The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
February 5, 1880 The Great Controversy, Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Sixteen-Concluded.
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                              By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The sons of returned to their father with the joyful tidings, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” At first the old man was overwhelmed; he could not believe what he heard, yet their words brought a faintness to his heart. But when he saw the carriages and the long line of loaded animals, and when was at his side once more, he felt reassured, and, in the , exclaimed. “It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive. I will go and see him before I die.” The brothers then made their humiliating confession to their father, and entreated his forgiveness, for their treatment of Joseph. Jacob had not suspected them of such cruelty, but he saw that God had overruled it all for good, and he forgave and blessed his erring children.

Jacob and his sons, with their families and numerous attendants, were soon on their way to Egypt. With gladness of heart they pursued their journey, and when they came to Beersheba the aged patriarch offered grateful sacrifices, and entreated the Lord to grant them an assurance that he would go with them. In a vision of the night the divine words came to Jacob: “Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation. I will go down with thee into Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.”

The meeting of Joseph and his father was very affective. Joseph left his chariot, and ran to meet his father on foot, and embraced him, and they wept over each other. “And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”

Joseph took five of his brethren to present to Pharaoh, and receive from him a grant of land for their future home. He did not wish them to be exposed to the temptations which must surround them if engaged in the king’s special service, amid the corrupting, idolatrous influences at court; therefore he counseled them, when the king should ask them of their occupation, to tell him frankly that they were shepherds. The monarch, on learning this fact, would not seek to exalt them to some honorable position for Joseph’s sake; for the occupation of a shepherd was regarded in Egypt as degrading. When taken before Pharaoh they followed the wise counsel of their God-fearing brother; and the king gave Joseph permission to settle his father and his brethren in the best part of the land of Egypt. He selected Goshen, a well-watered, fertile country, affording good pasture for their flocks. Here, also, they could worship God, undisturbed by the ceremonies attending the idolatrous service of the Egyptians. The country round about Goshen was inhabited by the Israelites, until with power and mighty signs and wonders, God brought his people out of Egypt.

Not long after their arrival in Egypt, Joseph brought his father also to be presented to Pharaoh. The patriarch was unawed by the pomp of royalty, and the magnificence surrounding him. Amid the sublime scenes of nature he had communed with a mightier monarch; and now, in conscious superiority, he raised his hands and blessed Pharaoh. The king struck by his venerable appearance, inquired, “How old art thou?” Jacob answered, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years. Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” Jacob had seen much trouble and suffered much perplexity. The jealousy of his wives had brought a long train of evils, and the sinful course of some of his children had made the father’s life very bitter. But his last years were more peaceful. His sons had turned from their evil ways, Joseph had been restored to him, and, surrounded by every comfort which the prime minister of Egypt could bestow, and in the society of his children, he passed down gently and calmly toward the grave.

A short time before his death, his children gathered about him to receive his blessing, and to listen to his last words of counsel. As he addressed them for the last time the Spirit of God rested upon him and he laid open before them their past lives, and also uttered prophecies which reached far into the future. Beginning with the eldest, he mentioned his sons by name, presenting before those who had followed a sinful course the light in which God regarded their deeds of violence, and that he would visit them for their sins. Reuben had taken no part in selling Joseph, but previous to that transaction he had grievously sinned. Concerning him, Jacob uttered the following prophecy: “Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power; unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.

He then prophesied in regard to Simeon and Levi, who had practiced deception to the Shechemites, and then, in a most cruel, revengeful manner, destroyed them. These brothers were also the most guilty in the case of Joseph. “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united! for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.”

In regard to Judah, the fathers words of inspiration were more joyful. His prophetic eye looked hundreds of years into the future, to the birth of Christ, and he said, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Jacob predicted a cheerful future for most of his sons. Especially for Joseph he uttered words of eloquence of a happy character: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. (From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel.)” “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Jacob was an affectionate father. He had no resentful feelings toward his sorrowing children. He had forgiven them. He loved them to the last. But God, by the spirit of prophecy, elevated the mind of Jacob above his natural feelings. In his last hours, angels were all around him, and the power of God rested upon him. His paternal feelings would have led him to utter, in his dying testimony, only expressions of love and tenderness. But under the influence of inspiration he uttered truth, although painful.

After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brethren were filled with gloom and distress. They thought that Joseph had concealed his resentment, out of respect for their father; and now that he was dead, he would be revenged for the ill treatment he had suffered at their hands. They dared not appear before him, but sent a messenger, “Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil; and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father.” This message affected Joseph to tears, and, encouraged by this, his brethren came and fell down before him, with the words, “Behold, we be thy servants.” He met them with the comforting and assuring reply, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not; I will nourish you, and your little ones. Joseph loved his brethren, and he could not bear the thought that they regarded him as harboring a spirit of revenge toward them.

