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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 136, 1899

    The True and the False


    September 20, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1107, 1136; CTr 35. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Education means far more than many teachers, with all their supposed knowledge, understand. If the human family had appreciated the instruction given by the great Teacher to men in all ages and all times, from generation to generation, how different the race would be. Were we privileged to see what would have been had men and women been obedient to God’s teaching, a new world would be presented before us, a world bearing the impress of heaven.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 1

    Our heavenly Father has made every provision that this should be. Read the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John. There we are shown what God desires to do for the human race. If the Holy Spirit could come upon us as it came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, eyes now blinded would be opened, for the scales would fall from them.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 2

    Ever since the fall, men have disobeyed God. The Lord gave Cain and Abel directions regarding the sacrifice they were to bring Him. Abel, a keeper of sheep, obeyed the Lord’s command, and brought a lamb as his offering. This lamb, as it was slain, represented the Lamb of God, who was to be slain for the sins of the world. Cain brought as an offering the fruit of the ground, his own produce. He was not willing to be dependent on Abel for an offering. He would not go to him for a lamb. He thought his own works perfect, and these he presented to God.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 3

    “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering.” Abel offered of the firstfruits of his flock, just as God had directed. “But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well”—in accordance with My directions—“shalt thou not be accepted, and if thou doest not well”—disregarding My word—“sin lieth at the door.” [Genesis 4:4-7.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 4

    Cain talked with Abel about their sacrifices, and charged God with partiality. Abel interceded with his brother, repeating to him the very words of God’s command to them both regarding the offerings He required. Cain was provoked because his younger brother should presume to teach him. He allowed envy and jealousy to fill his heart. He hated his brother because he was preferred before him.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 5

    As Cain pondered over the matter, he grew still more angry. He saw his mistake in offering only his own substance before the Lord, without the fitting sacrifice of a lamb, but he determined to vindicate himself and condemn Abel. Satan worked through him, inspiring him with a desire to slay his brother.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 6

    “And it came to pass while they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” [Verse 8.] There was a Witness to this scene. A heavenly Watcher, He who established the system of sacrifices and offerings, saw the whole transaction.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 7

    “And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now thou art cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.” [Verses 9-11.] Because of Cain’s sin, the earth was cursed a second time.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 8

    By this history the Lord would teach all men that His Word is to be implicitly obeyed. Cain and Abel represent two classes—the wicked and the righteous, those who follow their own way and those who conscientiously keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. The enemy of God and man tempted both Cain and Abel, but while Abel refused the temptation, Cain accepted it, and acted toward God in a selfish, disobedient, unthankful manner.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 9

    Abel did not try to force Cain to obey God’s command. It was Cain, inspired by Satan and filled with wrath, who used force. Furious because he could not compel Abel to disobey God, and because God had accepted Abel’s offering and refused his, which did not recognize the Saviour, Cain killed his brother.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 10

    The two parties represented by Cain and Abel will exist till the close of this earth’s history. The well-doer, the obedient man, does not war against the transgressor of God’s holy law. But those who do not respect the law of God oppress and persecute their fellow men. They follow their leader, who is an accuser of God and of those who are made perfect through obedience.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 11

    “This is the message that ye have heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” [1 John 3:11, 12.] The spirit which leads men to accuse, condemn, imprison, and put to death their fellow men has waxed strong in our world. It is this spirit that always works in the children of disobedience. The transgressors of God’s plain commands are inspired by the spirit of Satan to harm their fellow men, whose bodies they have been given no right to injure because of their religious faith.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 12

    Those who pass sentence of pain and death upon their fellow men, because they happen to differ from them in religious belief, will have just such sentence passed upon them if they continue to disregard God’s law, exalting man-made laws, and trying by their cruel inventions to compel men to blaspheme God as they themselves are doing. By their works they bear testimony that should Christ come the second time as He came the first time, they would reject Him and put Him to death.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 13

    Men are today violating a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” God has sanctified and blessed the seventh day, requiring all men to keep it sacred as His memorial of creation. But, inspired by the arch-deceiver, man has set up a rival rest day, which God regards as He did the offering of Cain. Like Cain, those who worship this idol, are enraged to think that God’s chosen people will not reject the day specified in God’s law as holy, to keep a rest day of man’s creating.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 14

    Men try to force their fellow men to worship this idol. Thus did Nebuchadnezzar, when he set up a golden image representing himself in the plains of Dura, and in his pride and self-exaltation, sought to compel all to bow down to it. As Cain set aside God’s holy command, and offered a sacrifice of his own choice, so men have set aside God’s holy Sabbath, and have exalted one of their own creation. And as Cain was filled with bitterness against Abel, so they are filled with bitterness against those who by keeping God’s Sabbath cast reflections upon the worship of a day which bears no divine sanction or appointment.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 15

    Thus it has been, and thus it will be till the end of time. Sin is Satan’s attribute, and it is always leagued against good. The spirit of Cain is manifest in all false religions. Transgression always leads men to act as Satan’s agents, to carry out his purposes against God and righteousness.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 16

    In Nazareth Christ announced that His work was to restore and uplift, to bring peace and happiness. He came to this world to represent the Father, and He revealed His divine power by giving life to the dead, by restoring the sick and suffering to soundness and health. He was in the world as the tree of life.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 17

