_______ April 25 ______
CHAINS OF DARKNESS
This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. __John 3:19__
The preaching of definite time called forth great opposition from all classes, from the minister in the pulpit down to the most reckless, heaven-daring sinner. “No man knoweth the day nor the hour,” was heard from the hypocritical minister and the bold scoffer. Neither would be instructed and corrected by those who were pointing to the year when they believed the prophetic periods would run out, and to the signs which showed Christ near, even at the doors.
Many shepherds of the flock, who professed to love Jesus, said that they had no opposition to the preaching of Christ’s coming, but they objected to the definite time. God’s all-seeing eye read their hearts. They did not love Jesus near. They knew that their unchristian lives would not stand the test, for they were not walking in the humble path marked out by Him. These false shepherds stood in the way of the work of God.
The truth spoken in its convincing power aroused the people, and like the jailer, they began to inquire, “What must I do to be saved?” But these shepherds stepped in between the truth and the people, and preached smooth things to lead them from the truth. They united with Satan and his angels, crying, “Peace, peace,” when there was no peace. Those who loved their ease and were content with their distance from God would not be aroused from their carnal security I saw that angels of God marked it all; the garments of those unconsecrated shep¬herds were covered with the blood of souls. (Early Writings, 233-234)
Those who profess godliness, yet do not heed the admonitions of the Lord, nor regulate their lives in harmony with his holy will fasten themselves more. and more firmly by chains of darkness. Many who now profess to believe the truth of Christ endure the test no better than those who turned away from following him. Many, while professing the faith, are so separated from Christ by hearts of unbelief that they reject the words and works of God shown through his servants. If the divine revelation does?! not harmonize with their views, they feel at liberty to turn from its teachings. If it rebukes their sins they are offended. Praise and flattery would be grateful to their ears, but the truth is disagreeable, they cannot hear it. When the crowds follow, and the multitudes are fed, and the cries of triumph go up, their voices are loud in praise; but when the searching of God’s Spirit reveals to them their sin and bids them leave it, they turn their backs upon the truth, and “walk no more with Jesus.” (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 28⁷)