The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
December 18, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and his Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter XV.
and .
By Mrs. E. G. White.

Of the twelve , the one for whom he had special love was ; for he was the son of his beloved wife , and one of the children of his old age. He was a son of remarkable beauty. His oldest sons had arrived at manhood, and had developed unhappy traits of . There was continual among the eleven; they were neither just nor toward each other. The and which were cherished by the several mothers making the family relation very unhappy, were instilled by word and example into the minds and hearts of the children, who grew up , , and uncontrollable. They would not endure provocation, for they had too long cherished and . These will ever be found to be the result of . Each of the mothers is and lest her own children shall not receive due attention from the father; and again they experience and whenever they are made to feel that another is preferred before them. Children who grow up together surrounded by such elements are most likely to indulge in resentment for every supposed slight, and revenge for any imaginary wrongs. There is that in polygamy which dries up human affection, and tempts to the loosening of ties which should be held sacred.

Jacob’s life was made very bitter by the conduct of his sons. Joseph had another spirit; he was cheerful and happy, and possessed great love for his father whose heart was bound up in his child. This preference for Joseph was unwisely manifested, and called out the revengeful disposition of his other sons. When Joseph saw the wicked course pursued by his brethren he remonstrated with them; but they hated him for his entreaties, and for daring to reprove them who were so much older than he, and accused him of being a spy upon their actions. As Joseph saw that his words and entreaties only excited wrath against himself, he laid the plans and evil purposes of his brethren before his father, which gave him knowledge of many things he otherwise would not have known. The fathers of children among the Hebrews were made responsible in a great degree for the sins of their children, when they were left without the exercise of authority and restraint. When the father’s solicitude was expressed to his sons in a voice tremulous with grief, and he implored them to have respect for his gray hairs and not make his name a reproach, and to be despised because of their course, the sons felt sorry and ashamed before their father, because their wickedness was known, but felt envious and jealous of Joseph because he had informed his father of their course of sin. Jacob flattered himself that his sons repented of their wickedness, and he trusted they would reform.

Jacob unwisely gave expression to his love for Joseph in making him a present of a coat of beautiful colors. This only increased the hatred of his brothers against him; for they thought Joseph had stolen their father’s affections from them, and they considered themselves ill treated and deprived of their father’s confidence and love. They did not see that their own wicked course was a continual shame and disgrace to his gray hairs, and that his affections centered upon Joseph because of his purity and true excellence of character.

The Lord gave Joseph a dream which he related; Jacob would have been alarmed had he suspected the hatred and malicious feelings this dream aroused in the hearts of his sons against his beloved child. Joseph dreamed that while they were all engaged binding sheaves of grain, his sheaf arose and stood upright, and the sheaves of all the rest stood round about and bowed before his sheaf. No sooner was his dream related than they all understood its significance. His brothers exclaimed with indignation, “Shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?” Their hatred toward him burned deeper in their hearts than before. Soon the Lord gave Joseph another dream of the same import, but more strikingly significant. This dream he also related to his father and his brethren. He said, “Behold I have dreamed a dream more, and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” The interpretation of this dream was quite as quickly discerned as was that of the first. “And his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.”

Like a youthful prophet Joseph stood before them in the simplicity of virtuous innocence, his beautiful countenance lighted up with the spirit of inspiration. His brethren could but admire his purity and goodness; but they did not choose to leave their wicked course and become virtuous and noble like him. The spirit that actuated Cain was fastening upon them. Like him they hated their brother because he was innocent and righteous and beloved of his father, while they were wicked and a source of grief to their father as Cain was to his father.

Joseph’s father had confidence that the Lord was revealing the future to his son; but his words of apparent severity did not satisfy his elder sons, for the voice of tremulous affection betrayed his true feelings. He called to mind the promise of God to Abraham, to Isaac, and to himself. His heart had been grieved and disappointed in his older sons, but as he saw the qualities of mind possessed by Joseph, his hopes centered in him. He hoped that God would wonderfully bless him, the eldest son of his beloved Rachel. The favor with which Jacob regarded Joseph could not be concealed, and the gorgeous colored coat which he had given him was a clear evidence to his sons of his partiality. This they thought gave them sufficient reason for harboring jealousy, hatred, and revenge in their hearts.

These brothers were obliged to move from place to place in order to secure better pasturage for their flocks, and sometimes they did not see their father for months. At one time Jacob directed them to go to Shechem, a place which he had purchased. After they had been gone some time, and he had received no word from them he feared that evil might have befallen them, knowing that they were near where their cruelty had been practiced upon the Shechemites. So he sent Joseph to Shechem to find his brethren, and bring him word of their condition. Had Jacob known the true feelings of his sons toward Joseph, he would not have trusted him alone with them; but they had concealed their wicked purposes from him.