The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ, Joseph’s brethren purposed to kill him, but were finally content to sell him as a slave, to prevent his becoming greater than themselves. They thought they had placed him where they would be no more troubled with his dreams, and where there would not be a possibility of their fulfillment. But the very course which they pursued, God overruled to bring about that which they designed never should take place–that he should have dominion over them.

The chief priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that he would draw the attention of the people away from themselves. They knew that he was doing greater works than they ever had done, or ever could perform; and they knew that if he was suffered to continue his teachings, he would become higher in authority than they, and might become king of the Jews. They agreed together to prevent this by privately taking him, and hiring witnesses to testify falsely against him, that they might condemn him and put him to death. They would not accept him as their king, but cried out, Crucify him! crucify him! But by murdering the Son of God, they were bringing about the very thing they sought to prevent. Joseph, by being sold by his brethren into Egypt, became a saviour to his father’s family. Yet this fact did not lesson the guilt of his brethren. The crucifixion of Christ by his enemies made him the Redeemer of mankind, the Saviour of the fallen race, and ruler over the whole world. But the crime of his enemies was just as heinous as though God’s providential hand had not controlled events for his own glory and the good of man.

Joseph walked with God. And when he was imprisoned, and suffered because of his innocence, he meekly bore it without murmuring. His self-control, his patience in adversity, and his unwavering fidelity, are left on record for the benefit of all who should afterward live on the earth. When Joseph’s brethren acknowledged their sin before him, he freely forgave them, and showed by his acts of benevolence and love that he harbored no resentful feelings for their former cruel conduct toward him.

The life of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, was a pattern of benevolence, goodness, and holiness. Yet he was despised and insulted, mocked and derided, for no other reason than because his righteous life was a constant rebuke to sin. His enemies would not be satisfied until he was given into their hands, that they might put him to a shameful death. He died for the guilty race; and, while suffering the most cruel torture, meekly forgave his murderers. He rose from the dead, ascended up to his Father, and received all power and authority, and returned to the earth again to impart it to his disciples. He gave gifts unto men. And all who have ever come to him repentant, confessing their sins, he has received into his favor, and freely pardoned. And if they remain true to him, he will exalt them to his throne, and make them his heirs to the inheritance which he has purchased with his own blood.

Jenny @ 6:36 pm
January 29, 1880 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Sixteen–Continued.
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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The still continued in the land of ; and, as time passed on, the grain that had been brought from Egypt was consumed. The well knew how useless and even dangerous it would be to present themselves, without , before the prime minister of Egypt; they knew, too, how desperate must be any effort to change their father’s resolution, and they awaited the issue in silence. The aged man saw the faces of all in the encampment grow pale and thin with hunger; he heard the cries of the children for bread; and at last he said, “Go again, buy us a little food.”

answered, “The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us we will go down and buy thee food; but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down; for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face except your brother be with you.” Seeing that the resolution of his father was giving way, he added, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones; and he offered to be surety for his brother, and to take upon himself the father’s blame forever if he did not restore Benjamin to him.

Jacob could no longer withhold his consent, and he bade his sons prepare for the journey. They were to take to the ruler a present of such things as the destitute country afforded, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds, also “double money’ in their sacks,-that formerly returned, and some for the present purchase. “Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man.”

As his sons were about to start on their doubtful journey, the aged father arose, and, standing in their midst, raised his hands to Heaven and pronounced on them a gracious benediction: “And God Almighty give you mercy before the man that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

So they went down again into Egypt, and presented themselves before Joseph. As his eye fell upon Benjamin, from whom he had been so long separated, he was deeply moved. He gave no token of recognition, however, but ordered the ruler of his house to take them to his princely residence, and there prepare for an entertainment. They were greatly alarmed at this, fearing that it was for the purpose of calling them to account for the money found in their sacks. They thought that it might have been intentionally placed there, to furnish occasion to make them slaves, and that they were brought into the governor’s palace better to accomplish this object. They sought the steward of the house, and related to him the circumstances, and in proof of their innocence informed him that they had brought back the money found in their sacks, also other money to buy food; and they added, “We cannot tell who put the money in our sacks.”

The man replied, “Peace be to you; fear not; your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money.” These words relieved their anxiety, and when Simeon, who had been released from prison, joined them, they felt that God was indeed gracious unto them, as their father had entreated that he would be.

When the governor came home, they offered him their presents, making before him the customary obeisance. Again his dreams came into his mind. There had been one including his father; and now, after the usual salutations to his guests, he hastened to ask, “Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?” “Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive,” was the answer with another obeisance. Then his eye rested upon Benjamin, his own mother’s son, and as if to make the matter sure he asked, “Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? God be gracious unto thee, my son;”–but, overpowered by feelings of tenderness, he could say no more without betraying his emotion. He hastened to his own private chamber, and there found relief in tears.

