The Signs of the Times


June 18, 1894

Harmony With Apostate Powers a Sign of Enmity to God



God has made provision in Jesus Christ that we shall keep the commandments of God. In this age of the world the powers of apostasy are seeking in every way to entice men into disobedience. The very work that Satan did in Eden he is doing today. He persuaded Adam and Eve that God had withheld some great good from them, and, while insinuating that God had not their welfare at heart, he pretended to have a deep interest in their advancement. Satan's falsehood prevailed; he succeeded in winning their confidence through promising them a greater breadth of knowledge than they had yet attained, even declaring that they should be as gods. God had placed upon them a very slight test. They were simply prohibited from partaking of one tree in the midst of the garden. Yet a violation of this one slight prohibition resulted in the fall of the human race. Though the action might be accounted small, yet it was disobedience and transgression; and; when weighed in God's balances, it was seen to be a most heinous sin. Adam's disobedience to God was the result of unbelief and ingratitude, and led him to take his position on the side of the great apostate, in giving credence to Satan's statements rather than to the word of God. ST June 18, 1894, par. 1

The history of Adam's transgression is before the human family, and is written for our admonition and warning, that we may realize how terrible is the sin of violating the least commandment of God. ST June 18, 1894, par. 2

We have full light upon the fact of how the Lord regarded Adam's transgression, and yet men presume to violate the fourth commandment. After the Lord created the world in six days, he rested on the seventh day, and sanctified the day of his rest, and bade men observe the day of rest throughout all generations. And yet men are repeating Adam's transgression, and are entering into a confederacy with Satan to war against God, in trampling upon the Sabbath institution. The church and the world are choosing Satan for their god and sovereign, and setting aside the God that made heaven and earth and all things that are therein. ST June 18, 1894, par. 3

Man lost his righteousness through transgression, and “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Through the righteousness of Christ, our substitute and surety, our obedience to God's commandments is made acceptable. Christ clothed his divinity with humanity, and endured the test upon the point of appetite, ambition, and love of the world, thus making it possible for man to keep the commandments of God through his imputed righteousness. Through faith in Christ, man becomes partaker of the divine nature, and is complete in him, as long as he walks in the light. But when light has come to a soul that has been in darkness in regard to the binding claims of the law of God, and the transgressor refuses to walk in the light, he is guilty before God, and is charged with apostasy. He chooses that sin shall have dominion over him, and therefore the penalty of the law is upon him. By his continued transgression he reveals the fact that he is at enmity with God, that his heart is carnal, and not subject to the law of God. He repeats the transgression of Adam, accepts the insinuations of the fallen foe, takes his place on the side of the man of sin, and exalts Satan above God. In refusing the light, he becomes one with the ranks of apostasy, and chooses to act with the confederacy of Satan. ST June 18, 1894, par. 4

It was necessary that Christ should take upon him our nature, in order to prove the falsity of Satan's statements. The apostate cast contempt upon the law of God, and declared that it was impossible for men to keep God's commandment, which had been preordained in the counsels of heaven. Therefore Christ became man's representative and surety, thus demonstrating to heavenly intelligences, to unfallen worlds, and to the human race, that, through cooperation with divine agencies, humanity could be pure and holy. By partaking of the divine nature they could meet the demand of a perfect and holy law. Of Christ it is written: “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” ST June 18, 1894, par. 5

Adam failed to obey the commandments of God. Shall the sons and daughters of Adam continue in transgression, and also fail to obey? No one can enter into life who persists in disloyalty, since Christ was given to our world that he might save his people from their sins. When the young man came to Christ, saying, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” It was not possible for the young man, or for anyone, to keep the commandments of God except through the merit of Jesus Christ. Without the shedding of the blood of Christ there could be no remission of sin, no imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believing sinner. Christ endured the penalty of sin in his own body on the cross, and fulfilled all righteousness. The merit of the righteousness of Christ is the only ground upon which the sinner may hope for a title to eternal life; for Christ hath given himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God, as a sweet-smelling savor. An infinite price was paid for man's redemption, not that he might be saved in his sins, not to make void the law of God. Paul says: “Do we then make void the law of God through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” For though “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight,” yet the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is witnessed by the law and the prophets. ST June 18, 1894, par. 6

How strange it is that the church and the world are joined together in a confederacy to do a work that God has especially prohibited! They disobey the commandments of God with impunity. The prohibition of God in the Garden of Eden was disregarded by Adam and Eve, and the most terrible consequences resulted. The Lord is placing the same test upon the human family today, and proving them by bringing to their attention the Sabbath, which is a memorial of God's creative power. In this memorial God testifies to the world and to heavenly intelligences that he made the world in six days, and rested—on the first day?—No, but on the seventh day. The same instruction comes to us today as when the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations.” ST June 18, 1894, par. 7

The Lord sends messengers of truth to the people; but when he brings words of stern truth to bear upon their consciences, there are many who are in no way pleased or grateful. The message of truth disturbs them in their ease-loving service of God, and they do not like the rugged, thorny path that is pointed out to them. They do not wish to separate from the world, to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice, and to attain unto the likeness of Christ. They desire to live at peace, and glorify self, and do not wish to identify their interest with that of Jesus Christ. They count that separation from the pleasures of the world, separation from the world's careless neglect of piety and devotion, is too heavy a cross for them to bear. ST June 18, 1894, par. 8

In rejection of light the hearts of men are hardened, and they finally unite with the agencies of apostasy in a work of compelling the conscience of those who do not agree with them, in persecuting and putting to death those who love God and keep his commandments. But the Lord says to his chosen people: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.... And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.... Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” ST June 18, 1894, par. 9

The remnant people of God are to endure persecutions. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” They are to give the warning message against the power represented by “the beast.” The prophet says of this power, which represents the Papacy: “There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The remnant church of God are to give the warning of the third angel to the world: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” ST June 18, 1894, par. 10

The church of God, despised and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of afflictions. For Jesus’ sake they endure opposition, hatred, calumny. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial, and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of his glory. In holy vision the prophet saw the triumph of the people of God. He says: “I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” ST June 18, 1894, par. 11