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Exodus 19:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And a holy nation - They should be a nation, one people; firmly united among themselves, living under their own laws; and powerful, because united, and acting under the direction and blessing of God. They should be a holy nation, saved from their sins, righteous in their conduct, holy in their hearts; every external rite being not only a significant ceremony, but also a means of conveying light and life, grace and peace, to every person who conscientiously used it. Thus they should be both a kingdom, having God for their governor; and a nation, a multitude of peoples connected together; not a scattered, disordered, and disorganized people, but a royal nation, using their own rites, living under their own laws, subject in religious matters only to God, and in things civil, to every ordinance of man for God's sake.

This was the spirit and design of this wonderful institution, which could not receive its perfection but under the Gospel, and has its full accomplishment in every member of the mystical body of Christ.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

A kingdom of priests - Israel collectively is a royal and priestly race: a dynasty of priests, each true member uniting in himself the attributes of a king and priest. Compare 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 1:6.

An holy nation - The holiness of Israel consisted in its special consecration to God: it was a sacred nation, sacred by adoption, by covenant, and by participation in all means of grace. Compare Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 26:19; Deuteronomy 28:9; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:27.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Moses was called up the mountain, and was employed as the messenger of this covenant. The Maker and first Mover of the covenant, is God himself. This blessed charter was granted out of God's own free grace. The covenant here mentioned was the national covenant, by which the Israelites were a people under the government of Jehovah. It was a type of the new covenant made with true believers in Christ Jesus; but, like other types, it was only a shadow of good things to come. As a nation they broke this covenant; therefore the Lord declared that he would make a new covenant with Israel, writing his law, not upon tables of stone, but in their hearts, Jer 31:33; Heb 8:7-10. The covenant spoken of in these places as ready to vanish away, is the national covenant with Israel, which they forfeited by their sins. Unless we carefully attend to this, we shall fall into mistakes while reading the Old Testament. We must not suppose that the nation of the Jews were under the covenant of works, which knows nothing of repentance, faith in a Mediator, forgiveness of sins, or grace; nor yet that the whole nation of Israel bore the character, and possessed the privileges of true believers, as being actually sharers in the covenant of grace. They were all under a dispensation of mercy; they had outward privileges and advantages for salvation; but, like professing Christians, most rested therein, and went no further. Israel consented to the conditions. They answered as one man, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. Oh that there had been such a heart in them! Moses, as a mediator, returned the words of the people to God. Thus Christ, the Mediator, as a Prophet, reveals God's will to us, his precepts and promises; and then, as a Priest, offers up to God our spiritual sacrifices, not only of prayer and praise, but of devout affections, and pious resolutions, the work of his own Spirit in us.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 505-6

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. FE 505.1

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. FE 505.2

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.” FE 505.3

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. FE 505.4

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 276

In the son who said, “I go, sir,” and went not, the character of the Pharisees was revealed. Like this son, the Jewish leaders were impenitent and self-sufficient. The religious life of the Jewish nation had become a pretense. When the law was proclaimed on Mount Sinai by the voice of God, all the people pledged themselves to obey. They said, “I go, sir,” but they went not. When Christ came in person to set before them the principles of the law, they rejected Him. Christ had given the Jewish leaders of His day abundant evidence of His authority and divine power, but although they were convinced, they would not accept the evidence. Christ had shown them that they continued to disbelieve because they had not the spirit which leads to obedience. He had declared to them, “Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.... In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:6, 9. COL 276.1

In the company before Christ there were scribes and Pharisees, priests and rulers, and after giving the parable of the two sons, Christ addressed to His hearers the question, “Whether of them twain did the will of his father?” Forgetting themselves, the Pharisees answered, “The first.” This they said without realizing that they were pronouncing sentence against themselves. Then there fell from Christ's lips the denunciation, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” COL 276.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW), 1103

Amalek had made derision of the fears of his people, and made sport of God's wonderful works for the deliverance of Israel performed by the hand of Moses before the Egyptians. They had boasted that their wise men and magicians could perform all those wonders. And if the children of Israel had been their captives, in their power as they were in Pharaoh's, that the God of Israel Himself would not have been able to deliver them out of their hands. They despised Israel, and vowed to plague them until there should not be one left (Spiritual Gifts 4a:72, 73). 1BC 1103.1

