The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
September 4, 1879 The Work for This Time.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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When we reflect upon the amazing to fallen man, and view the small returns we make to him for this great , we feel deeply humbled. , and of the , cannot find room in the hearts of . To be a is to be . Self is so interwoven in the nature of some that it is the ruling of their , and not only stands in their own way of attaining , but is a constant to . A vast army might be brought to through personal effort if did not obstruct the way. 

Many professed will talk and weep over the of , the he bore up , his , and to ; while at the same time they refuse to co-operate with Christ in working as he worked, in self-denial and sacrifice for the good of souls. They refuse to drink of the cup, or be baptized with the baptism.

Let all those who profess to believe in Christ follow his example, and they will be doing a great work for Jesus. It is easy to cry, when it is popular to do so, “Never man spake like this man,” and to echo the hosannas to the Son of David; though we do not the things he bids us, and do not follow his example in self-denial, and in working to do others good. True religion has to do with the heart and life. All who are true followers of Jesus will have a special interest to work for the Master, whose servants they profess to be, in gathering souls into the ranks of Christ. The Christian life does not consist altogether of meditation and prayer, although these are essential, but of earnest, active working, as well as meditating and praying.

Those who are truly converted to the truth and who love Christ will feel their individual responsibility to make personal efforts for the salvation of others. They cannot be indifferent in this respect. They will see and feel the dangerous position of their friends, and of all who oppose the truths which to them are sacred and dear. They will desire to be actively employed in the work of seeking to win them to the truth. When men and women are convinced of the truth and decide to obey it, they have then only enlisted as Christ’s soldiers. The work is all before them, to be doers as well as hearers of the word, and receivers of the heavenly gift. To be merely a passive Christian, receiving blessings, and not an earnest worker, is to be a novice and a dwarf in spiritual things.

The moon and the stars would not essentially benefit us if they retained for themselves their beauty and glory, and did not give to us the light they receive from the sun. The earth itself responds to the showers of rain, and the gentle dew, and the warming rays of the sun, and returns to us its bounties in grains, fruits, and flowers.

Man, the noblest work of God, made in his divine image, is found the most ungrateful. Christ comes to every individual to see what he is doing, and frequently finds neither fruits, nor blossoms, but only leaves.

Some are hearers of the word but not doers. They receive the heavenly benefits, but feel no responsibility to advance the cause of truth and save souls by their personal efforts. The divine command is two-fold; to not only be hearers, but doers, of the word. We are to receive the word ourselves and impart to others the precious light we have received. As we accept the truth, we virtually pledge ourselves to be workers with Christ, and to be consecrated to his service, and no longer live to do our will, and serve ourselves, but to be faithful servants of the Master to whom we have yielded ourselves servants to obey. The commission of Christ to his disciples was, to go and preach the gospel to every creature. We have a worldwide message.

After men and women have received the truth, it is not to their advantage to depend upon their more experienced brethren to hold them up, and carry them to Heaven. They should be instructed that in order to grow spiritually strong, they must be earnest workers to lead others to the truth, as they were led. If those who receive the truth value its importance they will receive ten-fold more encouragement and confidence in seeing their more experienced brethren and the ministers of Christ laboring in new fields, preaching the gospel to unbelievers, and bringing scores to the knowledge of the truth, than to be devoting their precious time and talents to taking care of them.

Missionaries are wanted throughout the great harvest field, self-sacrificing, and who will do as their Master has given them an example in his life

Ministers to whom is intrusted the most sacred message of warning ever given to the world, have confined their labors too much to looking after the few who have embraced the truth, when their principal labor should have been for those who have not heard the message. There are those who think it is their duty to preach the truth, but they dare not venture from the shore, and they catch no fish. They will choose to go among the churches, over and over the same ground. They report a good time, a pleasant visit, but we look in vain for the souls that are converted to the truth through their instrumentality. These ministers hug the shore too closely. Let them launch out into the deep, and cast their net where the fish are. There is no lack of work to be done. There could be hundreds employed in the vineyard of the Lord where there is now one.

God never does what man can do. We have individually, as servants of Jesus Christ, a work to do in unison with Christ, in saving our fellow-men from perdition. While we do with heart and might what we can in the use of means, God alone can make our efforts effectual. He can clothe the humblest and weakest with wonderful power, and manifest his excellence in our sincere human efforts.

If, after souls have embraced the truth, and have had years of experience, they have not strength to stand alone in the truth with the help God has promised them, and if they are incapable of helping others to the light, they are like the barren fig tree which Jesus cursed. Because, although apparently flourishing, he found upon the tree neither blossoms nor fruit, nothing but leaves.

