December 16, 1884 The New Year.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

Another year has almost passed into eternity; 1884 is almost dead; 1885 will soon be here. Let us review the record of the year that so soon will be past. What advancement have we made in Christian experience? Our work–have we so done it that it will bear the inspection of the Master, who has given to every man work according to his several ability? Will it be consumed as hay, wood, and stubble, unworthy of preservation? or will it stand the trial by fire?  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 1}

The need of fidelity is overlooked by many. There is a great deal to be done in this world–not in our way, but in God’s way–for the benefit of those for whom Christ has died; but if this is done negligently or imperfectly, “Wanting” will be written against our names in the book of heavenly records. God is not pleased with any work unless it is done in the very best way possible. Every provision has been made that we may attain a height of stature in Christ Jesus that will meet the divine standard. Go d is not pleased with his representatives if they are content to be dwarfs when they might grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. He wants you to have height and breadth in Christian experience. He wants you to have great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, and lofty purposes of action. Every passing year should increase the soul’s yearning for purity and perfection of Christian character. And if this knowledge increases day by day, month by month, year by year, it will not be work consumed as hay, wood, and stubble; but it will be laying on the foundation-stone, gold, silver, and precious stones,–works that are not perishable, but which will stand the fires of the last day. Is our earthly, temporal work done with a thoroughness, a fidelity, that will bear scrutiny? Are there those whom we have wronged who will testify against us in the day of God? If so, the record has passed up to heaven, and we shall meet it again. We are to work for the great Task-master’s eye, whether our pains taking efforts are seen and appreciated by men or not. No man, woman, nor child can acceptably serve God with neglectful, hap-hazard, sham work, whether it be secular or religious service. The true Christian will have an eye single to the glory of God in all things, encouraging his purposes and strengthening his principles with this thought, “I do this for Christ.” {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 2}

If all who profess to be servants of Christ are faithful in that which is least, they will be faithful in much. If there are debts yet unpaid, make special efforts to pay them. If you have run up accounts at the provision store or with the dry goods m erchant, settle them if you possibly can. If you cannot, go to those to whom you are indebted, and frankly tell them the impossibility of meeting these demands; renew your note, and assure them you will cancel the debt as soon as you can. Then deny yourselves of everything you can do without, and be very economical in your expenditures, until your promises are fulfilled. Do not indulge yourselves in the use of other men’s money for the sake of gratifying appetite or a love of display. You may thus remove a stumbling-block whereby many were hindered from believing the truth; and your good will not be evil spoken of. Will not our brethren make diligent efforts to correct this slack, hap-hazard way of doing business? The old year is fast passing; it is nearly gone. Make the most of the few days remaining. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 3}

The Chinese New Year commences in February, and lasts one week. They have a custom of settling all quarrels between themselves and all outstanding debts; and if there are any who are unable to pay their debts, they are forgiven them. Thus the new year is commenced with all difficulties and accounts settled. This is a heathen custom that the Christian world would do well to imitate. God’s law requires all this of us, and more,–we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is, we are to deal with our neighbors in everything just as we would wish them to deal with us. If we wish them to act fairly and justly toward us, then we should act fairly and justly toward them. We are simply to do as we would be done by.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 4}

In every matter of deal between men, the conduct of each is a fair transcript of his character. If a man is upright in the sight of God, his dealings will be upright in the sight of his fellow-men. His integrity is not a matter of doubt; it shines forth as purest gold refined by fire. Has he money for which he has no immediate use? He does not take advantage of the necessities of his poorer brother to require more than a fair compensation. He will not require exorbitant interest because he can take advantage of the situation. A truly honest man will never take advantage of the distress of another to add to his own store; for in the end it would be a great loss. As far as principle is concerned, it would be just as criminal in the sight of God as for him to enter his neighbor’s house and steal so much gold or silver. The customs and maxims of the world are not to be our criterion, unless by the word of God we can prove them to be right. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” It is not the greatness or insignificance of an action that makes it honest or dishonest. God requires that in all our transactions we pursue the straight line of duty.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 5}

If we have but little time, let us improve that little earnestly. The Bible assures us that we are in the great day of atonement. The typical day of atonement was a day when all Israel afflicted their souls before God, confessed their sins, and came b efore the Lord with contrition of soul, remorse for their sins, genuine repentance, and living faith in the atoning sacrifice. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 6}

If there have been difficulties brethren and sisters,–if envy, malice, bitterness, evil surmisings, have existed, confess these sins, not in a general way, but go to your brethren and sisters personally. Be definite. If you have committed one wrong a nd they twenty, confess that one as though you were the chief offender. Take them by the hand, let your heart soften under the influence of the Spirit of God, and say, “Will you forgive me? I have not felt right toward you. I want to make right every wrong, that naught may stand registered against me in the books of heaven. I must have a clean record.” Who, think you, would withstand such a movement as this? There is too much coldness and indifference–too much of the “I don’t care” spirit–exercised among the professed followers of Christ. All should feel a care for one another, jealously guarding each other’s interests. “Love one another.” Then we should stand a strong wall against Satan’s devices. Amid opposition and persecution we would not join the vindictive ones, not unite with the followers of the great rebel, whose special work is to accuse the brethren, to defame and cast stain upon their characters.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 7}

Let the remnant of this year be improved in destroying every fiber of the root of bitterness, burying them in the grave with the old year. Begin the new year with more tender regard, with deeper love, for every member of the Lord’s family. Press toget her. “United, we stand; divided, we fall.” Take a higher, nobler stand than you ever have before. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 8}

Many appear to be steadfast in the truth, firm, decided on every point of our faith; yet there is a great lack in them,–the tenderness and love which marked the character of the great Pattern. If a brother errs from the truth, if he falls into temptation, they make no effort to restore him in meekness, considering themselves lest they also be tempted. They seem to regard it as their special work to climb upon the judgment seat and condemn and disfellowship. They do not obey God’s word, which says, “Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” The spirit of this passage is altogether too rare in our churches. It is the lack of it that shuts out the Spirit of God from the heart, from the home, from the church. Shall we not henceforth practice the Bible plan of restoring erring ones in the spirit of meekness? Shall we not have the spirit of Jesus, and work as he worked?  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 9}

Keep back that disposition to crowd out a brother, even if you think him unworthy, even if he has hindered your work by manifesting a spirit of independence and willfulness. Remember that he is God’s property. Err always on the side of mercy and tenderness. Treat with respect and deference even your most bitter enemies, who would injure you if they could. Let not a word escape your lips that would give them opportunity to justify their course in the least degree. Give no occasion to any man to blaspheme the name of God or speak disrespectfully of our faith for anything you have done. We need to be wise as the serpent, and harmless as the dove.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 10}

The old year is in its death struggle; let all wrath, malice, and bitterness die with it. Through hearty confession, let your sins go beforehand to judgment. Devote the remaining moments of the swift passing year to humiliation of self rather than trying to humiliate your brethren. With the new year, commence the work of lifting them up,–commence it even in the waning moments of the old year. Go to work anew, brethren and sisters,–go to work earnestly, unselfishly, lovingly, striving to lift up the hands that hang down, to strengthen the feeble knees, remove the heavy burdens from every soul. Let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke. Bring to your homes the poor that are cast out. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine heal th shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and the Lord shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 11}

Brethren in every church, will you follow the conditions God has specified, and prove the Lord, and see if he will fulfill his promises? I believe he will. I have not the shadow of a doubt of it. He will do just as he has said he would, and the exceed ingly broad promises of rich blessings will be realized if we but comply with the conditions. Your heads may be hard and sound, but let not this hardness steal into your hearts. If you will fall on the Rock and be broken, then your self-righteousness will no longer exist. There will be instead soft, impressible hearts, kind, tender, true hearts, like that of Jesus, who was ever touched with human woe. You will weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. Try it, brethren; God’s way is always best. You have tried your own way very perseveringly, and it does not work for the prosperity, union, and up-building of the church. Therefore let us no longer think our own plan the right one, climbing upon the judgment seat; but let us in the spirit of God bear the testimony he has given us to bear, receiving the melting love of God in our hearts while we speak plain truths to tear away the vail of deception from the eyes of those in error, giving instead the earnest, sincere, genuine love of Jesus.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 12}

This work of confession must be done sooner or later. Shall it not be done in the dying hours of the old year? Shall we not put away our sins by confession, and let them go beforehand to judgment? Shall we not strive now as we never have before, that we may commence the new year with a clean record? Shall we not individually take hold of this long neglected work, humbling our souls before God, that “pardon”–blessed pardon–may be written opposite our names? Shall we not be truly Christians–Christ-like? {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 13}

