Christ Triumphant


The Sin of Unbelief Leads Away From God, April 11

In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit. Isaiah 63:9. CTr 108.1

From the beginning of sin Christ was with His people to dispute the authority of Satan, for He saw that the conflict must be carried on here in the earth. Satan withstood the Son of God in every effort to redeem His people. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night, Christ directed, guided, counseled the children of Israel in their journeyings from Egypt to Canaan. But how unwilling were the children of Israel to be led, how unwilling to be controlled by the voice of the Angel of the Lord! How eager they were in vindicating their own course, in justifying themselves in their rebellious feelings, and in following their own ideas and plans! CTr 108.2

It was the mighty Counselor who was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud and fire, and who was beholding the encampment of His people. It was He who corrected them in their evil ways, and encouraged them to trust in the living God to lead them safely to the Land of Promise. They were continually under the eye that never slumbers nor sleeps, and yet they murmured against Moses, the man whom God had appointed as their visible leader, and to whom Jesus Christ talked face-to-face, as a man talketh with his friend. Notwithstanding the fact that the Lord wrought through His servant Moses, yet when the enemy tempted them to evil surmising, jealousy, and faultfinding, they did not resist his temptations and stand firmly for principle. CTr 108.3

But their failure is explained by the Inspired Word, and a warning given to us upon whom the ends of the world are come, lest we also fall after the same example of unbelief.... The children of Israel fell under the power of the enemy by cherishing an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, and when once they were found on the enemy's side, he pressed his advantage, and made them his allies to the utmost extent. The sin of unbelief, by which their confidence in the Son of God was destroyed, led Israel far astray. At the very time when they should have been praising God and magnifying the name of the Lord, talking of His goodness, telling of His power, they were found in unbelief, and full of murmuring and complaint. The deceiver was seeking through every means possible to sow discord among them, to create envy and hatred in their hearts against Moses, and to stir up rebellion against God. By listening to the voice of the great deceiver they were led into affliction, trial, and destruction.—Manuscript 65, 1895 (The Signs of the Times, April 25, 1895). CTr 108.4