The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 8, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued from Vol. 5, No. 47.)

In the work of , when the of the first day broke, and the and , by the call of , came out of ; responsive to the rising light, “the sang together, and all the shouted for .” In the , gilding the of with its bright beams, saw the symbol of the light to be proclaimed in the earth by his , dispelling by its bright beams, , , and , and ushering in and , bringing back to those who have been to the . taught that all true and of , all and in the soul, must come through perfect and entire to his , which is the highest . The connected with their , which they were to put to a practical use, were given to the disciples upon this occasion. They were to carry the to the .

The , the “,” was imparting his beams of light to his disciples, and illuminating their minds, sweeping away their traditions and man-made requirements, and enforcing the real principles of God’s law upon them. He taught them lessons which they should put to a practical use in order to be the lights of the world. He taught them that they should exhibit in their character the graces of his Spirit which he pronounced blessed. The acceptance of the light he urged upon his hearers, as essential for their restoration to spiritual life. And for them to have a sound, healthful, happy experience, they must exercise the best and noblest faculties of the soul. He would have them understand that if they would make their lives pleasant, and useful to others, they must be obedient to the requirements of God. He always directs safely, and we shall not go astray while following where he leads. Said Christ, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Christ represents the disciples who have the attributes which characterize them as children of God, as the light of the world. Without these attributes they cannot be the light of the world, and they would not correctly represent Christ who is the Light of the world. As the sun goes forth in the heavens on its errand of mercy and love, and as the golden beams of day flood the canopy of the heavens and beautify forests and mountains, and awaken the world from their slumbers by dispelling the darkness of night, so should his followers go forth on their mission. They should gather the divine rays of light from the Light of the world, and let it shine forth in good works upon those who are in the darkness of error. Through the ministration of his ordained servants he carries forward his work through all time.

The message of light given to the assembled multitude on the mount was not alone for them, but was to be sounded in the ears of the church all along the line, through successive generations, resting with more solemn weight upon Christ’s ambassadors in the last days. Sinners are to be turned from the darkness of error to the light of truth, by the foolishness of preaching. He who accepts the light is to claim no authority himself; but as God’s messenger, with light reflected to him from the Source of light, he may claim the highest authority.

God might write the messages of truth upon the firmament of the heavens as easily as he placed the stars in their position. He might proclaim the truth and let it shine to the world through angel visitors, but this is not the way he ordained. He delegated power to his disciples to carry the light which he would communicate to them, to all parts of the world. Through his ambassadors God graciously infuses light to the understanding and warmth to the souls of those who acknowledge the message he sends, bearing light to those in darkness.

Paul writes to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” The ambassador must be obedient and faithful in the performance of his work as an instrument of God in the salvation of others. He cannot be saved himself if he is an unfaithful servant. He must be the light of the world. He must erect the standard of Christ in families, in villages, and cities, and in the hearts of men.

God does not select angels who have never fallen, but fallen man who has felt the redeeming power of the grace of Christ sanctifying his own life, and the bright beams of truth warming his own heart. As they have been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of others, and the way to reach others in like peril.

Said Paul, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” This is the reason why angels were not chosen to preach the truth. The gospel was committed to weak and erring men that God might have all the glory. The supremacy of God is to be discerned in the frail instrument chosen to proclaim the message of truth.

Our Saviour often spent all night in prayer to his Father, coming forth with the rising sun to shed his beams of light upon the world. With his heart all full of sympathy for the poor, the ignorant and afflicted, he labored that he might elevate fallen man, and dispel the moral darkness by the light reflected from himself.
                                                            E. G. White.
                            (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 7:11 pm
February 27, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

                                Chapter Seven.
                               The .
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                              By Mrs. E. G. White.
                                                                -

Those who honored and feared to offend , at first felt the curse but lightly, while those who turned from him and despised his felt its effects more heavily, especially in stature and nobleness of form. The descendants of were called the ; the descendants of , the . As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them lost, through the influence of their , their peculiar, , and united with the sons of Cain in their . Many cast off the , and trampled upon his . But there were a few who did , who feared and honored their . and his family were among the few.

