The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
August 28, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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(Concluded.)

felt much as will feel when the vials of shall be poured out upon them. Black like a pall of will gather about their guilty , and then they will realize to the fullest extent the of . has been purchased for them by the and of the . It might be theirs if they would accept of it willingly, gladly; but none are compelled to yield to the . If they refuse the benefit, if they choose the and of , they can have their choice, and at the end receive their wages, which is the and . They will be , separated from the presence of , whose they had despised. They will have lost a life of , and sacrificed , for the for a season.

and trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ, because had removed the assurance he had heretofore given his beloved Son of his approbation and acceptance. The of the world then relied upon the evidences which had hitherto strengthened him, that his Father accepted his labors and was pleased with his work. In his dying agony, as he yields up his precious life, he has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been his joy to obey. He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand nor on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom. Amid the awful darkness which is felt even by sympathizing nature, the Redeemer drains the mysterious cup to its dregs. Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be his in the near future, he cries with a loud voice, “Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” He is acquainted with the character of his Father, his justice, his mercy, and great love. In submission he drops into the hands of his Father. Amid the convulsions of nature are heard by the amazed spectators the dying words of the Man of Calvary, “It is finished.”

Nature sympathized with the sufferings of its Author. The heaving earth, the rent rocks, and the terrific darkness, proclaimed that it was the Son of God that died. There was a mighty earthquake. The vail of the temple was rent in twain. Terror seized the executioners and spectators as they beheld the sun veiled in darkness, and felt the earth shake beneath them, and saw and heard the rending of the rocks. The mocking and jeering of the chief priests and elders was hushed as Christ commended his spirit into the hands of his Father. The astonished throng began to withdraw, and grope their way in the darkness to the city. They smote upon their breasts as they went, and in terror, speaking scarcely above a whisper, said among themselves, “It is an innocent person that has been murdered. What if, indeed, he is, as he asserted, the Son of God?”

Jesus did not yield up his life till he had accomplished the work which he came to do, and exclaimed with his departing breath, “It is finished!” Satan was then defeated. He knew that his kingdom was lost. Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered, “It is finished.” The great plan of redemption, which was dependent on the death of Christ, had thus far been carried out. And there was joy in Heaven that the sons of Adam could, through a life of obedience, be finally exalted to the throne of God. Oh, what love! What amazing love! that brought the Son of God to earth to be made sin for us, that we might be reconciled to God, and elevated to a life with him in his mansions in glory. And oh! what is man that such a price should be paid for his redemption?

When men and women can more fully comprehend the magnitude of the great sacrifice which was made by the Majesty of Heaven in dying in man’s stead, then will the plan of salvation be magnified, and reflections of Calvary will awaken sacred and living emotions in the Christian’s heart. Praises to God and the Lamb will be in their hearts and upon their lips. Pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the hearts that keep fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary. This world will appear of but little value to those who appreciate the great price of man’s redemption.

All the riches of the world are not of sufficient value to redeem one perishing soul. Who can measure the love Christ felt for a lost world, as he hung upon the cross, suffering for the sins of guilty men? This love was immeasurable, infinite. 

Christ has shown that his love was stronger than death. Even when suffering the most fearful conflicts with the powers of darkness, his love for perishing sinners increased. He endured the hidings of his Father’s countenance, until he was led to exclaim in the bitterness of his soul, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” His arm brought salvation. The price was paid to purchase the redemption of man, when, in the last soul-struggle, the blessed words were uttered, which seemed to resound through creation, “It is finished.”

Many who profess to be Christians become excited over worldly enterprises, and their interest is awakened for new and exciting amusements, while they are cold-hearted, and appear as if frozen in the cause of God. But here is a theme, poor formalist, which is of sufficient importance to excite you. Eternal interests are here involved. The scenes of Calvary call for the deepest emotions. Upon this subject you will be excusable if you manifest enthusiasm. That Christ, so excellent, so innocent, should suffer such a painful death, bearing the weight of the sins of the world, our thoughts and imaginations can never fully reach, so that we can comprehend the length, the breadth, the height, and the depth, of such amazing love. The contemplation of the matchless love of the Saviour, should fill and absorb the mind, touch and melt the soul, refine and elevate the affections, and completely transform the whole character. The language of the apostle is, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” And we may look toward Calvary, and also exclaim, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Considering at what an immense cost our salvation has been purchased, what will be the portion of those who neglect so great salvation? What will be the punishment of those who profess to be followers of Christ, yet fail to bow in humble obedience to the claims of their Redeemer, and who do not take the cross, as humble disciples of Christ!

