The Signs of the Times


October 8, 1896

Witnessing for God


“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.” ST October 8, 1896, par. 1

All who advocate truth in distinction from error, have a special work to do in vindicating the law of God. Men inspired by a power from beneath, have regarded it their duty to uphold, as the sabbath of the Lord, the first day of the week. By disregarding the claims of God, ministers, who claim to preach the Gospel, are echoing the words told to Adam and Eve in Eden, that if they transgressed the law, they would not die, but would be as gods, knowing good and evil. The influence and example of these men have caused a lie to be received as truth. With persevering energy they have labored to establish a spurious sabbath, and this man-made institution has received the homage of the greater part of the world. But this does not make a day holy which God has given us as a common working day. Though this error is hoary with age, though the world is bowing in reverence to it, it still remains an error and a delusion; for God says, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” ST October 8, 1896, par. 2

Well-nigh universal contempt is shown to the law of God, and all who are loyal to him have a sacred and solemn work to do in magnifying the law, and making it honorable. God placed his sanctity upon the seventh day, and gave it to man to keep holy; and he says, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” By rendering obedience to his commandments, we uphold the honor of God in the earth. ST October 8, 1896, par. 3

Satan works against the law with untiring energy, and God calls upon his people to be witnesses for him by pressing the battle to the gates. This work must advance, or it will go backward. In this war there is no release. Those who take part in it must put on the whole armor of God, that they may fight manfully in the warfare against evil. ST October 8, 1896, par. 4

Often God's soldiers will find themselves brought into difficult places, they know not why. But are they to relax their hold because difficulties arise? Is their faith to diminish because they can not see their way through the darkness? God forbid. They are to cherish an abiding sense of God's power to uphold them in their work. They can not perish, neither can they lose their way, if they will follow his guidance, and strive to uphold his law. ST October 8, 1896, par. 5

The experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness should guide us in our work. The word of the Lord declares, “All these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” In their journeyings the Lord brought the children of Israel into hard places, to test their faith and their fidelity to him. He had pledged himself to bring them into the promised land, and if they had waited patiently for the Lord, reviving their faith in him by recounting his great goodness and his wonderful works in their behalf, he would have shortened their test. But they forgot their heavenly Leader. Murmuring and complaining, they vented their wrath and bitterness upon Moses, forgetting that their emergency was God's opportunity. ST October 8, 1896, par. 6

Today God says to his people, Do not imitate the children of Israel by showing unbelief when brought into difficulties. For “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ST October 8, 1896, par. 7

“Dearly beloved,” says the apostle Peter, speaking by the Holy Spirit, “I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” God has led us out to stand in defense of his law, and he calls upon us to let our light so shine that others, seeing our good works, may be led to glorify our heavenly Father. We have no time to waste in thinking of our individual difficulties. When we bemoan the hardness of the way, we turn from the path of faith. God can make us fully able to go up and possess the promised land. He says, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” ST October 8, 1896, par. 8

If our path is not always made plain and easy, if we are not always so well favored as we think we should be, let us look to God, and say in faith, By the mighty cleaver of truth God has separated us from the world, from its customs and maxims, and has chosen us as his peculiar people, and he is able to work for us. Let us go forward in the strength of the Lord God Almighty, striving to uplift his law in the earth. So shall we testify to his truth. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be any after me.” “I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you; therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me.” ST October 8, 1896, par. 9