The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 15, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued.)

That which leads its subjects to enclose themselves in walls, excluding themselves from their , and not doing the good they might, cannot be the . The world is no better for their living in it, because they shed no in . These live for themselves, and bring no to , for they hide away from man as though ashamed of the light which they claim to have.

The “” will not be spoken to this class. is our example. He sought for men wherever he could find them; in private houses, in the public streets, in the , or by the lake side, that he might let shine upon those who in the of , needed it so much.

The should as Christ labored. They may look to him in expecting that he will help them. We cannot trust him too much. We cannot place too high an estimate upon his and to save to the uttermost all who come unto him. who are trying to teach others the way to life are not all acquainted with the way themselves. They have not received from Jesus, the light of the world, beams of light to shine forth to others in good works. They are not willing to give up their will and their plans and be led by the divine hand, and thus connect with the Lord of light that they may not walk in darkness. Many will not deny self and lift the cross and follow where Jesus leads. He has said “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”

When the soul is illuminated by God’s Spirit, the whole character is elevated, the mental conceptions are enlarged, and the affections no longer centering upon self, shine forth in good works to others, attracting them to the beauty and brightness of Christ’s glory.

The dear Saviour loved his disciples. His own heart was grieved and wounded at the disappointment they would experience in the near future, for he knew his steps were already leading in the path to Calvary. He sought opportunities to speak with them alone, without the jealous eyes of the Pharisees upon them. He would tell them plainly in regard to the trials which they must endure for his name’s sake. Their physical and moral courage was to endure a severe test and he would prepare them for the ordeal. His lessons to them were at a time of a positive and exacting character. He could make his discourses terribly impressive. He said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” He would have them understand that unless they were guarded, outward forms and a round of ceremonies would take the place of the inner work of the grace of God upon the heart. It was not the sticklers of the law that would be justified, but the doer of the will of our Father which is in Heaven. 

He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; for what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Those teachers who ignore works and would teach that all you have to do is to believe in Christ, are rebuked by the Saviour of the world. Faith is made perfect by works. The cry will come to us from the servers of Mammon: You are too exacting; we cannot be saved by works. Was Christ exacting? He placed the salvation of man, not upon his believing, not upon his profession, but upon his faith made perfect by his works. Doing, and not saying merely, was required of the followers of Christ. Principle is always exacting. Our country claims of fathers and mothers, their sons, the brothers, the husbands, to be given up, to leave their homes for the field of carnage and bloodshed. They must go and face peril, endure privation and hunger, weariness and loneliness; they must make long marches, footsore and weary, through heat of summer and through winter’s cold; they run the risk of life. They are compelled to follow the commander. Sometimes they are not even allowed time to eat. And all this severe experience is in consequence of sin. There is an enemy to meet, an enemy to be resisted; enemies of our country will destroy her peace and bring disaster and ruin, unless driven back and repulsed. Conquer or die is the motto.

Thus it is with the Christian warfare. We have an enemy which we must meet, who is vigilant; who is not off his guard one moment. The claims of our country are not higher than the claims of God. If hardships are borne and trials endured by our soldiers fighting in behalf of the country to obtain the mastery and bring into obedience the rebellious, how much more willing should the soldiers of Christ endure privation, self denial, and any taxation for Christ’s sake. The captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering that he might bring many sons and daughters to the Lord. We are standing under the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ. We are to meet Satan and his host. We must conquer in the name of Jesus or be conquered. Armed with the mind of Christ we shall be more than overcomers. As faithful soldiers of the cross we are not to fight against principalities and powers, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. There is no rest in this war, no release. Obedience and faith must characterize us as Christ’s servants. Our Redeemer unfolded before his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the chief priests and elders, and be killed and be raised again from the dead the third day. He was already standing under the shadow of the cross. He fully comprehended the great work he came to do, and he would have his disciples understand the greatness of this work, and the responsibilities which would rest upon them in the performance of their duty in carrying forward his work when he should leave them. The grandeur and glory of the future life is in the thoughts and feelings which exercise the minds of the disciples while they are listening to the words spoken by the great Teacher. If ministers of Christ, who attempt to teach the truth to others, would look constantly to Jesus as to a tried friend, believing in him that he will relieve their necessities and that they will have his sympathy and support, they would find the blessedness and joy that can come only from the Light of the world.