Some have limited views of the atonement. They think that Christ suffered only a small portion of the penalty of the law of God, and that while the wrath of God was felt by his dear Son, they suppose that he had, through all his painful sufferings, the evidence of his Father’s love and acceptance, and that the portals of the tomb before him were illuminated with bright hope. Here is a great mistake. Christ’s keenest anguish was a sense of his Father’s displeasure. His mental agony because of this was of such intensity that man can have but faint conception of it.

With many the history of the humiliation and sacrifice of our divine Lord does not stir the soul and affect the life any more, nor awaken deeper interest, than to read of the death of the martyrs of Jesus. Many have suffered death by slow tortures. Others have suffered death by crucifixion. In what does the death of God’s dear Son differ from these? It is true he died upon the cross a most cruel death; yet others for his dear sake have suffered equally, as far as bodily torture is concerned. Why, then, was the suffering of Christ more dreadful than that of other persons who have yielded their lives for his sake? If the sufferings of Christ consisted in physical pain alone, then his death was no more painful than that of some of the martyrs.

But bodily pain was only a small part of the agony of God’s dear Son. The sins of the world were upon him, and also the sense of his Father’s wrath as he suffered the penalty of the law. It was these that crushed his divine soul. It was the hiding of his Father’s face, a sense that his own dear Father had forsaken him, which brought despair. The separation that sin makes between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness. He had not one ray of light to brighten the future. And he was struggling with the power of Satan, who was declaring that Christ was in his hands, and that he was superior in strength to the Son of God, that God had disowned his Son, and that he was no longer in the favor of God any more than himself. If he was indeed still in favor with God, why need he die? God could save him from death.

Christ yielded not in the least degree to the torturing foe, even in his bitterest anguish. Legions of evil angels were all about the Son of God, yet the holy angels were bidden not to break their ranks and engage in conflict with the taunting, reviling foe. Heavenly angels were not permitted to minister unto the anguished spirit of the Son of God. It was in this terrible hour of darkness, the face of his Father hidden, legions of evil angels enshrouding him, the sins of the world upon him, that the words were wrenched from his lips, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

We should take larger, broader, and deeper views of the life, sufferings, and death of God’s dear Son. When the atonement is viewed correctly, the salvation of souls will be felt to be of infinite value. In comparison with the worth of everlasting life everything else sinks into insignificance. But how have the counsels of this loving Saviour been despised by many. The heart’s devotions have been to the world, and selfish interests have closed the door against the Son of God. Hollow hypocrisy and pride, selfishness and gain, envy, malice, and passion, have so filled the hearts of many that Christ can have no room.

He was eternally rich, “yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” He was clothed with light and glory, surrounded with hosts of heavenly angels awaiting to execute his commands. Yet he put on our nature, and came to sojourn among sinful men. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” Here is love that no language can express. Our souls should be enlivened, elevated, and enraptured with the theme of the love of the Father and the Son. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The followers of Christ should learn here to reflect back in some degree that mysterious love, preparatory to joining all the redeemed in ascribing “Blessings, and honor, and glory, and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”

Jenny @ 5:55 pm
March 27, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                                Chapter Ten.
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                             By Mrs. E. G. White.
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selected Abraham to carry out his will. He was directed to leave his nation, and separate from his kindred. The Lord had revealed himself to Abraham in his youth, and given him , and preserved him from . He designed to make him an example of and true , for his people who should afterward live upon . His was marked for , , and . He commanded respect as a mighty prince among the people. His and love for , and his strict in performing his will, gained for him the respect of his servants and neighbors. His godly example and course, united with his instructions to his servants and all his household, led them also to fear, love, and reverence the God of Abraham. The Lord appeared to Abraham, and promised him that his seed should be like the for number. He also made known to him, through the figure of the horror of great darkness which came upon him, the long, servile bondage of his descendants in Egypt.