God did not wish His people to possess anything which belonged to the Amalekites, for His curse rested upon them and their possessions. He designed that they should have an end, and that His people should not preserve anything for themselves which He had cursed. He also wished the nations to see the end of that people who had defied Him, and to mark that they were destroyed by the very people they had despised. They were not to destroy them to add to their own possessions, or to get glory to themselves, but to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken in regard to Amalek (Spiritual Gifts 4a:75). 1BC 1103.2

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 139.2

In this scripture the observance of the Sabbath is specified as a special, distinguishing sign between God's people and the people of the world. This gives to parents a most solemn work—the work of teaching their children to obey the Sabbath commandment, in order that they may be numbered among the people of God. LHU 139.2

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 288

Christ was their instructor. As He had been with them in the wilderness, so He was still to be their teacher and guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience. COL 288.1

God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself. COL 288.2

Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth. COL 288.3

In the most definite manner Christ through Moses had set before them God's purpose, and had made plain the terms of their prosperity. “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God,” He said; “the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.... Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.... Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which He sware unto thy fathers; and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which He sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people.... And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee.” Deuteronomy 7:6, 9, 11-15. COL 288.4

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 21

Prophets had wept over the apostasy of Israel and the terrible desolations by which their sins were visited. Jeremiah wished that his eyes were a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people, for the Lord's flock that was carried away captive. Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17. What, then, was the grief of Him whose prophetic glance took in, not years, but ages! He beheld the destroying angel with sword uplifted against the city which had so long been Jehovah's dwelling place. From the ridge of Olivet, the very spot afterward occupied by Titus and his army, He looked across the valley upon the sacred courts and porticoes, and with tear-dimmed eyes He saw, in awful perspective, the walls surrounded by alien hosts. He heard the tread of armies marshaling for war. He heard the voice of mothers and children crying for bread in the besieged city. He saw her holy and beautiful house, her palaces and towers, given to the flames, and where once they stood, only a heap of smoldering ruins. GC 21.1

Looking down the ages, He saw the covenant people scattered in every land, “like wrecks on a desert shore.” In the temporal retribution about to fall upon her children, He saw but the first draft from that cup of wrath which at the final judgment she must drain to its dregs. Divine pity, yearning love, found utterance in the mournful words: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” O that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! I have stayed the angel of justice, I have called thee to repentance, but in vain. It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer. If thou art destroyed, thou alone art responsible. “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” Matthew 23:37; John 5:40. GC 21.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 314

Henceforth the people were to be honored with the abiding presence of their King. “I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God,” “and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory” (Exodus 29:45, 43), was the assurance given to Moses. As the symbol of God's authority and the embodiment of His will, there was delivered to Moses a copy of the Decalogue engraved by the finger of God Himself upon two tables of stone (Deuteronomy 9:10; Exodus 32:15, 16), to be sacredly enshrined in the sanctuary, which, when made, was to be the visible center of the nation's worship. PP 314.1

From a race of slaves the Israelites had been exalted above all peoples to be the peculiar treasure of the King of kings. God had separated them from the world, that He might commit to them a sacred trust. He had made them the depositaries of His law, and He purposed, through them, to preserve among men the knowledge of Himself. Thus the light of heaven was to shine out to a world enshrouded in darkness, and a voice was to be heard appealing to all peoples to turn from their idolatry to serve the living God. If the Israelites would be true to their trust, they would become a power in the world. God would be their defense, and He would exalt them above all other nations. His light and truth would be revealed through them, and they would stand forth under His wise and holy rule as an example of the superiority of His worship over every form of idolatry. PP 314.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 371

Another compact—called in Scripture the “old” covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the “second,” or “new,” covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the “two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.” Hebrews 6:18. PP 371.1

But if the Abrahamic covenant contained the promise of redemption, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. In delivering them from Egypt, God sought to reveal to them His power and His mercy, that they might be led to love and trust Him. He brought them down to the Red Sea—where, pursued by the Egyptians, escape seemed impossible—that they might realize their utter helplessness, their need of divine aid; and then He wrought deliverance for them. Thus they were filled with love and gratitude to God and with confidence in His power to help them. He had bound them to Himself as their deliverer from temporal bondage. PP 371.2

But there was a still greater truth to be impressed upon their minds. Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God's law, and their need of a Saviour. All this they must be taught. PP 371.3

God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: “If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ... ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God's law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. PP 371.4

