Ellen G. White Writings

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The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 77

March 6, 1900

“The Third Angel’s Message. What Is It as to Babylon the Daughters?” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 77, 10, p. 152.

SO long as a person walks in the light of God, loves and accepts the truth of God, however that truth may come to him, so long the presence and the power of God will accompany him, and he will have influence with men. The abiding presence and power of God is the only true source of legitimate power and influence with men. When Jacob knew that he had no strength against Esau, who was coming with four hundred armed men, he earnestly sought God all night, until the break of day; and when the angel exclaimed, “Let me go, for the day breaketh,” Jacob said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” “And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:26-28.

Thus the abiding presence and power of God is the only true source of legitimate power and influence with men. And continuing to walk in advancing light, the receiving of additional truth, is the only true means of having this abiding presence and power of God; because this is the only way of faith: and faith is the only means of God’s dwelling with us, or we with him. Therefore, in the nature of things, whenever advance light or additional truth is rejected, the power and presence of God are lost; and, in this, the true source of legitimate power and influence with men is lost. And whenever this is so, whether in the case of an individual or of a church, this loss is discerned by that individual or church; and then resort is invariably had to inventions of their own, to external and worldly means, to secure power and influence with men.

In all the instances in all this course of history, from the apostles’ days until now, whenever a church has refused to walk in the advancing light, has refused to receive additional truth, she has separated from the presence and power of God, and then has invariably resorted to inventions of her own, and to external and worldly means of securing power and influence with men. And since 180-44 it has been, and is, so with this church in the United States. She rejected the message of God; and so separated herself from the presence and power of God, and thus lost power and influence with men.

But power belongs to the church of God. That is settled: It is the power of God. And power she will have; power she must have, or perish. But it is only the power of God that can keep her alive. By any other power, however great it may be, she will surely perish. The power of God, as manifested in the true gospel of Christ, draws men; for it is written: “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” And, in the nature of things, when the church has rejected the drawing power of the everlasting gospel of the crucified Christ, she is compelled to resort to other means of drawing men. And when she resorts to other means to draw men, again, in the nature of things, she draws them not unto Christ, but unto herself: there is a “falling away;” she exalts herself, in the place of God, and draws disciples to herself.

Everybody knows that the Protestant churches in the United States have followed this very course. Beginning with strawberry festivals in summer, and oyster suppers in winter, they have passed through the successive stages of “grab-bags,” “fish-ponds,” “kissing bees,” “auction sales,” “ring-cakes,” “crazy suppers,” lotteries, raffles, etc., etc., etc. All this is too notorious to need any sort of proof.

And this bad gradation, from the milder to the more intense sort, is all perfectly logical, because when the churches had resorted to such means of drawing the crowd and “influencing the masses,” the milder forms of entertainment soon grew stale. And these having lost their drawing power, other and more novel devices had to be invented. As these, in turn, grew stale and lost their power to draw, still others had to be invented. And at last they were brought to their wits’ end for any such resources.

But there was one source of power and influence with men that still had not been touched: that was—the state. And true to the logic of the case, and true to the whole course of history, this power of the state was at last not simply invoked, but under threats of political perdition to legislators, and “bull-dozing their congressional representatives,” they actually seized the power of the United States government, and since have boasted that they hold the government of the United States in their hands. And by their own statements and the acknowledgment of the leading statesmen of the nation, the power of the state and the influence of the law are the only power and influence depended upon by the church to control the masses, even of her own membership.

And thus these churches have run the whole course, after the example of Babylon the great, the mother; and, by rejecting truth, separating from their Lord, and joining themselves to the kings of the earth, they have made themselves true daughters of “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”

Thus the rejection of the first of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, resulted in the “falling away” from the truth, and the formation of Babylon the daughters. And, therefore, the second message became due to the world, and must be given: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

And as the first “falling away,” which resulted in Babylon the mother, ended in the formation of “the beast,” so this latter falling away, which results in Babylon the daughters, ends in the formation of “the image of the beast.” And this necessitates the third of the three angels’ messages,—the great and mighty Third Angel’s Message,—which follows the first two, “saying with a loud voice, If any worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” Revelation 14:9, 10.

Such is the philosophy, and such the course of the things that are the cause of the Third Angel’s Message being given in the world. And thus we are brought to the time of the Third Angel’s Message, and to the condition of things which demands that that message shall be given. And, therefore, we are brought to the consideration of the Third Angel’s Message itself, as it has to do with “the beast and his image.”

