The Signs of the Times


June 2, 1898

God's Chosen People—No. 2


“Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen 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; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the 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; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them; He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to His face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” ST June 2, 1898, par. 1

These words were spoken by Christ when enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and were given to Moses for the chosen people of God. The Lord has not left the world without witness. He has His loyal, chosen people. They do not make this world their home, but they are here to witness for God; and as long as probation lasts, a living witness will be borne by these faithful messengers. Satan and his angels confederate with evil men against God's people, the champions of righteousness. They strive to counteract their testimony, and to destroy them. So Christ was treated. The Prince of Life came to His own, but they refused to receive Him. Though rebellion against His law had become widespread, He came on an embassage of mercy, to save, not to condemn the world. He called upon all to behold Him, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. But He was scorned as a deceiver, and hunted from place to place as a pretender. ST June 2, 1898, par. 2

Christ has ascended on high, but before leaving this earth, He said to His chosen people: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” Many, because of their faith, will be cut off from house and heritage here; but if they will give their hearts to Christ, receiving the message of His grace, and resting upon their Substitute and Surety, even the Son of God, they may still be filled with joy. ST June 2, 1898, par. 3

We may all know, if we wish, of the provision which has been made for the salvation of every one that lives on the earth. But there is a serious question for each one to answer: Have you personally accepted that salvation? A mere assent to the theory of truth is of no value to you. Your name may be enrolled on the church books, but do you love the truth of God's Word? Do you regard it as a privilege to be able to gain an experimental knowledge of the truth? Do you associate with those who are faithful and true, who believe and practise the truth? In the sixth chapter of John is recorded Christ's lesson on the bread of life, spoken that His children might have an understanding of the terms of salvation. Read and understand the truth as it is here presented. Cling to the truth of Christ's Word, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. ST June 2, 1898, par. 4

By the mighty cleaver of truth, God has separated a people from the quarry of the world, and brought them into His workshop. Here the Master Worker can successfully hew them with ax and chisel, and polish them for a place in His kingdom. No longer are they like the mass from which they were taken. They stand like noble pillars, to be used for God's glory. ST June 2, 1898, par. 5

The future glory of the adopted sons and daughters of God is not now discerned. By the world God's people are scorned and despised. But they have the sympathies of a better world than this, even a heavenly. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” He has that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. The Spirit of God brings every faculty, every organ of the body, into conformity with right. Even the thoughts are brought into obedience to Christ. In every habit and practise, the desire to be like Jesus is cherished. The aspirations are upward; the heart is filled with joy at the anticipation of the future; for he looks “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” ST June 2, 1898, par. 6

Through bigoted religionists, Satan has sought to uproot the vine of the Lord's planting. But the roots strike deep, and can not be torn up. The husbandman cares for his own vineyard, watching over the precious plants. If these plants will receive the nourishment God offers them, they will grow and bring forth much fruit to His glory. ST June 2, 1898, par. 7

The Word of God, just as it reads, is the ground of our faith. That Word is the sure word of prophecy, and it demands implicit faith from all who claim to believe it. It is authoritative, containing in itself the proof of its divine origin. “We have not followed cunningly-devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty.” “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” ST June 2, 1898, par. 8

The only evidence the world can have that God's people believe His Word is to see them practising that Word and following Christ's example in all things. Those who do not practise the truth in true piety and godliness, who shun the reproach that always comes to the true believer, will never enter the kingdom of heaven. For us the Redeemer endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. There was not one iota of suffering that was not borne in our behalf, that we might be justified before God. Every pang of distress and anguish endured by Him was to secure deliverance for us. Could Satan have led Christ to commit one sin, the serpent would have bruised the head of the Seed of the woman. Satan would have triumphed in the fact that he had succeeded in overcoming our Saviour. The world would have become his property. But Christ did not yield in one instance, and He says to us, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” With one hand Christ holds fast to humanity, while with the other He grasps the throne of the Infinite. ST June 2, 1898, par. 9

What are we who claim to be one with Christ?—“Ye are laborers together with God.” Between the true believer and the unbeliever there will ever be the same conflict that there was between Christ and those who rejected Him. Those who are partakers with Christ in His sufferings, will also be partakers with Him in His glory. But those who evade the cross here, deny Him who has bought them at an infinite price, and in the day of judgment they will be denied. Many, many, are misrepresenting and denying Christ by their low standard of Christianity. Those who truly believe in Christ will show their faith by a well-ordered life and godly conversation. By working in Christ's lines, they will show that they have been adopted into the family of heaven. Of all such God says, “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.” ST June 2, 1898, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White