One may ask why we would even consider writing on such a subject as this when virtually all our readers are probably settled in the Christian faith. After all, the Bible is based on moral purity, both physically and spiritually and there are many texts against immorality of any nature. One that is a good start and stands out in relation to the title of this article, is the seventh commandment. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” —Exodus 20:14. That is very plain. It doesn’t change when we come into the New Testament either, but amplifies it more. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” — 1 Corinthians 6:9
There are many other texts highlighting the dangers of immorality, adultery and vice. So, with the Bible as the basis of why we are Christians, we shouldn’t be spending time on this subject at all, right? Well, wrong! This article is just as appropriate in the church as for those not in the church...”indulgence of lustful passions...is the prevailing sin of this age, and its progress is fearful. Professed Sabbath-keepers are not clean.” — 2T, p.306,307
As we will read, while the Bible has much written on this subject, the Spirit of Prophecy also expands on this deadly sin. “Immorality abounds everywhere...The iniquity which abounds is not merely confined to the unbeliever and the scoffer. Would that this were the case; but it is not. Many men and women who profess to be looking for His appearing are no more prepared for that event than Satan himself. They are not cleansing themselves from all pollution. They have so long served their lust that it is natural for their thoughts to be impure and their imaginations corrupt. It is as impossible to cause their minds to dwell upon pure and holy things as it would be to turn the course of the Niagara, and send its waters pouring up the falls. Youth and children of both sexes engage in moral pollution, and practice this disgusting, soul and body destroying vice.” — 2T, p.346,347
So inspiration does not have good words in relation to this bent of mind - it seems no one is exempt from these demoralizing temptations, or have been in the past. “All along through the ages there are strewn wrecks of character that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensual indulgence. As we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, re-double his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land... It is impossible for the slave of passion to...appreciate the atonement.” — 2 T, p.346; PP, p.457,458
The Bible is even more severe in it’s condemnation of this damning practice. Here are a few examples;
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like... they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” —Galatians 5:19-21
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. for this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” —Ephesians 5:3-6
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” — James 4:4
“Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” —2 Peter 2:14
The Bible writers didn’t mince words in their condemnation of these evil practices. While the Bible doesn’t actually name the being with the push behind these evils, the Spirit of Prophecy leaves no doubt.
“We are living in an atmosphere of satanic witchery. The enemy will weave a spell of licentiousness around every soul that is not barricaded by the grace of Christ. Temptations will come; but if we watch against the enemy, and maintain the balance of self-control and purity, the seducing spirits will have no influence over us. Those who do nothing to encourage temptation will have strength to withstand it when it comes; but those who keep themselves in an atmosphere of evil will have only themselves to blame if they are overcome and fall from their steadfastness. In the future, good reasons will be seen for the warnings given regarding seducing spirits.” —CT, p.257
We do face this satanic witchery, even just going about our normal day to day activities, driving to or from work, church or any journey. Sadly many individuals are subject to the enemy’s suggestions, many wearing clothing that reveals their figure, setting up temptation constantly in the faces of people going about their daily duties, which the enemy has engineered and delights in. As it becomes more and more accepted, it becomes the norm and society is degraded more and more. Even married women, who are taken by their husbands, still wear tight clothing, advertising their figures, only to draw the eyes of other men to them, encouraging impure thoughts, when these scenes should be for the privacy of the home and bedroom.
Immodest Dress Makes One Guilty of Adultery
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” — Ex. 20:14
“This commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them.” — PP, p.308
“Showy... dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder.” —4T, p645
“Photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated for sale... This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are around by beholding and reading (and for our day we can add watching). The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose reign to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, sinking them at last into perdition. Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest impure thoughts.” —2T, p.410
As we are reading, there are no redeeming values in any form of immorality, right from the temptations through to the vile acts. It is powerful, takes many men and women down into a worthless pit, and is extremely hard to pull up out of it. Only through the strength and power of God can anyone turn away from such a powerful sin. For a man to be attracted to a woman is natural and God built that into mankind. But God also gave mankind the ability to reason and control this gift of intimacy, and reproduction. It is not forbidden for a man to be attracted and enjoy his wife, but there are God-given principles that come with it. Christians more-so have a greater responsibility to lead by example.
Christians Not Exempt
“I have seen that there is danger that even the professed children of God will be corrupted. Licentiousness is binding men and women as captives. They seem to be infatuated and powerless to resist and overcome upon the point of appetite and passion. In God there is power; in Him there is strength. If they will take hold upon it, the life-giving power of Jesus will stimulate everyone who has named the name of Christ. Dangers and perils surround us; and we are only safe when we feel our weakness and cling with the grasp of faith to our mighty Deliverer.” —3T, p.473
Even right into the family circle, there are dangers lurking. “These licentious characters even creep into respectable families, and by their deceptive wiles and intrigue lead astray the conscientious. Damnable heresies are received as truth, and the most revolting sins committed as acts of righteousness, for conscience becomes confused and stupefied...
“He (Satan) really tries to make sensible women believe it not offensive to God for wives to be untrue to their marriage vows. He will not even admit that this would be breaking the seventh commandment. There are more men of this stamp than many have imagined, and they will multiply as we draw near the end of time...
“When men and women fall under the corrupting power of Satan, it is almost impossible to recover them out of the horrible snare, so that they will ever again have pure thoughts and clear conceptions of God’s requirements. Sin, to their deluded minds... is never again regarded in the loathsome light that God looks upon it. After the moral standard has been lowered in the minds of men, their judgment becomes perverted and they look upon sin as righteousness...” —5T, p.140,143
There is another deformity that raises it’s ugly head that is part of the impurity of humanity. This is a subject that gets little airing, because it is exactly what it is named, secret, but it surely is a vice. While there is no direct Bible verse to say, “Thou shalt not practice secret vice,” it surely comes under the subject of adultery and fornication, and it takes far too many young people down.
