The Signs of the Times

January 28, 1897

The True Light


Before sin entered our world through the transgression of God's law, it was the glory of Adam and Eve to obey God's requirements. They lived in perfect conformity to his will. Not a cloud rested upon their minds to obscure their view of God. There was no doubt or uncertainty in regard to their moral obligations, and all the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, proceeding from God, enshrouded the holy pair, and was reflected from every object upon which they looked. God was their teacher, and in the beauties of nature around them his lessons were repeated. The invisible things of God were clearly seen and understood by the things which he had made. ST January 28, 1897, par. 1

Had man remained true to God, the light of Heaven would have continued to guide him. But when sin entered, he severed his connection with Jehovah, and the light which had enshrouded him departed. Sin so defaced the image of God in him, so darkened his understanding, that it became necessary for God to send his only-begotten Son to shine as the light of the world. ST January 28, 1897, par. 2

Ever since his fall from the purity of heaven, it has been the object of Satan to instill his spirit into the sons of men, and cause them to follow the same path that he traveled when he sought to become equal with God. He has led sinful, erring men, transgressors of God's law, to attach to their names “Reverend” and “Right Reverend”—names which should be applied to none but God himself. These are not following the example which Christ gave us in his life on earth. He has said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” And he invites his followers, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” ST January 28, 1897, par. 3

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Those who “follow on to know the Lord,” will know that “his going forth is prepared as the morning.” ST January 28, 1897, par. 4

Why is it that men to whom the Lord has given capabilities and talents, resist the drawing of Christ, refuse to wear his yoke, and bear his burdens? It is because they are proud of their knowledge and influence, “puffed up” with the favor and applause they receive because of these talents. They make their boast of science and philosophy, and place these above Christ, the God of science and true philosophy. Thus these worldly-wise men magnify themselves, seeking to eclipse by their flashing meteors the Light of the world. But are these men above Christ? Can the stars outshine the sun? Can the whole firmament of heaven do more than declare the glory of God? ST January 28, 1897, par. 5

The Lord calls these men fools because they place such value upon the gifts bestowed upon them, while they despise the Fountain of supply, and reject the Source of all wisdom and light, who can make these gifts to constantly increase. The principle that prompts men to place their human ideas first leads to many false conjectures and delusions. Christ has made no man independent. He has given men talents that they may improve them by exercise, learning of him how to use them wisely. He has said, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” ST January 28, 1897, par. 6

Reason was never given man to lead him to suppose that he can climb higher than the Source from which that reason flows. God gave man his reasoning powers, and he can remove them, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, when they are not used to his glory. In Noah's day the inhabitants of the earth sought out many inventions. They were wise to do evil. The imaginations of their hearts were only evil continually, and God swept them from the face of the earth. ST January 28, 1897, par. 7

Through his prophet the Lord exhorts us: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” ST January 28, 1897, par. 8

The glory of God is seen in the life and character of Christ. In the pure, lofty piety exhibited in his life in humanity we have an example of what pure religion is. His life of uncompromising holiness creates in the hearts of those who are in rebellion against God, a desire to follow their own inclinations, as did the inhabitants of the antediluvian world; for “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The Lord has said, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” But men rebel against the light because the path it marks out involves a cross. ST January 28, 1897, par. 9

Perfection of character can be attained only through Jesus Christ. He alone is able to dispel the darkness that has gathered about the souls of men. He will lift fallen humanity into a pure and holy atmosphere, if men will believe on him as their personal Saviour. He will inspire in their hearts and minds an enthusiasm that will make them noble, and mould them after the divine similitude. ST January 28, 1897, par. 10

The Christian believer possesses the key to true philosophy. In connection with Christ, co-operating with him in good works, he may shine amid the darkness of this world. Christ is the Truth, the Life and the Light of the world, and by beholding him his followers will be changed into the same image, from glory to glory. ST January 28, 1897, par. 11

Satan would cast his shadows across our pathway, to prevent the light of heaven from shining into the chambers of the mind, into the soul temple; but the mists from beneath can not dim the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The true brightens beyond the clouds of doubt and unbelief. ST January 28, 1897, par. 12

The words, “I am the light of the world” have been sounding down through the ages to the present time. They are no less true now than they were in Christ's day, and today they have the same comfort for the follower of Christ, the same hope for those that sit in the darkness and shadow of death. God appeals to his children to uplift before the world the Man of Calvary, that with him human nature may be lifted up. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a 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 January 28, 1897, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White