The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
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
March 7, 1878 The Law from Sinai.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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When the children of left they pursued their journey, winding up a narrow opening through the bold rocks of the . They gradually ascended higher and higher, until there opened before them a wide extended plain, enclosed by granite ridges and towering toward the . ’s range stood before them in somber , its rocky crags towering aloft directed the eyes of the travelers . Awful, silent reigned over all. What a contrast was this scene to the busy activity of ! Here there was nothing to distract the , nothing to speak to the senses but the stern granite pinnacles pointing toward . had commanded to bring his people to this place of natural and sublimity, that they might hear his voice, and receive the book of heaven.

previous to this the had lighted the path through the that God had opened before the marching of his people. They had since then made their way slowly onward through the ; and God, by his , had wrought for them in their necessity. When they were parched with they had against God, forgetful of what he had done for them; but God did not forget them, he gave them from the flinty rock, and rained down to satisfy their ; and, through his , taught them lessons of in his .

The whole now encamped in the plain, in full view of . Then followed the days of for the great scene which was to make a most vivid upon their minds. The Lord gave express directions in regard to this preparation which must be made by his people. “And the Lord said unto Moses, go unto the people and them today and tomorrow; and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the ; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people, upon .” The people were required to refrain from , and to cultivate devotional thoughts to put away their sins, to be free from all personal uncleanness, and to cherish an abiding sense of the holiness of God whose voice they were soon to hear.

God commanded Moses to put bounds around the mount, that no man or beast should touch it, for God was to sanctify the mount by his presence, and the contact of sinful man with that divine presence would result in the instant death of the former. The people moved about, making these solemn preparations with subdued deportment, and hushed voices, while their eyes were instinctively drawn toward the rugged heights of Mount Horeb. They obeyed the directions of Moses with alacrity, waiting to hear the words of God spoken through him, telling them what next they should do.

The camp was now alive with subdued excitement and expectancy. At length the trumpet is lifted to the lips of Moses, and the word peals forth, Let all the people come now and meet with God! The trumpeters, who have been waiting for this signal, take up the sound and repeat the command all along the line, wakening the resounding echoes of the mountains. The people obey the summons, and hurry from their tents with pale and anxious faces. They gather around the mount, and stand with bated breath, in solemn awe. Every murmur is hushed until the stillness is painful. Suddenly the mighty pealing of a trumpet is heard from the mount, followed by terrific thunder and lightning, while an earthquake shakes the mountain from base to summit, and, from the black and terrible cloud hanging over it like a pall, issues smoke and fiery flames.

The deafening thunder reverberates from mountain top to mountain top, and seems to roll with awful power down the sides of Mount Horeb, and resound throughout the earth. It appears to the people that the mountain will be shattered into fragments and fall upon and cover them. The Hebrews fall prostrate to hide from their eyes the mystery and grandeur of the mount as it groans and trembles under the footsteps of the God of heaven. Wives cling to their husbands and children to their parents in terror, many begging to be removed from the fearful scene. Long concealed sins were there confessed in broken utterances, and repentance and humility softened the hearts and subdued the spirits of the most hardened and reckless.

The Lord now calls to Moses. He answers to the call. Then the Lord bids him come up to him into the mount. The eyes of all are turned toward their leader. Will he dare to go? Moses did not hesitate to obey, but with calm and trustful faith, passed up the quivering mountain with slow and solemn steps, amid smoke and flame, and is lost to the sight of the astonished people, while the mount remained shrouded in darkness, and volumes of thunder rolled down its quaking sides. At length Moses descends the mount.

The scene increases in awful grandeur as God speaks forth his holy law. At length the people instinctively retreat from the mount leaving Moses standing alone. The majesty and terror of this scene brings vividly before our minds the solemn events of the judgment, when the Prince of heaven shall come the second time, and the loud voice of the trumpet shall resound from one end of the earth to the other, penetrate the prison house of death, and break the sleep of the dead, who shall come forward to receive according to the deeds done in the body.

The Hebrews in terror cried to Moses, “Speak thou with us, and let not the Lord speak to us lest we die.” They did not discern their Advocate with the Father, standing between him and sinful man, and claiming the erring people of Israel as the purchase of his own blood. They did not recognize in the voice that caused them such terror the voice of the angel that had conducted their travels from Egypt to Sinai.

Many can only discern in Sinai’s God a Sovereign, Legislator, and Judge; but he has also given us there a true portrayal of his character as a loving as well as a just Father in this record, “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

The Sovereign of the world has made known, in the ten commandments, the principles that should govern mankind. He requires the implicit obedience of his subjects, and if they refuse this, they are disloyal to the God of heaven. Two mighty principles are declared in those ten precepts. On the first table of stone were inscribed the four precepts showing the duty of man to God; and on the second table were the six showing the duty of man to his fellow man. Christ, who spoke the law, declared that all the law and the prophets hang upon the two chief commandments that illustrate those two great principles. They contain in brief the whole duty of man, to love God supremely and to love his neighbor as himself.