Try it in every church. Have special meetings when you can,–meetings of humiliation, of afflicting the soul,–meetings where the rubbish shall be cleared away from the door of the heart, that the blessed Saviour may enter. What a wonderful time the dying of the old year and the birth of the new might be! If we individually try to do what we can on our part, God is faithful that hath promised, and he will fulfill on his part abundantly more than you can ask or even think. Let no more moments be wasted. Let us now arise, and make earnest efforts to cherish the subduing love of Jesus. We need to be melted over, that the dross may be removed. We need to learn in Christ’s school meekness and lowliness of heart, drawing closer and closer to Jesus.  {RH, December 16,

1884 par. 14}

The prevalent evils in our homes are fault-finding and censure, placing the worst construction upon words and motives. This is discouraging to the children, frequently causing them to give up their efforts to do right. If words of commendation were sp oken, when they could be justly, it would show them that their efforts were appreciated, and teach them justice. If mistakes and defects are continually pointed out, often impatiently, and sometimes in the white heat of anger; if no kindly notice is taken of any improvement or progress, the children become disheartened. They feel that they are treated mercilessly, that they are left to struggle along without appreciation or encouragement. Shall not this state of things be changed? It must if parents want th eir children to enjoy religion. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 15}

The same difficulties exist in the church. Many have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life whom one word of kindly cheer and courage would have strengthened to overcome. Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathizing, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say words that encourage and inspire hope. We cannot tell how far-reaching may be our tender words of kindness, our Christ-like efforts to lighten some burden. My brethren and sisters, come to your high calling. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 16}

Jesus, precious Jesus! How dear the name! how soul-inspiring! Jesus never suppressed one syllable of the truth; but he uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in his intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth always, but in love. When he denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, it was not in tones of thunder; but tears were in his voice as he uttered his scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city he loved, who refused to receive him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected him, the Saviour; but he regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke his heart. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. He never made truth cruel, but manifested a wonderful tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in his eyes. He always bore himself with divine dignity; yet he bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, fallen souls whom it was his mission to save.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 17}

Oh, how many fail in acting out their own peculiar temperament! They arouse in others a spirit of antagonism, and the worst feelings of opposition and enmity. Why should any one show disrespect to one who differs with him in doctrine? Agree with every one on every subject you can. Admit it when he is right; for the acknowledgment will greatly help to draw him nearer to you. He will then have no occasion to think you consider your own opinions infallible, or that you look upon him with contempt.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 18}

As workers for Christ, we want sanctified tact. Study to be skillful when there are no rules to meet the case. Win hearts, not repulse them. In this kind of work more than in any other that can be undertaken, you need wisdom from above. Many souls have been turned in the wrong direction, and thus lost to the cause of God, by want of skill and wisdom in the worker. Tact, wisdom, and good judgment in the laborer in the cause of God increase his usefulness one hundred fold. If he can only speak the right words, and manifest the right spirit at the right time, it will exert a melting power on the heart of the needy one. To be workers for the Master, we must be educated in the school of Christ. All harshness, all denunciation and criticism, must be put away. As brethren let us love one another, then we shall not scatter abroad but gather with Christ.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 19}

The evil tendencies of mankind are hard to overcome. The battles are tedious. Every soul in the strife knows how severe, how bitter, are these contests. Everything about growth in grace is difficult, because the standard and maxims of the world are constantly interposed between the soul and God’s holy standard. The Lord would have us elevated, ennobled, purified, by carrying out the principles underlying his great moral standard, which will test every character in the great day of final reckoning. But God does not require us to impose upon ourselves taxing exactions which torture the bodies he has made for a wise use. We are to glorify him in the use of our every capacity. Self-imposed cruelty to the flesh is not an offering acceptable to God; it is a s acrifice not required. But to cherish kindness and love for one another is wholly acceptable to him,–a sweet savor. The glorious gifts God has bestowed upon us are to be used in his service, not abused as though self-torture would pay a ransom for our souls. The living sacrifice of the living affections–a working of the works of righteousness–will meet the mind of God. We may bring–he requires us to bring–our natural endowments and our acquired, educated powers to his feet. He will accept them at our hands, and return them to us sanctified, to be used in blessing others.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 20}

The precious hours are passing. My soul is drawn out in deep, earnest, anxious interest in your behalf. As an embassador of Christ, I implore you to commence your work intelligently. Pick up the raveling ends, and bind them off for time and for eterni ty. It is not too late yet for wrongs to be righted; and while Jesus, our Mediator, is pleading in our behalf, let us do our part of the work. Love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself. Let us confess and forsake our sins that we may find pardon. Let those who have robbed God in tithes and offerings now come before him and make restitution. The question is asked, “Will a man rob God? as though it was not a possible thing for one to do so great a crime; but if God has ever spoken through me, th ere has been grievous robbery from him in tithes and offerings.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 21}

Brethren, 1884 is almost gone. Improve its few remaining moments in making restitution for wrongs. Make thorough work for eternity. Every act, every word, must stand the test of the Judgment. Set your hearts in order. Set your house in order. Make thorough work while Jesus is ministering in the sanctuary. Let not these appeals be given in vain. God’s treasury has been robbed of thousands of dollars, and this neglect stands registered against you in the books of heaven.  {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 22}

Let there be meetings in every church; and let ample opportunity be given to all to humble themselves before God, and confess their sins, that they may receive the peace of pardon. When we will bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives in to harmony with his work, the Spirit that descended on the day of Pentecost will fall on us. We shall be strong in Christ’s strength, and be filled with the fullness of God. Then the new year will be welcomed by us all as the commencement of a year a higher, better principles. We shall give ourselves to Christ, making an unreserved consecration of all our property, all our capacities, to his service. We shall make good our profession of faith; we shall serve God by serving those who need our help. Then we shall let our light shine forth in good works. God help you to commence the new year with a clean, unspotted record. May you live pure, holy lives, that, whether young or old, they may be beautiful and happy, because Christ is reflected in your characters. -{RH, December 16, 1884 par. 23}

January 7, 1890 Christ Revealed the Father.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Christ came to the world to reveal the character of the Father, and to redeem the fallen race. The world’s Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that he had no existence separate from the Father. The authority by which he spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly his own, yet he assures us that he and the Father are one. John bore witness of Christ, and pointed all men to him as the promised Messiah. When he beheld Jesus before him, he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for he was before me.” “And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 1}

As legislator, Jesus exercised the authority of God; his commands and decisions were supported by the Sovereignty of the eternal throne. The glory of the Father was revealed in the Son; Christ made manifest the character of the Father. He was so perfectly connected with God, so completely embraced in his encircling light, that he who had seen the Son, had seen the Father. His voice was as the voice of God. Mark Christ’s prayer before his crucifixion: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Again he says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” “No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 2}

Christ was misjudged by the Jews, because he did not dwell constantly on the law as written in the tables of stone. He invited men to learn of him, for he was a living representation of the law of God. He was the only one in human garb that could stan d among a nation of witnesses, and, looking round upon them, say, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” He knew that no man could point out any defect in his character or conduct. What power his spotless purity gave to his instructions, what force to his reproofs, what authority to his commands! Truth never languished on his lips, never lost any of its sacredness, because it was illustrated in the divine character of its Advocate. How simple, how clear and definite, were his utterances! Jesus declared his mission before Pilate, saying, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 3}

When Jesus spoke, it was not with hesitating uncertainty, with repetition of words and familiar figures. The truth came from his lips clothed in new and interesting representations that gave it the freshness of a new revelation. His voice was never pitched to an unnatural key, and his words came with an earnestness and assurance appropriate to their importance and the momentous consequences involved in their reception or rejection. When his doctrines were opposed, he defended them with so great zeal and certainty as to impress his hearers that he would die, if need be, to sustain the authority of his teachings.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 4}

Jesus was the light of the world. He came forth from God with a message of hope and salvation to the fallen sons of Adam. If men would but receive him as their personal Saviour, he promised to restore to them the image of God, and to redeem all that h ad been lost through sin. He presented to men the truth, without one thread of interwoven error. When he taught, his words came with authority; for he spoke with positive knowledge of the truth.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 5}

The teaching of men is wholly different from the teaching of Christ. There is a constant tendency on the part of man, to present his own theories and opinions as matter worthy of attention, even when they have no foundation in truth. Men are very tenacious for their erroneous ideas and idle opinions. They will hold firmly to the traditions of men, and defend them as vigorously as if they were the veritable truth. Jesus declared that every one that was of the truth would hear his voice.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 6}

