Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 154

glorify ourselves, forgetful of the souls whom he died to redeem by his precious blood? No; let us do while we have the strength; let us work while it is day; let us devote ourselves to the service of God, that we may have his approbation and at last receive his reward.

Satan An Accuser of the Brethren

[Sermon delivered Sabbath afternoon, September 26.]

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” Zechariah 3:1-3.

Here we find a representation of the people of God of today. As Joshua stood before the Angel, “clothed with filthy garments,” so we stand in the presence of Christ, clothed in garments of unrighteousness. Christ, the angel before whom Joshua stood, is now interceding for us before his Father, as he is here represented as interceding for Joshua and his people who were in deep affliction; and Satan now, as then, stands by to resist his efforts.

Ever since his fall, it has been the work of Satan to oppose Christ's efforts to redeem the race. In the Bible he is called an accuser of the brethren. It is said that he accuses them before God day and night. Every time he leads them into temptation, he rejoices; because he well knows that their power of resistance will thus become weakened, and that he can then the more easily lead them to commit other sins. And when they have taken step after step in the wrong direction, he turns and begins to accuse them of the very sins which he has led them to commit. He thus causes them to become discouraged, and to lose confidence in themselves and in the Lord; and after they have separated from God, dishonored his name, and broken his law, he claims them as his captives, and contests the right of Christ to take them from him. Pointing to their sins, as he did to the filthy garments of Joshua, he says: “They profess to be thy children; but they do not obey thee. See the traces of sin upon them. They are my property.”

This is the argument that he employs concerning God's people in all ages. He pleads their sinfulness as the reason why Christ's restraining power should not hold him back from exercising his cruelty upon them to its fullest extent. But to the accuser of his people the Saviour says, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Have I not thrust my own hand into the fire to gather this brand from the burning?”

So long as the people of God preserve their fidelity to him, so long as they cling by living faith to Jesus, they are under the protection of heavenly angels, and Satan will not be permitted to exercise his hellish arts upon them to their destruction. But those who separate themselves from Christ by sin are in great peril. If they continue to disregard the requirements of God, they know not how soon he may give them over to Satan, and permit him to do to them according to his will. There is, therefore, the greatest necessity of keeping the soul free from defilement, and the eye single to the glory of God; of thinking soberly and watching unto prayer continually.

Satan is now more earnestly engaged in playing the game of life for souls than at any previous time; and unless we are constantly on our guard, he will establish in our hearts, pride, love of self, love

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