The law of the ten commandments, given in awful grandeur from Sinai, can never be repealed while the heavens and the earth remain. All enlightened law and government had its origin in those ten words of the Almighty. Those who speak slightingly of the moral code are blinded by sin, and are on the side of the great rebel, who has ever been at war with the law of God which is the foundation of his government in heaven and on earth. When God issues a proclamation that men are guiltless if they cease to love him, to reverence his name, and to keep holy his Sabbath–then, and not till then will the law of God be abrogated.

God requires of his subjects obedience, not to nine-tenths of the law, but to every one of the ten precepts. They are like the links of a chain; if one is broken the chain is of no value. The violation of one commandment makes us commandment breakers; and we must yield willing obedience to all the precepts of Jehovah if we would be true commandment-keepers, for “He that offendeth in one part is guilty of all.”

Those who profess to be ministers of God, yet teach the people that God’s holy law has no longer any claims upon them, are working directly against Christ. They say to the sinner, You are no longer under the terror of Sinai, and the bondage of the law; only come to Jesus, and believe in him and you will be saved. But how can these teachers define sin to their hearers? The apostle Paul gives us this definition, “Sin is the transgression of the law. What shall we say then, is the law sin? Nay, I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. For without the law sin was dead; for I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came sin revived and I died, wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

David exclaims, “The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.” David had transgressed the law, and the law held him a prisoner until he repented of his sin, and was pardoned through faith in the virtue of the promised Redeemer. There is no power in the law to remove a single defect, nor to save the sinner from the consequence of his transgression. But when the sinner is convicted by the light of the law, then he has a work to do: Repentance toward God because of transgression of his law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinners substitute and surety. Then pardon and free salvation may be his. But Jesus Christ will never save any one who has a knowledge of the law of God, yet lives in transgression of it.

Christ came to earth to maintain and exalt the divine law, by himself suffering the penalty of sin, and to thereby evidence that God will in no wise clear the guilty. Many claim that the law of God is done away with; but Christ said: “Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” The ceremonial law of sacrificial offerings, pointing to Christ, ceased at the death of Christ, but his mission to earth was to vindicate the supreme law of God, not to annul it. If this latter could have been done, the Son of God need not have died to redeem sinful man. But because the law of God was as changeless as his character, it was necessary in order to preserve the authority of the universal Sovereign, and at the same time save man from the consequences of his transgression, that Jesus Christ should die, a sinless offering for a sinful world. The death of Christ therefore testifies to the immutability of God’s law.

Many accept nine of the commandments, but are troubled about the fourth. They see no fault in the first, which commands that we should have no gods before the Infinite One, neither in the second, which prohibits image-worship, nor in the third which provides against the profanation of God’s name. But the fourth seems difficult for them to comprehend; and they inquire why the world at large, and the churches do not observe the seventh day, and especially why the ministers do not teach its observance from their pulpits.

Ministers decide to accept a papal institution in the place of the day which God sanctified and blessed, rather than to be singular from the world, and incur the inconveniences resulting from such a reform. But their disloyalty does not excuse others in showing disrespect to the God of heaven, by trampling upon the sanctity of the day he has set apart for man to observe.

The fourth commandment is the only one that defines who is the living God. It points us back to creation, and to Eden: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed and sanctified the seventh day.” Thus this precept bears the signet or seal of the Creator. The fourth commandment occupies a central position in those regulations which define man’s duty to God, and to his fellow men. It is the golden link which unites finite man to the Infinite God. What authority has man to flout at or object to this prominent precept more than to any one of the other nine?

The specific rules for the government of the social and religious life of the Hebrews, were given to Moses for the Israelites, and embraced the principles of the ten commandments. But those commandments themselves spoken by the voice of God in hearing of all the people, and engraven on the two tables of stone, were given for the benefit of all mankind, and were to endure through all time. Because the transgression of the fourth commandment is so general, does not lessen the sin of the transgressor. God holds man responsible for the observance of every one of his precepts.

Because the professed teachers of the people declare that the Sabbath law is no longer binding upon man, shall we lay aside our Bibles to accept their statement? Shall we trust our-souls to the ministers? Can they answer for us in the day of God? When Christ announced that he was the Anointed One, if the Jews had searched the Scriptures for themselves, to ascertain if his words were true, they would not have been wrapped in error and bigotry. But they believed what the priests and rulers told them, that Christ was an impostor, and darkness closed about them. We do not wish to place ourselves in a position similar to that of the unbelieving Jews. We would follow the injunction of our Saviour: “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.”

The transgressor of the divine law will be in a fearful position in the day of God. No tears or prayers, or reformation can justify him before the Almighty. There is but one name given under heaven and among men that can save the sinner from the condemnation of the law. The name of Jesus is efficacious to the sinner during his probation. Jesus never broke the law of his Father; he honored and magnified it, and bore its curse for us. Repentance toward God, and simple faith in the blood of Christ, and obedience to the law of God will save the sinner; for Christ will then impute to him his righteous character. But the blood of Christ will never atone for a sin unrepented and unconfessed.

Oh that the people would seek wisdom for themselves, and consider the great truths of God’s word! Their eternal interests are involved in these matters, and none can afford to make a mistake. All our difficulties and questioning doubts will depart, if we but accept Christ as our teacher, and learn wisdom of him.

Jenny @ 4:14 pm