Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Review and Herald

February 15, 1898

The Danger of Rejecting Light

Mrs. E. G. White

While on earth, Christ accomplished the work for which he left the throne of God in heaven. He worked for humanity, that through his work, humanity might be elevated in the scale of moral value with God. He assumed human nature, that he might elevate the human family, make them partakers of the divine nature, and place them on vantage-ground with God. His every action had been in behalf of the fallen world,—to seek the sheep that had strayed from the fold, and bring it back to God.

But the mission and character of Christ were misinterpreted by the Jewish nation. The Pharisees claimed to understand the Scriptures, and the coming of the Messiah was the burden of their searching. Yet they refused to listen to the teachings of Christ, because those teachings directly condemned their cherished sins. Christ therefore declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected him whom God had sent. He commanded them, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

“Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life,” he said. The One who patriarchs and prophets had testified would come, and who had declared the manner of his coming,—the One for knowledge of whom they had searched the Scriptures,—he who could give them life and light,—was among them; yet they refused to receive him. Those who should have echoed the message of John, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” held him up before the people as a deceiver.

Had the Son of Man come flattering their pride and justifying their iniquity, the Pharisees and rulers would have hastened to do him honor. But Christ declared: “I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?”

Jesus did not represent his work as differing from that of his Father. His plans were not independent of God. He moved in perfect harmony with God; his every act carried out his Father's will. His life was the mind of God expressed in humanity. He had come to the world in the Father's name, that through him we might have life. To the Jews he said: “I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.... When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.... I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.... If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God.”

When Christ should go to the Father, he could tell him that he had fulfilled his mission. Christ came to fulfill the law by perfect obedience in a world that was transgressing that law. “I am not come,” he said, “to destroy, but to fulfil,”—to manifest in my life every precept that my Father has given, and thus magnify the law, and make it honorable. Thus he left to all who believe in him an example of obedience to the law of God. “As the Father hath loved me,” he says, “so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”

Christ was the only begotten Son of God, yet he became a servant. Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord declares this. He says of him: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”

The Lord saw us in a sad condition, and sent to our world the only messenger that he could trust with his great treasure of pardon and grace. Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the delegated messenger. He was ordained to do a work that even the angels of heaven could not accomplish. He alone could be trusted to do the work required for the redemption of a world all seared and marred with the curse. And in this gift the Father gave all heaven to the world.

What a change was this for the Son of God, him who was the adored of angels, the Light of heaven! He might have gone to the pleasant homes of the unfallen worlds, to the pure atmosphere where disloyalty and rebellion had never intruded; and there he would have been received with acclamations of praise and love. But it was a fallen world that needed the Redeemer. “I came not to call the righteous,” said he, “but sinners to repentance.” He came to represent the Father in bringing the message of hope and salvation to our world. He lived not for himself; he did not consult his own ease and pleasure; he did not yield to temptation; and he condescended to die in order that sinful men might be redeemed, and live eternally in the mansions he was to prepare for them. His mission was to teach souls who were dying in their sins.

This work Christ has laid upon every one whom he has purchased. The Lord will give ample light to all who will be true and loyal to him, but he will show no more favor to Phariseeism and self-righteousness today than when he walked in his humanity in our world. The soul that encourages an atmosphere of doubt, God cannot favor with constantly increasing grace. His mercy and the gracious influences of his Spirit remain the same for all who will receive them. His offer of salvation does not change. It is man who changes his relationship to God. Many place themselves where they cannot recognize his grace and his salvation. They are under a delusion as to what constitutes Christianity. And while man refuses to become pure, holy, and undefiled, as God's law requires him to do, he is walking away from Christ.

The man who refuses the light that God has given in his word, cannot expect that the appeal ignored by him today will soften and humble his heart on the morrow, and that higher incentives and greater rewards will be presented before those who are refusing God's mercy. Every day Satan is stealing a march upon the poor, tempted soul who will not yield his heart to God; and with each rejection of light, the probability of his becoming a Christian lessens, until the Holy Spirit is grieved away.

But will those who have had light and truth reveal that they have not the spirit and love of Christ in the heart,—that they are not connected with the parent vine stock? Should they not rather, as the favored people of God, manifest to the world that they are one with Christ, as he is one with the Father? This every true worker with Christ will do, through the grace given him. As Christ was dependent upon his Father, so man is dependent upon Christ. “I can of mine own self do nothing,” he declared. The work which I do is all of my Father. The necessity is anticipated by him to whom I have access at all times. Had there been one deviation from the divine mind in the work of Christ, the plan of redemption would have proved a failure. So man can do nothing apart from Christ. When there is any deviation on our part from working in Christ's lines, a false mold is given to his work. Man is to live only for the accomplishment of the same work given the Son of God to do. He is honored in being a laborer together with God; and the Lord appreciates his workmanship. God has left nothing undone that he could do for us. He gave a perfect example of his character in the character of his Son; and it is the work of Christ's followers, as they behold the incomparable excellency of his life and character, to grow in his likeness. As they look unto Jesus and respond to his love, they will reflect the image of Christ.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»