Sin was spreading abroad in the earth like a deadly leprosy. The world was but in its infancy in the days of Noah, yet iniquity had become so deep and wide-spread, that God repented that he had made man. Goodness and purity seemed to be almost extinct; while hatred of the law of God, emulation, envy, sedition, strife, and the most cruel oppression and violence, were corrupting the earth under its inhabitants. The thoughts and imaginations of man’s heart were evil continually.

A heavy, double curse was resting upon the earth in consequence, first, of Adam’s transgression, and, secondly, because of the murder committed by Cain; yet this did not at once change the face of nature. It was still rich and beautiful in the bounties of God’s providence. The quiet valleys and spreading plains, robed with verdure and adorned with shrubs and bright hued flowers colored by the Divine Artist, the lovely birds whose glad songs filled the groves with music, the graceful hills and winding streams, the trailing vines and stately trees, charming the eye with their beauty and supporting life with their fruit,–all seemed little less fair than Eden.

Gold and silver existed in abundance. The race of men then living was of very great stature, and possessed wonderful strength. The trees were vastly larger, and far surpassed in beauty and perfect proportions anything which mortals can now look upon. The wood of these trees was of fine grain and hard substance–in this respect more like stone. It required much more time and labor, even of that powerful race, to prepare the timber for building, than it requires in this degenerate age to prepare trees that are now growing upon the earth, even with the weaker strength which men now possess. These trees were of great durability, and would know nothing of decay for very many years. But notwithstanding the richness and beauty of the earth, when compared with its state before the curse was pronounced upon it, there was manifest evidence of certain decay.

The people used the gold, silver, precious stones, and choice wood, in building houses for themselves, each striving to excel the other. They beautified and adorned their houses and lands with the most ingenious works, and provoked God by their wicked deeds. They formed images to worship, and taught their children to regard these pieces of workmanship made with their own hands, as gods, and to worship them. They did not choose to think of God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and rendered no grateful thanks to Him who had bestowed upon them all which they possessed. They even denied the existence of the God of Heaven, and gloried in, and worshiped, the works of their own hands. They corrupted themselves with those things which God had placed upon the earth for man’s benefit. They prepared beautiful walks, overhung with fruit trees of every description, and under these majestic and lovely trees, with their wide-spread branches, which were green from the commencement of the year to its close, they placed their idols. Whole groves, because of the shelter of their branches, were dedicated to these idol gods, and made attractive as a resort for the people in their idolatrous worship.

The groves of Eden were God’s first temples, from which ascended purest worship to the Creator. The sorrowing exiles from Paradise could never forget that happy home. The waving trees and sheltering groves had for them a peculiar charm; for they reminded them of Eden and the joyful converse which they had once enjoyed with God and angels. And as they listened to the murmur of the wind among the leaves it almost seemed that they could again distinguish the sound of that voice that was heard in the garden in the cool of the day. The oak and the palm-tree, the drooping willow and the fragrant cedar, the olive and the cypress, were sacred to our first parents. Their verdant branches, spreading abroad and reaching upward to heaven, seemed to them to be praising their Creator. To Adam there was something almost human and companionable in the trees, carrying him back to many pleasing incidents of his life in Eden.

If the hearts of God’s people were softened as they should be by his grace, they would become acquainted with him, as they discern his wisdom and power in the things of his creation. Every green leaf, with its delicate veins, every opening bud and blooming flower, every lofty tree stretching upward to heaven, the earth clothed with its carpet of living green, is an expression of the love of God to man, not to lead us to worship nature, but to attract our hearts through nature up to nature’s God. The forest trees swaying in the wind, break forth into singing and praise to God, and rebuke the silence and indifference of man.

