the Hope of Survivors

Licentiousness and Adultery by Ellen G. White (reprint from the tract, The Sin of Licentiousness)

Rescue From Sin and Impurity
When the law of God is written in the heart, it will be exhibited in a pure and holy life. The commandments of God are no dead letter. They are spirit and life, bringing the imaginations and even the thoughts into subjection to the will of Christ. The heart in which they are written will be kept with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. {TSB 81.1}

All who love Jesus and keep the commandments will seek to avoid the very appearance of evil; not because they are constrained thus to do, but because they are copying a pure model, and feel averse to everything contrary to the law written in their hearts. They will not feel self-sufficient, but their trust will be in God, who alone is able to keep them from sin and impurity. The atmosphere surrounding them is pure; they will not corrupt their own souls or the souls of others. It is their pleasure to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. {TSB 81.2}

Last-day Dangers
The danger that lies before those living in these last days is the absence of pure religion, the absence of heart holiness. The converting power of God has not wrought in transforming their characters. They profess to believe sacred truths, as did the Jewish nation; but in their failing to practice the truth they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and the power of God. The power and influence of God’s law are around about, but not within the soul, renewing it in true holiness; therefore the Lord sends His appeals to them to urge upon them the practice of what is right. The appeals of His Spirit are neglected and rejected. The barriers are broken down, and the soul is weak, and for want of moral force to overcome, is polluted and debased. They are binding themselves in bundles as fagots, ready to be consumed at the last day. {TSB 81.3}

Duties and Obligations of Ministers
The Jewish priests were required to be, in person, all that was symmetrical and well-proportioned, that they might reflect a great truth. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” The Lord required not only a well-proportioned mind and symmetrical body of the Jews’ ministry in holy office, but He required also pure and uncorrupted minds. And He requires no less of us, in this dispensation, in the ministry of the gospel. His called and chosen are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvellous light. The same Bible that contains the privileges of God’s people, and His promises to them, contains also the sacred duties and the solemn obligations He requires of the shepherd who has charge of the flock of God; so that the people can see by comparing the living preacher with the divine picture whether he has credentials from heaven in likeness of character to Him who is the Chief Shepherd. God designs that the teacher of the Bible should in his character and home life be a specimen of the principles of the truth which he is teaching to his fellow men. {TSB 82.1}

True Character an Inward Reflection
What a man is has greater influence than what he says. The quiet, consistent, godly life is a living epistle, known and read of all men. A man may speak and write like an angel, but his practices may resemble a fallen fiend. God will have the believers of the truth zealous to maintain good works. As they occupy high positions, they will be tested by a higher standard. They will be sifted; defects and vices will be searched out; for if such exist, they will be developed in words and deportment. True character is not something shaped from without, or put on, but it is something radiating from within. If true goodness, purity, meekness, lowliness, and equity are dwelling in the heart, that fact will be reflected in the character; and such a character is full of power. {TSB 82.2}

Faults and Practices of a Few
The officers who were sent to take Jesus reported that “never man spake like this Man.”  But the reason of this was that never man lived like this Man; for if He had not so lived, He could not so have spoken. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure, holy, burdened with love and sympathy, beneficence and truth. How rejoiced are those who hate God’s law, to find spot and stain of character in one who stands in defence of that law! They are only too glad to cast a reproach upon all the loyal and true, because of the faults and impure practices of a few. {TSB 83.1}

There is eloquence in the quiet and consistent life of a pure, true, unadulterated Christian. We shall have temptations as long as we are in this world; but instead of injuring us, they will only be turned to our advantage, if resisted. The bounds are placed where Satan cannot pass. He may prepare the furnace that consumes the dross, but instead of injury, it can only bring forth the gold of the character, purer, upon higher vantage ground than before the trial. {TSB 83.2}

At Baal-peor
The crime that brought the judgments of God upon Israel was that of licentiousness. The forwardness of women to entrap souls did not end at Baal-peor. Notwithstanding the punishment that followed the sinners in Israel, the same crime was repeated many times. Satan was most active in seeking to make Israel’s overthrow complete. Balak by the advice of Balaam laid the snare. Israel would have bravely met their enemies in battle, and resisted them, and come off conquerors; but when women invited their attention and sought their company and beguiled them by their charms, they did not resist temptations. They were invited to idolatrous feasts, and their indulgence in wine further beclouded their dazed minds. {TSB 83.3}

The power of self-control, their allegiance to God’s law, was not preserved. Their senses were so beclouded with wine, and their unholy passions had such full sway, overpowering every barrier, that they invited temptation, even to the attending of these idolatrous feasts. Those who had never flinched in battle, who were brave men, did not barricade their souls to resist temptation to indulge their basest passions. Idolatry and licentiousness went together. They first defiled their conscience by lewdness, and then departed from God still further by idolatry, thus showing contempt for the God of Israel. {TSB 84.1}

Satan’s Repetitious Plots
Near the close of this earth’s history Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the land of promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his powers to their utmost in order to entrap souls, and to take God’s professed people upon their weakest points. Those who have not brought the lower passions into subjection to the higher powers of their being, those who have allowed their minds to flow in a channel of carnal indulgence of the baser passions, Satan is determined to destroy with his temptations—to pollute their souls with licentiousness.