In the beginning, God gave to Adam one wife, thus showing his order. He never designed that man should have a plurality of wives. Lamech was the first who departed in this respect from God’s wise arrangement. He had two wives, which created discord in his family. The envy and jealousy of both made Lamech unhappy. When men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, they took them wives of all whom they chose. This was one of the great sins of the inhabitants of the old world, which brought the wrath of God upon them. This custom was practiced after the flood, and became so common that even righteous men fell into the practice, and had a plurality of wives. Yet it was no less sin because they became corrupted, and departed in this thing from God’s order.

The Lord said of Noah who, with his family, was saved in the ark, “For thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Noah had but one wife; and their united family discipline was blessed of God. Because Noah’s sons were righteous, they were preserved in the ark with their father. God has not sanctioned polygamy in a single instance. It was contrary to his will. He knew that the happiness of man would be destroyed by it. Abraham’s peace was greatly marred by his unhappy marriage with Hagar.

After Abraham’s separation from Lot, the Lord said to him, “Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” “The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” “And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed; and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.”

As Abraham had no son, he at first thought that his trusty servant, Eliezer, should become his son by adoption, and his heir. But God informed Abraham that his servant should not be his son and his heir, but that he should really have a son. “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell me the stars, if thou be able to number them; and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”

If Abraham and Sarah had waited in confiding faith for the fulfillment of the promise that they should have a son, much unhappiness would have been avoided. They believed that it would be just as God had promised, but could not believe that Sarah, in her old age, would have a son. Sarah suggested a plan whereby she thought the promise of God could be fulfilled. She entreated Abraham to take Hagar as his wife. In this they both lacked faith, and a perfect trust in the power of God. By yielding to the advice of Sarah, and taking Hagar as his wife, Abraham failed to endure the test of his faith in God’s unlimited power, and brought upon himself, and upon Sarah, much unhappiness. The Lord intended to prove the faith of Abraham and his reliance upon the promises which he had made him.

Hagar was proud and boastful, and carried herself haughtily before Sarah. She flattered herself that she was to be the mother of the great nation which God had promised to make of Abraham. And Abraham was compelled to listen to the complaints from Sarah in regard to the conduct of Hagar, charging him with wrong in the matter. Abraham is grieved, and tells Sarah that Hagar is her servant, and that she can have the control of her, but he refuses to send her away, for she is to be the mother of his child through whom he thinks the promise is to be fulfilled. He informs Sarah that he would not have taken Hagar for his wife if it had not been her special request. Abraham was also compelled to listen to Hagar’s complaints of abuse from Sarah. Abraham is in perplexity. If he seeks to redress the wrongs of Hagar, he increases the jealousy and unhappiness of Sarah, his first and much-loved wife. Hagar fled from the face of Sarah. An angel of God meets her, and comforts her, and also reproves her for her haughty conduct, in bidding her return to her mistress, and submit herself under her hands.

After the birth of Ishmael, the Lord again manifested himself to Abraham, and said unto him, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant.” Again the Lord repeated by his angel his promise to give Sarah a son, and that she should be a mother of many nations. Abraham did not yet understand the promise of God. His mind immediately rests upon Ishmael, as though through him would come the many nations promised, and he exclaims, in his affection for his son, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!”

Again the promise is more definitely repeated to Abraham: “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” Angels are sent to Abraham on their way to destroy Sodom, and they more distinctly repeat the promise that Sarah shall have a son.

After the birth of Isaac, the great joy manifested by Abraham and Sarah caused Hagar to be very jealous. Ishmael had been instructed by his mother that he was to be especially blessed of God, as the son of Abraham, and to be heir to that which was promised to his father. Ishmael partook of his mother’s feelings, and was angry because of the joy manifested at the birth of Isaac. He despised Isaac, because he thought that he was preferred before himself. Sarah saw the disposition manifested by Ishmael against her son Isaac, and she was greatly moved. She related to Abraham the disrespectful conduct of Ishmael to her, and to her son, and said to him, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.”

Abraham is greatly distressed. Ishmael is his son, beloved by him. How can he send him away! He prays to God in his perplexity, for he knows not what course to take. The Lord, through his angels, directs Abraham to listen to the voice of Sarah his wife, and not to let his affection for his son, or for Hagar, prevent his compliance with her wishes. For this was the only course he could pursue to restore harmony and happiness again to his family. Abraham had the consoling promise from the angel, that Ishmael, although separated from his father’s house, should not die, nor be forsaken of God; he should be preserved because he was the son of Abraham. God also promised to make of Ishmael a great nation.

