In Ancient Times

    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                          I n    A N C I E N T    t i m e s                                                             

                    The  phrase  'In Ancient Times'  appears  110  times in the published writings of EGW          See page on Original website                                       Related Phrase:   of ancient times  ( below )

The first of these laws related to servants. In ancient times criminals were sometimes sold into slavery by the judges; in some cases, debtors were sold by their creditors; and poverty even led persons to sell themselves or their children. But a Hebrew could not be sold as a slave for life. His term of service was limited to six years; on the seventh he was to be set at liberty. Manstealing, deliberate murder, and rebellion against parental authority were to be punished with death. The holding of slaves not of Israelitish birth was permitted, but their life and person were strictly guarded. The murderer of a slave was to be punished; an injury inflicted upon one by his master, though no more than the loss of a tooth, entitled him to his freedom.   Patriarchs and Prophets, page 310.2

 

 
The demon's message to Saul, although it was a denunciation of sin and a prophecy of retribution, was not meant to reform him, but to goad him to despair and ruin. Oftener, however, it serves the tempter's purpose best to lure men to destruction by flattery. The teaching of the demon gods in ancient times fostered the vilest license. The divine precepts condemning sin and enforcing righteousness were set aside; truth was lightly regarded, and impurity was not only permitted but enjoined. Spiritualism declares that there is no death, no sin, no judgment, no retribution; that "men are unfallen demigods;" that desire is the highest law; and that man is accountable only to himself. The barriers that God has erected to guard truth, purity, and reverence are broken down, and many are thus emboldened in sin. Does not such teaching suggest an origin similar to that of demon worship?  {PP 688.1}  The Signs of the Times, June 30, 1890. { Ev 608.1} 

 

 
Through spiritualism many of the sick, the bereaved, the curious, are communicating with evil spirits. All who venture to do this are on dangerous ground. The word of truth declares how God regards them. In ancient times He pronounced a stern judgment on a king who had sent for counsel to a heathen oracle: "Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die." 2 Kings 1:3, 4.  {AA 290.1}
Through spiritualism many of the sick, the bereaved, the curious, are communicating with evil spirits. All who venture to do this are on dangerous ground. The word of truth declares how God regards them. In ancient times He pronounced a stern judgment on a king who had sent for counsel to a heathen oracle: “Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” 2 Kings 1:3, 4. The magicians of heathen times have their counterpart in the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants, and the fortune-tellers of today. The mystic voices that spoke at Endor and at Ephesus are still by their lying words misleading the children of men. Could the veil be lifted from before our eyes, we should see evil angels employing all their arts to deceive and to destroy. Wherever an influence is exerted to cause men to forget God, there Satan is exercising his bewitching power. When men yield to his influence, ere they are aware the mind is bewildered and the soul polluted. The apostle’s admonition to the Ephesian church should be heeded by the people of God today: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11.{ CCh 331.2} 
 
Christ's ministers are the spiritual guardians of the people entrusted to their care. Their work has been likened to that of watchmen.  In ancient times sentinels were often stationed on the walls of cities, where, from points of vantage, they could overlook important posts to be guarded, and give warning of the approach of an enemy. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within. At stated intervals they were required to call to one another, to make sure that all were awake and that no harm had befallen any. The cry of good cheer or of warning was borne from one to another, each repeating the call till it echoed round the city.  {AA 360.3} { GW 14.2} 
 

In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will, and the course that He would have them pursue.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 661. (1889)  {Ev 255.3}  { CCh 91.2}  { 3SM 30.2}

 
In ancient times it was customary for men to hide their treasures in the earth. Thefts and robberies were frequent. And whenever there was a change in the ruling power, those who had large possessions were liable to be put under heavy tribute. Moreover the country was in constant danger of invasion by marauding armies. As a consequence, the rich endeavored to preserve their wealth by concealing it, and the earth was looked upon as a safe hiding place. But often the place of concealment was forgotten; death might claim the owner, imprisonment or exile might separate him from his treasure, and the wealth he had taken such pains to preserve was left for the fortunate finder. In Christ's day it was not uncommon to discover in neglected land old coins and ornaments of gold and silver.  {COL 103.2}
 