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 492

The utter destruction of the people of Jericho was but a fulfillment of the commands previously given through Moses concerning the inhabitants of Canaan: “Thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them.” Deuteronomy 7:2. “Of the cities of these people, ... thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.” Deuteronomy 20:16. To many these commands seem to be contrary to the spirit of love and mercy enjoined in other portions of the Bible, but they were in truth the dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness. God was about to establish Israel in Canaan, to develop among them a nation and government that should be a manifestation of His kingdom upon the earth. They were not only to be inheritors of the true religion, but to disseminate its principles throughout the world. The Canaanites had abandoned themselves to the foulest and most debasing heathenism, and it was necessary that the land should be cleared of what would so surely prevent the fulfillment of God's gracious purposes. PP 492.1

The inhabitants of Canaan had been granted ample opportunity for repentance. Forty years before, the opening of the Red Sea and the judgments upon Egypt had testified to the supreme power of the God of Israel. And now the overthrow of the kings of Midian, of Gilead and Bashan, had further shown that Jehovah was above all gods. The holiness of His character and His abhorrence of impurity had been evinced in the judgments visited upon Israel for their participation in the abominable rites of Baalpeor. All these events were known to the inhabitants of Jericho, and there were many who shared Rahab's conviction, though they refused to obey it, that Jehovah, the God of Israel, “is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath.” Like the men before the Flood, the Canaanites lived only to blaspheme Heaven and defile the earth. And both love and justice demanded the prompt execution of these rebels against God and foes to man. PP 492.2

How easily the armies of heaven brought down the walls of Jericho, that proud city whose bulwarks, forty years before, had struck terror to the unbelieving spies! The Mighty One of Israel had said, “I have given into thine hand Jericho.” Against that word human strength was powerless. PP 492.3

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 607

But the people returned the answer, “Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” PP 607.1

“Like all the nations.” The Israelites did not realize that to be in this respect unlike other nations was a special privilege and blessing. God had separated the Israelites from every other people, to make them His own peculiar treasure. But they, disregarding this high honor, eagerly desired to imitate the example of the heathen! And still the longing to conform to worldly practices and customs exists among the professed people of God. As they depart from the Lord they become ambitious for the gains and honors of the world. Christians are constantly seeking to imitate the practices of those who worship the god of this world. Many urge that by uniting with worldlings and conforming to their customs they might exert a stronger influence over the ungodly. But all who pursue this course thereby separate from the Source of their strength. Becoming the friends of the world, they are the enemies of God. For the sake of earthly distinction they sacrifice the unspeakable honor to which God has called them, of showing forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9. PP 607.2

With deep sadness Samuel listened to the words of the people; but the Lord said unto him, “Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.” The prophet had done his duty. He had faithfully presented the warning, and it had been rejected. With a heavy heart he dismissed the people, and himself departed to prepare for the great change in the government. PP 607.3

Samuel's life of purity and unselfish devotion was a perpetual rebuke both to self-serving priests and elders and to the proud, sensual congregation of Israel. Although he assumed no pomp and made no display, his labors bore the signet of Heaven. He was honored by the world's Redeemer, under whose guidance he ruled the Hebrew nation. But the people had become weary of his piety and devotion; they despised his humble authority and rejected him for a man who should rule them as a king. PP 607.4

In the character of Samuel we see reflected the likeness of Christ. It was the purity of our Saviour's life that provoked the wrath of Satan. That life was the light of the world, and revealed the hidden depravity in the hearts of men. It was the holiness of Christ that stirred up against Him the fiercest passions of falsehearted professors of godliness. Christ came not with the wealth and honors of earth, yet the works which He wrought showed Him to possess power greater than that of any human prince. The Jews looked for the Messiah to break the oppressor's yoke, yet they cherished the sins that had bound it upon their necks. Had Christ cloaked their sins and applauded their piety, they would have accepted Him as their king; but they would not bear His fearless rebuke of their vices. The loveliness of a character in which benevolence, purity, and holiness reigned supreme, which entertained no hatred except for sin, they despised. Thus it has been in every age of the world. The light from heaven brings condemnation on all who refuse to walk in it. When rebuked by the example of those who hate sin, hypocrites will become agents of Satan to harass and persecute the faithful. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. PP 607.5

