Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

May 29, 1901

God's Purpose for Us

God created man for His own glory. It was His purpose to re-populate heaven with the human race, if after test and trial they proved to be loyal to Him. Adam was to be tested, to see whether he would be obedient or disobedient. Had he stood the test, his thoughts would have been as the thoughts of God. His character would have been moulded after the similitude of the divine character.

But Adam did not endure the test. Satan, the fallen angel, jealous of God, determined to defeat the purpose of heaven by leading Adam and Eve into sin. He approached Eve, not in the form of an angel, but as a serpent, subtle, cunning, and deceitful. With a voice that appeared to proceed from the serpent, he spoke to her, and his conversation was like the words which today wise and wicked angels speak thru various agencies. As Eve listened, the warnings that God had given faded from her mind. She yielded to the temptation, and as she tempted Adam he also forgot God's warnings. He believed the words of the enemy of God.

In Eden Satan used the serpent as his instrument. Today he makes use of the members of the human family, striving by means of every species of deception to hedge up the path of righteousness cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.

What were the words Satan spoke to Eve?—“Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” The “evil” was disobedience to God's commands. And Adam did indeed go thru the experience of knowing evil, with all its fearful consequences.

The eyes of Adam and Eve were opened, but to what?—To see their own shame and ruin, to realize that the garments of heavenly light that had been their protection were no longer around them as a safeguard. They saw that nakedness was the result of transgression. As they heard the voice of their Creator in the garden, they hid themselves from Him; for they anticipated that which before they had not known,—the condemnation of God.

The lie which Satan told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die,” has been sounding thru the centuries from generation to generation. Thus Satan tempted our first parents, and thus he tempts us today. And from age to age men and women have fallen into his snare, notwithstanding that they have before them Adam's disobedience and its results. Today men think and act the words of the great deceiver, giving the impression that God does not mean what He says.

The accusation which Adam brought against Eve, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat,” had no influence to save him from the result of disobedience. God said, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.”

Adam and Eve were shut out of Eden, and an angel with a flaming sword guarded the way to the tree of life, that the disloyal, disobedient pair might not gain access to it, and thus immortalize transgression.

Mark this point. The Lord did not place in Adam fallen and disobedient the confidence which He placed in Adam loyal and true, living by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. God's plan was to give man clear-sightedness in all his work. This was arranged for Adam by his heavenly Father. There was to be co-operation between God and man. But this plan was interfered with by Adam's transgression. Satan led Adam into sin, and the Lord could not communicate with him after he had sinned as He did when he was without sin.

Satan's instrument, the serpent, was cursed. And all who today allow themselves to be used by Satan as his instruments in leading others to disregard the commands of heaven, are under the curse of God. Man's safety lies in whole-hearted belief in a “Thus saith the Lord.” This is the declaration of truth. Those who from any motive are led away from the truth, to venture into a path of their own choosing, are following a path which will lead them to destruction.

Adam and Eve were given a probation in which to return to their allegiance; and in this plan of benevolence all their posterity were embraced. After the fall, Christ became Adam's instructor. He acted in God's stead toward humanity, saving the race from immediate death. He took upon Him the work of mediator between God and man. In the fulness of time He was to be revealed in human form. He was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man. In heaven was heard the voice, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.”

Christ was anointed “to preach good tidings unto the meek; ... to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, 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.”

It is God's purpose that His name shall be exalted among the nations. “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake will I not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”

This is to be the experience of those who hold fast the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. The whole of the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah is a representation of the work Christ will do thru those who follow His example. “Go thru, go thru the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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