It is not safe for the Lord’s workers to take part in worldly entertainments. Association with worldlings in musical lines is looked upon as harmless by some Sabbathkeepers. But such ones are on dangerous ground. Thus Satan seeks to lead men and women astray, and thus he has gained control of souls. So smooth, so plausible, is the working of the enemy that his wiles are not suspected, and many church members become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
There is a right way and a wrong way. Ever since Adam yielded his mind to Satan’s device, the conflict has raged between right and wrong, between God and Satan. Connected with the doing of right there is a power that Satan cannot overcome. Righteousness has a vitality that is divine. Truth will triumph at last over falsehood, and God will vanquish the enemy.
Good and evil never harmonize. Between light and darkness there can be no compromise. Truth is light revealed; error is darkness. Light has no fellowship with darkness, righteousness no fellowship with unrighteousness. The safety of Christ’s soldiers is assured only when they work and sleep with their armor on.
I wish that I could trace words which would present this matter as it is. God expects His soldiers to be ever on duty. Never are they to yield to temptation, never be unjust. They are neither to yield nor flee. Relying on the strength of God, they are to maintain their integrity. With a firmness that will not yield an inch, they are to hold fast to the Word, “It is written.” We are placed on vantage ground because Christ has overcome in our behalf. He has made every provision for us to overcome.
Divine power stands behind every will resolutely set to do the right. God has provided the armor, and the weapons with which each one is to fight. Let the soldiers of Christ put on the whole armor of God and flinch not at Satan’s attacks. Let them bear in mind that they will not be crowned unless they strive lawfully. The principles contained in the law of God are to be maintained at any cost. Success in the Christian warfare means watchfulness and a daily crucifixion of self.
He who is guided by clean, holy principles will be quick to discern the slightest taint of evil, because he keeps Christ before him as his pattern. His deep regret at the discovery of a wrong act means the prompt correction of every step wherein he has diverged from truth. It means a constant, earnest striving for higher and still higher attainments in the Christian life. It means helping others to climb heavenward. It means taking hold of Christ by loving faith, and resisting evil if need be unto blood, striving against sin.
There are those who have so closely identified themselves with the truth that nothing, not even martyrdom and death, could sever them from it. Those who would evade the truth by silence, fearing to offend someone else, testify to a lie. Playing fast and loose with truth, and dissembling to suit the opinions of someone else, means the shipwreck of faith. Let us despise falsifying. Let us never, by a word or act, or by silence, testify to a lie. If all, under every circumstance, would speak the truth when the truth ought to be spoken, what a different world this would be.
I have been placed where I have heard reports borne in which there was scarcely a word of truth. May the Lord pity those who love and make a lie, for unless they change, they will at last find themselves outside the city of God. I am bidden to warn all who make untruthful statements that they are serving him who has been a liar from the beginning. Let us be on our guard against untruthfulness, which grows upon him who practices it. I say to all, Make truth your girdle. Be true to your faith. Put away all prevarication and exaggeration. Never make a false statement. For the sake of your own soul and the souls of others, be true in your utterances. Never speak or act a lie. Truth alone will bear to be repeated. A firm adherence to truth is essential to the formation of Christian character. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”
He who utters untruths sells his soul in a cheap market. His falsehoods may seem to serve in emergencies. He may make business advancement because he gains by falsehood what he could not gain by fair dealing. But he finally reaches the place where he can trust no one. Himself a falsifier, he has no confidence in the word of others.
— E.G. White, Manuscript 82, 1900 (diary entry for 9/10/1900)