The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
December 4, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and his Angels.
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter XIV.
Jacob’s Second Visit to .
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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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made his home in , and having purchased a piece of land he erected his , and close beside it his , and dedicated them to . The sons of Jacob were not all governed by . Their treatment of the Shechemites was to . Their father was kept in ignorance of their purpose until the work of was accomplished; and when he learned what had been done he severely rebuked them for their treacherous, revengeful course. and attempted to defend themselves by urging that they had thus avenged the wrong done to their sister. But Jacob assured them that nothing could justify their conduct; for the of one man they had caused the innocent inhabitants of a whole city to . These people had placed confidence in them, and thus had been . The had been dishonored. Jacob felt deeply ; he knew that and had been practiced, and he felt that he would now be hated and despised by the inhabitants of the country around them.

He saw, too, that treachery and cruelty was growing upon his sons, and that they were forgetting God, and allowing infidelity to come into their hearts. He knew that there was cause for self-condemnation in this matter, and he began to reflect upon his own conduct in allowing his beloved Rachel to conceal her father’s gods which she had stolen, when he should have destroyed at once everything which would lead to infidelity.

There were false  gods in the camp of Israel, and he had not used prompt means to destroy them; and idolatrous  worship was more or less practiced by his household. He knew that should God deal with them, in the present instance, according to their crime, he would permit the surrounding nations to take vengeance upon them.

While Jacob was thus bowed down with trouble, the Lord had compassion upon him, and directed him to leave his place and move southward to Bethel. At the mention of this name the patriarch is reminded not only of his vision of the angels, ascending and descending, and of God above them speaking to him words of comfort, but also of the vow which he had made there, that if God would keep and bless him, the Lord should be his God. And he reflects thus: Have I been as faithful to my promise as God has been to me? He saw and felt the necessity of being more thorough and decided in his family, to put away everything that savored of idolatry. He determined to cleanse the camp, that his company might go to this sacred spot free from defilement. He therefore stands up and addresses them: “Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments; and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.”

He then, with trembling voice and quivering lip, related to them his perplexity; when but a youth he left his father’s tent, a lonely traveler, afraid of his life, with no earthly friend to comfort or encourage. Passing Hebron and Moriah, he came, in the evening of the second day, to Bethel, the spot made sacred by the sacrifices and prayers of Abraham. He felt heart-sick and friendless in his solitude, and lay down to sleep. It was here that God gave him that encouraging dream of the heavenly ladder which reached from earth to Heaven. Angels of God were ascending and descending upon this ladder of shining brightness, and the Lord himself stood above it, and spoke to him these encouraging words: “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land.”

On awaking from this dream, Jacob felt that the spot was peopled with angels, and that God was looking with tender love and compassion upon him, and he there set up a memorial signifying that he would ever remember the loving-kindness of God.

As Jacob thus reviewed the goodness and mercy of God to him, his own heart was subdued and humbled; and he had taken the most effectual way to reach the hearts of his children, and lead them to reverence the God of Heaven when they arrived at Bethel. Not in the least did any of his family hesitate to obey his commands. All that were with him delivered up their idols, and also their earrings, and he buried them under an oak near Shechem. The patriarch felt that humiliation before God was more in keeping with their position than was the wearing of gold and silver ornaments.

Jacob had now done his duty in cleansing his household from idolatry, and he set out with them on his journey to Bethel. For the sake of his servant Jacob, who had no part in the cruelty practiced on the Shechemites, the Lord caused fear to fall upon the inhabitants of the land, that they did not arise to avenge the deed done to Shechem. The travelers moved on their way unmolested, and came to Bethel. Here Jacob, in obedience to the divine command, immediately erected an altar, upon which he performed the vow made when on his journey from Canaan to Mesopotamia. Of all the substance that had been placed with him in trust, he rendered an offering to God, although it took from him quite a large share of his possessions. The self-denial and beneficence here manifested, rebukes the self-indulgence of many professed Christians, and the meager offerings which they bring to God. Many put into the Lord’s treasury a sum less than the price of their cigars, and far less than the cost of the ornaments that adorn their persons and their houses, and the hurtful luxuries upon their tables. Eternity will reveal the narrowness and selfishness of these minds. What will be their feelings when Christ shall reveal to them the value of souls, and the infinite importance of their salvation?