There are in our churches those who profess the truth who are only hindrances to the work of reform. They are clogs to the wheels of the car of salvation. This class are frequently in trial. Doubts, jealousies, and suspicion, are the fruits of selfishness, and seem to be interwoven with their very natures. I shall name this class chronic church-grumblers. They do more harm in a church than two ministers can undo. They are a tax to the church and a great weight to the ministers of Christ. They live in an atmosphere of doubts, jealousies, and surmisings. Much time and labor of the embassadors of Christ are required to undo their work of evil, and restore harmony and union in the church. This takes from the courage and strength of God’s servants and unfits them for the work he has for them to do in saving perishing souls from ruin. God will reward these troublers of Zion according to their works. The ministers of Christ should take their position, and not be hindered in their work by these agents of Satan. There will be enough of these to question, and quibble, and criticise, to keep the ministers of God constantly busy, if they will allow themselves to be detained from the great work of giving the last saving message of warning to the world. If the church has no strength to stand against the unsanctified, rebellious feelings of church-grumblers, it is better to let church and grumblers go overboard together than lose the opportunity of saving hundreds who would make better churches, and have the elements existing within themselves of strength and union and power.

The very best way for ministers and churches is to let this fault-finding, crooked class fall back into their own element and pull away from the shore, launch out into the deep, and cast out the gospel net again for fish that may pay for the labor bestowed upon them. Satan exults when men and women embrace the truth who are naturally fault-finding and who will throw all the darkness and hindrance they can against the advancement of the work of God. Ministers cannot now in this important period of the work be detained to prop up men and women who see and have once felt the force of the truth. They should fasten believing Christians on Christ, who is able to hold them up and preserve them blameless unto his appearing, while they go forth to new fields of labor.

I entreat you, my brethren and sisters, to be self-reliant in the strength of Jesus. Do not hang the weight of your perplexities and burdens upon your ministers. Christ has invited you to come to him, your burden-bearer. If you pass along in a state of unbelief and lack of consecration to God, you hang your weight upon the heart of your ministers, and you take just so much time and strength from them which God requires them to use in giving the message to those who have not heard it. Brethren, will you not rather work yourselves in union with the embassadors of Christ in seeking to win souls to the truth? When tempted to become unbelieving and discouraged, you will find the very best cure for this in talking faith to others, and in presenting the truth to those who are in darkness. Extend your efforts to your neighbors, and to those who have not the privileges of meetings. Sow the seeds of truth beside all waters, and encourage the hearts of the servants of God when they visit you by showing that you have not been idle, but through your instrumentality one or more have been brought from darkness to light. You can keep above despondency and doubt by making it your practice to daily pray for the blessing of God to rest upon the men who are presenting the solemn message of warning to the world. Let your prayers follow the servants of God like sharp sickles in the harvest field. God will hear the earnest entreaties of his people. The prayer of faith will move the arm of God.

A great work is before us. We need the help of every one. The cause will need not only money but earnest workers. We believe that the time has fully come when the work should be enlarged and extended on the Pacific coast. The men who work for God in faith, willing to endure, and suffer toil, privation, and reproach, will be the very men whom God will accept, and make powerful to do his great work. We shall not be stinted for means if we will only work, trusting and believing in God.

Missionaries are wanted to carry the message of warning to other lands. God will accept of men who have devoted hearts, whom he can teach, and impress, and polish, by his own divine hand. God will require personal service at the hands of every one to whom he entrusts his truth. Not one is excused. Some may feel that if they give their substance they are excused from personal efforts. But God forbid that they should deceive themselves in this. Gifts of means do not meet the requirement of God, for the duty is but half done. He will accept nothing short of yourselves. You must work to save souls. All will not be called to go to foreign missions, but you may be missionaries at home in your own families and in your neighborhoods. There is work for you to do for God that you do not see and do not feel, because you have not wanted to see, and know, and do, because your worldly interests and your arrangements in business would be interrupted.

Christ called fishermen from their nets to do his work, and they left them and followed him. He called Matthew, a publican, from his business to follow him, and he obeyed the invitation joyfully. He may call men from their farms, from their merchandise, and from their various trades, and send them forth to warn the world.

With the love of Christ in the heart, Christians will work. All who have made a profession of Christ have virtually pledged themselves to preach the gospel of salvation to sinners. Some may never be required to stand in the pulpit; but there are many ways to preach Christ. By deeds, by a godly, consistent life, and by letting our light shine forth to others, we may preach Christ. In acts of self-denial for others’ good, and showing a love for precious souls that is paramount to love for riches or earthly enjoyment, we may preach Christ.

In doing the works of Christ, the Christian worker will become strong in spiritual strength. God is a present help in every time of need. Those who work for the salvation of souls feel their inefficiency and lack of heavenly wisdom, and in their emergency they flee to their tower of strength, and God meets their necessities, and they are obtaining a valuable experience. They are gaining spiritual strength, and growing in the knowledge of the truth. They are not spiritual dwarfs, or bodies of death; but are shining lights, gathering daily strength from God, and conferring blessings upon others.