In ancient times, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses with his meekness and wisdom, and Joshua with his varied capabilities, were all enlisted in God's service. The music of Miriam, the courage and piety of Deborah, the filial affection of Ruth, the obedience and faithfulness of Samuel, the stern fidelity of Elijah, the softening, subduing influence of Elisha -- all were needed. So now all upon whom God's blessing has been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name.  {COL 301.1}
 
Some will ask: Can we not reach them with publications? There are many who cannot be reached in this way. It is personal effort that they need. Are they to perish without a special warning? It was not so in ancient times. God’s servants were sent to tell those in high places that they could find peace and rest only in the Lord Jesus Christ. { CCh 70.2} 
 
As the people of God united in the cry of the second angel, the heavenly host marked with the deepest interest the effect of the message. They saw many who bore the name of Christians turn with scorn and derision upon those who had been disappointed. As the words fell from mocking lips, “You have not gone up yet!” an angel wrote them. Said the angel, “They mock God.” I was pointed back to a similar sin committed in ancient times. Elijah had been translated to heaven, and his mantle had fallen upon Elisha. Then wicked youth, who had learned from their parents to despise the man of God, followed Elisha, and mockingly cried, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” In thus insulting His servant, they insulted God and met their punishment then and there. In like manner, those who have scoffed and mocked at the idea of the saints’ going up, will be visited with the wrath of God, and will be made to feel that it is not a light thing to trifle with their Maker. { EW 247.2} 
 
Our cases are pending in the court of heaven. We are rendering our accounts there day by day. Everyone will be rewarded according to his works. Burnt offerings and sacrifices were not acceptable to God in ancient times unless the spirit was right with which the gift was offered. Samuel said: “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” All the money on earth cannot buy the blessing of God nor ensure you a single victory. { 4T 84.2} 

 

                       as  in  ancient  times                                               

 

What a prayer was that which came forth from the lips of Daniel! What humbling of soul it reveals! The warmth of heavenly fire was recognized in the words that were going upward to God. Heaven responded to that prayer by sending its messenger to Daniel. In this our day, prayers offered in like manner will  prevail with God. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." As in ancient times, when prayer was offered, fire descended from heaven, and consumed the sacrifice upon the altar, so in answer to our prayers, the heavenly fire will come into our souls. The light and power of the Holy Spirit will be ours. . . .  {CC 256.4}

 

 
The church must arouse to action. The Spirit of God can never come in until she prepares the way. There should be earnest searching of heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, and through faith a claiming of the promises of God. There should be, not a clothing of the body with sackcloth, as in ancient times, but a deep humiliation of soul. We have not the first reason for self-congratulation and self-exaltation. We should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. He will appear to comfort and bless the true seekers.  {1SM 126.2}
 
In our day, as in ancient times, there is disagreeable work to be done in reproving sin. In this work, God uses men as his instruments, -- men of determined purpose, whom no threat or peril can intimidate, no hardship turn aside from the path of duty, -- men who will never forget their sacred commission as servants of the Most High. The Lord calls for men to act promptly, with the courage of heroes, and the firmness and faith of martyrs, to tear down the idolatrous images that have usurped his place in the minds of men, and meet the armed force of wrong on battle fields. But in all this there is no excuse for any to indulge in harshness or severity to gratify their own wrong feelings.  {ST, January 6, 1881 par. 8}

 

 
What a prayer was that which came forth from the lips of Daniel! What humbling of soul it reveals! The warmth of heavenly fire was recognized in the words that were going upward to God. Heaven responded to that prayer by sending its messenger to Daniel. In this our day, prayers offered in like manner will prevail with God. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).  As in ancient times, when prayer was offered, fire descended from heaven and consumed the sacrifice upon the altar, so in answer to our prayers, the heavenly fire will come into our souls. The light and power of the Holy Spirit will be ours. . . . That God who heard Daniel's prayer will hear ours when we come to Him in contrition. Our necessities are as urgent, our difficulties are as great, and we need to have the same intensity of purpose, and in faith roll our burden upon the great Burden Bearer. There is need for hearts to be as deeply moved in our time as in the time when Daniel prayed.  {TMK 271.4}  {RH, February 9, 1897 par. 8}
 
