Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), Page 1181

before the world, before angels, and before the unfallen worlds. They were to reveal to the world the laws of the government of heaven. By precept and example they were to bear a decided testimony for the truth. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.

Through disloyalty, God's chosen people developed a character exactly the opposite of the character He desired them to develop. They placed their own mold and superscription upon the truth. They forgot God, and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. The blessings they had received brought no blessing to the world. All their advantages were appropriated for their own glorification. They robbed God of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. Like the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, they followed out every imagination of their evil hearts. Thus they made sacred things appear a farce, saying, “The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these,” while at the same time they were misrepresenting God's character, dishonoring His name, and polluting His sanctuary (The Southern Watchman, January 10, 1905).

13. See EGW on Leviticus 1:3, Vol. 1, p. 1110.

Chapter 2

1, 2. God Requires More Than We Give Him—[Malachi 2:1, 2 quoted.] The Lord requires of all who profess to be His people, far more than they give Him. He expects believers in Christ Jesus to reveal to the world, in word and deed, the Christianity that was exemplified in the life and character of the Redeemer. If the Word of God is enshrined in their hearts, they will give a practical demonstration of the power and purity of the gospel. The testimony thus borne to the world is of much more value than sermons, or professions of godliness that do not reveal good works. Let those who name the name of Christ remember that individually they are making an impression favorable or unfavorable to Bible religion, on the minds of all with whom they come in contact (The Southern Watchman, January 17, 1905).

Chapter 3

1-3. Truth a Continual Test—[Malachi 3:1-3 quoted.] Everything in our character that cannot enter the city of God will be reproved; if we submit to the Lord's refining, all the dross and the tin will be consumed. As the Lord's chosen ones will receive the light appropriate for this time, they will not be led to exalt themselves. They will not manufacture a standard whereby to measure their own character; for the Lord has given one standard, by which every character is to be tested. There is not one standard for the poor, and another for the rich; for all will be tested by that law which bids us to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Those who win the treasure of heaven will be those who have laid up their treasure above. God gives us light and opportunities to learn from Christ; that we may be like Him in spirit and character; but we are not to conform to any human standard. We are to receive the truth of God into the heart, that it may regulate the life and form the character.

The Lord is looking upon men in the different spheres in which they move, and the character is tested under the different circumstances in which they are placed. The truth, pure, refined, elevating, is a continual test, to measure the man. If truth controls the conscience and is an abiding principle in the heart, it becomes an active working agent, it works by love and purifies the soul. But if the knowledge of the truth produces no beauty in the soul, if it does not subdue, soften, and recreate the man after God's own image, it is of no benefit to the receiver; it is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. The truth as it is in Jesus, planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, always works from within outward; it will be revealed in our words and spirit and actions toward everyone with whom we are connected (Letter 20a, 1893).

3, 4. A Refining Process—[Malachi 3:3, 4 quoted.] In this scripture is portrayed a refining, purifying process, to be carried on in the hearts of men by the Lord of hosts. The process is most trying to the soul, but it is only by this means that the

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