He is not aiming especially at the lower and less important marks, but he makes use of his snares through those whom he can enlist as his agents to allure or attract men to take liberties which are condemned in the law of God. And men in responsible positions, teaching the claims of God’s law, whose mouths are filled with arguments in vindication of His law, against which Satan has made such a raid—over such he sets his hellish powers and his agencies at work, and overthrows them upon the weak points in their character, knowing that he who offends on one point is guilty of all, thus obtaining complete mastery over the entire man. {TSB 85.1}

Mind, soul, body, and conscience are involved in the ruin. If he be a messenger of righteousness, and has had great light, or if the Lord has used him as His special worker in the cause of truth, then how great is the triumph of Satan! How he exults! How God is dishonoured! {TSB 85.2}

Licentiousness, One of Satan’s Enchantments
The licentious practice of the Hebrews accomplished for them that which all the warfare of nations and the enchantments of Balaam could not do. They became separated from their God. Their covering and protection were removed from them. God turned to be their enemy. So many of the princes and people were guilty of licentiousness, that it became a national sin; for God was wroth with the whole congregation. {TSB 85.3}

The very same Satan is now working to the very same end, to weaken and destroy the people who claim to be keeping the commandments of God, as they are just on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. Satan knows it is his time. He has but little time left now in which to work, and he will work with tremendous power to ensnare the people of God upon their weak points of character. {TSB 85.4}

Women as Tempters
There will be women who will become tempters, and who will do their best to attract and win the attention of men to themselves. First, they will seek to win their sympathy, next their affections, and then to induce them to break God’s holy law. Those who have dishonoured their minds and affections by placing them where God’s Word forbids, will not scruple to dishonour God by various species of idolatry. God will leave them to their vile affections. {TSB 85.5}

It is necessary to guard the thoughts; to fence the soul about with the injunctions of God’s Word; and to be very careful in every thought, word, and action not to be betrayed into sin. It is necessary to guard against the cultivation of the indulgence of the lower passions. This is not the fruit of sanctified thoughts or hearts. {TSB 86.1}

It is now the duty of God’s commandment-keeping people to watch and pray, to search the Scriptures diligently, to hide the word of God in the heart, lest they sin against Him in idolatrous thoughts and debasing practices, and thus the church of God become demoralized like the fallen churches whom prophecy represents as being filled with every unclean and hateful bird.—RH May 17, 1887. {TSB 86.2}

Fitted for Translation
There is to be a people fitted up for translation to heaven, whom Enoch represents. They are looking and waiting for the coming of the Lord. The work will go on with all those who will cooperate with Jesus in the work of redemption. He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. God has made every provision that they should be intelligent Christians, filled with a knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. {TSB 86.3}

A theoretical knowledge of the truth is essential, but the knowledge of the greatest truth will not save us; our knowledge must be practical. God’s people must not only know His will, but they must practice it. Many will be purged out from the numbers of those who know the truth, because they are not sanctified by it. The truth must be brought into their hearts, sanctifying and cleansing them from all earthliness and sensuality in the most private life. The soul temple must be cleansed. Every secret act is as if we were in the presence of God and holy angels, as all things are open before God, and from Him nothing can be hid. {TSB 86.4}

Demoralizing Practices in Marriage
In this age of our world the marriage vows are often disregarded. God never designed that marriage should cover the multitude of sins that are practiced. Sensuality and base practices in a marriage relation are educating the mind and moral taste for demoralizing practices outside the marriage relation. {TSB 87.1}

God is purifying a people to have clean hands and pure hearts to stand before Him in the judgment. The standard must be elevated, the imagination purified; the infatuation clustering around debasing practices must be given up, and the soul uplifted to pure thoughts, holy practices. All who will stand the test and trial just before us, will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped, not participated in, the corruptions that are in the world through lust. {TSB 87.2}

Source of Spiritual Power
The works of Satan are not half discerned, because purity and holiness do not mark the life and character of those who claim to be ministers of Christ. Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, we are thus fortified against the temptations of Satan. Christ and His purity and His matchless charms should be the soul’s contemplation. There is spiritual power for all, which they may have if they will, that they may resist temptation, that duty may be done and the soul hold fast its integrity. Those who feel their need of being strengthened by might by God’s Spirit in the inner man, will not lose their integrity. Earnest prayer and watching thereunto will carry them through temptations. We must be united to Christ by living faith. {TSB 87.3}