Abraham was of a noble, benevolent disposition, as was manifested in his pleading so earnestly for the people of Sodom. His strong spirit suffered much. He was bowed with grief, and his paternal feelings were deeply moved as he sent away Hagar and his son Ishmael to wander as strangers in a strange land.

If God had sanctioned polygamy, he would not have thus directed Abraham to send away Hagar and her son. He would teach all a lesson in this, that the rights and happiness of the marriage relation are ever to be respected and guarded, even at a great sacrifice. Sarah was the first and only true wife of Abraham. As a wife and mother, she was entitled to rights which no other in the family could have. She reverenced her husband, calling him lord; but she was jealous lest his affections should be divided with Hagar. God did not rebuke Sarah for the course which she pursued. Abraham was reproved by the angels for distrusting God’s power, which had led him to take Hagar as his wife, and to think that through her the promise would be fulfilled.

Again the Lord saw fit to test the faith of Abraham by a most fearful trial. If he had patiently waited for the promise of God to be fulfilled in his own time and manner, and had not sought to make a providence himself, he would not have been subjected to the closest test that was ever required of man. The Lord directed his faithful servant to go into the land of Moriah, and there offer up Isaac, the son of promise, as a burnt-offering.

Abraham was one hundred and twenty years old when this terrible and startling command came to him, in a vision of the night. He was to travel three days’ journey, and would have ample time for reflection. Fifty years previous, at the divine command, he had left father and mother, relatives and friends, and had become a pilgrim and a stranger in a land not his own. He had obeyed the direction of God to send away his son Ishmael to wander in the wilderness. His soul was bowed down with grief at this separation, and his faith was sorely tried, yet he submitted because God required it.

But now a trial was before him which caused all his other afflictions to appear insignificant. The words of the command were calculated to stir his soul to the depths: “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Over and over again did the grief-stricken father exclaim, Oh! my son, my son, would to God my life could be accepted in the place of thine; then should my light not go out in darkness. Abraham arose before day, and as he looked up to the starry heavens, he called to mind the promise which God had made to him fifty years before: “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them. And he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” And now the same voice had commanded him to slay his only son, through whom the promise was to be fulfilled.

Abraham was tempted to believe that after all this might be a delusion. Stricken with grief, he bowed before God, and prayed as never before for a confirmation of this strange command, for greater light if he must perform this terrible duty. He remembered the angels sent to tell him of God’s purpose to destroy Sodom, and those who bore to him the promise that he should have this same son Isaac. He walked forth where he had several times met the heavenly messengers, hoping to meet them again and receive some special direction from them; but he gained no light, darkness seemed to close about him, day was approaching, and he must be on his journey before light.

He first passed to the couch upon which Isaac slept in peaceful innocency; he was the joy of his heart, the comfort of his old age. Abraham’s lips quivered, he turned quickly away, and looked upon Sarah who was also quietly sleeping. He knew that Isaac was her pride, that her heart was entwined with his. Should he awake her, that she might look upon her son for the last time? Should he tell her the requirement of God? He knew that he himself had strength of faith, and confidence in God; he did not know the strength of Sarah’s faith; but he did know the strength of her love for Isaac.

He passed from one sleeper to the other, undecided in regard to the wisest course to pursue. He finally awakened Isaac, and informed him that he was commanded of God to offer sacrifice upon a distant mountain, and that he must accompany him. He called his servants, and made every necessary preparation for his long journey. If he could have unburdened his mind to Sarah, and they together have borne the suffering and responsibility, it might have brought him some relief; but he decided that this would not do; for her heart was bound up in her son, and she might hinder him. Abraham went forth on his journey, with Satan by his side to suggest unbelief and impossibility.

While walking by the side of Isaac, the patriarch could not engage in conversation as usual, for a deep sorrow was concealed in his own breast. The night approaches, the longest day Abraham ever experienced has come to a close. He saw his loved son Isaac and the servants locked in slumber, but he could not sleep. He spent the night in prayer, still hoping that some heavenly messenger would appear to tell him that it is enough, that he may return to Sarah, with Isaac unharmed.