This light, shining upon man, quickens the paralyzed capacities, kindles to a flame the spiritual life. It is the work of Christ to enlighten, to lift up man, darkened and degraded, because the slave of sin, and make him a fit companion of the holy angels in the highest Heavens. He calls men to carry forward his work, not by the words of eloquence and oratory alone, but in letting their light shine forth to others in good works. The love which was exhibited by Christ for fallen man, is the golden chain which binds the believing heart in union with the heart of Christ. Christians connected with him, answer to his claims of willing service to love and labor for the souls for whom he died.

Prayer, earnest, humble prayer, offered in faith amid the hours of darkness and gloom, brings light from Heaven to the soul. Peace comes to every heart for every prayer offered in faith. The soul is lifted above the clouds of darkness and error, conflicts and passion. Light, precious light, flashes from the throne of God, and is fitting up feeble man to become God’s messengers in shedding light to the world. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy and love exhibited, are the lights which shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness which comes of selfishness and unrestrained passion of the natural heart, into which the light of life has never shone.

At each large gathering of the people, the disciples of Christ anticipated that the time had come for him to commence his reign as Prince upon the throne of David.

As they witnessed his power from day to day in works no other man had ever done or ever could do, they kept hope active in their hearts that he would one day surprise them with an open avowal of his kingly authority. They did not fully renounce the idea that his earthly kingdom would be established, the Roman yoke be broken from their necks, and they enjoy with him great honor and glory. This sermon upon the mount disappointed their expectations of earthly glory. Upon this occasion Christ more clearly revealed the character of his kingdom and the principles which should govern it given in the beatitudes. Matt. 5. In this discourse was embodied the principles of the moral law, laying down at once the whole sum and substance of the plan of true religion in specifying the kind of characters which would be essential for the subjects of his kingdom.

He that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God, while many who have a form of godliness and not the power, may be content to speak the truth in a spirit of contention, engaging in controversy, talking long and loud in a bitter spirit. Such reflect no light, while the servant of God who has kindled his taper from the divine altar and is obeying the truth, is a living, walking, working representative of the power of the truth upon the heart. He is a living epistle known and read of all men. Such a life is the light of the world; of such Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren. He will say of them as of Nathanael “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” 

Those who obey the commandments of God are here represented by Christ as the fit subjects of his kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, who feel that all their hopes of Heaven and happiness depend wholly upon the merit of Christ, that there is no merit or worthiness in them. Happy are they that mourn their own unlikeness to Christ, mourn their own sinfulness and grieve over the sins of their neighbors.

These are represented by the prophet of God as the sighing and crying ones because of the abominations done in the land. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful and the pure in heart, and happy are the peace-makers. Blessed are they who shall suffer persecution, because they cherish and exemplify in their life these heavenly attributes, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus prayed! The majesty of Heaven prayed! He wept in behalf of man. Prayer, faithful, earnest prayer will move the arm that moves the world. The minister of Christ must pray if he would have the refreshing from the presence of God. The church must pray much if they would walk in the light, as he is in the light.                                    Mrs. E. G. White

Jenny @ 7:21 pm
August 7, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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.” And his matchless love manifested toward , in the gift of his , amazed . “For so loved the world that he gave his , that whosoever on him should not , but have .” He was ’s “appointed of all things, by whom also he made .” He was the “brightness of his , and the express image of his person.” And he upheld “all things by the word of his .” He possessed excellence and greatness. It pleased that in him all fullness should dwell. And “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Yet he “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a , and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto , even the death of the .”

The consented to die in the ’s stead, that man might, by a life of obedience, escape the penalty of the law of God. His death did not slay the law, lessen its holy claims, nor detract from its sacred dignity. The death of Christ proclaimed the justice of his Father’s law in punishing the transgressor, in that he consented to suffer the penalty in order to save fallen man from its curse. The death of God’s beloved Son on the cross shows the immutability of God’s law. His death magnifies the law and makes it honorable, and gives evidence of its changeless character. From his own lips is heard, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The death of the divine Son justified the claims of the divine law. In order to more fully realize the value of redemption, it is necessary to understand what it cost. In consequence of limited views of the sufferings of the divine Son of God, many place a low estimate upon the great work of the atonement.

