_______ April 19 ______
MORE TO FEAR FROM WITHIN
It will be when you say, “Why does the LORD our God do all these things to us? then you shall answer them, “Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours.” __Jeremiah 5:19__
I was carried forward to the time when heathen idolaters cruelly persecuted and killed the Christians. Blood flowed in torrents. the noble, the learned, and the common people were alike slain without mercy. Wealthy families were reduced to poverty, because they would not yield their religion. Notwithstanding the persecution and sufferings which these Christians endured, they would not lower the standard. They kept their religion pure. I saw that Satan exulted and triumphed over their sufferings. …
Although Satan rejoiced because of the sufferings of the saints, yet he was not satisfied. He wanted control of the mind as well as the body. The sufferings that they endured only drove them closer to the Lord, leading them to love one another, and causing them to fear more than ever to offend Him. Satan wished to lead them to displease God; then they would lose their strength, fortitude, and firmness.
Although thousands were slain, yet others were springing up to supply their places. Satan saw that he was losing his subjects; for although they suffered persecution and death, yet they were secured to Jesus Christ, to be the subjects of His kingdom. Satan therefore laid his plans to fight more successfully against the government of God and overthrow the church. He led the heathen idolaters to embrace a part of the Christian faith. … Some thought that if they should come down and unite with those idolaters who had embraced a portion of the Christian faith, it would be the means of their full conversion. Satan was seeking to corrupt the doctrines of the Bible. (Early Writings, 210-211)
We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, … But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices. (Selected Messages, Book 1, 122)