Also stolen, and dissembled also - The anger of God and the heinousness of Israel‘s sin are marked by the accumulation of clause upon clause. As a climax they had even appropriated to their own use the consecrated property purloined from God.
Israel hath sinned - It is impossible that God should turn against his people, if they had not turned away from him. They have taken of the accursed thing, notwithstanding my severe prohibition. They have also stolen, supposing, if not seen by their brethren, I should either not see or not regard it. They have dissembled - pretended to have kept strictly the command I gave them; and have put it among their own stuff - considered it now as a part of their own property.
I call upon God's people to open their eyes. When you sanction or carry out the decisions of men who, as you know, are not in harmony with truth and righteousness, you weaken your own faith and lose your relish for communion with God. You seem to hear the voice which was addressed to Joshua: “Wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them.... There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel.” “Neither will I be with you anymore, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” Christ declares, “He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” TM 91.1
The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. [See Appendix.] This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. TM 91.2Read in context »
Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. 3T 267.1
But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” 3T 267.2
In the case of Achan's sin God said to Joshua: “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” How does this instance compare with the course pursued by those who will not raise their voice against sin and wrong, but whose sympathies are ever found with those who trouble the camp of Israel with their sins? Said God to Joshua: “Thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” He pronounced the punishment which would follow the transgression of His covenant. 3T 267.3Read in context »
(Ch. 12:30; Luke 11:23.) Living for Self Dishonors Redeemer—Christians who live for self dishonor their Redeemer. They may apparently be very active in the service of the Lord, but they weave self into all that they do. Sowing the seeds of selfishness, they must at last reap a harvest of corruption.... Service for self takes a variety of forms. Some of these forms seem harmless. Apparent goodness gives them the appearance of genuine goodness. But they bring no glory to the Lord. By their service His cause is hindered. Christ says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” 5BC 1096.1
Those who bring self into their work cannot be trusted. If they would lose sight of self in Christ, their efforts would be of value to His cause. They would then conform the life to His teachings. They would form their plans in harmony with His great plan of love. Selfishness would be banished from their efforts.... Self-denial, humility of mind, nobility of purpose, marked the Saviour's life ... [Matthew 16:24 quoted] (Manuscript 2, 1903). 5BC 1096.2Read in context »
Their service was an imposing one, and testified to the truth of a living God. Their sacrifices pointed to a coming Saviour, who would take the kingdoms under the whole heaven, and possess them forever and ever. Evidence had been given of His power to do this, for as their invisible Leader had He not subdued their enemies and made a way for His church in the wilderness? His people would never know defeat if they would abide under the shadow of the Almighty; for One mightier than angels would fight by their side in every battle (Manuscript 134, 1899). 2BC 999.1Read in context »