Like Christ in Character
We are now amid the perils of the last days. Satan has come down with great power to work his deceptions. He fastens the mind or imaginations upon impure, unlawful things. Christians become like Christ in character by dwelling upon the divine Model. That with which they come in contact has a moulding influence upon life and character. {TSB 88.1}

I have read of a painter who would never look upon an imperfect painting for a single moment, lest it should have a deteriorating influence upon his own eye and conceptions. That which we allow ourselves to look upon oftenest, and think of most, transfers itself in a measure to us. The imagination trained to dwell upon God and His loveliness will not find delight in dwelling upon scenes that are created by the imagination that is excited by lust. . . . {TSB 88.2}

The Infernal Wisdom of Satan
Satan is at work now as he worked in Eden, as he has worked through all successive generations. The archfiend knows well with what material he has to deal. He knows the weak points in every character; and if these weak points are not strengthened, he will display his infernal wisdom in his devices to overthrow the very strongest men, princes in the army of Israel. All along through successive generations are wrecks of character which have been destroyed because the soul was not garrisoned. And now as we near the close of time, Satan will work with masterly activity to undermine principle, and corrupt moral character. {TSB 88.3}

Sin is committed by many who think their crime is effectually concealed. But there is One who says, “I know thy works”; “there is nothing covered which shall not be revealed; and hid, which shall not be known.”  When the mind is infatuated with the idea of sin, there will be deception practiced; lies will be told; for those who commit such sins will not be slow to lie as well. But all sin shall be revealed. {TSB 88.4}

No Concealing of Sins From God
God sees the sinner. The eye which never slumbers knows everything that is done. It is written in His book. One may conceal his sin from father, mother, wife, and friends, and yet all lies open before God, and is placed in His book of record. . . . David was a repentant man, and although he confessed and hated his sin, he could not forget it. {TSB 89.1}

He exclaimed, “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me. . . . Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day” [Ps. 139:7-12]. {TSB 89.2}

God is everywhere. He sees, He knows, all things, and understands the intents and purposes of the heart. It is in vain that an attempt should be made to conceal sin from His notice. He saw our first parents in Eden. He saw Cain when he raised his hand to kill Abel. He saw the sins of the inhabitants of the old world, and numbered their days and punished them with a flood. He saw the sins of His own covenant people, the Jews, when they plotted against the life of the Son of God. {TSB 89.3}

Book of God’s Remembrance
As surely does He mark every transgression, and every secret thing will be brought into judgment. They may be hid from mortal man, they may be hid from the good, the pure, and the holy, from friends and from foes; yet God sees them. All sins will be revealed in the day of judgment, and unless they have been repented of beforehand, they will receive punishment according to their magnitude; for a record of all the deeds of men is kept in the book of God’s remembrance. All the good actions, all the evil actions, of life are recorded. {TSB 89.4}

The fact that the accumulated sins are treasured up and at last exposed, is a terrible fact; and why those professing to be sons and daughters of God venture, in the face of light, in the face of knowledge, to sin against their own conscience and by their sin involve others in the same ruin, is a mystery. Have they ever tasted of the powers of the world to come? Have they ever enjoyed sweet communion with God? Then how can they turn to sensual, condemning, soul-degrading practices? {TSB 90.1}

The Day of God’s Revealings
The last great day is right upon us. Let all consider that Satan is now striving for the mastery over souls. He is playing the game of life for your souls. Will there be sins committed by you on the very borders of the heavenly Canaan? Oh, what revealings! The husband will know for the first time the deception and falsehood that have been practiced by the wife whom he thought innocent and pure. The wife for the first time will know the case of her husband, and the relatives and friends will see how error and falsehood and corruption have been clustering about them; for the secrets of all hearts will stand revealed. The hour of judgment is almost here—long delayed by the goodness and mercy of God. But the trump of God will sound, to the consternation of the unprepared who are living, and awaken the pale nations of the dead. The great white throne will appear, and all the righteous dead will come forth to immortality. {TSB 90.2}

Whatever have been the little sins indulged [they] will ruin the soul, unless they are overcome. The small sins will swell into the greater sins. Impure thoughts, private, impure actions, unrefined, low, and sensual thoughts and actions in the marriage life, the giving of loose reins to the baser passions under the marriage vow, will lead to every other sin, the transgression of all the commandments of God. {TSB 90.3}

Tyrannical Growth of Human Weakness
Men that God has entrusted with noble talents will be, unless closely connected with God, guilty of great weakness, and, not having the grace of Christ in the soul, will become connected with greater crimes. This is because they do not make the truth of God a part of them. Their discipline has been defective; the soul culture has not been carried forward from one advance to another; inborn tendencies have not been restrained, but have degraded the soul. For all the natural weaknesses Jesus has made ample provision, that they may be overcome through His grace. If not overcome, the weakness will become a tyrant, a conqueror, to overcome them, and the heavenly light will become beclouded and extinguished. {TSB 91.1}

Intellectual Greatness Insufficient
I feel compelled to write most earnestly on this point because I feel the peril that is upon us. We have in past history the example of most painful characters showing the danger of men in high places being corrupted. Men of masterly minds, who possessed large talents of influence, yet did not put their trust wholly in God, but allowed themselves to be praised and petted and lauded by the world’s great men, lost their balance, and thought that great men’s sins were not vices. The heavenly guide left them, and their course was rapidly downward to corruption and perdition. They completely lost the just standard of honour, lost all distinction between right and wrong, between sin and righteousness. There are lights and shades in character, and one or the other certainly triumphs.