Jenny @ 6:02 pm
March 6, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                            Chapter Seven–Continued.
                                The .
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                              By Mrs. E. G. White.
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Everything was now ready for the closing of the , which could not be done by from within. The scoffing multitude behold an descending from , clothed with brightness like the lightning. He closes that massive outer door, and then takes his course upward to heaven again. were the family of Noah in the ark before the rain began to descend. During this time they were arranging for their long stay while the waters should be upon . And these were days of merriment by the unbelieving masses. Because the of Noah was not fulfilled immediately after he entered the ark, they thought that he was deceived, and that it was impossible for the world to be destroyed by a flood. Notwithstanding the solemn scenes which they had witnessed, the beasts leaving the mountains and forests and going into the ark, and the angel of , clothed with brightness and terrible in , descending from Heaven and closing the door, they hardened their hearts and continued to revel and sport over the signal manifestations of divine power.

But the same power that called the world into existence, and that created man, has shut Noah into his temporary refuge. The last golden opportunity is past. All have heard the warning, God’s forbearance with that vile race is exhausted, and the swift bolts of his wrath are to be hurled upon the impenitent. Upon the eighth day the heavens gathered blackness. The muttering thunders and vivid lightning flashes began to terrify man and beast. The rain descended from the clouds above them. This was something they had never witnessed, and their hearts were faint with fear. The beasts were roving about in the wildest terror, and their discordant voices seemed to moan out their own destiny and the fate of man. The storm increased in violence until water appeared to come from heaven in mighty cataracts. The boundaries of rivers broke away, and the waters rushed to the valleys. The foundations of the great deep also were broken up. Jets of water would burst up from the earth with indescribable force, throwing massive rocks hundreds of feet into the air, and these, in falling, would bury themselves deep in the ground.

The people first beheld the destruction of the works of their own hands. Their splendid buildings, the beautifully arranged gardens and groves where they had placed their idols, were destroyed by lightning from heaven. The ruins were scattered everywhere. They had erected and consecrated to their idols altars whereon they offered human sacrifices. These which God detested were torn down in his wrath before them, and they were made to tremble at the power of the living God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth, and to know that it was their abominations and horrible, idolatrous sacrifices, which had called for their destruction.

The violence of the storm increased, and there were mingled with the warring of the elements, the wailings of the people who had despised the authority of God. Trees, buildings, rocks, and earth were hurled in every direction. The terror of man and beast was beyond description. And even Satan himself, who was compelled to be amid the warring elements, feared for his own existence. He had delighted to control so powerful a race, and wished them to live to practice their abominations, and increase their rebellion against the God of Heaven. He now uttered imprecations against God, charging him with injustice and cruelty. Many of the people, like Satan, blasphemed God, and if they could have carried out their rebellion, would have torn him from the throne of justice. Others were frantic with fear, stretching their hands toward the ark, and pleading for admittance. But this was impossible. God had closed the door, the only entrance, and shut Noah in, and the ungodly out. He alone could open the door. Their fear and repentance came too late. Conscience was at last awake to know that there was a God who ruled in the heavens. They called upon him earnestly, but his ear was not open to their cry. Some in their desperation sought to break into the ark, but that firm-made structure resisted all their efforts. Some clung to the ark until they were borne away with the furious surging of the waters, or their hold was broken off by rocks and trees that were swept here and there by the angry billows. The ark was severely rocked and tossed about. With the noise of the tempest was mingled the roaring of the terrified beasts; yet amid all the warring of the elements, the ark rode safely. Angels that excel in strength guided and preserved it from harm. Every moment during that frightful storm of forty days and forty nights the preservation of the ark was a miracle of almighty power.

The animals exposed to the tempest rushed toward man, choosing the society of human beings, as though expecting help from them. Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful beasts, knowing that they would be tenacious of life, and would climb the highest points to escape the rising water. The storm does not abate its fury–the waters increase faster than at first. Some fasten themselves to lofty trees, but these trees are torn up by the roots, and carried with violence through the air, and angrily hurled, with stones and earth, into the foaming billows. As the black, seething waters rise higher and higher, the wicked flee for safety to the loftiest mountains. The solemn denunciations of Noah did not then seem to be so laughable a matter. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned for one still higher. Men looked abroad upon a shoreless ocean. How they longed then for the opportunities, which they had slighted. How they pleaded for one hour’s probation, one more privilege of mercy, one more call from the lips of Noah. But mercy’s sweet voice was no more to be heard by them. She had stepped down from her golden throne, and stern, imperative justice had taken her place. The pitiless waves finally sweep over the last retreat, and man and beast alike perish in the black depths.

Fifteen cubits above the highest mountains did the waters prevail; but Noah and his family were safe in the ark, under the protecting care of God. The Lord had shut out all his foes, and he was never more to hear their taunts and sneers. Often it seemed to this family of God’s providence that they must go to destruction as their boat was swept hither and thither. It was a trying ordeal; but Noah believed God. He had the assurance that God was caring for them. A Divine Hand was upon the helm.

As the waters began to abate, the Lord caused the ark to rest upon the top of a cluster of mountains which had been preserved by his power and made to stand fast all through that violent storm. These mountains were but a little distance apart, and the ark moved about and rested upon one, then another, and was no more driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to all within the ark.