The Lord accepted the offering of Jacob, and met with and blessed him, and renewed his covenant with him. As a lasting memorial of this additional token of divine favor, Jacob again erected a pillar of stone, which he consecrated in the usual manner.

Jacob’s heart yearned to visit his early home once more, and look again upon his aged father’s face. With his family, he journeyed toward Hebron. Before they had proceeded far on the way, Rachel gave birth to Benjamin. She had only a moment’s space of life in which to name him, when she died, calling him Benoni, the son of my sorrow. But Jacob named him Benjamin, the son of my right hand, and my strength. Rachel was buried where she died, and above her grave was placed a stone monument to perpetuate her memory.

Rebekah, his mother, was dead; and while they were at Bethel, Deborah, his mother’s nurse, also died, and was there buried with expressions of great sorrow, for she had been an honored member of his father’s family. The meeting of Jacob with his father was a joyful one to both father and son. Isaac was very old, blind, and dependent; but he lived some years after the return of his son.

At the death-bed of their father, the two brothers, Jacob and Esau, met and united their grief. Once Esau had looked forward to this event as a time when he would be revenged upon Jacob for stealing from him his father’s blessing; but his feelings had greatly changed. Jacob was now wealthy, and he returned to Esau the blessing of possession so recklessly sold for a mess of pottage. Therefore the two brothers, no longer separated by enmity, jealousy, and hatred, parted from each other because of their possessions. Jacob also knew that their religious faith was so unlike it would be better for them to live apart. Jacob’s character was greatly modified and refined by the blessing received from the angel in that night of terrible conflict, and ever after he was reverenced by all who knew him. His trials had not been in vain.

Jenny @ 6:45 pm
October 23, 1879 Sanctification.
Filed under: EG White Articles

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A LETTER WRITTEN BY SISTER WHITE, OCT. 8:–

Our at , Ind., is now ended. We came upon the ground in an condition, took from gathered in the , which caused us to labor with great difficulty through the . But this has been a good meeting, and very profitable for . I felt the burden of urging upon the people the necessity of obtaining an individual experience in the things of , that their prosperity depended upon close and constant connection with him.

Many were so absorbed in the , they were neglecting their . I felt the danger of this people and the Lord gave me a for them. there was deep feeling in the meeting; quite a number came, forward for , several who were making their first move on the Lords side. After was offered for these, they repaired in small companies to several tents, and a minister was chosen for each tent where they were gathered, and the work was carried forward that had begun in the large tent. These meetings were characterized by deep feeling. Several stated that they came to the meeting prejudiced, but they were going home to keep the Sabbath and unite with this people.

The attendance on Sunday was good. The congregation seemed to be of the best class of society, and listened with attention.

Monday at five o’clock, by the call of the bell, we assembled under the tent. During the night I had been so burdened that I could not sleep, and spent these wakeful hours in pleading with God in my own behalf, and in behalf of the ministers of the Indiana Conference. I had the assurance that God would reveal himself to us, and give us help in our time of need. The Lord strengthened me to bear the testimony he had given me, to the ministers in particular.

The false theory of sanctification had threatened not only the unity and harmony of families, but the peace and prosperity of the church. Upon this subject I had a special testimony to bear.

This false sanctification is most dangerous and deceptive in its influence upon all who accept it. A peculiar atmosphere surrounds them, an influence which, when brought in contact with others, if not discerned, is breathed in unconsciously by the receiver. This atmosphere is charged with poison which is death to spirituality. There are no snares of Satan more hard to be discerned and defined, and souls be rescued from, than this delusion.

