; God's way!

Will you decide today that you are going to follow the teachings 
of the Bible, and no other. All of the answers that pertain to our 
salvation are given in the Holy Scriptures; "Study to show 
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 
2 Timothy 2:15