“But it is a painful fact that there is not one girl in a hundred who is pure-minded and there is not one boy in a hundred whose morals are untainted.” —4T, p.96
But it gets closer to home than that; “Sin and vice exist in Sabbath-keeping families... Parents do not generally suspect that their children understand anything about this vice... this soul destroying vice... is passed from youth to youth, from child to child, until there is scarcely one to be found ignorant of the practice of this degrading sin.” —2T, p.391,392
The real danger of this practice is that it is not contained to just the secrecy of the individual. Inspiration reveals that there are consequences to this soul destroying vice. “Why do the children complain of dizziness, headache, bleeding at nose, palpitation, and sense of lassitude (weariness of body or mind from strain) and weakness... In ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, the cause... is solitary vice.” — 4T, p.96
“Some children begin to practice self-pollution in their infancy: and as they increase in years, the lustful passions grow with their growth and strengthens with their strength. Their minds are not at rest. Girls desire the society of boys, and boys that of girls. Their deportment is not reserved and modest. They are bold and forward, and take indecent liberties. The habit of self-abuse has debased their minds and tainted their souls. Vile thoughts, and the reading of novels, love-stories and vile books excite their imagination, and just such suit their depraved minds. They do not love work and when engaged in labor, they complain of fatigue; their backs ache, their heads aches. Is there not sufficient cause? Are they fatigued because of their labor? No, no! Yet the parents indulge these children in their complaints, and release them from labor and responsibility. This is the very worst thing that they can do for them. They are thus removing almost the only barrier that prevents Satan from having free access to their weakened minds. Useful labor would in some measure be a safeguard from his decided control of them.” —2T, p.481
But to add to all this, here is a one liner that is extremely disturbing.”Those who practice secret vice will lie and deceive.” —2T. p. 400
Intellect and Physical Weakened
“I am pained at heart when I call to mind how many children of Sabbath-keeping parents are ruining souls and body with secret vice... The eldest boy is dwarfed, physically and mentally, by indulging in this practice. What little intellect he has left is of low order. If he continues in this vicious practice, he will eventually become idiotic.” —2T. p. 402
“The minds of some of these children are so weakened that they have but one-half or one-third of the brilliancy of intellect that they might have had, had they been virtuous and pure. They have thrown it away in self-abuse.” —2T, p.361
“Your children have practiced self-abuse until the draft upon the brain has been so great... their minds have been seriously injured. The brilliancy of youthful intellect is dimmed.” —2T, p.392
“Both mind and body were enfeebled through the habit of self-abuse.” —5T, p.91
Here is a strong statement. “The fine nerves of the brain, being excited to unnatural action, become benumbed, and in a measure paralyzed... When persons are addicted to the habit of self-abuse, it is impossible to arouse their moral sensibilities to appreciate eternal things...” —2T, p.470
To justify ourselves in our modern times, we may say that this counsel is dated and things have changed. But humanity hasn’t changed that much, if anything, it has become more depraved. Does today’s science have anything to say about secret vice and consequences?
“We hate to say it, but in a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity.” —Car Pfeiffer, Ph.D; M.D; Zinc and Other Micro- Nutrients, p.45
“In humans, among the most consistent affects of zinc deficiency are changes in mood and behavior; there is depression, extreme irritability, apathy and even in some circumstances, behavior which looks like schizophrenia... It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” —David Horrobin, M.D; Ph.D., Zinc, Vitabooks, p.7,8
“You become... prudent, modest, virtuous... but not without earnest effort. You must watch, you must pray, you must meditate, you must investigate your feelings and your acts; Would you, in the presence of your father, perform an impure action? No, indeed. But you do this in the presence of your heavenly Father, who is so much more exalted, so holy, so pure. Yes; you corrupt your own body in the presence of the pure, sinless angels, and in the presence of Christ...Remember, a record is made of all your acts. You must meet again the most secret things of your life. You will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Are you prepared for this?... Yield yourself to Christ without delay; He alone, by the power of His grace, can redeem you from ruin.” —2T, p.564
Homosexuality - Sodomy
Here is yet another deformity that raises it’s ugly head that is part of the impurity of humanity. This is a subject that gets all too much airing in today’s political climate. Unlike secret vice, the Bible has plenty to say on this debasing sin.
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: It is abomination.” —Lev.18:22
“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” —Deut. 23:17
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” — Deut. 22:5
“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” — Rom. 1:27
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” — 1 Cor. 6:9
We come to the close of this editorial with three strong quotes that cover this immoral practice.
“We are not ignorant of the fall of Sodom because of the corruption of its inhabitants. The prophet here specified the particular evils which led to dissolute morals. We see the very sins now existing in the world which were in Sodom, and which brought upon her the wrath of God, even to her utter destruction.” — 4BC, p.1161
“There is a strange abandonment of principle, the standard of morality is lowered, and the earth fast becoming a Sodom. The practices which brought the judgment of God upon... Sodom... are fast increasing. we are nearing the end, when the earth is to be purified by fire.” —GW, p.125,126
“Very many in every age and station of life are without principle or conscience; and with their idle, spendthrift habits they are rushing into vice and are corrupting society, until our world is becoming a second Sodom.”
The words are sure and absolute! There is no need for doubt! Immorality is an unpleasant stench in God’s nostrils. He made us sexual beings, but with morals and principles high above the beasts of the world. Make Jesus Christ your criteria, He will lead you into paths of purity, paths you will never regret pursuing.
Based on: James Hayward Snr., The Time of the End, p.517-523