“The ‘Return of the Jews’” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 77, 10, pp. 152, 153.

IN view of the fact that “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek;” and that disregard of the law of God turns circumcision into uncircumcision, a Jew into a Gentile; while observance of the law of God turns uncircumcision into circumcicion, a Gentile into a true Jew, the Scripture very appropriately asks the questions: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?”

And although there is advantage, yet it is in no wise of a sort that calls for any return of the Jews, just because they are Jews—Jews after the flesh. The Scripture answers these questions; but in the answers to the questions, it is nowhere given as one of the advantages which the Jew has that he should return to Palestine.

Though there is much advantage, every way, yet the chief of all the advantages that ever were to the Jews for any cause, is “that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” And even these oracles were committed to them, not for their sakes but for the fathers’ sakes, that God might fulfill the promise made to the fathers. And the promise made to the fathers was not because of any personal favor that God would show to them; but was altogether because of the character that they had developed through faith in God. And these oracles were committed to them that they, in turn, might convey to all nations of the Gentiles the knowledge of God as revealed in those oracles. And when, instead of doing so, those people abused those oracles, they became even worse than the heathen who had not had the great light that had been given to them.

So, then, neither were the oracles committed to them because they were better than other people, nor did the mere committing of the oracles to them make them better than others; for, in view of the fact of this chief advantage “that unto them were committed the oracles of God,” it is written: “What then? are we [the Jews] better than they [the Gentiles]? No, in NO WISE: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus....

“Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: aeeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” Romans 3:9-30.

Thus again it is demonstrated by the argument of the plain word of God that faith—faith, the faith of Jesus Christ—is the only way for any return of

either Jew or Gentile, and is the one only way for both alike. And this faith is equally within the reach of Jew and Gentile wherever they may be. It can not be had any more certainly in Palestine than in any other country; and for the simple reason that it is not found in a place, but only in a Person—the person of Jesus Christ. And through the blessed administration of the eternal Spirit, this Person is now accessible to all people in all places alike.

And through him both Jew and Gentile have access by the one Spirit unto the Father; all are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; and there, “there is neither Jew nor Greek;” for whosoever is Christ’s is “Abraham’s seed,” and an heir “according to the promise” made of God to Abraham.

And this is the return, and the only true return, of the Jews to their own land; for the land that God sware to Abraham to give to him and to his seed is the only land that truly belongs to the Jews; and this belongs only to true Jews, the true seed of Abraham, who are such only by faith in Christ.

“Studies in Galatians. Galatians 3:19” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 77, 10, pp. 152.

“WHEREFORE then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions... and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”

This statement in Galatians 3:19 is identical in substance with that by Stephen in his last words to the Sanhedrin, as they were about to stone him to death, when he said, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers; who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Acts 7:52, 53.

This expression by Stephen, that the law was received, “by the disposition of angels,” and the expression in Galatians 3:19, that the law “was ordained by angels,” are identical; for Stephen’s word translated “disposition,” and Paul’s word translated “ordained,” are the same Greek word precisely, with simply a variation in tense. Stephen’s word is diatagas and Paul’s word is diatageis.

Now, what law could it be which, whatever else might be included, was pre-eminently the law referred to by Stephen when, in connection with the law that they had not kept, he charged them with being murderers? What law is it which pre-eminently is not kept by a murderer?—It is the law of God—the ten commandments, one of which says, “Thou shalt not kill.” And when the same identical word is used in Galatians 3:19, in the same identical connection, then what law alone can be referred to as pre-eminently the law there referred to, whatever other laws may be included? To have any other than the same law in both places, would be simply to do positive violence to the plain scripture in its whole connection. And since there can be no possible question as to what law is pre-eminently the one referred to by Stephen, there can likewise be no question as to what law is pre-eminently referred to in Galatians 3:19, when the same identical word is used as was used by Stephen, and in the same connection and in the same sense precisely.

What, then, is the thought expressed in the words “the disposition of angels,” “ordained by angels”? The root of the two words used by Stephen and Paul is diatasso, which signifies “to arrange, ordain, establish;” “to set in order, and draw up an army” on parade, or “in battle order.” Thus, the specific statement in the two passages is that at the giving of the law referred to in the two places, the angels were drawn up in a grand array, as a king disposes his army, or a general his troops; and that, in the presence of this grand array of the angels of God, the law in question was given by the hand of a mediator.