Anxiously did Noah and his family watch the decrease of the waters. He wished to go forth upon the earth again, and sent out a raven which flew back and forth, to and from the ark. Not receiving the information he desired, he sent forth a dove, which finding no rest, returned to the ark. After seven days the dove was again sent forth, and when the olive leaf was seen in its mouth, there was great rejoicing by this family which had so long been shut up in the ark. Again an angel descends from Heaven and opens the door of the ark. Noah could remove the top, but he could not open the door which God had shut. God spoke to Noah through the angel and bade him go forth with his family out of the ark, and bring forth with them every living thing. 

Noah did not forget Him who had so graciously preserved them, but immediately erected an altar and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar, thus showing his faith in Christ the great sacrifice, and manifesting his gratitude to God for their wonderful preservation. Noah’s offering came up before God like a sweet savor. He accepted the sacrifice, and blessed the patriarch and his family. Here a lesson is taught all who should live upon the earth, that for every manifestation of God’s mercy and love toward them, the first act should be to render to him grateful thanks and humble worship.

Lest man should be terrified with gathering clouds and falling rains, and should be in continual dread, fearing another flood, God graciously encourages the family of Noah by a promise. “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

What a condescension on the part of God! What compassion for erring man, to place the beautiful, variegated rainbow in the clouds, a token of the covenant of the great God with man! This rainbow was to evidence to all generations the fact that God destroyed the inhabitants of the earth by a flood, because of their great wickedness. It was his design that as the children of after generations should see the bow in the cloud, and should inquire the reason of this glorious arch that spanned the heavens, their parents should explain to them the destruction of the old world by a flood, because the people gave themselves up to all manner of wickedness, and that the hands of the Most High had bended the bow, and placed it in the clouds, as a token that he would never bring again a flood of waters on the earth. This symbol in the clouds was to confirm the belief of all, and establish their confidence in God; for it was a token of divine mercy and goodness to man. Although God had been provoked to destroy the earth by the flood, yet his mercy still encompasseth the earth. God says when he looks upon the bow in the cloud, he will remember. He would not have us understand that he would ever forget; but he speaks to us in our own language, that we may better understand him.

A rainbow is represented in Heaven round about the throne, also above the head of Christ, as a symbol of God’s mercy encompassing the earth. When man, by his great wickedness, provokes the wrath of God, Christ, man’s intercessor, pleads for him, and points to the rainbow in the cloud, as evidence of God’s great compassion for erring man; also to the rainbow above the throne and upon his head, emblematical of the glory and mercy from God resting there for the benefit of repentant man.

After Noah had come forth from the ark, he looked around upon the powerful and ferocious beasts which he brought out with him and then upon his family, numbering only eight, and was greatly afraid that they would be destroyed by the beasts. But the Lord sent his angel to say to Noah, “The fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hands are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

Previous to this time God had given man no permission to eat animal food. But every living substance upon the face of the earth upon which man could subsist had been destroyed; therefore God gave Noah permission to eat of the clean beasts which he had taken with him into the ark. God said to Noah, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.” God had formerly given them the herb of the ground and the fruit of the field, but now, in the peculiar circumstances in which they were placed, he permitted them to eat animal food.

Jenny @ 9:20 am
January 30, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Four.
                       The Plan of Salvation.
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                           By Mrs. E. G. White.
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     Sorrow filled , as it was realized that man was lost, and the world which had was to be filled with doomed to misery, , and , and there was no way of escape for the offender; the whole family of must . The heart of the was touched with pity for the . Upon his lovely countenance rested an expression of and . Soon he approached the exceeding bright which enshrouded , and he seemed to engage in close converse with him. The anxiety of the was intense while thus communed with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the cloud of ; the third time he came forth his countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the that a way of escape had been made for . He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon; that through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, man could again have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. He told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, that he would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive him as the Son of God He would leave all his glory in Heaven, appear upon earth as a man, become acquainted by his own experience with the various temptations with which man would be beset; and, finally, after his mission as a teacher should be accomplished, he would be delivered into the hands of men, and after enduring almost every cruelty and suffering, that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict, he would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner. And not merely would he suffer bodily pain, but mental agony. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be upon him. He told them also that after his death he would rise again the third day, and ascend to his Father to intercede for wayward, guilty man.

The angels prostrated themselves before their beloved Commander, and offered to give their lives. Jesus told them the transgression was so great that the life of an angel could not pay the debt; his life alone could be accepted by his Father as a ransom for man. But the work of the angels was assigned them, to descend with strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in his sufferings, and to minister unto him. Also, their work would be to guard the subjects of grace from the evil angels, and the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.

With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels, and informed them that hereafter those whom he should redeem would be with him, and ever dwell with him; and that by his death he should ransom many, and finally destroy him who had the power of death. And his Father would give him the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and he should possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners should be destroyed, never more to disturb Heaven, or those who should inherit the new earth. Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that his Father had accepted, and rejoice that fallen man could be exalted again, through his death, to obtain favor with God and enjoy Heaven.

