Many human highways have an almost perfect system of informative signals. They are painted on the road or set up along the way. These signs not only state definite things such as speed limits, route numbers, distances, and directions, but they also warn of sharp curves, weak bridges, and other perils. Road signs are made to be seen and obeyed, and failure to heed them often means instant death. The more difficult and dangerous the road, the more closely should every signal be watched and followed.
The Lord has given His remnant church very definite spiritual road signs. The Bible prophecies are waymarks along our journey. These divine danger signals are explained in full detail through the Spirit of prophecy, especially in "The Great Controversy." If we would have spiritual discernment to see the pitfalls in the path of the advent people to deceive if possible even the very elect, we must diligently study that book again. Many in the past have read it as a narrative. Today we need to dig from it principles, or better still, solutions, of the deepest problems of our day. This year, 1940, every Adventist minister on earth should work his way through this book again, and also help our members not merely to read, but to understand the book.
We are in the early months of a momentous year of fate, and the military and material forces will not be the greatest. They never are. Today three insidious dangers, both mental and moral, threaten God's children.
One is the present stupendous propaganda through press, radio, pulpit, school, and other means. Never before has mankind been exposed to such large-scale deceptive efforts to change. its thinking to suit a false faith.
New issues and doctrines are daily arising which deceive millions. This constitutes the second peril. Questions that involve the worship of race or state have come to the front. These are really a camouflaged attack on individual moral rights and duties ; that is, on the divine life in human hearts. A third peril today lies in the new ideas concerning God and morality. These undermine the very fundamentals of the Scriptures, but are taught in such a way as to attract the multitudes. Liberty is exalted in words, but destroyed in fact. Peace is glorified, although made impossible. Men are told to believe in God by the very teachers who would rob us of all faith in Him.
These issues and attitudes of whatever kind are clearly pointed out in "The Great Controversy." Thus chapter 1, on "The Destruction of Jerusalem," sets forth the danger of rejecting light, and gives most precious principles on the perils of nationalism, racial fanaticism, and ecclesiastical domination. The Jews and the first advent were a type of modern Christianity and the second advent. Chapter 29, on "The Origin of Evil," is unique not only in Adventist literature, but in all religious reading. Many today speak of the universal origin of certain principles. They call it "Weltanschauung"—the beginning development and eternal results of moral relationships. No one can understand these things as they need to be understood without studying chapter 29 and the two following chapters of "The Great Controversy."
Chapter 35 is on the "Aims of the Papacy." Here are set forth many great truths now forgotten. It is made very plain that the great menace of our time is not atheism or some new form of government, but the mounting power of the Papacy, now posing as the great prince of peace. We have found even among Adventists some who fail to see that the great opponent of true Christianity in our age is Rome.
Finally, the last seven chapters of the book are of unusual value to the remnant church at this time. They should be studied and restudied. They set forth issues and answer questions, the very existence of which none of us even dreamed of ten years ago. The days before us are full of peril, and we will never find the road if we neglect the road signs.