How much more power would attend the preaching of the word today, if men dwelt less upon the theories and arguments of men, and far more upon the lessons of Christ, and upon practical godliness. He who had stood in the counsel of God, who had dwelt in his presence, was well acquainted with the origin and elements of truth, and understood its relation and importance to man. He presented to the world the plan of salvation, and unfolded truth of the highest order, even the words of eternal life.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 7}

Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and they plainly stated that they spoke not by their own power, nor in their own name. They desired that no credit might be ascribed to them, that no one might regard them as the originators of anything whereof they might glory. They were jealous for the honor of God, to whom all praise belongs. They declared that their ability and the messages they brought, were given them as delegates of the power of God. God was their authority and sufficiency. Jesus had imparted a knowledge of God to patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The revelations of the Old Testament were emphatically the unfoldings of the gospel, the unveiling of the purpose and will of the infinite Father. Through the holy men of old, Christ labored for the salvation of fallen humanity. And when he came to the world it was with the same message of redemption from sin, and restoration to the favor of God.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 8}

Christ is the Author of all truth. Every brilliant conception, every thought of wisdom, every capacity and talent of men, is the gift of Christ. He borrowed no new ideas from humanity; for he originated all. But when he came to earth, he found the bright gems of truth which he had intrusted to man, all buried up in superstition and tradition. Truths of most vital importance were placed in the frame-work of error, to serve the purpose of the arch-deceiver. The opinions of men, the most popular sentiments of the people, were glossed over with the appearance of truth, and were presented as the genuine gems of heaven, worthy of attention and reverence. But Christ swept away erroneous theories of every grade. No one save the world’s Redeemer had power to present the truth in its primitive purity, divested of the error that Satan had accumulated to hide its heavenly beauty. {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 9}

Some of the truths that Christ spoke were familiar to the people. They had heard them from the lips of priests and rulers, and from men of thought; but for all that, they were distinctively the thoughts of Christ. He had given them to men in trust, to be communicated to the world. On every occasion he proclaimed the particular truth he thought appropriate for the needs of his hearers, whether the ideas had been expressed before or not.  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 10}

The work of Christ was to take the truth of which the people were in want, and separate it from error, and present it free from the superstitions of the world, that the people might accept it on its own intrinsic and eternal merit. He dispersed the mists of doubt, that the truth might be revealed, and shed distinct rays of light into the darkness of men’s hearts. He placed the truth in clear contrast with error, that it might appear as truth before the people. But how few appreciate the value of the wo rk that Christ was doing! How few in our day have a just conception of the preciousness of the lessons which he gave to his disciples. {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 11}

He proved himself to be the way, the truth, the life. He sought to attract the minds of men from the passing pleasures of this life to the unseen and eternal realities. Views of heavenly things do not incapacitate men and women for the duties of this life, but rather render them more efficient and faithful. Although the grand realities of the eternal world seem to charm the mind, engross the attention, and enrapture the whole being, yet with spiritual enlightenment there comes a calm, heaven-born diligence, that enables the Christian to take pleasure in the performance of the commonplace duties of life. Our daily cares and responsibilities are tests by which it is manifested whether or not we will be found faithful in little things, that we may be intrusted with greater responsibilities. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” He who has faithfully employed his talents for his Master, will hear from his lips the words of approbation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”  {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 12}

Satan has worked continually to eclipse the glories of the future world, and to attract the whole attention to the things of this life. He has striven so to arrange matters that our thought, our anxiety, our labor might be so fully employed in temporal things, that we should not see or realize the value of eternal realities. The world and its cares have too large a place, while Jesus and heavenly things have altogether too small a share in our thoughts and affections. We should conscientiously discharge all the duties of every-day life, but it is also essential that we should cultivate above everything else, holy affection for our Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest hindrance to our spiritual growth is a neglect to exercise the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. There is much blind unbelief in the promises that have been left on record for our comfort and support. We need a more intelligent knowledge of the Bible, that we may understand what is the revealed will of God. {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 13}

The objects of time and sense engross the mind so fully that we scarcely look heavenward. The spiritual and eternal are so obscured by common, earthly things that we do not appreciate their worth and importance. We do not improve our opportunity to study the word of God as we should. The contemplation of the love of God, manifested in the gift of his Son for the salvation of fallen men, will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else will. The work of redemption is a marvelous work, it is a mystery in the universe of God. But how indifferent are the objects of such matchless grace! The apostle says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” If our senses had not been blunted by sin, and by contemplation of the dark pictures that Satan is constantly presenting before us, a fervent and continuous flow of gratitude would go out from our hearts toward Him who daily loads us with benefits of which we are wholly undeserving. The everlasting song of the redeemed will be praise to Him who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; and if we ever sing that song before the throne of God, we must learn it here. If we meditate upon the love of God, all o ur habits will indicate that we are preserved in a well-balanced, healthful condition, and our spiritual powers will increase as we exercise them in faith and prayer, and active service for God. We need that living faith that works and by works is made perfect. {RH, January 7, 1890 par. 14}

February 18, 1890 How to Meet a Controverted Point of

Doctrine.

[MORNING TALK AT BATTLE CREEK, MICH., JAN. 29, 1890.]

By Mrs. E. G. White.

We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Isr ael, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ. How the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 1}

When Christ came to our world, Satan was on the ground, and disputed every inch of advance in his path from the manger to Calvary. Satan had accused God of requiring self-denial of the angels, when he knew nothing of what it meant himself, and when he would not himself make any self-sacrifice for others. This was the accusation that Satan made against God in heaven; and after the evil one was expelled from heaven, he continually charged the Lord with exacting service which he would not render himself. Christ came to the world to meet these false accusations, and to reveal the Father. We cannot conceive of the humiliation he endured in taking our nature upon himself. Not that in itself it was a disgrace to belong to the human race, but he was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, and he humbled himself to become a babe and suffer the wants and woes of mortals. He humbled himself not to the highest position, to be a man of riches and power, but though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He took step after step in humiliation. He was driven from city to city; for men would not receive the Light of the world. They were perfectly satisfied with their position.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 2}

Christ had given precious gems of truth, but men had bound them up in the rubbish of superstition and error. He had imparted to them the words of life, but they did not live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He saw that the world co uld not find the word of God, for it was hidden by the traditions of men. He came to place before the world the relative importance of heaven and earth, and put truth in its own place. Jesus alone could reveal the truth which it was necessary men should kn ow in order that they might obtain salvation. He only could place it in the frame-work of truth, and it was his work to free it from error and to set it before men in its heavenly light. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 3}

Satan was roused to oppose him, for had he not put forth every effort since the fall to make light appear darkness, and darkness light? As Christ sought to place truth before the people in its proper relation to their salvation, Satan worked through t he Jewish leaders, and inspired them with enmity against the Redeemer of the world. They determined to do all in their power to prevent him from making an impression upon the people. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 4}

O, how Christ longed, how his heart burned, to open to the priests the greater treasures of the truth! But their minds had been cast in such a mold that it was next to an impossibility to reveal to them the truths relating to his kingdom. The Scriptures had not been read aright. The Jews had been looking for the advent of the Messiah, but they had thought he must come in all the glory that will attend his second appearing. Because he did not come with all the majesty of a king, they utterly refused him . But it was not simply because he did not come in splendor that they refused him. It was because he was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He walked the earth a man of spotless integrity. Such a character in the midst of degradation and evil, was out of harmony with their desires, and he was abused and despised. His spotless life flashed light upon the hearts of men, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 5}

The Son of God was assaulted at every step by the powers of darkness. After his baptism he was driven of the Spirit into the wilderness, and suffered temptation for forty days. Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ could not have ha d the same nature as man, for if he had, he would have fallen under similar temptations. If he did not have man’s nature, he could not be our example. If he was not a partaker of our nature, he could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for him to yield to temptation, he could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man’s behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 6}

In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, but humanity by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness. The prince of this world came to Chr ist after his long fast, when he was an hungered, and suggested to him to command the stones to become bread. But the plan of God, devised for the salvation of man, provided that Christ should know hunger, and poverty, and every phase of man’s experience. He withstood the temptation, through the power that man may command. He laid hold on the throne of God, and there is not a man or woman who may not have access to the same help through faith in God. Man may become a partaker of the divine nature; not a soul lives who may not summon the aid of Heaven in temptation and trial. Christ came to reveal the Source of his power, that man might never rely on his unaided human capabilities. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 7}

Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example, and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. How?–By having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel. Christ, by his own example, made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil–a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master; a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity may be combined in them. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 8}

It was the work of Christ to present the truth in the frame-work of the gospel, and to reveal the precepts and principles that he had given to fallen man. Every idea he presented was his own. He needed not to borrow thoughts from any, for he was the originator of all truth. He could present the ideas of prophets and philosophers, and preserve his originality; for all wisdom was his; he was the source, the fountain, of all truth. He was in advance of all, and by his teaching he became the spiritual lead er for all ages. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 9}

It was Christ that spoke through Melchisedec, the priest of the most high God. Melchisedec was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father. And all through the generations of the past, Christ has spoken; Christ has led his people, and has been the light of the world. When God chose Abraham as a representative of his truth, he took him out of his country, and away from his kindred, and set him apart. He desired to mold him after his own model. He desired to teach him according to his own plan. The mold of the world’s teachers was not to be upon him. He was to be taught how to command his children and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. This is the work that God would have us do. He would have us understand how to govern our families, how to control our children, how to command our households to keep the way of the Lord. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 10}

John was called to do a special work; he was to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight his paths. The Lord did not send him to the school of the prophets and rabbis. He took him away from the assemblies of men to the desert, that he might learn of nature and nature’s God. God did not desire him to have the mold of the priests and rulers. He was called to do a special work. The Lord gave him his message. Did he go to the priests and rulers and ask if he might proclaim this message?–No, God put h im away from them that he might not be influenced by their spirit and teaching. He was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” This is the very message th at must be given to our people; we are near the end of time, and the message is, Clear the King’s highway; gather out the stones; raise up a standard for the people. The people must be awakened. It is no time now to cry peace and safety. We are exhorted to “cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 11}

The light of the glory of God shone upon our Representative, and this fact says to us that the glory of God may shine upon us. With his human arm, Jesus encircled the race, and with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the Infinite, connecting man with God, and earth with heaven. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 12}

The light of the glory of God must fall upon us. We need the holy unction from on high. However intelligent, however learned a man may be, he is not qualified to teach unless he has a firm hold on the God of Israel. He who is connected with Heaven wil l do the works of Christ. By faith in God he will have power to move upon humanity. He will seek for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. If divine power does not combine with human effort, I would not give a straw for all that the greatest man could do. The Holy Spirit is wanting in our work. Nothing frightens me more than to see the spirit of variance manifested by our brethren. We are on dangerous ground when we cannot meet together like Christians, and courteously examine controverted points. I feel like fleeing from the place lest I receive the mold of those who cannot candidly investigate the doctrines of the Bible. Those who cannot impartially examine the evidences of a position that differs from theirs, are not fit to teach in any department of God ‘s cause. What we need is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Without this, we are no more fitted to go forth to the world than were the disciples after the crucifixion of their Lord. Jesus knew their destitution, and told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they should be endowed with power from on high. Every teacher must be a learner, that his eyes may be anointed to see the evidences of the advancing truth of God. The beams of the Sun of Righteousness must shine into his own heart if he would impart light to others. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 13}

No one is able to explain the Scriptures without the aid of the Holy Spirit. But when you take up the word of God with a humble, teachable heart, the angels of God will be by your side to impress you with evidences of the truth. When the Spirit of God rests upon you, there will be no feeling of envy or jealousy in examining another’s position; there will be no spirit of accusation and criticism, such as Satan inspired in the hearts of the Jewish leaders against Christ. As Christ said to Nicodemus, so I say to you, “Ye must be born again.” “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” You must have the divine mold before you can discern the sacred claims of the truth. Unless the teacher is a learner in the school of Christ, he is not fitted to teach others. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 14}

We should come into a position where every difference will be melted away. If I think I have light, I shall do my duty in presenting it. Suppose I consulted others concerning the message the Lord would have me give to the people, the door might be clo sed so that the light might not reach the ones to whom God had sent it. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, “the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold t heir peace, the stones would immediately cry out.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 15}

The Jews tried to stop the proclamation of the message that had been predicted in the word of God; but prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says, “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say, “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.” {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 16}

There are many who cannot distinguish between the work of God and that of man. I shall tell the truth as God gives it to me, and I say now, If you continue to find fault, to have a spirit of variance, you will never know the truth. Jesus said to his disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” They were not in a condition to appreciate sacred and eternal things; but Jesus promised to send the Comforter, who would teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever he had said unto them. Brethren, we must not put our dependence in man. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” You must hang your helpless souls upon Jesus. It does not become us to drink from the fountain of the valley, when there is a fountain in the mountain. Let us leave the lower streams; let us come to the higher springs. If there is a point of truth that you do not understand, upon which you do not agree, investigate, compare scripture with scripture, sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God’s word. You must lay yourselves and your opinions on the altar of God, put away your preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide you into all truth.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 17}

My brother said at one time that he would not hear anything concerning the doctrine we hold, for fear he should be convinced. He would not come to the meetings, or listen to the discourses; but he afterward declared that he saw he was as guilty as if he had heard them. God had given him an opportunity to know the truth, and he would hold him responsible for this opportunity. There are many among us who are prejudiced against the doctrines that are now being discussed. They will not come to hear, they will not calmly investigate, but they put forth their objections in the dark. They are perfectly satisfied with their position. “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserabl e, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 18}

This scripture applies to those who live under the sound of the message, but who will not come to hear it. How do you know but that the Lord is giving fresh evidences of his truth, placing it in a new setting, that the way of the Lord may be prepared? What plans have you been laying that new light may be infused through the ranks of God’s people? What evidence have you that God has not sent light to his children? All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away. We must come to the feet of Jesus, and learn of him who is meek and lowly of heart. Jesus did not teach his disciples as the rabbis taught theirs. Many of the Jews came and listened as Christ revealed the mysteries of salvation, but they came not to learn; they came to critic ise, to catch him in some inconsistency, that they might have something with which to prejudice the people. They were content with their knowledge, but the children of God must know the voice of the true Shepherd. Is not this a time when it would be highly proper to fast and pray before God? We are in danger of variance, in danger of taking sides on a controverted point; and should we not seek God in earnestness, with humiliation of soul, that we may know what is truth?  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 19}

Nathanael heard John as he pointed to the Saviour, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” Nathanael looked at Jesus, but he was disappointed in the appearance of the world’s Redeemer. Could he who bore the marks of toil and poverty, be the Messiah? Jesus was a worker; he had toiled with humble working-men, and Nathanael went away. But he did not form his opinion decidedly as to what the character of Jesus was. He knelt down under a fig-tree, inquiring of God if indeed this man was the Messiah. While he was there, Philip came and said, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” But the word “Nazareth” again aroused his unbelief, and he said, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” He was full of prejudice, but Philip did not seek to combat his prejudice; he simply said, “Come and see.” When Nathanael came into the presence of Jesus, Jesus said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael was amazed. He said, “Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.”  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 20}

Would it not be well for us to go under the fig-tree to plead with God as to what is truth? Would not the eye of God be upon us as it was upon Nathanael? Nathanael believed on the Lord, and exclaimed, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 21}

This is what we shall see if we are connected with God. God wants us to depend upon him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart; he would give us revealings of light from the throne of God. We should wrestle with every difficulty, but when some controverted point is presented, are you to go to man to find out his opinion, and then shape your conclusions from his?–No, go to God. Tell him what you want; take your Bible and search as for hidden treasures.  {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 22}

We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers , and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women. God can teach you more in one moment by his Holy Spirit than you could learn from the great men of the earth. The universe is looking upon the controversy that is going on upon the earth. At an infinite cost, God has provided for every man an opportunity to know that which will make him wise unto salvation. How eagerly do angels look to see who will avail himself of this opportunity! When a message is presented to God’s people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to p ut his grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day; for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us. We are to be one with Christ as he is one with the Father, and the Father will love us as he loves his Son. We may have the same help that Christ had, we may have strength for every emergency; for God will be our front guard and our rereward. He will shut us in on every side, and when we are brought before rulers, before the authorities of the earth, we need not meditate beforehand of what we shall say. God will teach us in the day of our need. Now may God help us to come to the feet of Jesus and learn of him, before we seek to become teachers of others. {RH, February 18, 1890 par. 23}

March 18, 1890 The Present Message. [MORNING

TALK AT BATTLE CREEK, MICH., FEB. 4, 1890.]

By Mrs. E. G. White.