Adam had described Eden to his children and children’s children. Again and again the story was repeated, and his love for trees and flowers and groves was transmitted to his descendants. But instead of bowing down in the solemn groves to acknowledge the love of God and to worship him, they desecrated these groves by their idols. It was an abuse of the tender and sacred memories which Adam cherished–the association of the groves with the worship of the true and living God–that led the idolatrous children of Cain to build their altars and set up their images in the groves and under every green tree. And as they put God out of their hearts, their course of conduct was in accordance with their sacrilegious sacrifices and worship. The characters of men became more and more debased.

Instead of doing justice to their neighbors, they carried out their own unlawful wishes. They had a plurality of wives, which was contrary to God’s wise arrangement at the beginning. God gave to Adam one wife–showing to all who should live upon the earth, his order and law in that respect. The transgression and fall of Adam and Eve brought sin and wretchedness upon the human race, and man followed his own carnal desires, and changed God’s order. The more men multiplied wives to themselves, the more they increased in crime and unhappiness. If any one chose to take the wives, or cattle, or anything belonging to his neighbor, he did not regard justice or right, but if he could prevail over his neighbor by reason of strength, or by putting him to death, he did so, and exulted in his deeds of violence. Men loved to destroy the lives of animals. They used the flesh for food, and this increased their ferocity and violence, and caused them to look upon the blood of human beings with astonishing indifference.

God proposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long lived race that had corrupted their ways before him. He would not suffer them to live out the days of their natural life, which would have been hundreds of years. It was only a few generations since Adam had access to that tree which was to prolong life. After his disobedience he was not suffered to eat of the tree of life and perpetuate an existence in sin. In order for man to possess an endless life he must continue to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Deprived of this, his life would gradually wear out.

More than one hundred years before the flood, the Lord sent an angel to Noah, to make known unto him his purpose in regard to the sinful race, that his Spirit would not always strive with man, but that he would send a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy man and beast. He would not leave the race ignorant of his design; but would, through Noah, warn the world of its coming destruction, that the inhabitants might be left without excuse. Noah was to preach to the people, and also to prepare an ark as God should direct him for the saving of himself and family. Not only was he to preach, but his example in building the ark was to be a continual testimony of warning to the world, showing that he believed what he preached. His simple, childlike faith, and his implicit obedience, notwithstanding the opposition he received, was an evidence to the world of his sincerity. He was firm as a rock to duty, directing the work of that singular building, under the guidance of the Divine Architect. Every blow struck upon the ark was a witness to the people.

This period was the testing time for Noah. He knew that he was the object of popular contempt and scorn with that corrupt generation. He met with unbelief and mockery everywhere. But the greater the iniquity surrounding him, the more earnest and firm and persevering was he in his obedience, showing that there was one man in the world who would be true to God. He was a faithful and unbending witness for God, kind and courteous to all, resenting no insult. He was as one who heard not the reviling and blasphemy that greeted him on every side.

Noah was bearing to the inhabitants of the earth an important message of warning, the reception or rejection of which would decide the destiny of their souls. He believed God, he believed that he had the truth, and he moved straight forward in the path of faith and obedience, gaining strength from God daily, by communion with him. Noah was a man of prayer; and in this close connection with God he found all his courage and firmness. He preached, and warned, and entreated the people; but they would not change their course. They bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, they married and were given in marriage, they indulged in feasting and gluttony, and debased their souls, showing contempt for the message of Noah. Their speeches and actions became more vile and corrupt as the period of their probation was closing. The whole world seemed to be against Noah; but he had the testimony from God, “Thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”