As was presented in a former study: Since there is but “one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” Christ is unquestionably the Mediator in whose hand this law was ordained. And the scene is touched in Deuteronomy 33:2; “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” From his right hand went forth this “fiery law” in the writing upon the tables of stone, and also in the work of making the tables of stone upon which the law was written by the hand of fire. For “the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” Exodus 32:16.

And when those original tables had been broken by Moses, although Moses hewed out a second two tables like unto the first, he was required to take up these tables into the mount; and there, Moses says, the Lord again “wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.” Deuteronomy 10:4, 5.

Thus the law of the ten commandments, in the completest sense, was given by the hand of the “one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus;” and no other law was given. Other law was given by word, or by inspiration, to Moses, which he wrote with his hand; but no other law than that on the tables of stone was given in or by the hand of the Mediator. From his “hand” went forth that “fiery law;” and from that hand went forth no other law. And when from that “right hand” went forth that “fiery law,” then thousands of saints were present. These ten thousands of saints (or “holy ones,” R.V.) were the grand and glorious array of angels ordained, disposed, set in order, by the heavenly King, to behold and to do honor to this wonderful transaction of that most wonderful occasion.

Even Christian people have never yet truly discerned the majesty and glory of the giving of the law at Sinai; and that majesty and glory are only the true measure of the importance of that event. “There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud:” “mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly:” “the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder:” “the voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.” Psalm 77:18.—And from the midst of that glorious and terrible scene, when “the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness” (Deuteronomy 4:11), “the Lord spake.... out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice,” the ten commandments (Deuteronomy 5:22), “and he added no more.” And “all the people that was in the camp trembled,” and “entreated that the word should not be spoken [added] to them any more.” And then, with his hand of fire, “he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto” Moses.

“The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” Psalm 68:17. “The angels, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, surrounded the people of God as they were assembled around the mountain, and were all above them; thus making a great living tabernacle, from which every evil angel was excluded, that not one word that was to come from the voice of Jesus should be altered in any mind, nor one suggestion of doubt or evil to a soul be made.”

Thus when the law was delivered at Sinai, the glorious Lord and all the people were surrounded with the heavenly host of angels, disposed, ordained, arranged in orderly array. Four-faced and four winged cherubim, six-winged seraphim, and bright angels in glittering golden chariots—all these by the thousands upon thousands accompanied the Majesty of heaven, the Mediator, as in love there went forth from his hand to sinful men his great fiery law of love. Deuteronomy 33:3. Then at the giving of the law of God, the ten commandments, at Sinai, there certainly has been no more majestic scene since the creation of the world. And that is the only law ever given by the hand of the Mediator.

How can there be any question or doubt that this is the law of Galatians 3:19 that was added because of transgressions, and that was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator?

“A Mischievous Scheme” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 77, 10, p. 154.

TWO years ago Mr. John Barrett was United States Minister to Siam. Since that he has been in the United States about a year. Here he seems to be a sort of general drummer-up of sympathy, and molder of public opinion, in favor of the policy of the United States in the East. February 22 he was the guest of honor at a banquet of the Southern Society of New York City, on which occasion he made a speech on America’s policy in the far East. He declared that the “open-door” victory of the United States in China must now be defended; and that she must not allow the other powers to “slam the door.” In order for the United States to make sure of her position there, he gave the following most dangerous advice:—

There remains, however, one highly strategic and effective move to be made on the chessboard of diplomacy before the United States and the world at large will be convinced that disguised efforts to discriminate against our products will be forever checkmated under those new agreements, and I think the government at Washington has the point well in mind. We must have a test case, and the sooner the better,—not a defiant attitude or effort to embroil our country in war, but a firm purpose, prompted by an honest desire to establish our rights by practical trial, like the test of the constitutionality of a new law that has just been enacted. Stated in other and brief terms: We must have a precedent now to prove that the door is opened and can not be closed. If an effort is made to shut it in our faces, either by a gradual movement or a slam, despite these new negotiations, our government, support by the country at large, must resist such movement, and insist on our rights, with all the forces, moral and material, at our command.

And in view of all the circumstances, it is practically certain that this mischievous advice will be followed. Indeed, the danger is that the thing is already planned, and that this statement of the necessity is put forth as a feeler, and to pave the way for it. And with what a world of possible danger and calamity the suggestion is laden!

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