But God in heaven is weighing moral worth. He will judge righteously. The wicked will not always remain unchecked. Nothing but grace and truth brought into the inner life, inwrought in the character, is sufficient to keep the greatest, the most talented, men morally erect. If intellectual greatness could have been sufficient, their characters would have been firm as a rock. But they needed virtuous characters. Paul says, I am what I am by the grace of God that is in me. God’s people must arise, and gird themselves with the whole armour of righteousness.—RH May 24, 1887. {TSB 92.1}

Reasons for Israel’s Failure
Many of ancient Israel fell just in sight of the promised land. What was their sin? Licentiousness. And these unholy passions of the heart are controlling with masterly power many of those who claim to be following Christ. The words and works of many who know the truth are corrupt. They have reasoning power, they comprehend the truth, but have not been thoroughly converted; have not felt the saving power of the truth upon their souls. They do not entertain Christ as an honoured guest in their house. Sensual gratification is corroding the entire man, tainting and corrupting the entire household… The purity and sanctity of the marriage relation instituted in Eden to be kept sacred, elevated, is brought down to administer to lust.—Ms 31, 1885. {TSB 92.2}

David’s Departure From Right
God selected David, a humble shepherd, to rule His people. He was strict in all the ceremonies connected with the Jewish religion, and he distinguished himself by his boldness and unwavering trust in God. He was remarkable for his fidelity and reverence. His firmness, humility, love of justice, and decision of character, qualified him to carry out the high purposes of God, to instruct Israel in their devotions, and to rule them as a generous and wise monarch. {TSB 92.3}

His religious character was sincere and fervent. It was while David was thus true to God, and possessing these exalted traits of character, that God called him a man after His own heart. When exalted to the throne, his general course was in striking contrast with the kings of other nations. He abhorred idolatry, and zealously kept the people of Israel from being seduced into idolatry by the surrounding nations. He was greatly beloved and honoured by his people. {TSB 93.1}

He often conquered, and triumphed. He increased in wealth and greatness. But his prosperity had an influence to lead him from God. His temptations were many and strong. {TSB 93.2}

Sad Result of Polygamy
He finally fell into the common practice of other kings around him, of having a plurality of wives, and his life was embittered by the evil results of polygamy. His first wrong was in taking more than one wife, thus departing from God’s wise arrangement. This departure from right prepared the way for greater errors. The kingly idolatrous nations considered it an addition to their honour and dignity to have many wives, and David regarded it an honour to his throne to possess several wives. But he was made to see the wretched evil of such a course by the unhappy discord, rivalry, and jealousy among his numerous wives and children. {TSB 93.3}

David’s Repentance
His crime in the case of Uriah and Bathsheba was heinous in the sight of God. A just and impartial God did not sanction or excuse these sins in David, but sends a reproof, and heavy denunciation by Nathan, His prophet, which portrays in living colours his grievous offense. David had been blinded to his wonderful departure from God. He had excused his own sinful course to himself until his ways seemed passible in his own eyes. One wrong step had prepared the way for another, until his sins called for the rebuke from Jehovah through Nathan. {TSB 93.4}

David awakens as from a dream. He feels the sense of his sin. He does not seek to excuse his course, or palliate his sin, as did Saul; but with remorse and sincere grief, he bows his head before the prophet of God, and acknowledges his guilt. Nathan tells David that because of his repentance and humble confession, God will forgive his sin, and avert a part of the threatened calamity, and spare his life. {TSB 94.1}

Transgression and Punishment
Yet he should be punished, because he had given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. This occasion has been improved by the enemies of God, from David’s day until the present time. Sceptics have assailed Christianity and ridiculed the Bible, because David gave them occasion. They bring up to Christians the case of David—his sin in the case of Uriah and Bathsheba, his polygamy—and then assert that David is called a man after God’s own heart; and if the Bible record is correct, God justified David in his crimes. {TSB 94.2}

I was shown that it was when David was pure, and walking in the counsel of God, that God called him a man after His own heart. When David departed from God, and stained his virtuous character by his crimes, he was no longer a man after God’s own heart. God did not in the least degree justify him in his sins, but sent Nathan, His prophet, with dreadful denunciations to David because he had transgressed the commandment of the Lord. {TSB 94.3}

