Achan (Sin of Achan)

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

                s i n    o f    a c h a n        (  2  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

                          The  phrase  'sin of Achan'  appears  13  times in the published writings of EGW               See page on Original site                                 Related Phrase:   Achan's sin  - -   Cleanse the camp from Achans

What was the sin of Achan? Listen carefully to the words spoken by Jesus Christ from the pillar of cloud: "Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff." Let such plain statements as these given by the Lord in the Old Testament, be compared with the same line of instruction given in the New Testament. The confession of Achan, although too late to be available in bringing to him any saving virtue, vindicated the character of God in his manner of dealing with him, and closed the door to the temptation that so continually beset the children of Israel, to charge upon the servants of God the work that God did himself. It was the Lord Jesus himself who specified what should be the punishment of Achan, or there might have been murmuring among the camp of Israel, even though the stolen goods were found in his tent. The Lord knew just where the stolen goods were to be found, and had told Joshua where they were, although he had not specified who was the guilty one. But the honor of God must be vindicated by confession from the sinner's own lips, and Achan testified to the truth against himself. In the manner in which the Lord dealt with Achan, we can see how great is his displeasure against those who commit similar sins. The standard of the gospel today is no lower than it was in the days of Joshua.  {YI, February 1, 1894 par. 4}

 

 

In the case of the sin of Achan, God has shown how he regards sin among those who profess to be his commandment-keeping people. Those whom he has especially honored with witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of his power, as did ancient Israel, and that will venture to disregard his express directions, will be subjects of his wrath. God would teach his people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to him, and not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when his people are found in sin, they should at once take decided measures to put the sin from them, that his frown should not rest upon all his people. But if those in responsible positions pass over the sins of the people, his frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for the sins that exist in their midst. God, in his dealings with his people in the past, shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs that exist among them. One sinner may diffuse darkness which will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, then they should earnestly seek God in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve God's Spirit are searched out and put away from among them.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 1}

 

They are measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves. The worst thing you can do for them is to seek to retain them, even though they be editors or managers. God is not with such a man, and you cannot with any safety hold onto him. An atmosphere of unbelief surrounds his soul. The comparisons he has made have led him to double-dealing. He says to himself,"If such a one received such a sum, I should receive just as much." He becomes wise above what is written in the law, and appropriates means for his own use. Thus he robs the treasury. God looks upon this as He looked upon the sin of Achan. He sees that such men cannot give the right mold to the work. They cannot supply the necessities of those who are laboring in hard fields, who have to give part of their wages to the needs of these fields. God sees every such case, and He will pass judgment on those who thus measure themselves, selfishly taking care that they receive all they think they should have.-- Manuscript 97, 1899.  {2SM 196.5}
 
The power of the Lord had been manifested, in no common manner, in the taking of Jericho, and this made the sin of Achan of greater moment than ever. The management of the attack had not been left to man as the human agent. Let us read the record: "And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy: and Joshua did so." Then the Lord revealed to him the plan of the battle, and how the city was to be taken by supernatural forces.  {YI, February 8, 1894 par. 1}

 

Saith the Lord, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay-tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, and he could not be found. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." Will the fathers and mothers uphold their children in iniquity? will they seek to lessen the sin which the Lord abhors? Will men in responsible positions see who is intrusted with sacred trusts? Will we elevate the standard, that the sin of Achan be not chargeable to God's people, and they put to shame?  {SSW, October 1, 1885 par. 12}
 
The Lord said to Joshua, “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” ( Joshua 7:12.)  The defects of character in any member of the church, or in the minister, are charged to the church if the church make light of the defects. If you place Elder Daniels over the church as a minister, you, as a church, assume his defects, you make them your own, and the whole church stands under the rebuke of God, even as ancient Israel was under his rebuke on account of the sin of Achan. But your case will be more grievous than theirs, because you knew the evil, yet hid your eyes from it and walked contrary to the will of God.  { PH028 5.4 } and Manuscript 1a, 1890, pp. 4, 5. (“A Consecrated Ministry,” February 13, 1890.)  { 8MR 208.1 } 

 

I have no heart to write out many things that might be given for the example and practise of those who have been often reproved. Those at the center of the work have manifested an avaricious spirit; they have, as it were, clothed fraud and double-dealing, conniving,  --  principles which God condemns in his work, -- with a garment of righteousness. They have so perverted their imagination that they have supposed gain to be godliness. In the sin of Achan, theft, and dissembling, and covetousness, were considered by God to be of such a grievous character that God said, "Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." How will he regard the sins that are practised among his professed people?  {PH157 17.2}

 

Article:  The Sin of Achan  -  By Mrs. E. G. White.

