Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 14

By Their Fruits, January 8

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20.

When those who are in God's service resort to accusation, they are adopting Satan's principles to cast out Satan. It never will work. Satan will work. He is working upon human minds by his crooked principles. These will be adopted and acted upon by those who claim to be loyal and true to God's government. How shall we know that they are untrue, disloyal? “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

The Lord saw the use that Satan was making of his power, and He set before him truth in contrast with falsehood. Time and again during the controversy Satan was ready to be convinced, ready to admit that he was wrong. But those he had deceived were ready to accuse him of leaving them. What could he do—submit to God, or continue in a course of deception? He chose to deny truth, to take refuge in misstatements and fraud. The Lord allowed Satan to go on and demonstrate his principles.

God did establish Himself, and He carried the worlds unfallen and the heavenly universe with Him, but at a terrible cost. His only begotten Son was given up as Satan's victim. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed a character entirely opposite to that of Satan. As the high priest laid off his gorgeous, pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of a common priest, so Christ emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim.

By causing the death of the Sovereign of heaven, Satan defeated his own purposes. The death of the Son of God made the death of Satan unavoidable. Satan was allowed to go on until his administration was laid open before the worlds unfallen and before the heavenly universe. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he uprooted himself [from sympathy], and was seen by all to be a liar, a thief, and a murderer.

God sees that the same course of action is being pursued the world over. Men and women come to the place where the road diverges: it is either right or wrong. Thousands upon thousands clothe themselves in what they suppose to be an impenetrable disguise, and choose the wrong.... God does not force anyone. He leaves all free to choose. But He says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The Lord will not write as wise those who cannot distinguish between a tree that bears thorn berries and a tree that bears olives.—Manuscript 57, 1896 (Manuscript Releases 18:361-363).

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