Ellen G. White Writings

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The Southern Watchman

January 17, 1905

A Message of Judgment

The whole worship of ancient Israel was a promise, in figures and symbols, of Christ; and it was not only a promise, but an actual provision, designed by God to aid millions of people by uplifting their thoughts to the One who was to manifest himself to the world.

In losing sight of the sacredness of the temple service, and of its deep significance, the priests of Israel greatly dishonored the name of God. Referring to the reproach brought upon his name, God, through Malachi, declared to those who stood in the temple courts: “Ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.”

Continuing, the prophet asserted: “Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.”

In our day, workers who have been following a wrong course must make a decided reformation, else the blessings they have received will be turned into a curse. And this reformation can be made only by untiring perseverance. Wrongs are not righted, nor is character transformed, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is not the work of a day or a year, but of a life-time. Without continual efforts and constant endeavor, there can be no real advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor's crown.

The Lord requires of all who profess to be his people, far more than they give him. He expects believers in Christ Jesus to reveal to the world, in word and deed, the Christianity that was exemplified in the life and character of the Redeemer. If the word of God is enshrined in their hearts, they will give a practical demonstration of the power and purity of the gospel. The testimony thus borne to the world is of much more value than sermons, or professions of godliness that do not reveal good works. Let those who name the name of Christ remember that individually they are making an impression favorable or unfavorable to Bible religion, on the minds of all with whom they come in contact.

Plain is the message borne by the Lord through his servant Malachi:

“Ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

“My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

“But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.”

In the days of Israel, the enemy infused into the minds of men subtle sentiments derogatory to the character of God. With Satanic cunning he invented theories to ensnare all classes. Christ himself, as a teacher sent from God, came to separate truth from error, doubt, tradition, superstition,—from the mass of rubbish that man had piled upon it. By his teachings Christ reset truth in the framework of God's own law, and caused it to shine in its original, heavenly luster.

Today the enemy of all truth is working as never before to make of no effect the binding precepts of God's law. His theories and suggestions are presented so ingeniously, so plausibly, that the so-called Christian world have taken their stand under his banner. By pen and by voice they are endeavoring to tear down the standard of God's government, and in its place to erect a human, theoretical standard.

To false teachers in our day, as well as to those living in Malachi's time, are spoken the words:

“Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law....

“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.”

“Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?”

In reply, the God of judgment himself declares:

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me. saith the Lord of hosts.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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