As we near the closing days of time the Lord expects His ministers to fill leading roles in bringing our great temperance message to the people with increasing force and strength. It is a divine challenge to make this vital question a matter of continual study and prayer, and then follow it by effective action for temperance.
The messenger of the Lord repeatedly exhorts us to bring the subject of temperance higher and higher. Let us note two typical quotations:
"If ... we presented before the people the evils of intemperance . . . , and especially the evil of liquor drinking; if these things were presented in connection with the evidences of Christ's soon coming, there would be a shaking among the people." Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 111.
"There is need now of men like Daniel, men who have the self-denial and the courage to be radical temperance reformers." MRS. E. G. WHITE, Temperance, p. 273.
From my own experience in presenting the temperance message here in Hawaii via radio and timely, fearless articles in our widely circulated temperance newspaper throughout the islands, I have found that this unequivocal temperance message has been instrumental in bringing about a "shaking among the people." I have not, however, been able to present denominational doctrines in this material, since it is all sponsored by the Temperance League of Hawaii, which in turn is supported by all the Protestant churches in the islands.
In soliciting advertising support for our temperance newspaper from the leading business firms of this part of the Pacific, I found, with very few exceptions, the financially able heads of these firms interested in temperance. They have taken a definite stand either for or against it because of what they have heard over the radio or read in our newspaper.
Hitherto this influential segment of the public in Hawaii, which we are specifically told in the Spirit of prophecy is the class of people who are to be the first to hear the call, has consistently turned a deaf ear to all attempts to reach it with the message by books, pamphlets, tracts, or our religious radio programs. This proves that a strong temperance message, persistently brought to the attention of this type of public leadership, cannot fail to be successful, and constitutes a most effective entering-wedge for acceptance of the full message. Note what the Spirit of prophecy says in this connection:
"When temperance is presented as a part of the gospel, many will see their need of reform. They will see the evil of intoxicating liquors and that total abstinence is the only platform on which God's people can conscientiously stand. As this instruction is given, the people will become interested in other lines of Bible study." Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 75.
"Ministers of the gospel, statesmen, authors, men of wealth and talent, men of vast business capacity and power for usefulness, are in deadly peril because they do not see the necessity of strict temperance in all things. They need to have their attention called to the principles of temperance, not in a narrow or arbitrary way, but in the light of God's great purpose for humanity." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 256.
It is evident from these statements that if ministers will accord the divine formula (evils of liquor drinking, plus evidences of Christ's soon coming) the prominence it deserves, and not allow it to become merely a side issue to be mentioned occasionally and casually, there will be experienced a tremendous "shaking among the people" that will result in the saving of countless souls not now being reached by our special message.