God’s love and wisdom are the special targets of Satan. If he can get us to misunderstand, doubt, and question these attributes of God, then he can lead us to wrongly influence others by misguided love. When he successfully perverts our feelings by misguided love, then he knows that such sentimentalism will powerfully ensnare us to our destruction. This is how he managed to deceive Eve, and then use her successfully as his agent to lure Adam into transgression of God’s word.
With Eve, “[t]he tempter intimated that the divine warning was not to be actually fulfilled; it was designed merely to intimidate them. How could it be possible for them to die? Had they not eaten of the tree of life? God had been seeking to prevent them from reaching a nobler development and finding greater happiness.
“Such has been Satan’s work from the days of Adam to the present, and he has pursued it with great success. He tempts men to distrust God’s love and to doubt His wisdom. He is constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity a restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and which are essential to salvation. Satan tempts men to disobedience by leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. But this is all a deception. Elated with their ideas of progression, they are, by trampling on God’s requirements, setting their feet in the path that leads to degradation and death.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 54.)
A love that will not follow through with “threats” or “warnings” is a weak benevolence. It gives in to whatever attachments have already been formed for the sake of maintaining the relationship. “By spiritualism, multitudes are taught to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself.” (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 474.)
This is precisely what unconditional love does. There are no conditions by which prohibitions or restrictions might be transgressed, or out of which punishments might be meted. As the spiritualists boast, “Love and freedom are the same; if there is a condition to freedom, then it is not unconditional. Freedom is given from unconditional love…. Because love, freedom, and choice are unconditional, there can be no PUNISHMENT associated with them; once again-no punishments. Here is where the so called enlightened fall by the wayside. They cannot accept any of these things without the recourse to punishment. You can practice unconditional love, unconditional freedom, and unconditional choice with no punishments! God will never punish you! Retribution is a lie, it was all made up…” (mediumsworld.wordpress.com).
We should take care to heed the special warnings given us. “The follower of Christ will meet with the ‘enticing words’ against which the apostle warned the Colossian believers. He will meet with spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, but he is not to accept them. His voice is to be heard in clear affirmation of the eternal truths of the Scriptures. Keeping his eyes fixed on Christ, he is to move steadily forward in the path marked out, discarding all ideas that are not in harmony with His teaching. The truth of God is to be the subject for his contemplation and meditation. He is to regard the Bible as the voice of God speaking directly to him. Thus he will find the wisdom which is divine.” (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 474, 475.)