Those who accept this bogus sanctification do not hesitate to draw away from the body and set themselves up as criteria. They claim that the Lord is leading them, and do not seek counsel of the church, but move out independently, deceived in themselves and deceiving others. The poison of this so-called sanctification is inhaled, and the atmosphere, apparently so balmy, is intoxicating and destructive to those who are charmed with it. Each individual will have an independence of his own, claiming to be taught of God; therefore no one must get in their way or interfere with their course of action. This is as Satan would have it. The voice of the church, God’s delegated power upon earth, is set aside and despised. These professedly sanctified ones are filled with vain conceit, and with presumption move on in their own wisdom, exhorting others to come up to the exalted standard of themselves. They disregard the teachings and prayer of Christ that his disciples may be one as he was one with the Father, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The unity and oneness of the church was to be the living epistle, known and read of all men. The world was to see in their harmony and love for each other the life of Christ exemplified.

Individuals who will strike out upon some new light and some new truth, independent of the body, are pursuing a course directly contrary to the word of God. If they have any influence over others, it is to disaffect them and lead them away from the watchcare, counsel, and strength of the body. And the very ones who claim sanctification, have in their hearts insubordination, pride, envy, jealousy, and evil surmising of their brethren. They sit as judges upon the life and character of their brethren. These are the fruits generally to be found growing upon the tree of false sanctification. This class have graduated. They suppose they have come to the knowledge of the truth. If they attend camp-meetings, they will think they are so far ahead of the servants of God who labor in the meetings that they cannot learn anything, therefore the word or message of instruction God gives his servants for the people is not for them. They will generally be found drawing one or two away, holding them in conversation, imparting to them the great light they suppose they have; and thus some are deprived of hearing the message of God to the people. These self deceived men are drawing away souls from the body, scattering from Christ, and bringing in dissension and division. Individual experience is set above the authority of the church, and their example leads others whom they deceive to regard lightly the voice of counsel and admonition of the church. This course has worked the ruin of very many souls in every age of the world. As children in the family of God we need the wisdom and experience of matured Christians to direct, to encourage, and to defend us in times of danger, and to lead on to constant growth in grace, and to seek daily attainments in the knowledge of the truth and true holiness.

In the ministry of Christ and his apostles, those who were converted to the truth were brought into church relationship; and every stray, lost sheep that was found, was brought to the fold of the church, that under the direction of the Master, through the undershepherds, they might go in and out and find pasture. God has instituted his church and delegated to it his authority and power. He has given it the inspired oracles, provided it with pastors and teachers to carry forward his work on the earth when he should leave it. At a later date, when the church was weakened by its individual members being led into errors, and spiritual life was chilled and palsied by backslidings, the inspired apostle exclaimed, “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy.” “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Nothing is so demoralizing, so enfeebling to the church, as to have her individual members obtain a burden upon this false sanctification, which leads them away from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ. Satan always leads this class away from the church, and leads them to regard the church far behind them in spirituality and experience. The power and glory of God is revealed in his church. Here God gives the blessings of his grace. Here he reveals the mysteries of his will.

There have been and always will be tares among the wheat, the foolish virgins with the wise, those who have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. There was a covetous Judas in the church Christ formed on earth, and there will be Judases in the church in every stage of her history. But because there are such, it does not do away with the fact that God has a church. There were murmurers, envious and jealous ones in the tribes of Israel, journeying to the promised Canaan; but, notwithstanding, God led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The deceitful hearts of individuals will lead them astray because they see imperfections in the church, but these very ones have defective characters that they do not discern. These very ones are capable of being useful in the church were they connected with the great Head of the church. But if they choose to be presumptuous, and in self-sufficiency draw off on some tangent, the church will move on without them. Every member of the church is bound by the most solemn vow to advance its interests and to labor unselfishly and devotedly for its success.

The prosperity of the church depends upon the faithfulness, purity, and zealous action of its individual members. Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

If all who are ambitious for distinction above their brethren could estimate to what a depth of humiliation Christ submitted for their sakes, and learn from the cross of humiliation to be subject one to another, there would exist in the church a simplicity and power which would have a telling influence on the world. Through the cross we may learn the love we should have for our fellowmen, and the value of souls for whom Christ died, and our works, in self-denial to save the perishing souls around us will correspond with our faith.

Jenny @ 6:25 pm