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 293

God's favor toward Israel had always been conditional on their obedience. At the foot of Sinai they had entered into covenant relationship with Him as His “peculiar treasure... above all people.” Solemnly they had promised to follow in the path of obedience. “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do,” they had said. Exodus 19:5, 8. And when, a few days afterward, God's law was spoken from Sinai, and additional instruction in the form of statutes and judgments was communicated through Moses, the Israelites with one voice had again promised, “All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” At the ratification of the covenant, the people had once more united in declaring, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient,” Exodus 24:3, 7. God had chosen Israel as His people, and they had chosen Him as their King. PK 293.1

Near the close of the wilderness wandering the conditions of the covenant had been repeated. At Baalpeor, on the very borders of the Promised Land, where many fell a prey to subtle temptation, those who remained faithful renewed their vows of allegiance. Through Moses they were warned against the temptations that would assail them in the future; and they were earnestly exhorted to remain separate from the surrounding nations and to worship God alone. PK 293.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 426

The children of Judah were numbered among those of whom God had declared, “Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. Never did Jeremiah in his ministry lose sight of the vital importance of heart holiness in the varied relationships of life, and especially in the service of the most high God. Plainly he foresaw the downfall of the kingdom and a scattering of the inhabitants of Judah among the nations; but with the eye of faith he looked beyond all this to the times of restoration. Ringing in his ears was the divine promise: “I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds.... Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:3-6. PK 426.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 683

The hope of Israel was embodied in the promise made at the time of the call of Abraham, and afterward repeated again and again to his posterity, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3. As the purpose of God for the redemption of the race was unfolded to Abraham, the Sun of Righteousness shone upon his heart, and his darkness was scattered. And when, at last, the Saviour Himself walked and talked among the sons of men, He bore witness to the Jews of the patriarch's bright hope of deliverance through the coming of a Redeemer. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day,” Christ declared; “and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56. PK 683.1

This same blessed hope was foreshadowed in the benediction pronounced by the dying patriarch Jacob upon his son Judah: PK 683.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 412

The human family have been growing more and more self-indulgent, until health has been most successfully sacrificed upon the altar of lustful appetite. The inhabitants of the Old World were intemperate in eating and drinking. They would have flesh meats, although God had given them no permission to eat animal food. They ate and drank to excess, and their depraved appetites knew no bounds. They gave themselves up to abominable idolatry. They became violent, and ferocious, and so corrupt that God could bear with them no longer. Their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. As men multiplied upon the face of the earth after the flood, they forgot God, and corrupted their ways before him. Intemperance in every form increased to a great extent. 2SM 412.1

The Lord brought his people out of Egypt in a victorious manner. He led them through the wilderness to prove them, and try them. He repeatedly manifested his miraculous power in their deliverances from their enemies. He promised to take them to himself, as his peculiar treasure, if they would obey his voice, and keep his commandments. He did not forbid them to eat the flesh of animals, but withheld it from them in a great measure. He provided them food which was the most healthful. He rained their bread from heaven, and gave them purest water from the flinty rock. He made a covenant with them, if they would obey him in all things, he would preserve them from disease. 2SM 412.2

But the Hebrews were not satisfied. They despised the food given them from heaven, and wished themselves back in Egypt where they could sit by the flesh-pots. They preferred slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of meat. God, in his anger, gave them flesh to gratify their lustful appetites, and great numbers of them died while eating the meat for which they had lusted. 2SM 412.3

Nadab and Abihu were slain by the fire of God's wrath for their intemperance in the use of wine. God would have his people understand that they will be visited according to their obedience or transgressions. Crime and disease have increased with every successive generation. Intemperance in eating and drinking, and the indulgence of the baser passions, have benumbed the nobler faculties. Appetite, to an alarming extent, has controlled reason. 2SM 412.4

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1180-1

Word Flows Into Messengers’ Hearts—[Zechariah 4:11-14 quoted.] These empty themselves into the golden bowls, which represent the hearts of the living messengers of God, who bear the Word of the Lord to the people in warnings and entreaties. The Word itself must be as represented, the golden oil, emptied from the two olive trees that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This is the baptism by the Holy Spirit with fire. This will open the soul of unbelievers to conviction. The wants of the soul can be met only by the working of the Holy Spirit of God. Man can of himself do nothing to satisfy the longings and meet the aspirations of the heart (Manuscript 109, 1897). 4BC 1180.1

