The Review and Herald

1052/1902

February 6, 1900

Loyalty or Disloyalty?

EGW

In the past the Lord God of ages revealed his secrets to his prophets. The Omniscient looked down the centuries, and predicted through his prophets the rise and fall of kingdoms, hundreds of years before the events foretold took place. The present and the future are equally clear to God, and he shows his servants what shall be. His voice echoes down the ages, telling man what is to take place. Kings and princes take their position at the appointed time. They think they are carrying out their own purposes, but in reality they are fulfilling the word God has given through his prophets. They act their part in carrying out God's great plan. Events fall into line, fulfilling the word the Almighty has spoken. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 1

The unbelieving and godless do not discern the signs of the time. In ignorance they may refuse to accept the inspired record. But when professed Christians speak sneeringly of the means employed by the great I AM to make his purposes known, they show themselves to be ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. The Creator knows just what elements he has to deal with in human nature. He knows what means to employ to obtain the desired end. The Christian who accepts the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, will look at Bible history in its true bearing. The history of the Jewish economy from beginning to end, though spoken of contemptuously and sneered at as “the dark ages,” will reveal light, and still more light, as it is studied. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 2

Man's word fails; and he who takes the assertions of man as his dependence may well tremble; for he will one day be a shipwrecked vessel. But God's word is infallible, and endures forever. Christ declares, “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” God's word will endure through the ceaseless ages of eternity. God lives and reigns. His glory is not confined to the temple made with hands. He has not closed heaven against his people. As in the past, so in this age, God reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 3

The image shown to Nebuchadnezzar in the visions of the night represents the kingdoms of the world. The metals in the image, symbolizing the different kingdoms, became less and less pure and valuable, from the head down. The head of the image was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the sides of brass, and the feet and toes iron mingled with clay. So the kingdoms represented by them deteriorated in value. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 4

The result of making void the law of God may be seen in the increasing immorality of these several kingdoms. If the inhabitants had kept the fear of God ever before them, they would have been given wisdom and power, which would have bound them together, and kept them strong. But the rulers of these kingdoms made God their strength only when harassed and perplexed. Failing to get help from their great men, they sought it from men like Daniel, who they knew honored the living God, and were honored by him. To these men they appeal to unravel the mysteries of providence; for they had so far separated themselves from God by transgression that they could not understand his warning. They were forced to appeal for explanation to those illuminated by heavenly light. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 5

When the empire of Babylon was so strong and its influence so far-reaching that seemingly the most powerful foe could not take its scepter, Daniel, a man inspired by God, prophesied that it would pass away, notwithstanding its apparent magnificence, and that a second would succeed it. He prophesied also that the second empire would be succeeded by the third, and that a fourth empire should arise, more fierce, more determined, and more powerful than any kingdom that had preceded it. As strong as iron, this kingdom would subdue and break in pieces all the nations of the world. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 6

In spite of the warning he received, Nebuchadnezzar went on in his own strength, till God took from him the talent of wisdom, that he might be led to see and acknowledge that the God of Israel was able to create and to destroy. The kings who succeeded him failed to profit by his experience, and the kingdom of Babylon passed away because, in their prosperity, her rulers forgot God, and ascribed her honor and glory to human achievement. So today, when men forget God and refuse to obey his law, they are humiliated. God tests them, and if they do not humble their hearts and confess their sins, they receive the penalty of transgression. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 7

The Medo-Persian kingdom was visited by the wrath of God because in it his law was trampled underfoot. The fear of God possessed no power among the people. Wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption were the prevailing influences in this kingdom; and the kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt. They deteriorated because they cast off God. Forgetting him, they sank lower and lower in the scale. The vast empire of Rome crumbled into pieces. The church of Rome boasts of her infallibility, and of the power of her hereditary religion. But this religion is a horror to all who are acquainted with the secrets of the mystery of iniquity. The priests of this church maintain their ascendency by keeping the people in ignorance of the will of God. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 8