God shows His displeasure at David’s having a plurality of wives by visiting him with judgments, and permitting evils to rise up against him from his own house. The terrible calamity God permitted to come upon David, who for his integrity was once called a man after God’s own heart, is evidence to after generations that God would not justify anyone in transgressing His commandments, but that He will surely punish the guilty, however righteous and favoured of God they might once have been while they followed the Lord in purity of heart. When the righteous turn from their righteousness to do evil, their past righteousness will not save them from the wrath of a just and holy God. {TSB 94.4}

Saints’ Sins in the Bible
Leading men of Bible history have sinned grievously. Their sins are not concealed, but faithfully recorded in the history of God’s church, with the punishment from God which followed the offenses. These instances are left on record for the benefit of after generations, and should inspire faith in the Word of God, as a faithful history. Men who wish to doubt God, doubt Christianity, and the Word of God, will not judge candidly and impartially, but with prejudiced minds will scan the life and character to detect all the defects in the life of those who have been the most eminent leaders of Israel. {TSB 95.1}

A faithful delineation of character, God has caused to be given in inspired history, of the best and greatest men in their day. These men were mortal, subject to a tempting devil. Their weakness and sins are not covered, but are faithfully recorded, with the reproof and punishment which followed. “These things were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.“ {TSB 95.2}

God has not allowed much said in His Word to extol the virtues of the best men that have lived upon the earth. All their victories and great and good works were ascribed to God. He alone was to receive the glory, He alone to be exalted. He was all and in all. Man was only an agent, a feeble instrument, in His hands. The power and excellence were all of God. God saw in man a continual disposition to depart from, and to forget Him, and worship the creature instead of the Creator. Therefore God would not suffer much in the praise of man to be left upon the pages of sacred history. {TSB 95.3}

The Penitential Psalms
David repented of his sin, in dust and ashes. He entreated the forgiveness of God, and concealed not his repentance from the great men, and even servants of His kingdom. He composed a penitential psalm, recounting his sin and repentance, which psalm he knew would be sung by after generations. He wished others to be instructed by the sad history of his life. {TSB 96.1}

The songs which David composed were sung by all Israel, especially in the presence of the assembled court, and before priests, elders, and lords. He knew that the confession of his guilt would bring his sins to the notice of other generations. He presents his case, showing in whom was his trust and hope for pardon. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation” [Ps. 51:1, 2, 14]. {TSB 96.2}

David does not manifest the spirit of an unconverted man. If he had possessed the spirit of the rulers of the nations around him, he would not have borne from Nathan the picture of his crime before him in its truly abominable colours, but would have taken the life of the faithful reprover. But notwithstanding the loftiness of his throne, and his unlimited power, his humble acknowledgment of all with which he was charged is evidence that he still feared and trembled at the word of the Lord. {TSB 96.3}

Results of David’s Wrongdoing
David was made to feel bitterly the fruits of wrongdoing. His sons acted over the sins of which he had been guilty. Amnon committed a great crime. Absalom revenged it by slaying him. Thus was David’s sin brought continually to his mind, and he was made to feel the full weight of the injustice done to Uriah and Bathsheba.—4SGa 85-89. {TSB 96.4}

Warnings in Others’ Examples
God’s reproof has been plainly uttered against men and women who have sinned by corrupting their bodies and defiling their souls by licentiousness. They have the warnings to others placed in similar circumstances, who have been overcome by the tempter, and they know that the displeasure of God rested upon them. . . . God has expressed condemnation of sin in all its forms. The sin of licentiousness is plainly rebuked and condemned. Men and women will be judged according to the light given them of God.—TM 437. {TSB 97.1}

Control by Sanctified Reason
Every unholy passion must be kept under the control of sanctified reason, through the grace abundantly bestowed of God in every emergency. But let no arrangement be made to create an emergency; let there be no voluntary act to place one where he will be assailed with temptation or give the least occasion for others to think him guilty of indiscretion.—1MCP 237. {TSB 97.2}

Correct View of Self in Light of God’s Word
Satan’s constant temptations are designed to weaken man’s government over his own heart, to undermine his power of self-control. He leads man to break the bands which connect him in holy, happy union with his Maker. Then when he is disconnected from God, passion obtains control over reason, and impulse over principle, and he becomes sinful in thought and action; his judgment is perverted, his reason seems to be enfeebled, and he needs to be restored to himself by being restored to God by a correct view of himself in the light of God’s Word.—1MCP 228.
{TSB 97.3}

The Power of Religion
By what means shall the young man repress his evil propensities, and develop what is noble and good in his character? The will, intellect, and emotions when controlled by the power of religion will become transformed. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” [1 Cor. 10:31]. Here is a principle underlying every act, thought, and motive if the entire being is under control of the will of God. {TSB 98.1}