 

When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the sufferings of the Son of God. A door has been opened, and no man can close it, neither the highest powers nor the lowest; you alone can close the door of your heart, so that the Lord cannot reach you. You have been having light from heaven for the past year and a half, that the Lord would have you bring into your charac ter and weave into your experience. {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 1}

The watchmen upon the walls of Zion are to cry aloud and spare not, to lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sin. When John came to Jordan, it was to arouse the people, to lay the ax at the root of the tree. Christ had not yet come to reveal himself to the world, and John was to prepare the way of the Lord. He rebuked, reproved, stirred men up to repentance, condemned their sin, and then Christ came to pour the healing balm into the prepared soul. When the disciples of John were jealous because Christ baptized more disciples than did their master, he answered, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” Do you think that John had no human feelings?–Of course he did, but he determined that they should have no control over him. When he had seen Jesus on the banks of the Jordan, he had said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” He directed the attention of the people to Christ, and two of his disciples turned and followed Jesus. “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, “Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpret ed, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day.” Then they began the work of calling others. {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 2}

God has his workmen to carry on his work, and no man can carry the work beyond a certain point, because man will place his own mold upon it. It is natural for men to put their fashion upon the work; but when there is danger of this, the Lord calls oth er men whom he has ready, to carry forward the message; for the work must not become circumscribed by the influence of man. Other workmen must be brought in, to carry the work upward and forward as God shall direct, that the mold may not appear, and that the truth may not be crippled and dwarfed by the experience of the workers. The mold of man must be taken off the work. Too often the messenger that God has used comes to be depended upon, and to be placed where God should be, by the people; then God brings in another worker. He does not set the first one aside, for his experience and capabilities are all needed for the perfection of the work; but if the men whom God has used become jealous and envious, and imagine evil, they will not fill the place, but will stand directly in the way of the advancement of the work. Then the work will move without them, and that is a great blessing.  {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 3}

When I held the hand of my dying husband in mine, there came a flood of light upon me as I sat there beside his bed in my feebleness and sorrow, and a voice seemed to say, “I have my workmen, and the work shall go on.” I resolved then to take up my burden as I never before had taken it up. I would stand at my post of duty. I would not diminish my efforts. I trusted in God that he would bring a large measure of his Holy Spirit into the work, that would lift it to its proper place.  {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 4}

If our brethren were all laborers together with God, they would not doubt but that the message he has sent us during these last two years is from heaven. Our young men look to our older brethren, and as they see that they do not accept the message, bu t treat it as though it were of no consequence, it influences those who are ignorant of the Scriptures to reject the light. These men who refuse to receive truth, interpose themselves between the people and the light. But there is no excuse for any one’s refusing the light, for it has been plainly revealed. There is no need of any one’s being in ignorance. We must clear the King’s highway; for God will remove hindrances out of the way. God calls you to come up to his help against the mighty. Instead of pres sing your weight against the chariot of truth that is being pulled up an inclined road, you should work with all the energy you can summon to push it on. Shall we repeat the history of the Jews in our work? The leaders of the people in the time of Christ b rought all their power to bear against the work of Christ, that his way might be hedged up. The people must go to God for themselves, and pray that all wrong impressions may be removed from their hearts,–pray that the word of God may not be clouded by men ‘s interpretations. {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 5}

God has set before you an open door; let not man seek to close it. Open your heart and mind, and let the Sun of Righteousness shine into your soul. How long will it be before the word of truth will have weight with you? How long will it be before you will believe the testimonies of God’s Spirit? When is the truth for this time to find access to your hearts? Will you wait till Christ comes? How long will God permit the way to be hedged up? Clear the King’s highway, I beseech you, and make his paths stra ight. {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 6}

I have traveled from place to place, attending meetings where the message of the righteousness of Christ was preached. I considered it a privilege to stand by the side of my brethren, and give my testimony with the message for the time; and I saw that the power of God attended the message wherever it was spoken. You could not make the people believe in South Lancaster that it was not a message of light that came to them. The people confessed their sins, and appropriated the righteousness of Christ. God has set his hand to do this work. We labored in Chicago; it was a week before there was a break in the meetings. But like a wave of glory, the blessing of God swept over us as we pointed men to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. The Lo rd revealed his glory, and we felt the deep movings of his Spirit. Everywhere the message led to the confession of sin, and to the putting away of iniquity.  {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 7}

I have tried to present the message to you as I have understood it, but how long will those at the head of the work keep themselves aloof from the message of God?  {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 8}

We must take our hands off the ark of God. I mean to stand faithfully at my post of duty. I mean to do my work for time and for eternity. It is only those who are faithful that are great in the sight of the Lord. Suppose that you blot out the testimon y that has been going during these last two years proclaiming the righteousness of Christ, who can you point to as bringing out special light for the people? This message as it has been presented, should go to every church that claims to believe the truth, and bring our people up to a higher stand-point. Where are the builders that are carrying forward the work of restoration? We want to see who have presented to the world the heavenly credentials. God gives every man a chance to take his place in the work. Let the people of God tell what they have seen and heard and handled of the word of life. Every worker has his place; but God does not want any man to think that no other message is to be heard but that which he may have given. We want the past message and the fresh message. Let the Spirit of God come into the heart. O that we may realize the value of the price that has been paid for our salvation! I entreat of you to come nearer to God, that you may take hold of the message for yourselves.  {RH, March 18, 1890 par. 9}

March 25, 1890 Open the Heart to Light. [MORNING TALK

AT BATTLE CREEK, MICH., FEB. 6, 1890.]

By Mrs. E. G. White.

As Jesus was on his way to Gethsemane with his disciples, he pointed them to a vine that was growing by the way. The vine was greatly admired by the Jews, and Jesus said to his disciples, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.” Here is a truth for us to study. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.” We now have an opportunity to be fruit-bearing branches of the True Vine; but if we are careless and indifferent. what will be our condition?–We shall be fruitless; we shall be taken away. We can do nothing without Christ; we shall have no sap or nourishment except as we get it from the living Vine. No branch can bear fruit except through a connection with Christ.  {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 1}

“And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Jesus says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” If we are branches of the living Vine, we shall be distinct branches, although united to one common parent stock. Suppose that each of the branches of the vine had a voice, would they talk to the shrubs and weeds about them, and fail to commune with the parent stock? If we are in Christ and he in us, will not our conversation, our deportment, have reference to Him whom we love? Will we not look upon him as our Master? {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 2}

One of the great troubles with us has been that we have looked upon men as infallible. But no matter how high a position a man may hold, it is no reason that he should be looked upon as incapable of making mistakes. The Lord may have given him a work to do, but unless Christ abides with him continually, unless he abides in Christ without a  moment’s separation, he will make mistakes and fall into error. But if men do make mistakes and fall into error, it is no reason that we should withdraw our confidence from them; for God alone is infallible. We must have the truth abiding in our hearts; we must draw nigh to God continually; for we shall have the powers of darkness to meet just as long as time shall last. We shall have to battle with the enemy of our souls until the coming of the Lord. When Christ was upon the earth, he contended with the enemy for the salvation of men, and when he left the world, he committed the conflict to his followers, to be carried forward in his name; and we are to wage this war day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. To every soul of us belongs the battle. We do not know what God has for us to do. If we have only one talent, we should put it out to the exchangers; for if we are faithful in that which is least, in the future we shall be made ruler over many things. We should bring glory to God, and not make ourselves a center, and God will make us fruitful branches. We must center in Christ, as the branch is in the vine, and then we shall be in a position to bless all who come within the sphere of our influence. {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 3}

“I am the vine, ye are the branches,” said Jesus. We do not half understand the preciousness of this lesson; we must learn more and more the significance of these words. We need our eyes anointed that we may see the light of truth. We must not think, “Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.” The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light. A brother asked, “Sister White, do you think we must understand the truth for ourselves? Why can we not take the truths that others have gathered together, and believe them because they have investigated the subjects, and then we shall be free to go on without the taxing of the powers of the mind in the investigation of all these subjects? Do you not think that these men who have brought out the truth in the past were inspired of God?” I dare not say they were not led of God, for Christ leads into all truth; but when it comes to inspiration in the fullest sense of the word, I answer, No. I believe that God has given them a work to do, but if they are not fully consecrated to God at all times, they will weave self and their peculiar traits of character into what they are doing, and will put their mold upon the work, and fashion men in religious experience after their own pattern. It is dangerous for us to make flesh our arm. We should lean upon the arm of infinite power. God has been revealing this to us for years. We must have living faith in our hearts, and reach out for larger knowledge and more advanced light. {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 4}

