Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

August 16, 1906

Teachers as Examples of Christian Integrity

Mrs. E. G. White

I have a message for those standing at the head of our educational institutions. I am instructed to call the attention of every one occupying a position of responsibility, to the divine law as the basis of all right conduct. I am to begin by calling attention to the law given in Eden, and to the reward of obedience and the penalty of disobedience.

In consequence of Adam's transgression, sin was introduced into the fair world that God had created, and men and women became more and still more bold in disobeying his law. The Lord looked down upon the impenitent world, and decided that he must give transgressors an exhibition of his power. He caused Noah to know his purpose, and instructed him to warn the people while building an ark in which the obedient could find shelter until God's indignation was overpast. For one hundred and twenty years Noah proclaimed the message of warning to the antediluvian world; but only a few repented. Some of the carpenters he employed in building the ark, believed the message, but died before the flood; others of Noah's converts backslided. The righteous on the earth were but few, and only eight lived to enter the ark. These were Noah and his family.

The rebellious race was swept away by the flood. Death was their portion. By the fulfilment of the prophetic warning that all who would not keep the commandments of heaven should drink the waters of the flood, the truth of God's word was exemplified.

After the flood the people once more increased on the earth, and wickedness also increased. Idolatry became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while he chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of his law for future generations. To him the message came, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.” And by faith Abraham obeyed. “He went out, not knowing whither he went.”

Abraham's seed multiplied, and at length Jacob and his sons and their families went down into Egypt. Here they and their descendants sojourned for many years, till at last the Lord called them out, to lead them into the land of Canaan. It was his purpose to make of this nation of slaves a people who would reveal his character to the idolatrous nations of the world. Had they been obedient to his word, they would soon have entered the promised land. But they were disobedient and rebellious, and for forty years they journeyed in the wilderness. Only two of the adults who left Egypt entered Canaan.

It was during the wilderness wandering of the Israelites that God gave them his law. He led them to Sinai, and there, amid scenes of awful grandeur, proclaimed the ten commandments.

We may with profit study the record of the preparation made by the congregation of Israel for the hearing of the law. “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.”

Who, then, is to be regarded as the Ruler of the nations?—The Lord God Omnipotent. All kings, all rulers, all nations, are his, under his rule and government.

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.”

What was the response of the congregation, numbering more than a million people?

“And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.”

Thus the children of Israel were denominated as a special people. By a most solemn covenant they were pledged to be true to God.

Then the people were bidden to prepare themselves to hear the law. On the morning of the third day the voice of God was heard. Speaking out of the thick darkness that enshrouded him, as he stood upon the mount, surrounded by a retinue of angels, the Lord made known his law.

God accompanied the proclamation of his law with manifestations of his power and glory, that his people might be impressed with a profound veneration for the Author of the law, the Creator of heaven and earth. He would also show to all men the sacredness, the importance, and the permanence of his law.

The people of Israel were overwhelmed with terror. They shrank away from the mountain in fear and awe. The multitude cried out to Moses, “Speak thou with us, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God's ten precepts. That the obligations of the decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the precepts of the ten commandments. Unlike the decalogue, these were delivered privately to Moses, who was to communicate them to the people.

Upon descending from the mountain, Moses “came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.”

Thus by a most solemn service the children of Israel were once more set apart as a peculiar people. The sprinkling of the blood represented the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by which human beings are cleansed from sin.

Once more the Lord has special words to speak to his people. In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus we read:

“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communicating with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Many other scriptures on the sacredness of God's law have been presented before me. Scene after scene, reaching down to the present time, passed before me. The word spoken by God to Israel was verified. The people disobeyed, and only two of the adults who left Egypt entered Canaan. The rest died in the wilderness. Will not the Lord today vindicate his word if the leaders of his people depart from his commandments?

(To be concluded.)

August 16, 1906

Words of Counsel and Encouragement From Sister White

At this juncture of the meeting, Sister E. G. White spoke, as follows:

“I am so glad that we have for our God One who judges righteously, and who understands the human heart. He knows just how to deal with every human being; and for this we ought to render to Him grateful, heartfelt thanksgiving.

“We are distinctly denominated as a people that keep the day which the Lord gave man in Eden in commemoration of the creation. After God had made the world in six days, He rested on the seventh day, and was refreshed; and He blessed the day upon which he had rested, and sanctified it. By observing this day, we are to be reminded continually of the creative power of our God.

“The world's inhabitants have lost sight of the holiness of God's law, and have set aside the day that He has sanctified. In its place, they have substituted a day of their own choosing. As a people, we are bidden to restore that which has been broken down. The breach that has been made in God's law, must be repaired. In directing the attention of the world to the light of the truth for this time, preparatory to the second coming of Christ, we are to use every agency possible for the proclamation of our message.

“It is for this purpose that our institutions have been established. The world is filled with subjects of Satan's kingdom. We thank God that we have many institutions wherein are carried forward various lines of work.

“How thankful we should be that we have a God who can preserve and sustain us in the hour of trial! We can not always understand his dealings with us. His providences may at the time seem strange; but he has in view something that is for our good and for the glory of his name.

“In the book of Job we find recorded a narrative that throws considerable light on things otherwise difficult to understand. [Sister White then read the first chapter of Job.]

“From this scripture we may learn much regarding God's dealings with His people. And when calamity comes, unless the Lord indicates plainly that this calamity is sent as a punishment of those who are departing from the word of His counsel; unless He reveals that it has come as a retribution for the sins of the workers, let every man refrain from criticism. Let us be careful not to reproach any one.

“The enemy is often permitted to try God's people in just such a way as Job was tried. And when Job's friends came to him and began to remind him of his sins, and to urge that he was suffering because of divine displeasure, they were doing a work that was wholly uncalled for.

“Job endured the test; he proved true to God. And after his trial, his blessings were manifold. The prosperity that attended the closing years of his life gave the enemy no opportunity to exult over the former misfortunes of God's faithful servant.

“The Lord desires us to labor for the benefit of one another. Let us all, ministers and people, be careful of our words. The power of speech is a talent; the mind, the voice, the strength,—all these are precious talents. Let us keep them wholly sanctified for service in God's cause. We must sanctify ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, unto God, that he may use us effectually as evangelists for the carrying forward of his work.”

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