The voice and passions must be crucified. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” [Phil. 4:13]. The will, the appetites and passions, will clamour for indulgence, but God has implanted within you desires for high and holy purposes; and it is not necessary that these should be debased. This is so only when we refuse to submit to the control of reason and conscience. We are to restrain our passions and deny self. {TSB 98.2}

Satan’s Pursuit of the Youth
The unsanctified mind fails to receive the strength and comfort which God has provided for all who will come to Him. There is an unrest, a burning desire for something new, to gratify, to please and fascinate the mind, and this indulgence is called pleasure. Satan has alluring charms with which to engage the interest and excite the imagination of youth, and fasten them in his snare. Do not build your character on the sand.—Ms 59, 1900. {TSB 98.3}      

God’s Law the Way to Happiness
Previous to the destruction of the old world by a flood, its inhabitants were reeking in corruption. Sin and crime of every description prevailed. The state of the world now is fast reaching the point when God will say to it, as He did anciently: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” One of the grievous sins existing in this degenerate age of corruption is adultery. This shameful sin is practiced to an alarming extent. The Sabbath and the marriage institution were ordained of God in Eden to be preserved sacred and holy. Both of these institutions of divine appointment have been disregarded and set at naught by men and women whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil. {TSB 98.4}

Adultery a “Christian” Sin
But if the transgressors of the seventh commandment were to be found only among those who do not profess to be Christ’s followers, the evil would not be a tenth part as great as it now is; but the crime of adultery is largely committed by professed Christians. Both clergymen and laymen, whose names stand fair upon the church record, are alike guilty. {TSB 99.1}

Many who profess to be the ministers of Christ are like the sons of Eli who ministered in the sacred office and took advantage of their office to engage in crime and commit adultery, causing the people to transgress the law of God. A fearful account will such have to render when the cases of all shall pass in review before God, and they be judged according to the deeds done in the body. . . . Adultery is one of the terrible sins of this age. This sin exists among professed Christians of every class. . . . {TSB 99.2}

Christians are called to lay their bodies a living sacrifice upon the altar of God. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” [Rom. 6:12, 13]. {TSB 99.3}

If the bodies professedly laid upon the altar of God should pass that scrutiny that was given the Jewish sacrifice, how few would stand the test and be pronounced perfect before God, preserved unto holiness, free from the taints of sin or pollution. No lame sacrifice could God receive. No injured or diseased sacrifice would God accept. The offering given to God was required to be sound, in every respect without blemish, and valuable. {TSB 99.4}

Origin of Impure Acts
None can glorify God in their body, as He requires, while they are living in transgression of the law of God. If the body violates the seventh commandment, it is through the dictation of the mind. If the mind is impure, the body will naturally engage in impure acts. Purity cannot exist in the soul of one who yields his body to impure acts. If the body is serving lust, the mind cannot maintain consecration to God. To preserve a sanctified mind, the body must be preserved in sanctification and honour. The mind will then serve the law of God, and yield willing obedience to all its claims. Then, with the apostle, such can yield their members as instruments of righteousness unto God. . . . {TSB 100.1}

No Real Enjoyment of Life for Sinners
The Lord made man upright; but he has fallen, and become degraded, because he refuses to yield obedience to the sacred claims which the law of God has upon him. All the passions of man, if properly controlled and rightly directed, will contribute to his physical and moral health, and insure to him a great amount of happiness. The adulterer, the fornicator, and the incontinent, do not enjoy life. There can be no true enjoyment for the transgressor of God’s law. The Lord knew this, therefore He restricts man. He directs, commands, and He positively forbids. . . . The Lord well knew that the happiness of His children depends upon their submission to His authority, and living in obedience to this holy, just, and good rule of government. {TSB 100.2}

Thoughts and Actions Open to God
Man may pass on awhile, and conceal the fact that he is an adulterer; yet God has His eye upon him. He marks the man. He cannot conceal his crimes from God. He may apparently conduct himself properly before his family and before the community, and be esteemed a good man. But does he deceive himself in thinking there is not knowledge with the Most High? {TSB 100.3}

He is exposing his corruption to the view of the Majesty of Heaven. He who is high and lifted up, and the train of whose glory fills the temple, sees and knows even the thoughts and the intents and purposes of the heart of the transgressor who is debasing himself in the sight of the pure, sinless angels, who are recording all the acts of the children of men. And not only is his sin seen, but it is marked by the recording angel. {TSB 101.1}

The transgressor of God’s law may pass on for a time without exposure; but, sooner or later, he will find himself overtaken, exposed, and condemned. Whoever dares to violate the law of God will experience for himself that “the way of the transgressor is hard.”—RH March 8, 1870. {TSB 101.2}

God’s All-Seeing Eye
If we were to cherish an habitual impression that God sees and hears all that we do and say and keeps a faithful record of our words and actions, and that we must meet it all, we would fear to sin. Let the young ever remember that wherever they are, and whatever they do, they are in the presence of God. No part of our conduct escapes observation. We cannot hide our ways from the Most High. {TSB 101.3}