As far as human wisdom could see, the event predicted by Noah was not likely to occur. Rain had never fallen; a mist or dew had watered the earth. The brooks and rivers had safely flowed along their channels, emptying into the sea. The bodies of water had been kept in their place by God’s decree, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” Men then talked about the fixed laws of nature, that could not be set aside to bring about any such event as Noah had foretold. They wished to believe, and to have all others believe, that God could not change the order of the natural world; thus they sought to prescribe the limits of his power, making him a slave to his own laws. The people in Noah’s day possessed sharp intellects, and they sought to show, on scientific grounds, that it was impossible for his prophecy to be fulfilled. Noah was laughed to scorn because of his warnings; he was regarded as a fanatic. Noah’s implicit trust in God annoyed while it condemned them; but they could not move this faithful reprover from his position. The Lord had given the warning, and that was enough for Noah. The arguments of the philosophers were nothing to him, when the message of God was sounding in his ears, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

Noah, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. He had that fear which should characterize the life of every Christian. The perfect faith of Noah intensified his fear. The threatened wrath of God, which was to fall upon man and beast, and upon the earth, led him to prepare the ark. His faith, and his fear of God’s anger, produced obedience. Noah did not hesitate to obey God. He urged no excuse, that the labor of building that ark was great and expensive. He believed God, and invested in the ark all that he possessed, while the wicked world scoffed and made themselves merry at the deluded old man.

They had more opportunity for their unbelief and mockery, because God did not at once carry out his purpose. But the lapse of time did not cause the faith of Noah to waver; his trust in God was unfailing, and he accepted without a murmur the hardships and sacrifice involved. Noah’s faith, combined with action, condemned the world; for he was a faithful preacher of righteousness, rebuking, warning, and exhorting the wicked. Their reproach and abuse was sometimes almost unendurable; yet the patriarch stayed his soul on God, and called upon him for help in his great need. Through derision, insult, and mockery, he went to and fro as a man with a great mission to fulfill. Privileges had been neglected, precious souls degraded, and God insulted; and the day of retributive justice came slowly on; man’s unbelief did not hinder the event.

God gave Noah the exact dimensions of the ark, and explicit directions in regard to its construction in every particular. It was three stories high, but there were no windows in the sides, all the light being received from one in the top. The different apartments were so arranged that the window in the top gave light to all. The door was in the side. The ark was made of the cypress, or gopher wood, which would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. It was a building of great durability, which no wisdom of man could invent. God was the designer and Noah his master-builder.

The work of completing the building was a slow process. Every piece of timber was closely fitted, and every seam covered with pitch. All that men could do was done to make the work perfect; yet, after all, it was impossible that it could of itself withstand the violence of the storm which the Lord in his fierce anger was to bring upon the earth. God alone by his miraculous power, could preserve the building upon the angry, heaving billows.

A multitude at first apparently received the warning of Noah, yet they did not fully turn to God with true repentance. There was some time given them before the flood was to come, in which they were placed upon probation– to be proved and tried. They failed to endure the trial. The prevailing degeneracy overcame them, and they finally joined others who were corrupt, in deriding and scoffing at faithful Noah. They would not leave off their sins, but continued in polygamy, and in the indulgence of their base passions.

With heart filled with sorrow that his warnings had been slighted and neglected, Noah makes, with quivering lips and trembling voice, his last appeal to the people. And while their voices are raised, in jest and scoffing, suddenly they see the beasts, the most ferocious as well as the most gentle, of their own accord coming, from mountain and forest, and marching quietly into the ark. A noise like a rushing wind is heard; and lo, birds of every description come from all directions, clouding the heavens with their numbers, and file, in perfect order, into that ark. Philosophers were appealed to in vain to explain from natural laws the singular phenomenon. Here was a mystery beyond their depth. The world looked on with wonder–some with fear, but they had become so hardened by rebellion that this most signal manifestation of God’s power had but a momentary effect upon them. For seven days these animals were coming into the ark, and Noah was arranging them in the places prepared for them.

And as the doomed race beheld the sun shining in its glory, and the earth clad in almost Eden beauty, they drove away their rising fears by boisterous merriment; and by their deeds of violence seemed to be encouraging upon themselves the visitation of the already awakened wrath of God.

