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
February 20, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                                Chapter Six.
                            Seth and Enoch.
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                            By Mrs. E. G. White.
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was a worthy , and was to take the place of in right-doing. Yet he was a son of , like , and from the nature of Adam no more natural than did Cain. He was , but by the , in receiving the of his father Adam, he honored in doing his will. He separated himself from the corrupt descendants of Cain, and labored, as Abel would have done had he lived, to turn the minds of to revere and obey .

learned from the lips of Adam the painful story of the fall, and the precious story of God’s condescending in the gift of his Son as the world’s . He believed and relied upon the promise given. Enoch was a holy man. He served God with singleness of heart. He realized the corruptions of the human family, and separated himself from the descendants of Cain, and reproved them for their great wickedness. There were those upon the earth who acknowledged God, who feared and worshiped him. Yet righteous Enoch was so distressed with the increasing wickedness of the ungodly that he would not daily associate with them, fearing that he should be affected by their infidelity, and that he might not ever regard God with that holy reverence which was due his exalted character. His soul was vexed as he daily beheld them trampling upon the authority of God. He chose to be separate from them, and spent much of his time in solitude, giving himself to reflection and prayer. He waited before God, and prayed to know his will more perfectly, that he might perform it. God communed with Enoch through his angels, and gave him divine instruction. He made known to him that he would not always bear with man in his rebellion–that it was his purpose to destroy the sinful race by bringing a flood of waters upon the earth.

The beautiful garden of Eden, from which our first parents had been driven, remained until God determined to destroy the earth by a flood. The Lord had planted that garden, and especially blessed it; and in his wonderful providence he withdrew it from the earth, and will return it again, more gloriously adorned than before it was removed. God purposed to preserve a specimen of his perfect work of creation free from the curse which sin had brought upon the earth.

The Lord opened more fully to Enoch the plan of salvation, and by the spirit of prophecy carried him down through the generations which should live after the flood, and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.

Enoch was troubled in regard to the dead. It seemed to him that the righteous and the wicked would go to the dust together, and that would be their end. He could not see the life of the just beyond the grave. In prophetic vision he was instructed in regard to the Son of God, who was to die man’s sacrifice, and was shown the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, attended by the angelic host, to give life to the righteous dead, and ransom them from their graves. He also saw the corrupt state of the world at the time when Christ should appear the second time–that there would be a boastful, presumptuous, self-willed generation arrayed in rebellion against the law of God, denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, trampling upon his blood, and despising his atonement. He saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor, while the wicked were separated from the presence of the Lord, and consumed with fire.

Enoch faithfully rehearsed to the people all that had been revealed to him by the spirit of prophecy. Some believed his words, and turned from their wickedness to fear and worship God. Such often sought Enoch in his places of retreat, and he instructed them, and prayed for them that God would give them a knowledge of his will. He finally chose certain periods for retirement, and would not suffer the people to find him, for they interrupted his holy meditations and communion with God. He did not exclude himself at all times from the society of those who loved him and listened to his words of wisdom; neither did he separate himself wholly from the corrupt. He met with the righteous and the wicked at stated times, and labored to turn the ungodly from their evil course, and instruct them in the fear of God, while he taught those who had the knowledge of God to serve him more perfectly. He would remain with them as long as he could benefit them by his godly conversation and holy example, and then would withdraw himself for a season from all society–from the just, the scoffing and idolatrous, to remain in solitude, hungering and thirsting for communion with God, and that divine knowledge which he alone could give him.

Enoch continued to grow more heavenly while communing with God. His face was radiant with a holy light which would remain upon his countenance while instructing those who would hear his words of wisdom. His dignified appearance struck the people with awe. The Lord loved Enoch, because he steadfastly followed him, and abhorred iniquity, and earnestly sought a more perfect knowledge of his will, that he might perform it. He yearned to unite himself still more closely to God, whom he feared, reverenced, and adored. The Lord would not permit Enoch to die like other men, but sent his angels to take him to Heaven without seeing death. In the presence of the righteous and the wicked, Enoch was removed from them. Those who loved him thought that God might have left him in some of his places of retirement; but after seeking diligently, and being unable to find him, they reported that he was not, for God took him.