While representing the kingdoms of this earth, the image that was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar also fitly represented deterioration of religion. We grow weak morally and spiritually, just in proportion as we forget God. Those who claim to be Protestants are not today what Luther was. They have left the old landmarks, and have depended on forms, ceremonies, and outward display to make up for the lack of purity and piety, meekness and lowliness, found in obedience to God. Sin is ruining nations today just as it has done in time past. Even leaders in the religious world have not a good conscience toward God. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 9

Men need an intelligent knowledge of God's law. There is no true standard of righteousness apart from this law. By obedience to it the intellect is cultivated, the conscience enlightened and made sensitive. Righteousness exalts a nation. The words of the Bible, and the Bible alone, should be echoed from the pulpits of our land. This book is God's great director. It is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path. It flashes its light ahead, that we may see the path by which we are traveling; and its rays are thrown back on past history, showing the most perfect harmony in that which, to the mind in darkness, appears like error and discord. In that which seems to the worldling an inexplicable mystery, God's children see light and beauty. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 10

God speaks in his word, and fulfills this word in the world. We need now to seek to understand the movements of God's providence. Said Paul, “Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness.” God's people are not left to depend on man's wisdom. With prophetic guideposts God has marked out the way he wishes them to take. These great waymarks show us that the path of obedience is the only path we can follow with certainty. Men break their word, and prove themselves untrustworthy, but God changes not. His word will abide the same forever. Those who love and obey the law of Jehovah will meet with trial and temptation; but these are only what Jesus met, and he declares: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” If we hope and pray, and by faith trust his word, we shall be able to say, with Paul, “I am persuaded, that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 11

Have we given ourselves up to do God's will? Are we transformed by the grace of Christ? Some claim to be in Christ, while their special work is to make void the law of Jehovah. Shall we take their word for it? Shall we accept their assertions? How shall we distinguish God's true servants from the false prophets who Christ said should arise to deceive many?—There is only one test of character,—the law of Jehovah. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 12

The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood, to show that they were God's property. So the children of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. They will place themselves in harmony with God's holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God's people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin. God declares, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” When men say that the law of God is abrogated by the testimony of the Fathers, they are teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Their word is not founded upon the teaching of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ is not the chief cornerstone of their structure. John says, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Those who permit themselves to be deceived will, with the deceiver, feel the wrath of the Lamb. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 13

With God's word before us, with the lesson of instruction we may there learn, there is no need for us to be deceived. We are living in a momentous period of this earth's history. The great conflict is just before us. We see the world corrupted under the inhabitants thereof. The man of sin has worked with a marvelous perseverance to exalt the spurious sabbath, and the disloyal Protestant world has wondered after the beast, and has called obedience to the Sabbath instituted by Jehovah disloyalty to the laws of the nations. Kingdoms have confederated to sustain a false sabbath institution, which has not a word of authority in the oracles of God. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 14

In the record of the vision given to John we read, “The dragon was wroth with the woman [the church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors, which no language can describe. War and bloodshed are carried on by nations claiming to be Christian. A disregard for the law of God has brought its sure result. RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 15

The great conflict now being waged is not merely a strife of man against man. On one side stands the Prince of Life, acting as man's substitute and surety; on the other, the prince of darkness, with the fallen angels under his command. “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.” “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.” RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 16

There will be a sharp conflict between those who are loyal to God and those who cast scorn upon his law. The church has joined hands with the world. Reverence to God's law has been subverted. The religious leaders are teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. As it was in the days of Noah, so it is in this age of the world. But shall the prevalence of disloyalty and transgression cause those who have reverenced the law of God to have less respect for it, to unite with the powers of earth to make it void?—The truly loyal will not be carried away by the current of evil. They will not throw scorn and contempt on that which God has set apart as holy. The test comes to every one. There are only two sides. On which side are you? RH February 6, 1900, Art. A, par. 17