Soon after the conquest of Jericho, Joshua determined to take possession of Ai, a city about ten miles farther north. Accordingly, chosen men were sent to visit this place to ascertain the number of its inhabitants, and the strength of its fortifications. The spies returned with the tidings that the city contained but few defenders, and that a small number of the Hebrew host could easily overthrow it.  {ST, April 21, 1881 par. 1}    Read this entire article

 

Article:   The Sin of Achan   ( part 2 )    By Mrs. E. G. White.

The Lord not only made known to Joshua the cause of Israel's defeat, but gave him definite instructions for the detection and punishment of the criminal: "In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof: and the family which the Lord shall take shall come by households; and the household which the Lord shall take shall come man by man. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath, because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel." The Lord did not immediately point out the sinner, but left the matter in doubt for a time, that Israel might feel their responsibility for the sins existing among them, and thus be led to searching of heart and humiliation before God.  {ST, May 5, 1881 par. 1}

 

 

                                                        Worse  than  the  sin  of Achan                                                                 

 
There are those who cherish a spirit of envy and hatred against their brethren, calling it the Spirit of God. There are those who go up and down as talebearers, accusing and condemning, blackening character, inspiring hearts with maliciousness. They carry false reports to the doors of their neighbors, who, as they listen to the slander, lose the Spirit of God. Not even the messenger of God, who bears to the people His truth, is spared.  {UL 122.2}
   This sin is worse than the sin of Achan. Its influence is not confined to those who cherish it. It is a root of bitterness, whereby many are defiled. God cannot bless the church till it is purged of this evil that corrupts minds and spirits, the souls of those who do not repent and change their course of action.  {UL 122.3}
 
 
This sin is worse than the sin of Achan. Its influence is not confined to those who cherish it. It is a root of bitterness, whereby many are defiled. God cannot bless the church till it is purged of this evil that corrupts minds and spirits, the souls of those who do not repent and change their course of action.   {18MR 147.6}
 
                                               greater  than  the  sin  of  Achan
God's character changes not. He was the same in Eli's time as in the days of Joshua. The iniquity signally punished in the early history of Israel could not be tolerated in later years. The crimes of Eli's sons were far greater than the sin of Achan. And their guilt was heightened by the greater light which they had received; they were acquainted with the history of his sin and its terrible punishment, and they had enjoyed superior advantages for religious education and training. Notwithstanding the Lord's forbearance toward them, they had stubbornly gone on in sin, and now the prophet of the Lord pronounced their fate: --  {ST, December 8, 1881 par. 13}

 

                                                        On  Account  of  the  sin  of Achan                                                          
 
The Lord said to Joshua, "Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you" (Joshua 7:12). The defects of character in any member of the church, or in the minister, are charged to the church, if the church make light of the defects. If you place Elder _____ over the church as a minister, you, as a church, assume his defects, you make them your own, and the whole church stands under the rebuke of God, even as ancient Israel was under His rebuke on account of the sin of Achan. But your case will be more grievous than theirs, because you knew the evil, yet hid your eyes from it, and walked contrary to the will of God. -- Ms 1a, 1890, pp. 4, 5. ("A Consecrated Ministry," February 13, 1890.)  {8MR 208.1}
 

The Lord said to Joshua, "Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." Joshua 7: 12  The defects of character in any member of the church, or in the minister, are charged to the church if the church make light of the defects. If you place Elder Daniels over the church as a minister, you, as a church, assume his defects, you make them your own, and the whole church stands under the rebuke of God, even as ancient Israel was under his rebuke on account of the sin of Achan. But your case will be more grievous than theirs, because you knew the evil, yet hid your eyes from it and walked contrary to the will of God.  {PH028 5.4}

 

                                                            Achan's  Sin   ( separate page )                                                         
 
There are many in this day that would designate Achan's sin as of little consequence, and would excuse his guilt; but it is because they have no realization of the character of sin and its consequences, no sense of the holiness of God and of His requirements. The statement is often heard that God is not particular whether or not we give diligent heed to His Word, whether or not we obey all the commandments of His holy law; but the record of His dealing with Achan should be a warning to us. He will in no wise clear the guilty. . . .  {2BC 998.1} 
 
The Scripture about Achan can be found in Joshua Chapter 7
Related sections in the writings of EGW:    Achan's Sin and Punishment  {3T 263.2}
Article by Ted Wilson about Achan's sin - Aug. 11, 2011
 

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