The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.  {5T 707.1}  {CW 39.1}
 
Let the church arise, and repent of her back-slidings before God. Let the watchmen awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound. It is a definite warning that we have to proclaim. God commands his servants, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." The attention of the people must be gained; unless this can be done, all effort is useless; though an angel from heaven should come down and speak to them, his words would do no more good than if he were speaking into the cold ear of death. The church must arouse to action. The Spirit of God can never come in until she prepares the way. There should be earnest searching of heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, and through faith a claiming of the promises of God. There should be, not a clothing of the body with sackcloth, as in ancient times, but a deep humiliation of soul. We have not the first reason for self-congratulation and self exaltation. We should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. He will appear to comfort and bless the true seekers.  {RH, March 22, 1887 par. 12}
 
There are many in the world today whose character is represented by that of Balaam. They have a correct knowledge of most of the doctrines of religion, but with these are mingled superstitions and heresies. Satan has a knowledge of the truth, and so do many who are his servants. Excellent words may proceed from their lips; they may claim to possess great faith, and to enjoy much of the divine blessing; but their hearts are destitute of the grace of God. They are not followers of Christ, and do not those things that please him. The only safety for any, at the present day as well as in ancient times, is to seek diligently to know the will of God, and then be ready to obey that will.  {ST, November 25, 1880 par. 24}
 
At the present day, as in ancient times, the people of God plead their own ease or convenience as an excuse for neglecting divine service. They will devise means to preserve the Christian name without making any sacrifice of time or means. God requires his people to maintain his worship. And those who are burdened with care and responsibility, should be the last to excuse themselves from religious privileges. They need wisdom from above. They need to be constantly reaching upward to lay hold on the divine arm, lest they stumble and fall. They can walk safely, only as they fear God, and obey his voice. Those whom God has burdened with a place in his work, need not be left to their own judgment, as was Gideon, to lead men away from the right path. The feet that God is guiding will press on in a way which leads straight forward, ever ascending, and ever brightening, until it reaches the brightness of eternal day. { ST July 28, 1881, par. 18 }
 
The spirit of true reform will be met in our day as in ancient times. Those who are zealous for the honor of God, and who will not countenance sin either in ministers or people, need not expect rest or pleasure in this life. Untiring vigilance must be the watchword of all who guard the interests of Christ’s church. During Nehemiah’s absence from Jerusalem, evils were introduced which threatened to pervert the nation. The same dangers exist in our time. If those who have the oversight of the church leave their charge, unconsecrated ones, claiming to believe the truth but having no connection with God, will take advantage of their absence to do much harm. The restraint being removed from these self-seeking and turbulent spirits, their peculiar traits of character are made prominent, and by their hints, insinuations, and deceptive charges, they create doubt, unbelief, and dissension among the Lord’s people. Such forget that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. They judge of the character and motives of God’s servants according to their own ignorance of truth and the ways of righteousness. Their example, words, and influence weaken the force of God’s requirements, and divide and scatter the church of Christ. { ST January 24, 1884, par. 12 }
 
God chooses his workers from all classes of people, and imbues them with his own Spirit. So it was in ancient times. The men and women of God's selection were of intense earnestness, full of zeal. . . .  {Advocate, March 1, 1899 par. 1}

 

                         .  .  .  of  ancient  times                                               

 

"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." These words of reproof, addressed to the king of Israel by Samuel the prophet, contain a lesson that should be pondered by the people of God in every age. The sacrificial offerings of ancient times were of themselves of no value in the sight of God. Those who presented sacrifice before the Lord must have a true sense of its import, acknowledging their lost condition as sinners, and accepting the death of Christ in their behalf. They must repent of their transgressions of God's law, and exercise faith in Jesus as the only one who could remove their guilt. When the offering of a sacrifice was substituted for true, willing, glad service to God, when it was regarded as having any virtue or merit in itself, or when the type was exalted above the object typified, then it became displeasing to the Lord.  {ST, September 14, 1882 par. 1}

 

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