By the blessings and honors which he bestowed upon Enoch, the Lord teaches a lesson of the greatest importance, that all will be rewarded, who by faith rely upon the promised Sacrifice, and faithfully obey God’s commandments. Here, again, two classes are represented which were to exist until the second coming of Christ–the righteous and the wicked, the loyal and the rebellious. God will remember the righteous, who fear him. On account of his dear Son, he will respect and honor them, and give them everlasting life. But the wicked, who trample upon his authority, he will destroy from the earth, and they will be as though they had not been.

After Adam’s fall from a state of perfect happiness to a condition of sin and misery, there was danger that man would become discouraged, and inquire, “What profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord,” since a heavy curse is resting upon the human race, and death is the portion of us all? But the instructions which God gave to Adam, and which were repeated by Seth, and fully exemplified by Enoch, cleared away the gloom and darkness, and gave hope to man, that as through Adam came death, through Jesus, the promised Redeemer, would come life and immortality.

In the case of Enoch, the desponding faithful were taught that, while living among a corrupt and sinful people, who were in open and daring rebellion against their Creator, if they would obey him, and have faith in the promised Redeemer, they would work righteousness like the faithful Enoch, be accepted of God, and finally exalted to his heavenly throne.

Enoch, separating himself from the world, and spending much of his time in prayer and in communion with God, represents God’s loyal people in the last days, who will be separate from the world. Unrighteousness will prevail to a dreadful extent upon the earth. Men will give themselves up to follow every imagination of their corrupt hearts, and carry out their deceptive philosophy, and rebel against the authority of high Heaven.

God’s people will separate themselves from the unrighteous practices of those around them, and will seek for purity of thought, and holy conformity to his will, until his divine image will be reflected in them. Like Enoch, they will be fitting for translation to Heaven. While they endeavor to instruct and warn the world, they will not conform to the spirit and customs of unbelievers, but will condemn them by their holy conversation and godly example. Enoch’s translation to Heaven just before the destruction of the world by a flood, represents the translation of all the living righteous from the earth previous to its destruction by fire. The saints will be glorified in the presence of those who have hated them for their loyal obedience to God’s righteous commandments.

Enoch instructed his family in regard to the flood. Methuselah, the son of Enoch, listened to the preaching of his grandson Noah, who faithfully warned the inhabitants of the old world that a flood of waters was coming upon the earth. Methuselah and his sons and his grandsons lived in the time of the building of the ark. They, with some others, received instruction from Noah, and assisted him in his work.

Seth was one of more noble stature than Cain or Abel, and resembled Adam more than did any of his other sons. The descendants of Seth separated themselves from the wicked descendants of Cain. They cherished the knowledge of God’s will, while the ungodly race of Cain had no respect for God and his sacred commandments. But when men multiplied upon the earth, the children of Seth saw that the daughters of the descendants of Cain were very beautiful, and they departed from God and displeased him by taking wives as they chose of the idolatrous race of Cain.

Jenny @ 8:59 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
August 22, 1878 Jesus as an Householder
Filed under: EG White Articles

“Who then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord has made ruler over his household.” Matt. 24:45. The Redeemer of the world asks who? and the question should come home to every heart, Lord, is it I? Christ is represented in the text as a man who took a far journey, left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work. Thus it appears that a work is given to every person, there is no exception, and the faithful performance of this work will bring to its doer the commendation of the Master. To ignore responsibilities makes men slothful servants, and the do-nothing in religious service will receive the condemnation of the Master.

