Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), Page 1153

Chapter 59

13-17 (Revelation 12:17). Satan Setting Trained Agents at Work—The condition of the world at the time of Christ is well described by the prophet Isaiah. He says that the people were found “transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God.” [Isaiah 59:13-17 quoted.]

The condition of the world previous to the first appearing of Christ is a picture of the condition of the world just previous to His second advent. The same iniquity will exist, Satan manifests the same delusive power upon the minds of men. He is setting his trained agents at work, and moving them to intense activity. He is securing his army of human agents to engage in the last conflict against the Prince of life, to overthrow the law of God, which is the foundation of His throne. Satan will work with miraculous presentations to confirm men in the belief that he is what he claims to be,—the prince of this world, and that victory is his. He will turn his forces against those who are loyal to God, but though he may cause pain, distress, and human agony, he cannot defile the soul. He may cause affliction to the people of God as he did to Christ, but he cannot cause one of Christ's little ones to perish. The people of God in these last days must expect to enter into the thick of the conflict; for the prophetic Word says, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Letter 43, 1895).

Chapter 60

1 (Psalm 8:3; 147:4; Daniel 12:3). Each to Give His Measure of Light—Every shining star which God has placed in the heavens obeys His mandate, and gives its distinctive measure of light to make beautiful the heavens at night; so let every converted soul show the measure of light committed to him; and as it shines forth the light will increase and grow brighter. Give out your light, ... pour forth your beams mirrored from heaven. O daughter of Zion, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Letter 38, 1890).

2 (Malachi 2:7, 8). Only Light Can Dispel Darkness—When Christ came into the world, darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people. The living oracles of God were fast becoming a dead letter. The still, small voice of God was heard only at times by the most devout worshiper; for it had become overpowered and silenced by the dogmas, maxims, and traditions of men. The long, intricate explanations of the priests made that which was the plainest and most simple, mysterious, indistinct, and uncertain. The clamors of rival sects confused the understanding, and their doctrines were widely apart from the correct theory of truth....

Truth looked down from heaven upon the children of men, but found no reflection of itself; for darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. If the darkness of error that hid the glory of God from the view of men was to be dispelled, the light of truth must shine amid the moral darkness of the world. It was decreed in the councils of God that the only-begotten Son of God must leave His high command in heaven, and clothe His divinity with humanity, and come to the world. No outward splendor must attend His steps, save that of virtue, mercy, goodness, and truth; for He was to represent to the world the attributes of God's character; but the world, unaccustomed to gaze upon truth, turned from the light to the darkness of error; for error was more to their perverted taste than truth (The Review and Herald, August 6, 1895).

Chapter 61

1, 3. Guard Countenance, Words, Tone of Voice—[Isaiah 61:1 quoted.] The Lord is not pleased to have His people a band of mourners. He wants them to repent of their sins, that they may enjoy the liberty of the sons of God. Then they will be filled with the praises of God, and will be a blessing to others. The Lord Jesus was anointed also “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”

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