12 (Isaiah 58:8). To Constantly Receive, One Must Constantly Impart—The capacity for receiving the holy oil from the two olive trees which empty themselves, is by the receiver emptying that holy oil out of himself in word and in action to supply the necessities of other souls. Work, precious, satisfying work—to be constantly receiving and constantly imparting! The capacity for receiving is only kept up by imparting (NL No. 12, pp. 3, 4). 4BC 1180.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 65

The people renewed their covenant with Joshua. They said unto him, “The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Joshua wrote the words of their covenant in the book containing the laws and statutes given to Moses. Joshua was loved and respected by all Israel, and his death was much lamented by them. 4aSG 65.1

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 116

Christ came to call the attention of all men to his Father, teaching them repentance toward God. His work was to reconcile man to God. Although Christ did not come as he was expected, yet he came just as prophecy had marked out that he would come. Those who wished to believe, had sufficient foundation for their faith by referring to prophecy, which predicted the coming of the Just One, and described the manner of his coming. 4aSG 116.1

The ancient Jewish church were the highly-favored people of God, brought out of Egypt and acknowledged as his own peculiar treasure. The many and exceeding great and precious promises to them as a people, were the hope and confidence of the Jewish church. Herein they trusted, and believed their salvation sure. No other people professed to be governed by the commandments of God. Our Saviour came first to his own people, but they received him not. 4aSG 116.2

The self-righteous, proud, unbelieving Jews expected their Saviour and King would come into the world clothed with majesty and power, compelling all Gentiles to yield obedience to him. They did not expect any humiliation and suffering would be manifested in him. They would not receive the meek and lowly Jesus, and acknowledge him to be the Saviour of the world. Had he appeared in splendor, and assumed the authority of the world's great men, instead of taking the form of a servant, they would have received and worshiped him. But they rejected Christ as their Saviour, and after they had set their hearts in rebellion against him, it was not so easy for them to change their course. Notwithstanding all the mighty works they saw him do, they were too proud and self-exalted to yield their rebellious feelings. Every token and manifestation of his divine character increased the hatred and jealousy of the Jews. They were not content to turn from him themselves, but they sought to hinder all they could from listening to his teachings, or witnessing his miracles. The majority rejected him. They despised his humble appearance. They denied his testimony. They loved the praise of men, and the grandeur of the world. In their estimation of these things, they thought their judgment perfect, even as the judgment of God. 4aSG 116.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 450

Seventh-day Adventists, who profess to be looking for and loving the appearing of Christ, should not follow the course of worldlings. These are no criterion for commandment keepers. Neither should they pattern after first-day Adventists, who refuse to acknowledge the claims of the law of God and trample it under their feet. This class should be no criterion for them. Commandment-keeping Adventists occupy a peculiar, exalted position. John viewed them in holy vision and thus described them: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” 2T 450.1

The Lord made a special covenant with ancient Israel: “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: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” He addresses His commandment-keeping people in these last days: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 2T 450.2

Not all who profess to keep the commandments of God possess their bodies in sanctification and honor. The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been entrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by it. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God's commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than is that of the classes I have named, who do not acknowledge the law of God as binding upon them. In a peculiar sense do those who profess to keep God's law dishonor Him and reproach the truth by transgressing its precepts. 2T 450.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 221-3

We are called to represent to the world the character of God as it was revealed to Moses. In answer to the prayer of Moses, “Show me Thy glory,” the Lord promised, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6, 7. This is the fruit that God desires from His people. In the purity of their characters, in the holiness of their lives, in their mercy and loving-kindness and compassion, they are to demonstrate that the “law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. 6T 221.1

God's purpose for His institutions today may also be read in the purpose which He sought to accomplish through the Jewish nation. Through Israel it was His design to impart rich blessings to all peoples. Through them the way was to be prepared for the diffusion of His light to the whole world. The nations of the world, through following corrupt practices, had lost a knowledge of God. Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with Him through His church. He designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring in man the moral image of God. 6T 221.2

Christ was their instructor. As He was with them in the wilderness, so after their establishment in the Promised Land He was still their Teacher and Guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy Shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience. 6T 221.3

God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself. 6T 221.4

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 308.3

The Lord Himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which He has chosen out of the world and sanctified to Himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction.... But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice; to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time.... TMK 308.3

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