No new light dawned upon the tortured soul of Abraham. A heavy pressure was upon him, but he staggered not at the promise. He reasoned not that his posterity, which was to be as the stars, must now come through Ishmael, for God had plainly stated that through Isaac should the promise be fulfilled. Then again was that voice ringing in his ears, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” That terrible command which would leave him childless can scarcely be realized. He rises early to continue his toilsome journey. Satan whispers doubts, but Abraham resists his suggestions.

Jenny @ 10:02 am
February 6, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                                  Chapter Five,
                               Cain and Abel.
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                              By Mrs. E. G. White
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and , the sons of , were very unlike in . Both acknowledged , both professed to him; but while Abel loved and feared God, Cain cherished feelings, and murmured against him because of the sentence pronounced upon Adam, and because the ground was cursed for his . These brothers had been instructed in regard to the provision for the of the . They were required to carry out a system of humble , showing their for God, and their entire dependence upon the promised by slaying the firstlings of the flock, and in the most solemn manner presenting them, with the , as an to God. Thus they were ever to keep before their minds the consequences of , and the promise of a to come.

God had made known to Adam that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin. But Cain was unwilling to follow strictly the plan of obedience, to procure a lamb and offer it with the fruit of the earth. He brought only an offering of the fruit, thus disregarding the requirement of God. And he was not even particular to bring the best of the fruits. Abel advised his brother not to come before the Lord without the blood of a sacrifice; but Cain, being the eldest, would not listen to him. He despised his counsel, and with murmuring and infidelity in his heart with regard to the promised Sacrifice, and the necessity of the sacrificial offerings, he presented his gift.

Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock, as God had commanded, and with full faith in the Messiah to come he presented the offering. God had respect unto this sacrifice, and fire came down from Heaven and consumed it. But Cain saw no manifestation that his offering was accepted.

Abel came in God’s appointed way, while Cain followed the promptings of his own heart, in opposition to the command of God. “By faith, Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” As Abel looked upon the expiring victim he was impressed with the painful fact that the wages of sin is death. He saw that it was transgression of God’s law which had separated man from his Creator, and that the sacrifice of life alone could meet the claims of the broken law. Through the dying struggles and streaming blood of the victim, he saw by faith the Son of God dying for the guilty race.

An important lesson may be learned from the history of the offerings of Cain and Abel. The claims of infinite justice, and the demands of God’s law, can be met only by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The most costly offering that man may bring to God, the fruit of his toil, his physical and intellectual acquirements, already belong to his Creator. Man has nothing which he has not received. Neither material wealth nor intellectual greatness will atone for the sin of the soul. Cain scorned the idea that it was necessary to come to God with an offering of blood. In the same spirit many in our day refuse to believe that the blood of Christ was shed as a sacrifice for the sins of men. Although Cain chose to disregard the command of God, he brought his offering with great confidence. He looked upon it as the fruit of his own labor, and hence as belonging to himself; and in presenting it to God he felt that he was placing his Creator under obligations to him. The popular religion of the day virtually teaches the same thing, that men may by their good works merit the blessing of God. Many feel that it is a condescension on their part to make a profession of religion; and that in so doing they are conferring a favor upon God. And there are multitudes who have no desire to come to God’s terms, but who make terms for themselves, and expect God to accept them. Such a religion is of the same character as that of Cain. The great question should be, What can I do to meet the approval of God? not, How can I best please myself?

Abel trusted wholly in the merits of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. It was this faith that connected him with God. The promise of a Redeemer was dimly understood; but the sacrificial offerings cast light upon the promise. Cain had the same opportunity of learning and accepting these truths as had Abel. God did not accept one and reject the other without sufficient reason. Abel believed and obeyed; Cain doubted and rebelled. God is no respecter of persons, yet he will reward the obedient, and punish the disobedient.

When Cain saw that his offering was not accepted, he was very angry with the Lord, and with his brother. But God, in his infinite mercy, condescended to send an angel to Cain, to converse with him. The angel inquired the reason of his anger, and informed him that if he would follow the directions which God had given he would respect his offering. But if he would not humbly submit to God’s arrangements, and believe and obey him, his offering could not be accepted.