Then joy inexpressible filled Heaven, and the heavenly host sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to redeem the fallen race. 

The Father did not yield up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle, whether to let guilty man perish or to give his Son to die for the lost race. It was impossible for God to change his law, or give up the smallest part of its claims, in order to save man; therefore he suffered his Son to die for man’s transgression.

When the plan of salvation was revealed, Satan rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man’s fall, pull down the Son of God from his exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower him, and hinder the accomplishment of the plan.

In humility and inexpressible sadness, Adam and Eve left the lovely garden wherein they had been so happy until they disobeyed the command of God. The atmosphere was changed. It was no longer unvarying as before the transgression. God clothed them with coats of skins to protect them from the sense of chilliness and then of heat to which they were exposed.

Angels of God were commissioned to visit the fallen pair and inform them that, although they could no longer retain possession of their holy estate, their Eden home, because of their transgression of the law of God, their case was not altogether hopeless. The Son of God had been moved with pity as he viewed their hopeless condition, and had volunteered to take upon himself the punishment due to them, and die for them that they might yet live, through faith in the atonement which Christ proposed to make. A door of hope was opened, that man, notwithstanding his great sin, might not be under the absolute control of Satan. Probation would be granted him in which, through a life of repentance, and faith in the atonement of the Son of God, he might be redeemed from his transgression of the Father’s law, and thus be elevated to a position where his efforts to keep that law could be accepted.

The angels related to them the grief that was felt in Heaven, as it was announced that they had transgressed the law of God, which had made it expedient for Christ to make the great sacrifice of his own precious life.

When Adam and Eve realized how exalted and sacred was the law of God, the transgression of which made so costly a sacrifice necessary to save them from utter ruin, they pleaded that they and their posterity might endure the penalty of their transgression, rather than that the beloved Son of God should make this great sacrifice. The anguish of Adam was increased. He saw that his sins were of so great magnitude as to involve fearful consequences. And must it be that Heaven’s honored Commander, who had walked with him and talked with him while in his holy innocence, whom angels worshiped, must be brought down from his exalted position to die because of man’s transgression.

Adam was informed that an angel’s life could not pay the debt. The law of Jehovah, the foundation of his government in Heaven and upon earth, was as sacred as its divine Author; and for this reason the life of an angel could not be accepted of God as a sacrifice for its transgression. His law was of more importance in his sight than the holy angels around his throne. The Father could not change nor abolish one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition. But the Son of God, who had in unison with the Father created man, could make an atonement for man acceptable to God, by giving his life a sacrifice, and bearing the wrath of his Father. As Adam’s transgression had brought death and wretchedness upon the race, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice of such infinite value as to make a man who should avail himself of it more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden, to the flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth. His love for Adam and his posterity would lead the Son of God to condescend to take human nature, and thus elevate, through his own humiliation, all who would believe on him. Such a sacrifice was of sufficient value to save the whole world; but only a few would avail themselves of the salvation thus brought to them. 

The many would not comply with the conditions. They would prefer sin, transgression of the law of God, rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith upon the merit of the sacrifice offered.

Adam was carried down through successive generations, and shown the increase of crime, of guilt and defilement, because man would yield to his naturally strong inclinations to transgress the holy law of God. He saw the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He saw that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy. Adam was made to comprehend what sin is–the transgression of the law. He was shown that moral, mental, and physical degeneracy would result to the race, from transgression, until the world would be filled with human misery of every type.

The days of man have been shortened by his own course of sin in transgressing the righteous law of God. The race has so greatly depreciated as to become almost worthless. Because of the indulgence of the carnal mind, they are generally incapable of appreciating the mystery of Calvary, the grand and elevated facts of the atonement and the plan of salvation. Yet, notwithstanding the weakness, and enfeebled mental, moral, and physical powers to the human race, Christ, true to the purpose for which he left Heaven, continues his interest in the feeble, depreciated, degenerate specimens of humanity, and invites them to hide their weakness and great deficiencies in him. If they will come unto him, he will supply all their needs.

When Adam, according to God’s special directions, made as offering for sin, it was to him a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which God alone could give. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked upon the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die man’s sacrifice.

This ceremonial offering, ordained of God, was to be to Adam a perpetual reminder of his guilt, and also a penitential acknowledgment of his sin. This act of taking life gave him a deeper and more perfect sense of his transgression, which nothing less than the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. Adam marveled at the infinite goodness and matchless love which would give such a ransom to save the guilty. As he was slaying the innocent victim, it seemed to him that he was shedding the blood of the Son of God by his own hand. He knew that if he had remained steadfast to God, and true to his holy law, there would have been no death of beast nor of man. Yet in the sacrificial offerings, pointing to the great and perfect offering of God’s dear Son, there appeared a star of hope to illuminate the dark and terrible future, and relieve it of its utter hopelessness and ruin.