Do not trust to the wisdom of any man, or to the investigations of any man. Go to the Scriptures for yourselves, search the inspired word with humble hearts, lay aside your preconceived opinions; for you will obtain no benefit unless you come as children to the word of God. You should say, “If God has anything for me, I want it. If God has given evidence from his word to this or that brother that a certain thing is truth, he will give it to me. I can find that evidence if I search the Scriptures with constant prayer, and I can know that I do know what is truth.” You need not preach the truth as the product of another man’s mind, you must make it your own. When the woman of Samaria was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, she hastened to tell her neighb ors and townsmen. She said, “Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. . . . And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. . . . And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ.”  {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 5}

Brethren, we must sink the shaft deep in the mine of truth. You may question matters with yourselves and with one another, if you only do it in the right spirit; but too often self is large, and as soon as investigation begins, an unchristian spirit is manifested. This is just what Satan delights in, but we should come with a humble heart to know for ourselves what is truth. The time is coming when we shall be separated and scattered, and each one of us will have to stand without the privilege of commu nion with those of like precious faith; and how can you stand unless God is by your side, and you know that he is leading and guiding you? Whenever we come to investigate Bible truth, the Master of assemblies is with us. The Lord does not leave the ship on e moment to be steered by ignorant pilots. We may receive our orders from the Captain of our salvation. {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 6}

We must be able to present the precious truth at the right time. We do not claim that in the doctrines sought out by those who have studied the word of truth, there may not be some error, for no man that lives is infallible; but if God has sent light, we want it; and God has sent light, and let every man be careful how he treats it. As the truth is proclaimed, men will say, “Be careful now, do not be too zealous, too positive; you want the truth.” Of course we want the truth, and we want it as it is in Jesus. {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 7}

When Nathanael came to Jesus, Jesus exclaimed, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said, “Whence knowest thou me?” Jesus answered, “When thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.” And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we seek him for light that we may know what is truth. Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us, for if it is truth, we need to know it. The Sabbath-school teacher needs to know it, and every Sabbath-school scholar ought to understand i t. We are all under obligation to God to know what he sends to us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,–“To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” But if it is according to this test, do not be so full of prejudice that you cannot acknowledge a point when it is proved to you, simply because it does not agree with your ideas. Do not catch at every objection, however small, and make it as large as possible, and preserve it for future use. No one has said that we shall find perfection in any man’s investigations, but this I do know, that our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and for kindred truths.  {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 8}

No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it in the meekness of Christ. But many do not do this. When a controverted point is presented, they pour in question after question without acknowledging, without admitting a point when it is well sustained. O may we act as men who want light! May God give us his Spirit day by day, and let the light of his countenance shine upon us, that we may be learners in the school of Christ.  {RH, March 25, 1890 par. 9}

May 27, 1890 Living Channels of Light.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

The Lord has a people for whom he prays that they may be one with him as he is one with the Father. If we are, as Christians, doers of the word, we shall practice in our lives that for which Christ prayed; for by his Holy Spirit Jesus can bind heart to heart. We are living amid the perils of the last days; evil times are upon us; gross darkness has covered the land. Satan seeks to intercept his hellish shadow between us and God, so as to obscure the light of Heaven by every device at his command; but a ll who claim to be Christians, if they are Christ-like, will follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus. They will have the mind which was in Christ Jesus.  {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 1}

We are standing in the presence of the Lord God of Israel, and no one can stand before God in his own strength. Those only who stand in Christ’s righteousness have a sure foundation. Those who attempt to stand before him in their own righteousness, he will humble in the dust. Those who walk in humility will feel their own utter unworthiness. To such the Lord says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Noah preached the righteousness of God; Jonah called the city of Nineveh to repentance, and there is a similar work to be done today. There are now more than one Noah to do the work, and more than one Jonah to proclaim the word of the Lord. While discord and strife, crime and blood-shed are in the land, let God’s people love one anoth er. Plagues and pestilence, fire and flood, disaster by land and by sea, horrible murders, and every conceivable crime exist in the world, and does it not now become us who claim to have large light to be true to God, to love him supremely and our neighbor as ourselves? {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 2}

Shall not every soul who has light and truth now come before God in humility and with earnest prayer, that God may kindle a purer flame in our souls, and give us a higher, better love, a love pure and undefiled, a love for the truth as it is in Jesus, a respect and jealousy for the honor of God, and an intense desire for the salvation of our fellow-men? We have no time for the indulgence of pride. We must keep the way of the Lord, and speak and act as standing in his sight, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that no strange fire shall mingle with that which is holy. Light and darkness cannot be mingled and harmonize. Many act partly as children of time, and partly as children of eternity, and this course God abhors. “If the Lo rd be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” If you believe the word of God, submit your ways to its guidance in all things, even though your own inclinations are crossed. Believe the truth heartily. Do not stand as many of you have done, apparent ly wavering between dependence upon the righteousness of Christ, and dependence upon your own righteousness. Deception has come upon some minds until they have thought that their own merits were of considerable value. Their minds are confused and perplexed where all is clear and plain. The end is near! We have no time to halt between two opinions. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 3}

What has not the Lord God of Israel done for his people? He has given them his word; he has followed them with his testimonies, which have warned, reproved, rebuked, encouraged; he has given signs; he has given precious promises; and how few give him praise of glory! Many think if they tolerate the movings and workings of God in their behalf they ought to be commended. Oh, how few really know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent! He has spoken by prophets and apostles of what will be in the future. He has given living testimonies of himself in these last days when he spake unto us by his Son, and yet it is a truth that pains my soul, that the Lord is grieved with hard hearts and unteachable minds. How few believe and repent! to how few is the arm of the Lord revealed! “And go, get thee . . . unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” And will come to a decision to declare wholly for God or for Baal. God has sent to his people testimonies of truth and righteousness, and they are called to lift up Jesus, and to exalt his righteousness. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 4}

Those whom God has sent with a message are only men, but what is the character of the message which they bear? Will you dare to turn from, or make light of, the warnings, because God did not consult you as to what would be preferred? God calls men who will speak, who will cry aloud and spare not. God has raised up his messengers to do his work for this time. Some have turned from the message of the righteousness of Christ to criticise the men and their imperfections, because they do not speak the message of truth with all the grace and polish desirable. They have too much zeal, are too much in earnest, speak with too much positiveness, and the message that would bring healing and life and comfort to many weary and oppressed souls, is, in a measure, excluded; for just in proportion as men of influence close their own hearts and set up their own wills in opposition to what God has said, will they seek to take away the ray of light from those who have been longing and praying for light and for vivifying power. Christ has registered all the hard, proud, sneering speeches spoken against his servants as against himself. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 5}

The third angel’s message will not be comprehended, the light which will lighten the earth with its glory will be called a false light, by those who refuse to walk in its advancing glory. The work that might have been done, will be left undone by the rejecters of truth, because of their unbelief. We entreat of you who oppose the light of truth, to stand out of the way of God’s people. Let Heaven-sent light shine forth upon them in clear and steady rays. God holds you to whom this light has come, responsible for the use you make of it. Those who will not hear will be held responsible; for the truth has been brought within their reach, but they despised their opportunities and privileges. Messages bearing the divine credentials have been sent to God’s people; the glory, the majesty, the righteousness of Christ, full of goodness and truth, have been presented; the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus Christ has been set forth among us with beauty and loveliness, to charm all whose hearts were not closed with prejudice. We know that God has wrought among us. We have seen souls turn from sin to righteousness. We have seen faith revived in the hearts of the contrite ones. Shall we be like the lepers that were cleansed who went on their way, and only one returned to give glory to God? Let us rather tell of his goodness, and praise God with heart, with pen, and with voice. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 6}

The work of every ambassador of Christ is to bear witness to the light. He is not to take Christ’s place, but to reveal Christ to the world, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. God has sent his ministers out as his standard-bearers. They are to point to Jesus who taketh away the sin of the world. They are not to awaken the sympathy of the people for themselves, but to carry their sympathies above themselves to the precious object of their praise and reverence, that they may lead the people to love Christ and him crucified. If, through the grace of Christ, you have caught some beams of the light of truth as it is in Jesus, do not place yourself upon the pinnacle; do not think that you have caught all the rays of light, and that there is no increased illumination to come to our world.  {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 7}

We are to be constantly receiving and giving. We are to be living channels of light. The transforming grace of Christ must come to every minister that he may sanctify himself, that others also may be sanctified. There should be earnest effort put fort h to wake up an ease-loving, sleepy Church that has great light and knowledge, but not corresponding faith and works. There must be a living testimony borne, pointing out the necessity of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God upon every church-member, t hat light may shine forth to others that are in darkness. There is altogether too little done in ministerial labors. There is plenty of surface plowing, and the result is manifest–there is scarcity of fruit-bearing Christians. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 8}