The plan of redemption, embracing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, was first preached to Adam. It was to him the star of hope, lighting up the dark and dreaded future. Adam saw that Christ was the only door of hope through which he could enter and have life. The plan of saving sinners through Christ alone was the same in the days of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and every successive generation of those who lived before the advent of Christ, as it is in our day. The patriarchs, prophets, and all the holy martyrs from righteous Abel, looked forward to a coming Saviour, in whom they showed their faith by sacrificial offerings. At the crucifixion the typical system of sacrifices was done away by the great antitypical offering. The sacrifice of beasts shadowed forth the sinless offering of God’s dear Son, and pointed forward to his death upon the cross. But at the crucifixion type met antitype, and the typical system there ceased; but not one jot or tittle of the moral code was abrogated at the death of Christ.

The Son of God is the center of the great plan of redemption, which unit plan covers all dispensations. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” He is the Redeemer of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam in all the ages of human probation. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Christ is the substance or body which cast its shadow back into former dispensations. And when Christ died the shadow ceased. The transgression of the moral code made the shadowy system necessary. And at the death of Christ, which event had been shadowed forth by the blood of beasts from the time of Adam, these offerings, and not the law of God, the violation of which had made them necessary, was abolished.

The gospel preached to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses was to them good news; for their faith embraced a coming Saviour. A more clear and glorious light now shines upon the Christian world; for in the Jewish age the cross cast its shadow away back to the time when Adam left his Eden home. That which was faith to the ancients, who lived before Christ, is assurance to us, as we see that Christ has come, as foretold by the prophets. It is as essential, no more so, and no less, that we have faith in a Redeemer who has come and died our sacrifice, as it was for the ancients to believe in a Redeemer to come, whom they represented by their typical sacrifices.

The Son of God, in becoming man’s substitute, and bearing the curse which should fall upon man, has pledged himself in behalf of the race to maintain the sacred claims and exalted honor of his Father’s law. His work and mission was to convince men of sin, which is the transgression of that law, and through the divine mediation, bring them back to obedience to his perfect law. The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through his mediatorial work he may completely vindicate the binding claims and the holiness of every principle of his law.

After Christ was baptized of John in Jordan, he came up out of the water, and bowing upon the banks of the river, he prayed with fervency to his Heavenly Father for strength to endure the conflict with the prince of darkness in which he was about to engage. The heavens were opened to his prayer and the light of God’s glory, brighter than the sun at noonday, came from the throne of the Eternal, and, assuming the form of a dove with the appearance of burnished gold, encircled the Son of God, while the clear voice from the excellent glory was heard in terrible majesty, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Here was the assurance to the Son of God that his Father accepted the fallen race through their representative, and that he had granted them a second trial. The communication between Heaven and earth, between God and man, which had been broken by the fall of Adam, was resumed. He who knew no sin, became sin for the race, that his righteousness might be imputed to man. Through the perfection of Christ’s character, man was elevated in the scale of moral value with God; and through the merits of Christ, finite man was linked to the Infinite. Thus the gulf which sin had made was bridged by the world’s Redeemer.

But few have a true sense of the great privileges which Christ gained for man by thus opening Heaven before him. The Son of God was then the representative of our race; and the special power and glory which the Majesty of Heaven conferred upon him, and his words of approval, are the surest pledge of his love and good will to man. As Christ’s intercessions in our behalf were heard, the evidence was given to man that God will accept our prayers in our own behalf through the name of Jesus. The continued, earnest prayer of faith will bring us light and strength to withstand the fiercest assaults of Satan.

The light and strength of one day to the Christian will not be sufficient for the trials and conflicts of the next. Satan is now constantly changing his temptations, as he did with Christ. Every day we may be placed in new positions, and may have new and unexpected temptations. We may as consistently expect to be sustained on the morrow by food eaten today, as to depend upon present light and present blessings for future strength. Weak and sinful man cannot be safe unless God shall daily manifest his light and impart to him his strength.

It is of the highest importance that God manifest his will to us in the daily concerns of life; for the most important results frequently depend upon small occurrences. The more we become acquainted with God through his divine light, the more sensible shall we become of our weaknesses, and that we cannot live without him. We should ever feel that we need a sure guide to direct our faltering steps.

The life of a living Christian is a life of living prayer. The path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The Christian’s life is one of progression. He goes forward from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory, receiving from Heaven the light which Christ, at infinite cost to himself, made it possible for man to obtain. The Christian cannot let his light shine properly unless he receives an increase of the divine illumination, corresponding with his growth in the knowledge of Bible truths. The strength and glory from the accessible Heavens will qualify him to meet the new temptations and bear the heavier responsibilities which are ever before him. Untried scenes await the Christian. New dangers surround him. And unexpected temptations constantly assail him. Our great Leader points us to the open Heavens as the only source of light and strength.