Human laws, though sometimes severe, are often transgressed without detection, and hence with impunity; but not so with the law of God. The deepest midnight is no cover for the guilty one. He may think himself alone, but to every deed there is an unseen witness. The very motives of his heart are open to divine inspection. Every act, every word, every thought, is as distinctly marked as though there were only one person in the whole world, and the attention of heaven were centred upon him.—PP 217, 218. {TSB 101.4}

Professed Commandment-keepers Guilty
Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul.—2T 352. {TSB 102.1}

The Greater the Knowledge, the Greater the Sin
Not all who profess to keep the commandments of God possess their bodies in sanctification and honour. The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been entrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by it. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than is that of the classes I have named [First-day Adventists], who do not acknowledge the law of God as binding upon them. In a peculiar sense do those who profess to keep God’s law dishonour Him and reproach the truth by transgressing its precepts. {TSB 102.2}

The Sad Example of Israel
It was the prevalence of this very sin, fornication, among ancient Israel, which brought upon them the signal manifestation of God’s displeasure. His judgments then followed close upon their heinous sin; thousands fell, and their polluted bodies were left in the wilderness. . . . {TSB 102.3}

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” [1 Cor. 10:11, 12]. Seventh-day Adventists, above all other people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation.—2T 450, 451. {TSB 102.4}   

Need for Clear Spiritual Eyesight
Never was there a time when Christian men and women, in all walks of life, were in so great need of clear spiritual eyesight as now. It is not safe to lose sight of Christ for one moment. His followers must pray, and believe, and love Him fervently. {TSB 103.1}

A very thorough work must be done in cleansing the soul temple from its natural depravity. The Christian must be wide awake to resist the increeping of a spirit of licentiousness among those who claim to be sanctified. When our hearts are clean, washed, and made white by the blood of the Lamb, the work will go forward in our experience that was outlined in the wonderful prayer of Christ: “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” [John 17:19]. {TSB 103.2}

What shall be said regarding the man who has been greatly blessed as a teacher of righteousness, yet who in time of temptation is betrayed into a sinful course? Satan in the form of a heavenly angel has come to him as he approached Christ in the wilderness of temptation, and he has gained the victory. . . . {TSB 103.3}

Satan’s Disguise as an Angel of Light
It is those who have had the most light that Satan most assiduously seeks to ensnare. He knows that if he can deceive them, they will, under his control, clothe sin with garments of righteousness, and lead many astray. I say to all, Be on your guard; for as an angel of light, Satan is walking in every assembly of Christian workers, and in every church, trying to win the members to his side. I am bidden to give to the people of God the warning, “Be not deceived: God is not mocked.”—RH May 14, 1908. {TSB 103.4}

The Curse of Transgression
Oh, that men and women would consider and inquire what is to be gained by transgressing God’s law! At all times and in all places, under any and every circumstance, transgression is a terrible mistake, a dishonour to God and a curse to man. We must regard it thus, however fair its guise and by whomsoever it is committed. As Christ’s ambassador I entreat of you who profess present truth to promptly resent any approach to impurity, and forsake the society of those who intimate or breathe an impure suggestion. Loathe these defiling sins with the most intense hatred. Fly from those who would even in conversation let their minds run in such a channel, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  Shun them as you would the leprosy. {TSB 104.1}

I call upon all who have had any confidence in these pretenders whose lives are not elevated and whose conversation is not pure, to measure them by the gospel rule: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). Let the mirror of God’s Word reflect upon them, and discern the defects in their moral character. {TSB 104.2}

Offensive Character of Sin
We are in an age of the world when there is a fascinating, mesmeric power in all that class who would gloss over sin, secretly insinuating impure thoughts and coming as angels of light while they are the servants of sin. They do not sense the offensive character of sin or the retributive justice of God that will fall upon the sinner. I tremble for those who are not fully upon their guard, and who will be in danger of being deceived and corrupted. As a servant of Jesus Christ I warn you to shun the company of this class. Let them not into your houses, neither bid them Godspeed. Separate yourselves from their company, for they corrupt the very atmosphere you breathe. . . .  {TSB 104.3}

As Moses called to Israel that they leave the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, we would call for all to leave these corrupt men alone to suffer the disgrace and punishment of their crimes. {TSB 105.1}

Satan in the Form of a Man
As God has shown me how abhorrent in His sight are these defiling sins, and as they are steadily increasing in our world and would intrude into our churches, I warn you to give no place to the devil. Fly from the seducer. Though a minister, he is Satan in the form of a man. He has borrowed the livery of heaven that he may serve his master and deceive souls. You should not for one moment give place to an impure, covert suggestion. Grant no indulgence. Rebuke them. Associate not with them, no not so much as to eat [with them]. Regard with no complaisance the words that would tarnish your soul’s purity. Even listening to an impure suggestion will stain the soul, as foul, impure water will defile the channel through which it passes. {TSB 105.2}