There should be deep searching of the Scriptures that the ministers of God may declare the whole counsel of God. The relation of Christ to the law is but faintly comprehended. Some preach the law, and feel that their brethren are not doing their whole duty if they do not present the subject in the very same way in which they do. These brethren shrink from the presentation of justification by faith, but just as soon as Christ is discovered in his true position in relation to the law, the misconception t hat has existed on this important matter will be removed. The law and the gospel are so blended that the truth cannot be presented as it is in Jesus, without blending these subjects in perfect agreement. The law is the gospel of Christ veiled; the gospel o f Jesus is nothing more or less than the law defined, showing its far-reaching principles. “Search the Scriptures,” is the injunction of our Lord. Search to find out what is truth. God has given us a test whereby to prove doctrine: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Search the Scriptures diligently, earnestly, unweariedly, to find out what God has revealed concerning yourself, your duties, your work, your responsibilities, your future, that you may make no mistake in seeking for eternal life. You may, in searching the Scriptures, know the mind and the will of God; and although the truth does not coincide with your ideas, you may have grace to lay down every prejudice in favor of your own customs and practices, and see what is truth, pure and unadulterated. Here is the word of the Lord. Obey it from the heart. Christ is full of pitying tenderness to all who repent. He will pardon the transgressor. {RH, May 27, 1890 par. 9}

June 3, 1890 “The Darkness Comprehended It Not.”

By Mrs. E. G. White.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 1}

The question has been asked me, “Do you think that the Lord has any more light for us as a people?” I answer that he has light that is new to us, and yet it is precious old light that is to shine forth from the word of truth. We have only the glimmerings of the rays of the light that is yet to come to us. We are not making the most of the light which the Lord has already given us, and thus we fail to receive the increased light; we do not walk in light already shed upon us.  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 2}

We call ourselves commandment-keeping people, but we do not comprehend the exceeding breadth of the far-reaching principles of the law of God; we do not understand its sacred character. Many who claim to be teachers of the truth, have no real conception of what they are doing in teaching the law of God, because they do not have a living knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 3}

As we read of Luther, Knox, and other noted Reformers, we admire the strength, fortitude, and courage possessed by these faithful servants of God, and we would catch the spirit that animated them. We desire to know from what source they were out of weakness made strong. Although these great men were used as instruments for God, they were not faultless. They were erring men, and made great mistakes. We should seek to imitate their virtues, but we should not make them our criterion. These men possessed rare talents to carry forward the work of the Reformation. They were moved upon by a power above themselves; but it was not the men, the instruments that God used, that should be exalted and honored, but the Lord Jesus who let his light and power come upon them. Let those who love truth and righteousness, who gather up the hereditary trusts given to these standard-bearers, praise God, the Source of all light. {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 4}

If it should be announced that angel messengers were to open before men the treasures of the knowledge which relate to heavenly things, what a stir would it create in the Christian world! The atmosphere of heaven would be about the messengers, and how eagerly would many listen to the words that should fall from their lips! Men would write books calling attention to the angel’s words, but a greater Being than angels has been in our world; the Lord himself has come to reflect upon men the light of Heaven . He has announced himself as one with the Father, full of grace and truth, God manifest in the flesh. {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 5}

The Lord Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, gave his own life to save perishing man, and, oh, what light, what power, he brings with him! In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. What a mystery of mysteries! It is difficult fo r the reason to grasp the majesty of Christ, the mystery of redemption. The shameful cross has been upraised, the nails have been driven through his hands and feet, the cruel spear has pierced to his heart, and the redemption price has been paid for the human race. The spotless Lamb of God bore our sins in his own body upon the tree; he carried our sorrows. Redemption is an inexhaustible theme, worthy of our closest contemplation. It passes the comprehension of the deepest thought, the stretch of the most vivid imagination. Who by searching can find out God? The treasures of wisdom and knowledge are opened to all men, and were thousands of the most gifted men to devote their whole time to setting forth Jesus always before us, studying how they might portray his matchless charms, they would never exhaust the subject. Although great and talented authors have made known wonderful truths, and have presented increased light to the people, still in our day we shall find new ideas, and ample fields in which to work, for the theme of salvation is inexhaustible. The work has gone forward from century to century, setting forth the life and character of Christ, and the love of God as manifested in the atoning sacrifice. The theme of redemption will employ the minds of the redeemed through all eternity. There will be new and rich developments made manifest in the plan of salvation throughout eternal ages.  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 6}

Were Jesus with us today, he would say to us as he did to his disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Jesus longed to open before the minds of his disciples deep and living truths, but their earthliness, their clouded, deficient comprehension made it impossible. They could not be benefitted with great, glorious, solemn truths. The want of spiritual growth closes the door to the rich rays of light that shine from Christ.  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 7}

We shall never reach a period when there is no increased light for us. The sayings of Christ were always far-reaching in their import. Those who heard his teachings with their preconceived opinions, could not take in the meaning attached to his uttera nces. Jesus was the source, the originator of truth. The great themes of the Old Testament were misapprehended and misinterpreted, and Christ’s work was to expound the truth which had not been understood by those to whom they had been given. The prophets had made the statements, but the spiritual import of what they had written, was undiscovered by them. They did not see the meaning of the truth. Jesus reproved his disciples for their slowness of comprehension. Many of his precious lessons were lost to them, because they did not understand the spiritual grandeur of his words. But he promised that the Comforter should come, that the Spirit of truth should recall these lost utterances to their minds. He gave them to understand that he had left with them precious jewels of truth whose value they did not know.  {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 8}

After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, his disciples listened with wonder and amazement to his lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to them; but he told them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you. . . . Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” The truth is constantly unfolding and presenting new features to different minds. All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems. We are anxious that all who claim to believe the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible. {RH, June 3, 1890 par. 9}

Those who stand in vindication of the law of God, are in a position where they need much of the Spirit of God. If ministers are wanting in meekness, if they are easily irritated when opposed, it is evident that they need divine enlightenment. Men must manifest the grace of Christ as they labor for souls. The truth as it is in Jesus will have altogether a different influence upon the minds of unbelievers, from that which it has had when presented as a theory or as a controversial subject. If we do our very best to present the truth in its stirring character, crossing the opinions and ideas of others, it will be misinterpreted, misapplied, and misstated, to those who are entertaining error, in order to make it appear in an objectionable light. There are few to whom you bring the truth, who have not been drinking of the wine of Babylon. It is hard for them to comprehend the truth, therefore the necessity of teaching it as it is in Jesus. Those who claim to be lovers of truth can afford to be meek and lowly of heart, as was the great Teacher. Those who have been diligently working in the mines of God’s word, and have discovered the precious ore in the rich veins of truth, in the divine mysteries that have been hidden for ages, will exalt the Lord Jesus, the Source of all truth, by revealing in their characters the sanctifying power of what they believe. Jesus and his grace must be enshrined in the inner sanctuary of the soul. Then he will be revealed in words, in prayer, in exhortation, in the presentation of sacred truth, for this is the great secret of spiritual success. When self is woven into our labors, then the truth we bear to others does not sanctify, refine, and ennoble our own hearts; it will not testify that we are fit vessels for the Master’s use. It is only through fervent prayer that we may hold sweet fellowship with Jesus, and through this blessed communion the words and the spirit are made fragrant with the spirit of Christ. There is not a heart that will not bear watching. Jesus, the precious Saviour, enjoined watchfulness. The oversight of self must not be relaxed for a moment. The heart must be kept with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Watch and discipline the thoughts, that you may not sin with your lips. -{RH, June 3, 1890 par. 10}

June 17, 1890 The Truth as It Is in Jesus.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

In giving his only begotten Son to die for sinners, God has manifested to fallen man love that is without a parallel. We have full faith in the scripture that says, “God is love;” and yet many have shamefully perverted this word, and have fallen into dangerous error because of a false interpretation of its meaning. God’s holy law is the only standard by which we can estimate divine affection. If we do not accept the law of God as our standard, we set up a standard of our own. God has given us precious promises of his love, but we are not to ascribe to Jehovah a tenderness that will lead him to pass over guilt and wink at iniquity. {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 1}

