Ms 104, 1893

Ms 104, 1893

Christ Our Strength by Mrs. E. G. White


Circa 1893

Previously unpublished.

“If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These have I spoken unto you being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, who the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” “If ye love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth; who the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him, but ye know Him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” [John 14:23-26, 15-17.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 1

The Spirit of God abides with the children of God. With Christ abiding in the heart we shall be enabled to do his will, — to watch, to pray, to act in harmony with the words of our Lord. In this way we shall cooperate with divine agencies; but if we lose our feeling of dependence upon Him, and cease to press our petitions to the throne of grace, satanic agencies will be ready to seize an opportunity to separate us from our Lord. They will set in operation a train of circumstances and devise snares to misdirect and mislead those who do not make god their trust and evil angels will cause those who are self-sufficient and self-righteous to become channels through which they may through which they may defile the minds of others and lead others into paths that are not cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 2

When David cherished pride, ambition, and self-sufficiency Satan worked upon his mind and provoked him to number Israel. Joab was surprised and alarmed when he heard the command given to number the people of God; for this command was unlike anything David had before given, since he had always declared that God alone was their strength. Joab had had far less experience in the practical workings of the spirit of God than had David, yet on this occasion with clear discernment, he perceived that this request did not originate from God or spring from the right motives in David. Joab's answer to David unfolds to us the nature of the motive that prompted this request. “Joab said unto the king, now the Lord thy God add unto the people how many so ever they be, a hundred fold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?” [2 Samuel 24:3.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 3

In the numbering of Israel, the people were taught to rely upon their own strength instead of depending in the Lord alone for their sufficiency and defense in every emergency. Joab did not thoroughly execute the king's requirement for “Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab. And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel.” [1 Chronicles 21:6, 7.] The Lord had done remarkable things for his people in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. For their sake, because of Pharaoh's stubborn resistance, with his mighty arm of power, he had nearly ruined Egypt. The Lord God proposed good in regard to His people. He was to preserve them as a theocracy, and they were to stand in the strength of God, to fear and love and serve Him, acknowledging Him as their ruler. Israel had been taught by Jesus Christ when he was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud and fire. The people had been instructed by signs and wonders, by precept upon precept, line upon line, and the burden of the instruction had been to teach them that they were to be separate from them rebellious nations of the earth to be the Lord's peculiar people, and they were to understand that their safety depended upon their obedience to him in all things. They were to cherish his fear in their hearts. “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chose thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; but because the Lord loved you and because he would keep his oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 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.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-9.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 4

But David did not maintain his rebellion, as some in responsible position have done, who have walked contrary to God and when rebuked are unwilling to humbly acknowledge that they were wrong. David said unto God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done foolishly.” [2 Samuel 24:10.] But the Lord could not pass over David's sin; for all Israel were to see and to understand that the Lord God of Israel was not to be trifled with and that he was the invisible Leader of His people. They were to understand that he was a God of justice as well as mercy. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 5

God graciously permitted David to choose one of three specified punishments. “And Gad came to David and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land, or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee, or that there be three days of pestilence in thy land? Now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us now fall into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let us not fall into the hand of man. So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even unto the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.” [Verses 13-15.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 6

This history should be studied by all the children of God. We are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices, but we are to understand the working of the satanic powers by which if possible, the evil one may be able to take advantage of the people of God, and lead them to trust in their facilities and in the strength of their organizations and institutions, and not depend wholly upon the Lord God of Israel, who is their stronghold in every emergency. And now as Satan has come down in great power to work with his deceiving artifice and delusions to deceive if possible, the very elect, all the children of God must be armed with faith and prayer. “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; and above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God: praying always with much prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:10-18.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 7

The captain of the Lord's hosts has given you his command. Will you obey the orders of your captain? Will you study and plan in your own strength, and follow your own wisdom or will you be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might? Will the children of truth and righteousness look constantly to Jesus, the source of all their strength “Let him take hold of my strength and make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] While the unbelieving, the wicked are under the control of the powers of darkness, subject to the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, let us as children of God submit ourselves to the revealed word of God, to be guided by the divine Spirit, that we may work the works of God. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 8

“And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we had our conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ. (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. ... For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:1-6, 8.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 9

I see great comfort and hope and consolation in this expressed tenderness of God toward all who will appreciate his love, and his tenderness of God toward all who will appreciate his love and his tenderness and his holy requirement. There is a power that is moving the synagogue of Satan from beneath to disperse his confederacy of evil throughout all the earth that he may manage his mighty army who refuse allegiance to God and his holy law. Rulers of Kingdoms, presidents, nobles who are in high places, if they range under the banner of the prince of darkness, will learn their orders from him who created the rebellion in heaven, and who claims as his territory the fallen world. He does not bow in allegiance to the law of Jehovah, and all who are in rebellion are under his generalship, and will use their talent to maintain and strengthen the kingdoms of the prince of this world, and will practice evil according to the circumstances that will occur. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 10

