June 18, 2019

Righteousness By Faith and the Third Angel’s Message — 6

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle (Revelation 14:14 KJV).  

I dare say that Ellen White could get excited about a few topics. But her enthusiasm was never greater than that which she had for the plan of salvation in Christ.

Reflecting on the recently completed 1888 General Conference session, she noted that “Elder E. J. Waggoner had the privilege granted him of speaking plainly and presenting his views upon justification by faith and the righteousness of Christin relation to the law. This was no new light, but it was old light placed where it should be in the third angel’s message. “What is the burden of that message? John sees a people. He says, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ (Rev 14:12). This people John beholds just before he sees the Son of Man ‘having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle’” (Rev 14:14).

“The faith of Jesus has been overlooked and treated in an indifferent, careless manner. It has not occupied the prominent position in which it was revealed to John. Faith in Christ as the sinner’s only hope has been largely left out, not only of the discourses given but of the religious experience of very many who claim to believe the third angel’s message.

“At this meeting I bore testimony that the most precious light had been shining forth from the Scriptures in the presentation of the great subject of the righteousness of Christ connected with the law, which should be constantly kept before the sinner as his only hope of salvation. This was not new light to me for it had come to me from higher authority for the last forty-four years, and I had presented it to our people by pen and voice in the testimonies of His Spirit. But very few had responded. . . . There was altogether too little spoken and written upon this great question. The discourses given of some might be correctly represented as like the offering of Cain—Christless.

The standard by which to measure character is the royal law. The law is the sin detector. By the law is the knowledge of sin. But the sinner is constantly being drawn to Jesus,” who died for each individual’s sins on the cross (MS 24, 1888).

Meditate upon Him today and what He has done for you. Such thoughts will not only comfort your soul, but will invigorate your life and transform your actions.


George R. Knight is a retired professor of church History at the Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. This article is from his book, Lest We Forget, a daily devotional, published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association, page 285.