In the beginning, the head of each family was considered ruler and priest of his own household. Afterward, as the race multiplied upon the earth, men of divine appointment performed this solemn worship of sacrifice for the people. The blood of beasts was to be associated in the minds of sinners with the blood of the Son of God. The death of the victim was to evidence to all that the penalty of sin was death. By the act of sacrifice, the sinner acknowledged his guilt, and manifested his faith, looking forward to the great and perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, which the offering of beasts prefigured. Without the atonement of the Son of God there could have been no communication of blessing or salvation from God to man. God was jealous for the honor of his law. The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels.

Jenny @ 8:51 am
January 16, 1879 The Great Controversy Chapter Three The Temptation and Fall
Filed under: EG White Articles

In the midst of the , near the , stood the . This tree was especially designed by to be a pledge of the , , and of our . Of this tree commanded them not to eat, lest they . He told them that they might freely eat of all the trees of the garden except one; but if they ate of that tree they should surely die.

When were placed in the beautiful garden they had everything for their which they could desire. But the chose, in his all-wise arrangements, to test their before they could be rendered eternally secure. They were to enjoy his favor, and he was to converse with them, and they with him. Yet he did not place evil out of their reach. Satan was permitted to tempt them. If they endured the trial, they were to be in perpetual favor with and the .

The hour for joyful happy songs of praise to God and his dear had come. had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note, then all the angelic host united with him, and glorious strains of music had resounded through . But now, instead of strains of sweetest music, discord and angry words fall upon the ear of the great rebel leader.

Satan stood in amazement at his new condition. His happiness was gone. He looked upon the angels who, with him, were once so happy, but who had been expelled from heaven with him. Before their fall not a shade of discontent had marred their perfect bliss. Now all seemed changed. Countenances which had reflected the image of their Maker were gloomy and despairing. Strife, discord, and bitter recrimination were among them. Previous to their rebellion these things had been unknown in Heaven. Satan now beheld the terrible results of his rebellion. He shuddered, and feared to face the future, and to contemplate the end of these things. Where was he? Was it not all a horrible dream? Was he shut out of Heaven? Were the gates of Heaven never more to open and admit him? Bright, holy angels bow before the Father, but no more will Satan unite with them in heavenly song. No more will he bow in reverence and holy awe before the presence of the eternal God. Could he be again as when he was pure, true, and loyal, gladly would he yield up the claims of his authority. But he was lost beyond redemption, for his presumptuous rebellion! And this was not all; he had led others to rebellion and to the same lost condition with himself–angels who had never thought to question the will of Heaven, or refuse obedience to the law of God till he had put it into their minds, presenting before them that they might enjoy a greater good, a higher and more glorious liberty. This had been the sophistry whereby he had deceived them. A responsibility now rest upon him from which he would fain be released.

These fallen spirits had become turbulent with disappointed hopes. Instead of greater good, they were experiencing the sad results of disobedience and disregard of law. Never more would these unhappy beings be swayed by the mild rule of Jesus Christ. Never more would their spirits be stirred by the deep, earnest love, peace, and joy, which his presence had ever inspired in them, to be returned to him in cheerful obedience and reverential honor.

Satan trembled as he viewed his work. He was alone, in meditation upon the past, the present, and the future. His mighty frame shook as with a tempest. An angel from Heaven was passing. Satan called him, and intreated an interview with Christ. This was granted. He then related to him that he repented of his rebellion, and wished again to enjoy the favor of God. He was willing to take the place which had been assigned him, and be under Christ’s command. The Son of God wept at Satan’s woe, but told him, as the mind of the Father, that this could never be. Heaven must not be placed in jeopardy. The peace of Heaven would be marred, should he be received back; for sin originated with him; the seeds of rebellion were still within him. He had no occasion for his course, and he had not only hopelessly ruined himself, but the host of angels also, who would still have been happy in Heaven had he remained steadfast. The law of God could condemn, but could not pardon.

Satan did not repent of his rebellion because he saw the goodness of God which he had abused. The wretchedness he realized in losing the sweet light of Heaven, the sense of guilt which forced itself upon him, and the disappointment he experienced in not finding his expectations realized, were the cause of his grief. To be commander out of Heaven, was vastly different from being thus honored in Heaven. The loss of all the privileges of Heaven seemed too much to be borne. He wished to regain these.

The great change in his position had not increased his love for God, nor for his wise and just law. When Satan became fully convinced that it was impossible for him to be re-instated in the favor of God, he manifested his malice with increased hatred and fiery vehemence.

God knew that such determined rebellion would not remain inactive. Satan would invent means to annoy the heavenly angels, and show contempt for his authority. As he could not gain admittance within the gates of Heaven, he would wait just at the entrance, to taunt the angels and seek contention with them as they should pass in and out. He would seek to destroy the happiness of Adam and Eve. He would endeavor to incite them to rebellion, knowing that this would cause grief in Heaven.