Jenny @ 9:05 am
September 7, 1876 Wanted, Laborers for the Harvest.
Filed under: EG White Articles

 Dear Brethren and Sisters in Christ: We are living in a most solemn time. Important responsibilities are resting upon us. New fields are being opened for our labor, and the Macedonian cry is coming from every direction: “Come over and help us.” Some beg for even a day of labor with them, if they can have no more. Angels of God are preparing ears to hear, and hearts to receive the message of warning. Honest souls are living in our very midst who have never yet heard the reasons of our faith. People are perishing for want of knowledge. Not one-hundredth part is being done that might be done to give the third angel’s message to the world. There are those who will be responsible for these souls who have never heard the truth. Many excuse themselves with trivial reasons, for not engaging in the work they might do if they were consecrated to God. They have wrapped their talents in a napkin and buried them in the ground, where they cannot increase.
Young men have lost years of experience wherein they might have been growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. But love of self and love of the world has engrossed their minds to the exclusion of eternal interests. God would have accepted them as laborers years ago, if they had been willing to give themselves unreservedly to his work. Now, when there are doors open everywhere for the entrance of the truth, there are but a few who have sufficient courage and experience to carry it forward in the name of Jesus.
The very ones who should be valuable workmen have wasted these precious years in selfishly following their own inclinations. They have turned a deaf ear when the Master called them to lift unpleasant burdens, to perform disagreeable duties. Many have little care for the souls for whom Christ died. The Majesty of Heaven submitted to the most cruel humiliation that he might lift degraded man to a state of purity and eternal joy.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” In the death of Christ we see the greatness of God’s love for his sinful children. He sacrificed his dear Son to save them from eternal ruin. All Heaven is interested in the salvation of souls. We should be willing and ready to make all sacrifices in order to win souls to Jesus. This would evidence that we are co-laborers with him, that we are faithfully bearing the cross. To shun the solemn responsibilities of our time and position is to weaken the moral powers and enfeeble the spiritual muscle.
The divine command given to Moses found him self-distrustful, slow of speech, and timid. He was overwhelmed by a sense of his incapacity to be a mouth-piece for God to Israel. But he accepted the work, putting all his trust in the Lord. The greatness of his mission called into exercise the best powers of his mind. God blessed his ready obedience, and he became eloquent, hopeful, self-possessed, and well-fitted for the greatest work ever given to man. This is an example of what God does to strengthen the characters of those who trust him implicitly, and give themselves unreservedly to his commands.
The work of saving souls is sacred and all-important. The humble, efficient worker, who obediently responds to the call of God in this direction, may be sure of receiving divine assistance. To feel so great and holy a responsibility is of itself elevating to the human character. It calls into action the highest mental qualities, and their continued exercise strengthens and purifies mind and heart. The influence upon one’s own life, as well as upon the lives of others, is incalculable.
He who is called of God to so sacred a work should bend all his energies to its accomplishment. Every other consideration should become secondary to this great object. He should feel the solemn obligations resting upon him, one whom God has honored by choosing to unite him with the angels in the work of ministering to souls and enlightening them with the divine truth.
It is wonderful how strong a weak man may become through faith in the power of God, how decided his efforts, how prolific of great results. And the timid woman, shrinking and self-distrustful, is transformed to a courageous missionary, valiantly wielding the sword of truth. The hesitating and irresolute, through exercising his abilities in the cause of God, becomes firm and decided. Taking in the great fact that he is called by the Redeemer of the world to work with him for the salvation of man, he dedicates his life to the work. His nature becomes exalted; the mission of Christ opens before him with new importance and glory, and with deep humility he recognizes in himself a co-laborer with the Saviour. No higher office is given to man. No joy can equal the assurance of being an instrument in the hands of God of saving souls. It is a grand thing to look back upon a course of labor all marked with glorious results; to see precious souls progressing in the light through your efforts; to feel that God has worked with and through you in the harvest-field of the world.