Having recovered his self-possession and removed all traces of tears, he returned, and ordered the feast to be prepared. Among the Egyptians, caste was very strict, and they never ate with the people of another nation. Separate tables were therefore set for them, another for Joseph’s brethren and still another for the governor of the kingdom. When seated at the table his brethren were surprised to see that they were arranged in exact order, the eldest being placed first, and the youngest last, as was customary when their ages were known. Joseph sent a portion of food to each, Benjamin’s five times as large as any of the others. He did this, not only to show his particular regard for Benjamin, but to prove his brethren, to see if they regarded their youngest brother with the same feelings of envy and hatred which they had manifested toward himself. Still supposing that Joseph did not understand their language, they freely conversed with one another in his presence, therefore he had a good opportunity to learn the true state of their feelings.

Still he desired further proof. There could be no excuse for detaining them longer; and, after directing his steward to conceal his drinking-cup of silver in the sack of the youngest, he let them go.

Joyfully they set out on the homeward journey. Simeon was with them, their sacks were filled with grain, and they felt that they had escaped safely from the perils that had seemed to surround them. But they had only reached the outskirts of the city when they were overtaken by the governor’s steward, who uttered the scathing inquiry, “Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby, indeed, he divineth? Ye have done evil in so doing.” Kings and rulers had a cup from which they drank, which was considered a sure detective if any poisonous substance was placed in their drink. To the accusation of the steward the travelers answered, “Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing. Behold, the money which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan; how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.” 

The steward said, “Now also will it be according unto your words; he with whom it is found shall be my servant and ye shall be blameless.”

The search began immediately. The sacks were placed on the ground, and the steward examined them all, beginning with Reuben’s and going down to the sack of the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack!

At this discovery all were speechless. To express their utter wretchedness they rent their garments, as was the custom when in deep affliction. As they sadly returned to the city they felt that the hand of God was against them for their past wickedness. The fears of their father, they thought, would now be fully realized. By their own promise, Benjamin was doomed to a life of slavery.”

They followed the steward to the palace, and, finding the prime minister still there, they fell before him on the ground. “What deed is this that ye have done?” he said. “Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine? Joseph asked this question to draw forth from his brethren an acknowledgment of their past wrong course, that their true feelings might be more fully revealed. He did not claim any power of divination, but was willing his brethren should believe that he could read the secret acts of their lives. Judah answered, “What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants. Behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.” The reply was, God forbid that I should do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.”

In his intense distress, Judah now drew near to the ruler, and exclaimed, “O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my Lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant; for thou art even as Pharaoh;” and he related to him the reluctance of his father to let Benjamin come with them to Egypt, the father’s deep grief at the loss of Joseph, and that Benjamin was all that was left of the mother whom Jacob loved. “Now therefore, when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us (seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life), it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die; and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father forever. Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest per- adventure I see the evil that come on my father.”

Joseph was satisfied. He had proved his brethren and had seen in them the fruits of true repentance for their sins. He was so deeply affected that he could no longer conceal his feelings, and he gave orders that all but these men should leave the hall; then he wept aloud, and cried out, “I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?” His brethren could not answer him, for surprise and terror. They could not realize that the ruler of Egypt was their brother Joseph, whom they had envied and would have murdered, but were finally content to sell as a slave. All their ill-treatment of him passed before them. They remembered how they had despised his dreams; and had labored to prevent their fulfillment. Yet they had acted their part in fulfilling these dreams; and now they stood before him condemned and amazed. As Joseph saw the confusion he said to them, “Come near to me, I pray you;” they came near. And he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life.” He nobly sought to make this occasion as easy for his brethren as possible. He had no desire to increase their embarrassment by censuring them. He felt that they had suffered enough for their cruelty to him, and he endeavored to comfort them. He went on, “For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and yet there are five years in the which there shall be neither earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt. Come down unto me, tarry not. And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast. And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him.”

They humbly confessed the wrongs which they had committed against Joseph, and entreated his forgiveness. They were greatly rejoiced to find that he was alive; for they had suffered the keenest anxiety and remorse since their cruelty toward him. Joseph gladly forgave his brethren, and sent them away abundantly supplied with provisions, and carriages, and everything necessary for the removal of all their families and attendants to Egypt. On Benjamin he bestowed more valuable presents than upon his other brethren. Then, fearing that disputes and divisions would rise among them on the homeward journey, he gave them, as they were about leaving him the significant charge, “See that ye fall not out by the way.”

Jenny @ 7:30 pm