The work of each one corresponds with the ability given him of God. All responsibility does not rest upon the ministers who teach the truth but upon every one who believes the truth. Religion, in this age of the world, is made to connect with the day of rest, and the ordinary church service, but is divorced from the daily business transactions of life. Many professed followers of Christ are content with merely performing their formal religious duties. But when asked, What have you done for Jesus, what self-sacrifice have you made for his dear sake who made the infinite sacrifice for you, they must answer, Nothing. Christ identified his interests with suffering humanity. He laid aside his high command in heaven, where he was worshiped of the angels, and came to a world seared and marred by the curse of sin, in order to save man. He suffered, and died, the just for the unjust, that fallen man might be partakers of his glory hereafter. But this sacrifice of Christ in man’s behalf does not lessen the necessity of man’s denying himself, and making sacrifices for God on his own account, and in his own behalf. The life of Christ is for our example; we are to follow in his footsteps.

Some ministers are dangerously misleading the people. They would have them accept the fatal sophistry of Satan that simple belief in Christ is sufficient for their salvation; that good works have nothing to do with it. Christ, by his example and precepts taught an entirely different doctrine. Men must not depend too much upon what the ministers tell them, but must themselves examine the law and the testimony. If religious teachers speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. The word of inspiration shows us that beneficence is essential to the Christian character, and its growth in grace. Our means must be consecrated to God, and we must feel that it is not our own, but given us in trust, to be used in the Master’s service. Our labors should be sanctified to God. We must do good, and use our means and influence for the benefit of our fellow creatures. In short, if we would truthfully bear the name of Christian, we must follow the example of Christ, who went about doing good.

He gave his life to elevate and ennoble fallen man, and that he might exalt him to his right hand. We have here the pattern of the purest self-sacrifice for the sake of others. Worldliness, selfishness and pride are foreign to the character of a true Christian. Many professors of religion do nothing for Christ by personal effort. They are contented to have others do what properly belongs to themselves to perform, and, by lending a feeble influence for the workers, feel that they are doing good by proxy. Such persons do not possess that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. They have no genuine religion, that enters into their daily business, and regulates every action of their lives. A living faith in Christ is demonstrated by good deeds in our families, and our neighborhoods, by thoughtful, and practical consideration of the poor, by visiting and comforting the widows and the fatherless in their affliction, by keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, and by using our means and influence for the advancement of the cause of God. This must not be done grudgingly or murmuringly, but freely and cheerfully as Jesus gave all for us.

Nothing should be withheld from God; he claims the whole heart, talents, and property of those who profess his name. Those who ignore responsibility and their work for God are in a deplorable condition. The angel’s record of their lives, as far as usefulness in the cause of God is concerned, presents one mournful blank. Such persons are as trees destitute of fruit, bearing only leaves. They are only cumberers of the ground, darkening with their unproductive boughs the ground that should be occupied by fruit-bearing trees, and excluding the sunshine from those that would be productive but for their shadow.

Conformity to the world is positively forbidden in the word of God. The inspired apostle writes: “Be not conformed to this world.” In order to prevent this the opposite course is enjoined upon the true believers: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.” The all-powerful grace of God, uniting with the efforts and will of man, works the transformation in the life and character of man, and brings him into a position where he can prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. One who engages in the work of helping and blessing others is being transformed by the renewing of his mind, being a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The apostles are diligent in their injunctions not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Christ was ever severe in his denunciations of hypocritical professors, those who bore no fruit to his glory. He frequently declared that there was more hope for the veriest open sinner than for the pretender. Jesus would cleanse the temple of the soul from the defiling sins of selfishness, pride, envy, and love of the world. He would purify it for his own abode. God calls for workers. All who are his followers must work the works of Christ, deny self, and take up their cross daily. All may wash their robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. This white vesture provided by the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world represents a life of purity and holiness, distinguished from the life of the worldling. Such a course will leave a bright track heavenward, which attracts all who would leave the vanities of the world for holier joys beyond. We would intreat the idle professor, the fruitless tree to be a fruit bearer, doing their duty to the world.
                                                             E. G. White.

Jenny @ 6:28 pm