Instead of the Sabbath ordained of God for his honor, Satan has substituted Sunday, the first day of the week. God's memorial has been ignored and his sanctified, holy days has been made a common working day. The spurious Sabbath is one of Satan's own devising and the Christian world have united with those who are openly ungodly in making void the law of Jehovah. The church and the world are in perfect harmony. Many are willfully closing their eyes to light and knowledge claiming that custom must prevail. In Eden God claimed one tree as his own, and man was not to eat its fruit or treat it in any way as his own; but Satan came to Even as an angel of light, and persuaded her that this particular prohibition was of arbitrary authority. “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, 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.” [Genesis 3:1-5.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 11

Eve believed the serpent and fell, and she tempted her husband, and he fell and now the flood gates of woe are opened upon our world. The deceiving power that tempted Eve, tempts man today. Satan has set aside God's holy day, and created a Sabbath of his own for the world to observe that they may refuse to obey the commandment of God. He has succeeded in leading the world into marked rebellion; for the world has accepted this false Sabbath and have given it special honor and prominence in order that the sign God instituted to distinguish his commandment keeping people from the rebellious may be obliterated. Has not God spoken definitely in regard to the fourth commandment? 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 12

“And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. ... Six days may work be done; but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.” And now the reason is given. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-13, 15-17.] The Sabbath is then a sign between God and his children, and is to be a perpetual memorial of his creative power in making the world, in creating man in six days. “For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” [Exodus 20:11.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 13

Who spoke these words to Moses? No less personage than the Son of God. Did the son of God under the gospel dispensation give a lower standard than he gave to Adam in Eden?—No. What reason could he give to annul the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and change it to the first day of the week, when the seventh day was to be the memorial of his creative power in creating the heavens and the earth, in making man who was to inhabit the earth he had made? He says, “It is a sign between me and you throughout your generations.” [Exodus 31:13.] Are we not the Israel of God through the process of being grafted into the olive tree? Then is not the very day God sanctified and blessed to be observed throughout your generations forever as a memorial of God's creative works during six days and his rest upon the seventh? 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 14

The Sabbath was instituted in Eden when the foundation of the earth was laid when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. The last days are upon us, and Satan's masterpiece of deception will be seen. Antichrist will appear whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceitfulness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. Those who receive not the love of the truth, will unite with Satan and with antichrist through whom Satan has worked to make void the law of God to give to the world a spurious Sabbath, the child of the papacy that it might be worshipped as an idol. Of this power Paul writes, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except their be falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.] This is antichrist to whom the dragon shall give his power, his seat and great authority, and this power will be energized by the devil, and will have combined him human and superhuman power. The children of God will be endowed with power from on high and will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 15

Satan has carried his first great work of deception down through all the ages, and will until the close of time. In antichrist, he has a living agent. When the Christian world shall make void the law of God when church and state are united, when Protestantism shall reach its hands across the gulf to unite with Romanism, allegiance to the law of God will be fully thrown off and the decree will go forth against the people of God. But when men trample on the plainest requirements of God's word, the prayer will go up to heaven, “It is time for thee, Lord to work; for they have made void thy law.” [Psalm 119:126.] And God will work. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 16

Satan will then inspire men, and even professedly Christian men who refused to receive the love of the truth, to accuse and slander those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. He will lead those who appear to be good men to accuse the servants of God who refuse to bow down to the image of Baal in observing the spurious Sabbath and will cause men to cast contempt upon the Sabbath which the Lord sanctified and blessed. Persecution has already begun upon some of those who are loyal and true to the commandments of God, who observe the Sabbath as a sign between them and their God. The Lord has a people who will be as true as steel to principle. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 17

The Lord is giving Satan his last chance to develop his satanic principles before the heavenly principalities and powers, before the worlds in which God has made. But his power is soon to be taken away. The Lord permits persecutions to arise in order to purge all dross away from his people, but to those who persecute his children, he will render double for their cruelty and violence. “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 work. In her cup which she hath filled full to her double. How much she hath glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much sorrow and torment give her; for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” [Revelation 18:5-8.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 18

The world and the church are married. The ruling powers of earth have taken it upon themselves to compel the conscience of God's people who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. They will seek by force to make them yield obedience to and worship the image of the beast, in keeping the spurious Sabbath, the child of papacy. But this final act of apostasy will bring upon the world and the church of doom of which the prophet writes, “In one hour she is made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” [Verses 19, 20.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 19

With what pride Satan looks upon the world whom we numbers as his subjects. With the union of church and state, he is ruler as far as it is possible for him to being the world. The great rebel who originated rebellion in heaven, is worshipped and the church rules the state, and a corrupt harmony exists, satanic in its principles and workings, and superhuman power is manifested by the whole confederacy of evil. But his rebellion has an end; for the wicked are consumed by the brightness of his coming whose right it is to rule. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake burning with fire and brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” [Revelation 19:17-21.] 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 20

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him and they shall see his face and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there and they need no candle, neither light of the sun for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall reign forever and ever. 8LtMs, Ms 104, 1893, par. 21