Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 155

of the world, and many other evil traits. He will also use every possible device to unsettle our faith in God and in the truths of his word. If we have not a deep experience in the things of God, if we have not a thorough knowledge of his word, we shall be beguiled to our ruin by the errors and sophistries of the enemy. False doctrines will sap the foundations of many, because they have not learned to discern truth from error. Our only safeguard against the wiles of Satan is to diligently study the Scriptures; to have an intelligent understanding of the reasons of our faith; and to faithfully perform every known duty. The indulgence of one known sin will cause weakness and darkness, and subject us to fierce temptation.

Joshua is represented as pleading with the Angel. Are we engaged in the same work? Are our supplications ascending to God in living faith? Are we opening the door of the heart to Jesus, and closing every means of entrance to Satan? Are we daily obtaining clearer light and greater strength, that we may stand in Christ's righteousness? Are we emptying our hearts of all selfishness, and cleansing them, preparatory to receiving the latter rain from heaven?

Now is the time when we are to confess and forsake our sins that they may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out. Now is the time to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” It is dangerous to delay this work. Satan is even now seeking by disasters upon sea and land to seal the fate of as many as possible. What is the defense of the people of God at this time? It is a living connection with heaven. If we would dwell in safety from the noisome pestilence, if we would be preserved from dangers seen and unseen, we must hide in God; we must secure the protecting care of Jesus and holy angels. In these days of peril, the Lord would have us walk before him in humility. Instead of trying to cover our sins, he would have us confess them, as Joshua confessed the sins of ancient Israel. We profess to be the depositaries of God's law. We profess to be building up “the old waste places,” and to be raising up “the foundations of many generations.” If this great and solemn work has indeed been committed to us, how important that we depart from all iniquity!

We may be followed with testimony after testimony of reproof; but if we do not overcome the disposition in us to do evil, if we do not respond to the light, we shall be in a state of condemnation before God. If, on the other hand, we live up to all the light that shines upon us, that light will continue to increase, and we shall have a clean record in heaven. The third angel's message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.

As the intercession of Joshua was accepted, the command was given to those that stood by, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And unto Joshua the Angel said, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” “So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments.” Even so will all those who come to Jesus in penitence and faith receive the robe of Christ's righteousness.

As we approach the perils of the last days, the temptations of the enemy become stronger and more determined.

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