His followers were seeking him; and he aroused himself, and assuming a look of defiance, informed them of his plans to wrest from God the noble Adam and his companion Eve. If he could in any way beguile them to disobedience, God would make some provision whereby they might be pardoned, and then himself and all the fallen angels would be in a fair way to share with them of God’s mercy. If they should fail to obtain pardon, they could unite with Adam and Eve, whose transgression would place them also in a state of rebellion; and thus they could take possession of Eden, and hold it as their home. And if they could gain access to the tree of life in the midst of the garden, their strength would, they thought, be equal to that of the holy angels, and even God himself could not expel them.

Satan held a consultation with his evil angels. They did not all readily unite to engage in this hazardous and terrible work. He told them that he could not intrust the work to any one of them; for he thought that he alone had wisdom sufficient to carry forward so important an enterprise. He wished them to consider the matter while he should leave them and seek retirement, to mature his plans. He sought to impress upon them that this was their last and only hope. If they failed here, all prospect of regaining and controlling Heaven, or any other part of God’s creation, was hopeless.

Satan went alone to mature plans that would most surely secure the fall of Adam and Eve. He had fears that his purposes might be defeated. And again, even if he should be successful in leading Adam and Eve to disobey the commandment of God, and thus become transgressors of his law, and no good come to himself, his own case would not be improved; his guilt would only be increased. He shuddered at the thought of plunging the holy, happy pair into the misery and remorse which he was himself enduring. He seemed in a state of indecision; at one time firm and determined, then hesitating and wavering.

His angels were seeking him, their leader, to acquaint him with their decision. They will unite with him in his plans, and with him bear the responsibility, and share the consequences. Satan cast off his feelings of despair and weakness, and, as their leader, fortified himself to brave out the matter, and do all in his power to defy the authority of God and his Son. He acquainted them with his plans. If he should come boldly upon Adam and Eve and make complaints of God’s own Son, they would not listen to him for a moment, but would be prepared for such an attack. Should he seek to intimidate them because of his power, so recently an angel in high authority, he could accomplish nothing. He decided that cunning and deceit would do what might or force could not.

God assembled the angelic host to take measures to avert the threatened evil. It was decided in Heaven’s council for angels to visit Eden and warn Adam that he was in danger from the foe. Accordingly, two angels sped on their way to visit our first parents. The holy pair received them joyfully, expressing their gratitude to their Creator for surrounding them with such a profusion of his bounty. Everything lovely and attractive was theirs to enjoy, and everything seemed wisely adapted to their wants. Above all other blessings they prized the society of the Son of God and the heavenly angels; for at every visit they had much to relate to them, of their new discoveries of the beauties of nature in their Eden home; and they had questions to ask relative to many things which they could but imperfectly comprehend.

The angels graciously and lovingly gave them the desired information. They also gave them the sad history of Satan’s rebellion and fall. They then distinctly informed them that the tree of knowledge was placed in the garden to be a pledge of their obedience and love to God; that the high and happy estate of the holy angels was to be retained upon condition of obedience; and that they were similarly situated–they could obey the law of God and be inexpressibly happy, or disobey, and lose their high estate, and be plunged into hopeless despair.

They told Adam and Eve that God would not compel them to obey–that he had not removed from them power to go contrary to his will; they were moral agents, free to obey or disobey. There was but one prohibition that God had as yet seen fit to lay upon them. If they should transgress the will of God, they would surely die. They told them also, that the most exalted angel, next in order to Christ, had refused obedience to the law of God which he had ordained to govern heavenly beings; that this rebellion had caused war in Heaven, and as the result the rebel leader and every angel who united with him in questioning the authority of the great Jehovah, had been driven out of Heaven; and that this fallen foe was now an enemy to all that concerned the interest of God and his dear Son.

They told them that Satan purposed to do them harm, and it was necessary for them to be guarded, for they might come in contact with the fallen foe; but he could not harm them while they yielded obedience to God’s command; for, if necessary, every angel from Heaven would come to their help rather than that he should in any way do them harm. But if they disobeyed the command of God, then Satan would have power to ever annoy, perplex, and trouble them. If they remained steadfast against the first insinuations of Satan, they were as secure as the heavenly angels. But if they yielded to the tempter, He who spared not the exalted angels would not spare them. They must suffer the penalty of their transgression; for the law of God was as sacred as himself, and he required implicit obedience from all in Heaven and on earth.

The angels cautioned Eve not to separate from her husband in her employment; for she might be brought in contact with this fallen foe. If separated from each other, they would be in greater danger than if they were together. The angels charged them to follow closely the instructions which God had given them in reference to the tree of knowledge; for in perfect obedience they were safe, and the foe could then have no power to deceive them. God would not permit Satan to follow the holy pair with continual temptations. He could have access to them only at the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve assured the angels that they would never transgress the express command of God; for it was their highest pleasure to do his will. The angels united with them in holy strains of harmonious music; and as their songs pealed forth from blissful Eden, Satan heard their joyful adoration of the Father and the Son. And as he heard it, his envy, hatred, and malignity increased, and he expressed to his followers his anxiety to incite Adam and Eve to disobedience, and at once bring down the wrath of God upon them, and change their songs of praise to hatred, and curses against their Maker.