After his baptism, the Son of God entered the dreary wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil. For nearly six weeks he endured the agonies of hunger. For forty days he ate and drank nothing. This made his suffering greater than anything which man would ever be called to endure. Christ was bearing the guilt of the transgressor. He realized the power of appetite upon man; and in behalf of sinful man, he bore the closest test possible upon that point. Here a victory was gained which few can appreciate. The controlling power of depraved appetite, and the grievous sin of indulging it, can only be understood by length of the fast which our Saviour endured that he might break its power.

Satan had gained the victory over man in almost every temptation on the point of appetite. The Son of God saw that man could not of himself overcome this powerful temptation and he had such infinite love for the race that he left the royal courts of Heaven, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that with his long human arm he might reach to the very depths of human woe, while with his divine arm he grasps the Infinite. He came to earth to unite his divine power with our human efforts, that through the strength and moral power which he imparts, we may overcome in our own behalf. Oh! what matchless condescension for the King of glory to come down to this world to endure the pangs of hunger and the fierce temptations of a wily foe, that he might gain an infinite victory for man. Here is love without a parallel. Yet this great condescension is but dimly comprehended by those for whom it was made.

It was not the gnawing pangs of hunger alone which made the sufferings of our Redeemer so inexpressibly severe. It was the sense of guilt which had resulted from the indulgence of appetite that had brought such terrible woe into the world, which pressed so heavily upon his divine soul. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

With man’s nature, and the terrible weight of his sins pressing upon him, our Redeemer withstood the power of Satan upon this great leading temptation, which imperils the souls of men. If man should overcome this temptation, he could conquer on every other point.

Intemperance lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ. What amazing love has Christ manifested in coming into the world to bear our sins and infirmities, and to tread the path of suffering, that he might show us by his life of spotless merit how we should walk, and overcome as he had overcome, and that we might become reconciled to God.

As the human was upon Christ, he felt his need of strength from his Father. He had select places of prayer. He loved the solitude of the mountain in which to hold communion with his Father in Heaven. In this exercise he was strengthened for the duties and trials of the day. Our Saviour identifies himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that he becomes a suppliant, a nightly petitioner, seeking from his Father fresh supplies of strength, to come forth invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not possessing like passions. As the sinless One, his nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul, in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the divine support and comfort which his Father was ready to impart to his Son, who had left the joys of Heaven and chosen his home, for the benefit of man, in a cold and thankless world. Christ found joy and comfort in communion with his Father. Here he could unburden his sorrows that were crushing him. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.

Through the day he labored earnestly to save men from destruction. He healed the sick, he comforted the mourning, and brought cheerfulness and hope to the despairing. He brought the dead to life. After his work was finished for the day, he went forth, evening after evening, away from the confusion of the city, and his form was bowed in some retired place, in supplication to his Father. At times the bright beams of the moon shone upon his bowed form. And then again the clouds and darkness shut away all light. The dew and frost of night rested upon his head and beard while in the attitude of a suppliant. He frequently continued his petitions through the entire night. If the Saviour of men, with his divine strength, felt the need of prayer in our behalf, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer–fervent, constant prayer on their own account! When Christ was the most fiercely beset by temptation, he ate nothing. He committed himself to God, and through earnest prayer, and perfect submission to the will of his Father, came off conqueror.

“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord.” Our tables are frequently spread with luxuries not healthful nor necessary, because we love these things more than we love freedom from disease and a sound mind. Jesus sought earnestly for strength from his Father. This the divine Son of God considered of more value even for himself than to sit at the most luxurious table. He has given us evidence that prayer is essential to us in order to receive strength to contend with the powers of darkness, and to do the work allotted us to perform. Our own strength is weakness, but that which God gives will make every one who obtains it more than conqueror.
                         (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 10:54 am
May 1, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                         Chapter Twelve-Concluded.
                           and .
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                            By Mrs. E. G. White.

In the absence of , Jacob took his family and all that he had, and departed. After he had pursued his journey three days, Laban learned that he had left him, and he was very , and pursued after him, determined to bring him back by force. But had pity upon , and as Laban was about to overtake him, gave him a dream not to speak good or bad to Jacob. That is, he should not force him to return, or urge him by flattering inducements. When Laban met his , he inquired why he had stolen away unawares, and carried away his as taken with the sword. Laban tells him, “It is in the of my hand to do you hurt; but the of your fathers spake unto me yesternight,” and he mentioned how he had been warned by the . Jacob then rehearsed to Laban the ungenerous course he had pursued toward him, that he had studied only his own advantage. He appeals to his as to the of his while with him: “That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.”