When Joseph arrived at the place where his father supposed his brethren were, he did not find them. As he was traveling from field to field in search of them, a stranger learned his errand and told him they had gone to Dothan. He had already traveled fifty miles, and, a distance of fifteen more lay before him. This was a long journey for the youth; but he performed it cheerfully, desiring to relieve the anxiety of his beloved father, and longing to see his brethren who were enshrined in his affections. But he was illy repaid for his love and obedience.

At length he saw his brethren in the distance and hastened to greet them. They also saw him coming, his gay colored coat making him easily recognized; but as they beheld it, their feelings of envy, jealousy, and hatred, were aroused. They did not consider the long journey he had made on foot to meet them; they did not think of his weariness and hunger, and that as their brother he had claims upon their hospitality, their tender consideration and brotherly love. The sight of that coat which signalized him in the distance filled them with a Satanic frenzy. “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.”

There seemed to be a common feeling of deadly hatred in their hearts. They had engaged in carnage and destruction until their feelings had become calloused. The indulgence of one known sin deadens the conscience so that it is more easily overcome with the next temptation. Thus step by step the course of sin and transgression is pursued until there is a harvest of crime through the indulgence of the first sin. These men regardless of the consequences, had passed on from stage, to stage hardening their hearts in the indulgence of sin until they had to all intents and purposes the spirit of Cain. They were enraged that Joseph had heretofore informed against them, and they looked upon him as a spy.

They had ere this decided that if a favorable opportunity offered they would slay him; the proposition was made, “Come now, therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”

This terrible purpose would have been carried out had not Reuben shrunk from participating in the murder of his brother. He plead for Joseph, showing with clear arguments what guilt would ever rest upon them, and, that the curse of God would come upon them for such a crime. He proposed to have him cast alive into a pit, and left there to perish, meaning to take him out privately and return him to his father. He left their company, fearing that his feelings would betray his design.

Joseph came on, glad and joyful that the object of his long search was accomplished. But, instead of a pleasant greeting, he met only scorn, abuse, and fierceness of looks which terrified him. He was immediately seized, and the coat which had created so much hatred, was stripped from him with the most taunting remarks. He had never before received such treatment and he expected his brethren would immediately kill him. His mind runs back to his home, his father, and the blessing he had received as he parted from him, and then he anticipated the sorrow he would feel at his death and the guilt of his murderers. He entreated them to spare his life, but all to no avail; he was helpless in the hands of infuriated men whose hearts were insensible to pity, and whose ears were deaf to the cry of anguish. But the eye of God was upon him, and Joseph’s cries of distress reached his throne. His brethren thrust him into a dark pit and then sat down to enjoy their customary meal. But while they were eating, they saw a company of Ishmaelites approaching, and Judah, who was beginning to regret what had been done, suggested that here was an opportunity to sell their brother and obtain money, which would be better than leaving him to perish in the pit; for said he, is he not our own flesh? Then, too, Judah thought that he could be disposed of by being removed entirely from them. All agreed to the proposition of Judah; Joseph was drawn up out of the pit, and heartlessly sold as a slave.
                            (To be continued).

Jenny @ 7:00 pm
January 9, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter One.
                               The Fall of Satan.
                              By Mrs. E. G. White.

Satan in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; yet Jesus, God’s dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of Christ, and in his ambition assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.

The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence. His word was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was he to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon it. His Son would carry out his will and his purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in him. Satan was jealous and envious of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge his supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, Satan bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been taken into counsel with the Father in regard to his plans, while Satan was unacquainted with them. He did not understand, neither was he permitted to know, the purposes of God. But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of heaven, his power and authority to be the same as that of God himself. Satan thought that he was himself a favorite in heaven among the angels. He had been highly exalted; but this did not call forth from him gratitude and praise to his Creator. He aspired to the height of God himself. He gloried in his loftiness. He knew that he was honored by the angels. He had a special mission to execute. He had been near the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glorious light enshrouding the eternal God, had shone especially upon him. Satan thought how angels had obeyed his command with pleasurable alacrity. Were not his garments light and beautiful? Why should Christ thus be honored before himself?

He left the immediate presence of the Father, dissatisfied, and filled with envy against Jesus Christ. Concealing his real purposes, he assembled the angelic host. He introduced his subject, which was himself. As one aggrieved he related the preference God had given to Jesus to the neglect of himself. He told them that henceforth all the precious liberty the angels had enjoyed was at an end. For had not a ruler been appointed over them, to whom they from henceforth must yield servile honor? He stated to them that he had called them together to assure them that he no longer would submit to this invasion of his rights and theirs; that never would he again bow down to Christ; that he would take the honor upon himself which should have been conferred upon him, and would be the commander of all who would submit to follow him and obey him. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They were discontented and unhappy because they could not look into his unsearchable wisdom and ascertain his purposes in exalting his Son Jesus, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son.