    Satan’s work is to condemn and destroy, to take away man’s liberty and destroy his life.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 18

    In Christ’s words to the Pharisees and lawyers, and their conduct toward Him, are presented the distinguishing features of false religion. “And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers; for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchers.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 19

    “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute; that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. ... And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things; laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” [Luke 11:46-51, 53, 54.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 20

    On another occasion Jesus said to the Jews, “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. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou then, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whoso committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever, but the son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed, but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.” [John 8:31-37.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 21

    What stern truth is here spoken. How many there are who boast that they are not in bondage to any one, when they are bound to the most cruel of all tyrants. They have placed themselves under Satan’s training, and they treat God’s people as he directs them to. How many there are who hear the Word of truth, but hate the message and the messenger, because the truth disturbs them in their deceptive practices!14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 22

    “I speak that which I have seen with my Father,” Christ continued, “and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” [Verse 38.] Two classes are plainly brought to view in these words—the children of light, who obey the truth, and the children of darkness, who reject the truth.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 23

    In their bigotry and self-righteousness the Jewish teachers answered Jesus, “Abraham is our father.” “If ye were Abraham’s children,” Christ said, “ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.” [Verses 39-41.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 24

    Urged on by the accusing spirit of him whose advocates they were, the Jews answered, “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father; even God.” [Verse 41.] How many there are today who, like these Jews, call God their Father, and yet hate with intense hatred the Word of truth.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 25

    Jesus saith unto them, “If God were your Father, ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh it of himself; for he is a liar, and the father of it.” “Then took they up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” [Verses 42-44, 59.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 26

    The converting, transforming grace of God changes the spirit and attributes of him who accepts the truth. He is imbued with the Spirit of Christ. Satan sees this, and he is filled with hatred against Christ and His servant. But there is no enmity between Satan and the human agent who becomes so deluded that he wars against God and His holy law; for this is the very work in which Satan has been engaged since his fall.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 27

    Satan is at war with Christ, the divine Restorer. His agents are leagued against the Saviour’s work of elevating and ennobling man. The first death in our world was caused through the working out of Satan’s principles, and ever since that time Christ and His followers and Satan and his followers have been two distinct parties. Satan is ever seeking to imbue men with his own spirit and attributes, and those whose hearts are not subdued by the grace of Christ will be guided by the same spirit that decoyed the angels from the heavenly courts. Those who break the law of Jehovah and try to compel their fellow-men to obey man-made laws, are in the service of Satan.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 28

    God’s people can expect nothing less than persecution, for their Master was persecuted, and He says to them, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” [John 15:20; 16:1-3.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 29

    As Christ was being tried, Pilate placed him side by side with Barabbas, saying to be people, “Whom shall I release unto you?” [Matthew 27:17.] There they stood—Christ the Son of God, and Barabbas, the thief and murderer, bearing in his countenance the marks of Satan’s attributes.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 30

    The priests and rulers persuaded the people to choose Barabbas, and in answer to Pilate’s question the hoarse cry was raised, “Release unto us Barabbas.” [Luke 23:18.] “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” Pilate asked, and again, like the bellowing of wild beasts the cry went forth, “Crucify him, crucify him.” [Matthew 27:22; Luke 23:21.] And all heaven heard the cry.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 31

    A messenger had been sent to Pilate by his wife, with the warning, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” [Matthew 27:19.] But Pilate did not heed the heaven-sent message. Instead he used Christ’s trial as an occasion of making friends with Herod. A corrupt confederacy was formed between the two rulers at this time.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 32

    “And when Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing” against the multitude, he “released Barabbas unto them; and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.” [Matthew 27:24; Mark 15:15.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 33

    Be astonished, O heaven, and be everlastingly ashamed, O inhabitants of earth! With sorrow and indignation the angels heard the choice made by the people and the sentence passed upon Christ. But they could not interfere; for in the great controversy between good and evil, Satan must be given every opportunity to develop his true character, that the heavenly universe and the race for whom Christ was giving his life might see the righteousness of God’s purposes. Those under the control of the enemy must be allowed to reveal the principles of his government.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 34

    Those who see and obey the light of truth will be harassed and oppressed, for enmity will ever exist between Christ and Satan. If God had not interfered with Satan’s evil working, men would have leagued against good in an alliance to dethrone God. Satan caused the fall of part of the heavenly angels by rebelling against God’s law, and he is the instigator of every injustice done to God’s children. He inspires his agents to do all they can to hurt Christ by bruising the bodies of His people. But God is present in every court of justice. He marks how men condemn His servants and silence their voices. He records every act of injustice, every act of oppression. As the blood of Abel cried to Him from the ground, so the prayers of His servants who are imprisoned in dungeons or linked with the vile in chain gangs, rise to Him. The cruelty done to God’s servants is recorded as done to Christ in the person of His saints, and the time is coming when God Himself will avenge their wrongs.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 35

    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 had filled, fill to her double.” [Revelation 18:4-6.] “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 36

    “And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and before the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. ... These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These are they which were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.” [Revelation 14:1-5.]14LtMs, Ms 136, 1899, par. 37

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