There had been no injustice on the part of God, and no partiality shown to Abel; if he would do well he would be accepted of God, and his brother should listen to him, and he should take the lead, because he was the eldest. But even after being thus faithfully instructed, Cain did not repent. Instead of censuring and abhorring himself for his unbelief, he still complained of the injustice and partiality of God. And in his jealousy and hatred he contended with Abel, and reproached him. Abel meekly pointed out his brother’s error, and endeavored to convince him that the wrong was in himself. But Cain hated his brother from the moment that God manifested to him the tokens of his acceptance. Abel sought to appease his wrath by pointing to the compassion of God in saving the lives of their parents, when he might have brought upon them immediate death. He told Cain that God loved them, or he would not have given his Son, innocent and holy, to suffer the wrath which man by his disobedience deserved to bear. While Abel justified the plan of God, Cain became enraged, and his anger increased and burned against Abel because he would not join him in his rebellion, until in his rage he slew him.

God inquired of Cain for his brother, and he attempted to conceal his guilt by uttering a falsehood: “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” God informed Cain that he knew in regard to his sin,–that he was acquainted with his every act, and even the thoughts of his heart, and said to him, “Thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” The curse at first pronounced upon the earth had been felt but lightly; but now a double curse rested upon it.

Cain and Abel represent the two classes, the righteous and the wicked, the believers and unbelievers, which should exist from the fall of man to the second coming of Christ. Cain slaying his brother Abel, represents the wicked who will be envious of the righteous, and will hate them because they are better than themselves. They will be jealous of the righteous, and will persecute and put them to death because their right-doing condemns their sinful course.

Adam’s life was one of sorrow, humility, and continual repentance. As he taught his children and grand-children the fear of the Lord, he was often bitterly reproached for the sin which had resulted in so much misery to his posterity. When he left beautiful Eden, the thought that he must die thrilled him with horror. He looked upon death as a dreadful calamity. He was first made acquainted with the terrible reality of death in the human family by his own son Cain slaying his brother Abel. Filled with the bitterest remorse for his own transgression, deprived of his son Abel, and looking upon Cain as his murderer, and knowing the curse which God had pronounced upon him, Adam’s heart was bowed down with grief. Most bitterly did he reproach himself for his first great transgression. He entreated pardon from God through the promised Sacrifice. Deeply had he felt the wrath of God for his crime committed in Paradise. He witnessed the general corruption which finally provoked God to destroy the inhabitants of the earth by a flood. Though the sentence of death pronounced upon him by his Maker at first appeared so terrible to him, yet after he had lived some hundreds of years, it looked just and merciful in God, thus to bring to an end a miserable life.

As Adam witnessed the first signs of decay in the falling leaf and in the drooping flowers, he mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The dying flowers were not so great a cause of grief, because they were more tender and delicate; but when the tall stately trees cast off their leaves to decay, it presented before him the general dissolution of beautiful nature, which God had created for the especial benefit of man.

To his children, and to their children, to the ninth generation, Adam delineated the perfections of his Eden home; and also his fall and its dreadful results, and the load of grief brought upon him on account of the rupture in his family, which ended in the death of Abel. He related to them the sufferings which God had brought him through to teach him the necessity of strictly adhering to his law. He declared to them that sin would be punished, in whatever form it existed; and he entreated them to obey God, who would deal mercifully with them if they should love and fear him.

Adam was commanded to teach his descendants the fear of the Lord, and, by his example of humble obedience, lead them to highly regard the offerings which typified a Saviour to come. Adam carefully treasured what God had revealed to him, and handed it down by word of mouth to his children and children’s children. By this means the knowledge of God was preserved.

The Sabbath was instituted in Eden and observed by our first parents before the fall. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from Eden; but they observed the Sabbath after their fall. They had experienced the bitter fruits of disobedience, and learned what every one who tramples upon God’s commands will sooner or later learn, that God means just what he says, and that he will surely punish the transgressor. Those who venture to lightly esteem the day upon which Jehovah rested, the day which he sanctified and blessed, the day which he has commanded to be kept holy, will yet know that all the precepts of his law are alike sacred, and that death is the penalty of the transgression.

On account of the special honors which God had conferred upon the seventh day, he required his people to number by sevens, lest they should forget their Creator who made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. The descendants of Cain were not careful to respect the day upon which God had rested. They chose their own time for labor and for rest, regardless of Jehovah’s special command. There were two distinct classes upon the earth. One class were in open rebellion against God’s law, while the other obeyed his commandments, and revered his Sabbath.

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