Clear as the Light of the Sun
Choose poverty, separation from friends, losses, reproaches, or any suffering, rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonour or the transgression of God’s law, should be the motto of every Christian. As a people professing to be reformers, treasuring the most sacred, solemn, purifying truths of God’s Word, we must elevate the standard far higher than it is at the present time. Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may fear God. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp of the Achans. {TSB 105.3}

Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church. When the individual members of the church shall act as true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, there will be less covering up and excusing of sin. All will strive to act at all times as if in God’s presence. They will realize that the eye of God is ever upon them and that the most secret thought is known to Him. The character, the motives, the desires and purposes, are as clear as the light of the sun to the eye of the Omniscient. {TSB 105.4}

Peril of Indulged Sin
By far the larger class do not bear this in mind because they do not cultivate spirituality and test their character by God’s standard of right. They do not bear constantly in mind that a fearful account must be rendered at the bar of God by all the transgressors of His law. The life must be ordered and fashioned as in the eye of the great Taskmaster. Can you who have professed to receive such great light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth, be content with a low level? {TSB 106.1}

Oh, how earnestly and constantly should we seek for the Divine Presence, that there may be not only a profession but a realization of the solemn truth that the end of all things is at hand and that the Judge of all the earth standeth at the door! How can you disregard His just and holy requirements? How can you transgress in the very face of Jehovah? Can you pursue a course of sin in full view of the consequences? Can you cherish unholy thoughts and base passions in the full view of the pure angels and of the Redeemer, who gave Himself for you that He might redeem you from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works? Can we be guiltless and cherish sin in the sight of God? As you contemplate the matter in the light which shines from the cross of Christ, will not sin appear too mean, too perilous, too fearful, to indulge in? {TSB 106.2}

Spotless and Undefiled Until the End
Sinful corruptions! How sinful at any time, but how much more so now, when standing upon the very borders of the eternal world! I speak to my people. If you draw close to Jesus and seek to adorn your profession by a well-ordered life and godly conversation, your feet will be kept from straying into forbidden paths. If you will only watch, continually watch, unto prayer; if you will do everything as if you were in the immediate presence of God, you will be saved from yielding to temptation and may hope to be kept pure, spotless, and undefiled unto the end. {TSB 107.1}

If you hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end, all your way will be established in God, and what grace has begun glory shall crown in the kingdom of our God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” [Gal. 5:22, 23]. If Christ be within us, we shall crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts.—Ms 9, 1880. {TSB 107.2}

Purification of the Heart
By accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, man is brought into the same close relation to God, and enjoys His special favour, as does His own beloved Son. He is honoured and glorified and intimately associated with God, his life being hid with Christ in God. Oh, what love, what wondrous love! {TSB 107.3}

This is my teaching of moral purity. The opening of the blackness of impurity will not be one half as efficacious in uprooting sin as will the presentation of these grand and ennobling themes. The Lord has not given to women a message to assail men and charge them with their impurity and incontinence. They create sensuality in place of uprooting it. The Bible, and the Bible alone, has given the true lessons upon purity. Then preach the Word. {TSB 107.4}

Christ, the Propitiation for Sin
Such is the grace of God, such the love wherewith He hath loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, enemies in our minds by wicked works, serving divers lusts and pleasures, the slaves of debased appetites and passion, servants of sin and Satan. What depth of love is manifested in Christ, as He becomes the propitiation for our sins. Through the ministration of the Holy Spirit souls are led to find forgiveness of sins. {TSB 108.1}

The purity, the holiness, of the life of Jesus as presented from the Word of God, possess more power to reform and transform the character than do all the efforts put forth in picturing the sins and crimes of men and the sure results. One steadfast look to the Saviour uplifted upon the cross will do more to purify the mind and heart from every defilement than will all the scientific explanations by the ablest tongue. {TSB 108.2}

Forgiveness at the Cross
Before the cross the sinner sees his unlikeness of character to Christ. He sees the terrible consequences of transgression; he hates the sin that he has practiced, and he lays hold upon Jesus by living faith. He has judged his position of uncleanness in the light of the presence of God and the heavenly intelligences. He has measured it by the standard of the cross. He has weighed it in the balances of the sanctuary. The purity of Christ has revealed to him his own impurity in its odious colours. He turns from the defiling sin; he looks to Jesus, and lives. {TSB 108.3}

He finds an all-absorbing, commanding, attractive character in Jesus Christ, the One who died to deliver him from the deformity of sin, and with quivering lip and tearful eye he declares, “He shall not have died for me in vain.”—Letter 102, 1894. {TSB 108.4}

Note: Emphasis supplied by The Hope of Survivors.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18