Satan then assumed the form of a serpent, and entered Eden. The serpent was a beautiful creature, with wings; and while flying through the air, his appearance was bright, resembling burnished gold. He did not go upon the ground, but went from place to place through the air, and ate fruit like man. Satan entered into the serpent, who took his position in the tree of knowledge, and commenced leisurely eating of the fruit.

Eve, unconsciously at first, separated from her husband in her employment. When she became aware of the fact, she felt that there might be danger; but again she thought herself secure, even if she did not remain close by the side of her husband. She had wisdom and strength to know if evil came, and to meet it. This the angels had cautioned her not to do. Eve found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration upon the fruit of the forbidden tree. She saw it was very lovely, and was reasoning with herself why God had so decidedly prohibited their eating it. Now was Satan’s opportunity. He addressed her as though he was able to divine her thoughts, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Thus, with soft and pleasant words, and with musical voice, he addressed the wondering Eve. She was startled to hear a serpent speak. He extolled her beauty and exceeding loveliness, which was not displeasing to Eve. But she was amazed, for she knew that to the serpent God had not given the power of speech.

Eve’s curiosity was aroused. Instead of fleeing from the spot, she listened to hear a serpent talk. It did not occur to her mind that it might be that fallen foe, using the serpent as a medium. It was Satan that spoke, not the serpent. Eve was beguiled, flattered, infatuated. Had she met a commanding personage, possessing a form like the angels, and resembling them, she would have been upon her guard. But that strange voice should have driven her to her husband’s side to inquire of him why another should thus freely address her. But she enters into a controversy with the serpent. She answers his question, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” The serpent answers, “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Satan would convey the idea that by eating of the forbidden tree, they would receive a new and more noble kind of knowledge than they had hitherto attained. This has been his special work with great success ever since his fall, to lead men to pry into the secrets of the Almighty, and not to be satisfied with what God has revealed, and not careful to obey that which was commanded. He would lead them to disobey God’s commands, and then make them believe that they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. This is a miserable deception. They fail to understand what God has revealed, they disregard his explicit commandments, aspire after wisdom, independent of God, and seek to understand that which he has been pleased to withhold from mortals. They are elated with their ideas of progression, and charmed with their own vain philosophy; but they grope in midnight darkness relative to true knowledge. They are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It was not the will of God that this sinless pair should have any knowledge of evil. He had freely given them the good, but withheld the evil. Eve thought the words of the serpent wise, and she received the broad assertion, “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,”–making God a liar. Satan boldly insinuates that God had deceived them to keep them from being exalted in knowledge equal with himself. God said, If ye eat “ye shall surely die.” The serpent said, If ye eat “ye shall not surely die.”

Satan assured Eve that as soon as she ate of the fruit she would receive a new and superior knowledge that would make her equal with God. He called her attention to himself. He ate freely of the tree and found it not only perfectly harmless, but delicious and exhilarating; and he told her that it was because of its wonderful properties to impart wisdom and power that God had prohibited them from tasting or even touching it; for he knew its wonderful qualities. The tempter stated that by eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree he had attained the power of speech. He intimated that God would not carry out his word. It was merely a threat to intimidate them and keep them from great good. He further told them that they could not die. Had they not eaten of the tree of life which perpetuates immortality? He said that God was deceiving them to keep them from a higher state of felicity and more exalted happiness.

Satan plucked the fruit and passed it to Eve. She took it in her hand. Now, said the tempter, you were prohibited from even touching it lest ye die. He told her that she would realize no more sense of evil and death in eating than in touching or handling the fruit. Eve was emboldened because she felt not the immediate signs of God’s displeasure. She thought the words of the tempter wise and correct. She ate, and was delighted with the fruit. It seemed delicious to her taste, and she imagined that she realized in herself the wonderful effects of the fruit.

She then plucked the fruit for herself and ate, and imagined she felt the quickening power of a new and elevated existence as the result of the exhilarating influence of the forbidden fruit. She was in a state of strange and unnatural excitement as she sought her husband, with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit. She related to him the wise discourse of the serpent, and wished to conduct him at once to the tree of knowledge. She told him she had eaten of the fruit, and instead of feeling any sense of death, she realized a pleasing, exhilarating influence. As soon as Eve disobeyed, she became a powerful medium through which to occasion the fall of her husband.

A sadness came over the countenance of Adam. He appeared afraid and astonished. A struggle seemed to be going on in his mind. He told Eve that he was quite certain that this was the foe whom they had been warned against; and if so, she must die. She assured him she felt no ill effects, but rather a very pleasant influence, and entreated him to eat.
                          (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 12:08 pm