Careless spectators may not appreciate your work, or see its importance. They may consider it a losing business, a life of thankless labor and self-sacrifice. But the servant of Jesus Christ sees in it the light reflected from the cross. His sacrifices appear small in comparison with those of his blessed Master, and he is glad to follow in his footsteps. The success of his labor affords him the purest joy, and is the richest recompense for a life of patient toil.
In reviewing the past, the trials and difficulties that have beset him are not magnified in his mind. The consciousness of duty performed amply compensates for all his sufferings, and the glory of his coming reward clothes the future with the light of Heaven. Glancing over the well-fought field of life, he says with Paul, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
But he who accepts the responsibility of teaching the word of God, must expect stern, self-denying work. Some who are only superficially acquainted with the doctrines of our faith, venture indiscreetly before the public in large towns, and, from their ignorance and indiscretion, bring discredit upon the cause.
These young men who so rashly undertake to stand as ministers of God, fail because they lack thoroughness. They acquaint themselves with the reasons of our faith, and gather up the arguments ready-made from the lips or pens of others. They do not carefully study the word of God, and establish themselves firmly on the principles, of Bible truth, line upon line, and precept upon precept. With such a preparation they can boldly meet the opposition of the world. Our ministers are in danger of using only the facts sought out by others, and going no further. They do not themselves dig for truth as for hidden treasures, but become careless and easily satisfied with the researches of others. They need a deep religious experience and knowledge gained for themselves in order to be successful in the important work of the ministry.
Many fail to see the necessity of earnest effort and close connection with Jesus Christ. They do not feel their utter helplessness without the aid of God, and they do not teach the truth with the Spirit and power, because they have it not in their hearts. It requires agonizing prayer to bring our souls into harmony with Christ. The history of our Saviour’s conflict in the wilderness of temptation, his life of self-sacrificing love, his soul-agony in the lonely garden of Gethsemane, the cruelty of the judgment hall, and the agony upon the cross, all combine to teach us a lesson of self-sacrifice, of patience under affliction, of solemn consecration to God, and of fitting preparation for his holy work.
Laborers for God, be not discouraged; when weary and heavy-laden, fly to Christ who has promised you rest. He is the Burden-bearer, he is your strength. Never allow yourself to imagine that you are in yourself sufficient for the exigency of the times; never consider yourself a graduated Christian. Your work is to discipline the mind, to store up knowledge, to perfect character while life lasts. Only thus can you be able to wage successfully the great warfare of life.
Keep the spirit humble as that of a little child. Pride, envy, worldly ambition, cupidity and love of ease must be sacrificed upon the altar of duty. In the simplicity of love, be like those little ones whose angels do always behold the face of our Heavenly Father. But unite with these virtues the courage of a tried warrior. We want faithful Calebs who will raise their voices fearlessly in defense of the right, who are the first to press into the front of the battle and plant the banner of truth in the heart of the enemy’s camp.
Jesus calls for young men who will volunteer to carry the truth to the world. Men of spiritual nerve and muscle are wanted, who are able to find work close at hand, because they are looking for it. The church needs new men to give new energy to the ranks, men for the times, and able to cope with its crying errors, who will inspire with fresh zeal the flagging efforts of the few, whose hearts are warm with Christian love, and whose hands are eager to go about their Father’s work.
The unsearchable riches of Christ are to be presented to the world in contrast with the poverty of sin, and the delusive pleasures of the world. Only a heart, brimming with the love of God, only a mind active by constant study of eternal interests, can properly set forth the beauties of the truth of God.
Those who unreservedly give themselves to this work, who faithfully reflect the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, fulfilling their mission with fidelity and love, will be recompensed on earth by the sweet consciousness of duty performed, and, in the bright Hereafter, when the saints come into their inheritance, then the devoted minister of Christ will be welcomed into the joy of his Lord, hearing from the Master’s lips: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
E. G. White.

Jenny @ 8:17 pm