A ’s life was one of diligence. He was obliged to watch his flocks day and night. Wild beasts were common, and often bold, and would do great injury to sheep and cattle that were not guarded by a faithful shepherd. Although Jacob had a number of servants to aid him in tending the flocks owned by himself and Laban, the responsibility of the whole matter rested upon him. And during some portions of the year he was obliged to be with the flocks himself, day and night, to care for them in the dry season, that they might not perish with thirst; in the coldest part of the year to save them from becoming chilled with the heavy night frosts. Their flocks were also in danger of being stolen by unprincipled shepherds.

A shepherd’s life was one of constant care. He was not qualified for his position unless he was merciful, and possessed courage and perseverance. Jacob was chief shepherd, and had shepherds under him who were termed servants. The chief shepherd called these servants, to whom he intrusted the care of the flock, to a strict account if they were not found in a flourishing condition. If any of the cattle were missing, the chief shepherd suffered the loss.

Christ, in his relation to his people, is compared to a shepherd. He saw, after the fall, his sheep in a pitiable condition, exposed to sure destruction. He left the honors and glories of his father’s house to become a shepherd, to save the miserable, wandering sheep, who were ready to perish. His winning voice was heard calling them to his fold, a safe and sure retreat from the hand of robbers; also a shelter from the scorching heat, and a protection from the chilling blasts. His care was continually exercised for the good of his sheep. He strengthened the weak, nourished the suffering, and gathered the lambs of the flocks in his arms, and carried them in his bosom. His sheep love him. He goeth before them, and they hear his voice, and follow him. “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.” Christ says,”I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

Christ is the chief shepherd. He has intrusted the care of his flock to under-shepherds. He requires these shepherds to have the same interest for his sheep that he has ever manifested, to ever feel the responsibility of the charge he has intrusted to them. Ministers, who are called of God to labor in word and doctrine, are Christ’s shepherds. He has appointed them under himself to oversee and tend his flock. He has solemnly commanded these to be faithful shepherds, to feed the flock with diligence, to follow his example, to strengthen the weak, nourish the fainting, and shield them from devouring beasts. He points them to his example of love for his sheep. To secure their deliverance, he laid down his own life. If they imitate his self-denying example, the flock will prosper under their care. They will manifest a deeper interest than did Jacob, who was a faithful shepherd over the sheep and cattle of Laban. They will be constantly laboring for the welfare of the flock. They will not be mere hirelings, of whom Jesus speaks, who possess no particular interest in the sheep; who, in time of danger of trial, flee and leave the flock. A shepherd who labors merely for the wages he obtains, cares only for himself, and is continually studying his own interests and ease, instead of the welfare of his flock.

Says Peter, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Says Paul, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

All those professing to be shepherds, who feel that to minister in word and doctrine, and bear the burdens and have the care which every faithful shepherd should have, is a disagreeable task, are reproved by the apostle: “Not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” All such unfaithful shepherds, the chief Shepherd would willingly release. The church of God is purchased with the blood of Christ, and every shepherd should realize that the sheep under his care cost a priceless sum. He should be diligent in his labor, and persevering in his efforts to keep the flock in a healthy, flourishing condition. He should consider the sheep intrusted to his care of the highest value, and realize that he will be called to render a strict account of his ministry. And if he is found faithful, he will receive a rich reward. “When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Jacob continued, plainly presenting before Laban the injustice of his course: “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house. I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle; and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction, and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.”

Laban then assured Jacob that he had an interest for his daughters and their children, and he could not harm them. “Now, therefore,” he said. “come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.” To this, Jacob consented, and a pile of stones was thrown up as a visible token of the compact.

And Laban said, “The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives besides my daughters; no man is with us, see, God is witness between me and thee.” Laban understood the wrong of polygamy, although it was through his artifice alone that Jacob had taken two wives. He well knew that it was the jealousy of Leah and Rachel that led them to give their maids to Jacob, which confused the family relation, and increased the unhappiness of his daughters. And now as they are journeying to a distant country, and their interest is to be entirely separate from his own, he would guard their happiness as far as possible.

Jacob made a solemn covenant before the Lord, that he should not take other wives. “And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; this heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the Fear of his father Isaac.”

Jenny @ 10:44 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