Angels that were loyal and true sought to reconcile this first great rebel to the will of his Creator. They justified the act of God in conferring honor upon Jesus Christ, and with forcible reasons sought to convince Satan that no less honor was his now than before the Father had proclaimed the honor which he had conferred upon his Son. They clearly set forth that Jesus was the Son of God, existing with him before the angels were created; and that he had ever stood at the right hand of God, and his mild, loving authority had not heretofore been questioned; and that he had given no commands but what it was joy for the heavenly host to execute. They had urged that Christ’s receiving special honor from the Father, in the presence of the angels, did not detract from the honor that he had heretofore received. The angels wept, and anxiously sought to move Satan to renounce his wicked design and yield submission to their Creator. All had heretofore been peace and harmony, and what could occasion this dissenting, rebellious voice?

Satan refused to listen, and turned from the loyal angels, denouncing them as slaves. These angels, true to God, stood in amazement as they saw that Satan was successful in his effort to excite rebellion. He promised them a new and better government, in which all would be freedom. Great numbers signified their purpose to accept Satan as their leader and chief commander. As he saw his advances were met with success, he flattered himself that he should yet have all the angels on his side, and that he would be equal with God himself, and his voice of authority would be heard in commanding the entire host of heaven. Again the loyal angels warned Satan, and assured him what must be the consequences if he persisted; that he who could create the angels, could by his power overturn all their authority, and in some signal manner punish their audacity and terrible rebellion. To think that an angel should resist the law of God which was as sacred as himself; they warned the rebellious to close their ears to Satan’s deceptive reasonings, and advised Satan, and all who had been affected by him, to go to God and confess their wrong for even admitting a thought of questioning his authority. 

Many of Satan’s sympathizers were inclined to heed the counsel of the loyal angels, and repent of their dissatisfaction, and be again received to the confidence of the Father and his dear Son. The mighty revolter then declared that he was acquainted with God’s law, and if he should submit to servile obedience, his honor would be taken from him. No more would he be intrusted with his exalted mission. He told them that himself and they also had now gone too far to go back, and he would brave the consequences; for to bow in servile worship to the Son of God he never would; that God would not forgive, and now they must assert their liberty and gain by force the position and authority which was not willingly accorded to them.

The loyal angels hasten speedily to the Son of God, and acquaint him with what is taking place among the angels. They find the Father in conference with his beloved Son, to determine the means by which, for the best good of the loyal angels, the assumed authority of Satan could be forever put down. The great God could at once have hurled this arch deceiver from heaven; but this was not his purpose. He would give the rebellious an equal chance to measure strength and might with his own Son and his loyal angels. In this battle every angel would choose his own side, and his character and purposes would be manifested to all. It would not have been safe to suffer any who united with Satan in his rebellion to continue to occupy heaven. They had learned the lesson of genuine rebellion against the unchangeable law of God; and this is incurable. If God had exercised his power to punish this chief rebel, disaffected angels would not have been manifested; hence he took another course; for he would manifest distinctly to all the heavenly host, his justice and his judgement.

It was the highest crime to rebel against the government of God. All heaven seemed in commotion. The angels were marshaled in companies, each division with a higher commanding angel at their head. Satan was warring against the law of God, because ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of God’s Son, heaven’s great commander.

All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case determined. Satan unblushingly made known his dissatisfaction that Christ should be preferred before him. He stood up proudly and urged that he should be equal with God, and should be taken into conference with the Father and understand his purposes. God informed Satan that to his Son alone he would reveal his secret purposes, and he required all the family in heaven, even Satan, to yield him implicit, unquestioned obedience; but that he (Satan) had proved himself unworthy a place in heaven. Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, These are with me! Will you expel these also, and make such a void in heaven? He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ, and to defend his position in heaven by force of might, strength against strength.

Good angels wept to hear the words of Satan, and his exulting boasts. God declared that the rebellious should remain in heaven no longer. Their high and happy state had been held upon condition of obedience to the law which God had given to govern the high order of intelligences. But no provision had been made to save those who should venture to transgress his law. Satan grew bold in his rebellion, and expressed his contempt of the Creator’s law. This Satan could not bear. He claimed that angels needed no law; but should be left free to follow their own will, which would ever guide them right; that law was a restriction of their liberty, and that to abolish law was one great object of his standing as he did. The condition of the angels he thought needed improvement. Not so the mind of God, who had made laws and exalted them equal to himself. The happiness of the angelic host consisted in their perfect obedience to law. Each had his special work assigned him; and until Satan rebelled, there had been perfect order and harmony among the angels in heaven. Then there was war in heaven. The Son of God, the Prince of heaven, and his loyal angels, engaged in conflict with the arch rebel and those who united with him. The Son of God and true, loyal angels prevailed; and Satan and his sympathizers were expelled from heaven. All the heavenly host acknowledged and adored the God of justice. Not a taint of rebellion was left. All was again peaceful and harmonious as before.

The loyal angels mourned the fate of those who had been their companions in happiness and bliss. Their loss was felt in heaven. The Father consulted Jesus in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty, before he could be rendered eternally secure. If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit to prove him, he should eventually be equal with the angels. He was to have the favor of God, and he was to converse with angels, and they with him. He did not see fit to place them beyond the power of disobedience.

Jenny @ 7:24 pm