Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 19, 1900

Kept in Trial

Mrs. E. G. White

“I say unto you my friends,” Christ said, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.”

The priests and rulers did all that lay in their power against the only begotten Son of God, and against all who acknowledged him; for they were imbued with the spirit of him who is a liar and a murderer. But though Satan thus vented his spite against the children of God and their great Head, he could not control the conscience nor tarnish the soul. He may cause all the suffering possible to the body, but he can not change the character of the man who conscientiously serves God.

Today men may persecute even unto death in an effort to make their fellow men worship an idol sabbath, which has been brought into existence by the man of sin, who thinks to change times and laws. But to torture and put to death is all they can do. Satan makes a continual effort to ruin the souls that God is seeking to save. By his masterly inventions and crooked deceptions he seeks to confuse men's minds in regard to the way, the truth, and the life. Under his direction men have inflicted untold pain and misery on their fellow men. But they have never been able to harm the soul.

There is a power that can destroy both soul and body. “I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear,” Christ said. “Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” The Ruler of the universe bears long with the perversity of men; but he keeps a record of their works, and in proportion as they have caused pain to others, they will themselves be punished. John writes, “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she hath said in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” No earthly ruler could show himself so jealous of his honor, so interested in his subjects, so kind and tender to those who put their trust in him, as does the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the Ruler high above all rule. He has strictly prohibited all sin, and has strictly enjoined practical obedience. It is Satan who fills man's heart with a desire to do evil. Those who follow him, the busy, incessant worker of evil, are not content with imperiling their own souls. They present every inducement that they think will lead others to imperil their souls. If they can not rule, they seek to ruin. A spirit of exasperation, of revenge and hatred, works in the children of disobedience, as it worked in the first great rebel. He imbues his followers with every species of malignity against those who can not be induced to join his ranks. Gaping prisons are open before them. They are threatened with the chain-gang and the stocks. Thus men treat those who worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. Have they forgotten that as they judge and punish, so they will be judged and punished?

God has said, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Men have borne false witness against God's chosen ones. They have bruised their limbs with fetters, and burned them at the stake. The Lord will avenge his children. In proportion as men have carried out the spirit and purposes of Satan in causing pain to human beings, so will they suffer. Thus will they perish who have done all in their power to compel men to transgress the law that God has commanded all to obey. “I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse,” John writes; “and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Christ says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Let the Lord testify in regard to the fruit he bears. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,” he declares; “because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives [not to sentence them to prison and exile, to chain-gangs and stocks], and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” This is the work of Christ. What a contrast to the work of Satan!

The Lord has not forgotten his people who live in this age. He says to them, “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.... For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Do those who accuse God's children come under the head of “contrite ones”?—Instead, they show to the world, to angels, and to men, that they have chosen to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness, to swell the number of those who love and make a lie.

We are living in probationary time. There are today only two sides, only two parties, in the world. Of those whom God sees that he can trust because they are loyal and obedient, he says: “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.”

The Lord makes a covenant with his people. After being tested and tried, those who are loyal to God's commandments are pronounced trustworthy members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King; and of them it is written, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things,” “and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem.”

“These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience.” Does this apply to the men who persecute those who conscientiously keep the commandments of God, who refuse to bow down to an idol sabbath and worship an institution of the papacy? Who is keeping the word of God's patience? This is a question of intense interest,—a question which none of us can afford to ignore; because God has said of those who do keep the word of his patience, “I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation.”

The hour of test and trial will surely come; it is even now approaching. Christ declares, “Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Compare these words with the warning, “If any man 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; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb....

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.” “I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”

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