The Creator loves his creatures, but he who loves sin more than righteousness, error more than truth, perpetuates the transgression that brought woe into our world, and cannot be regarded with favor by the God of truth. The way of truth and righteousness involves a cross. Many misinterpret the requirements of God, and make them mean anything that will not disturb their consciences or inconvenience them in their business relations; but truth is the only sanctifying medium. The love of God as manifested in Jesus, will lead us to the true conception of the character of God. As we behold Christ, pierced for our sins, we shall see that we cannot break the law of God and remain in his favor; we shall feel that as sinners we must lay hold of the merits of Christ and cease to sin. Then we are drawing nigh to God. As soon as we have a correct view of the love of God, we shall have no disposition to abuse it.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 2}

The cross of Christ testifies to the immutability of the law of God–testifies that God so loved us that he gave his Son to die for our sins; but Christ came not to destroy but to fulfill the law. Not one jot or tittle of God’s moral standard could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. Jesus died that he might ascribe unto the repenting sinner his own righteousness, and make it possible for man to keep the law. The love of God is infinite, and yet the sinner could not be forgiven save through the plan of redemption that involved the shame, reproach, ignominy, and death of the Son of God. This fact should banish from reasoning minds the idea advanced by many who claim sanctification, that his death put an end to obedience to the law of God. We are to learn daily of the great plan of redemption, in the school of Christ. When we cease to learn, we cease to be pupils in Christ’s school. But if we are scholars under the divine Master, our understanding will be opened, and we shall learn wondrous things out of God’s law. {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 3}

Let us walk carefully before the Lord; let us think how often we have broken our vows and marred our best resolutions, how often in the face of great light we have turned from God and sought our idols. It is highly proper for us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. It is natural for us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think; but although it is painful for us to know ourselves as we really are, yet we should pray that God will reveal us to ourselves, even as he sees us. Bu t we should not cease to pray when we have simply asked for a revelation of ourselves; we should pray that Jesus may be revealed to us as a sin-pardoning Saviour. When we see Jesus as he is, earnest desires should awaken in our hearts to be rid of self, th at we may be filled with all the fullness of Christ. When this is our experience, we shall do good to one another, and use all the means within our reach to attain unto godliness. We must cleanse our souls from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 4}

The love of a holy God is an amazing principle, which can stir the universe in our behalf during the hours of our probation and trial. But after the season of our probation, if we are found transgressors of God’s law, the God of love will be found a m inister of vengeance. God makes no compromise with sin. The disobedient will be punished. The wrath of God fell upon his beloved Son as Christ hung upon the cross of Calvary in the transgressor’s place. The love of God now reaches out to embrace the lowest , vilest sinner that will come to Christ with contrition. It reaches out to transform the sinner into an obedient, faithful child of God; but not a soul can be saved if he continues in sin. Sin is the transgression of the law, and the Arm that is now mighty to save will be strong to punish when the transgressor passes the bounds that limit divine forbearance. He who refuses to seek for life, who will not search the Scriptures to see what is truth, lest he should be condemned in his practices, will be left to blindness of mind and to the deceptions of Satan. To the same degree that the penitent and obedient are shielded by God’s love, the impenitent and disobedient will be left to the result of their own ignorance and hardness of heart, because they receive not the love of the truth that they may be saved. {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 5}

There are many who profess Christ, but who never become mature Christians. They admit that man is fallen, that his faculties are weakened, that he is unfitted for moral achievement, but they say that Christ has borne all the burden, all the suffering, all the self-denial, and they are willing to let him bear it. They say that there is nothing for them to do but to believe; but Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Jesus kept the comman dments of God. The Pharisees declared that he broke the fourth commandment because he made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day; but Jesus turned to the accusing Pharisees, and asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to sav e life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so; and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do with Jesus.” {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 6}

This miracle, instead of convincing the Pharisees that Jesus was the Son of God, filled them with rage, because many who witnessed the miracle glorified God. Jesus declared that his work of mercy was lawful on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees declared that it was not lawful. Which shall we believe? Christ said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” Then it is certainly safe for us to follow the way of Christ, and keep the commandments. God has given us faculties which should be constantly exercised in co-operating with Jesus, in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 7}

We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, “I am saved.” When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness,–for of himself he cannot save his soul,–he should never dare to say, “I am saved.” It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and the victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the e nd that shall be saved. The Lord says, “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God’s holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping his way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God’s moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, “I am saved.” No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and in earth.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 8}

Those who ignorantly join the ranks of the enemy, and echo the words of their religious teachers, in the desk, that the law of God is no longer binding upon the human family, will have light to discover their errors, if they will accept the evidence of God’s word. Jesus was the angel enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, and he gave special direction that the Hebrews should teach the law of God, given when the foundation of the earth was laid, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. The same law was proclaimed in grandeur by his own voice from Sinai. He said: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” Ho w impatient the transgressors of God’s law become when the law is mentioned; they are irritated to have it spoken of.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 9}

The word of God is made of none effect by falsehoods and traditions. Satan has presented his version of God’s law to the world, and it has been accepted before a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” The controversy begun in heaven over the law of God, has bee n kept up upon the earth ever since Satan’s expulsion from heaven.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 10}

We must ever be learning our great need, in order to appreciate our Saviour, and to make him known to others. We can learn the depths of our transgression only by the length of the chain let down to draw us up. We should put our mental powers to the task to understand the fearful ruin to which sin has brought us, and we should seek to understand the divine plan by which we may be restored to the favor of God. That God’s dear Son should have come to our world to fight our battles for us that we might have strength to conquer in his name, should ever humble our proud hearts. If we look to the cross of Calvary, every boast will die upon our lips, and we shall cry, “Unclean, unworthy of so great suffering, of so rich a price paid for my redemption.”  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 11}

Ignorance and self-sufficiency go hand in hand. The law of God has been given for the regulation of our conduct, and it is far-reaching in its principles. There is no sin, no work of unrighteousness, that escapes the condemnation of the law. The great statute-book is truth, and truth only; for it delineates with unerring accuracy the history of Satan’s deception, and the ruin of his followers. Satan claimed to be able to present laws which were better than God’s statutes and judgments, and he was expelled from heaven. He has made a similar attempt upon earth. Ever since his fall he has put forth efforts to deceive the world, to lead men to ruin, that he might be revenged upon God because he was overcome and thrust down from heaven. His efforts to put hi mself and his devices where God should be, are most persevering and persistent. He has taken the world captive in his snare, and many even of the people of God are ignorant of his devices, and they give him all the opportunity he asks to work the ruin of souls. They do not manifest a burning zeal to lift up Jesus, and proclaim to the perishing multitudes, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 12}

Those who are unacquainted with the laws of God’s government as expounded upon the mount, are unacquainted with the truth as it is in Jesus. Christ revealed the far-reaching principles of the law; he expounded every precept, and exhibited every demand in his example. He that knows the truth as it is in the law, knows the truth as it is in Jesus; and if through faith in Christ he renders obedience to the commandments of God, his life is hid with Christ in God. The knowledge of the claims of the law would crush out the last ray of hope from the soul if there were no Saviour provided for man; but the truth as it is in Jesus, is a savor of life unto life. God’s dear Son died that he might impute unto man his own righteousness, and not that he might be at li berty to break God’s holy law, as Satan tries to make men believe. Through faith in Christ, man may be in possession of moral power to resist evil.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 13}

The work of sanctification is the work of a lifetime; it must go on continually; but this work cannot go on in the heart while the light on any part of the truth is rejected or neglected. The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and to seek for greater light. As a miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will seek for truth as for hidden treasures, and will press from light to a greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Self must be overcome. Every defect of character must be discerned in God’s great mirror. We may discover whether or not we are condemned by God’s standard of character. If you are condemned, there is but one course for you to pursue: you must repent toward God because of the transgression of his law, and have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as the one who only can cleanse from sin. If we would obtain heaven, we must be obedient to God’s holy requirements. Those who strive lawfully will not strive in vain. Only believe the truth as it is in Jesus, and you will be strengthened for the battle with the powers of darkness. The wrestlers of old strove to obtain a perishable crown, and should we not strive to win the crown that fadeth not away? Every art and device of Satan will be used to accomplish our ruin. If you sit down with the ease-loving ones, with the words on your lips, “I am saved,” and disregard the commandments of God, you will be eternally lost. There is truth in Jesus that is terrible to the ease-loving, do-nothing ones. There is truth in Jesus that is full of soothing joy to the obedient. It is the joy of the Holy Ghost. Be persuaded, then, to open the mind and heart, that you may see every ray of light shining from the throne of God. This is no time to be indifferent and careless and pleasure-loving. Christ is coming with power and great glory. Are you ready? Are you putting away your sins? Are you becoming sanctified through the truth in answer to the prayer of Christ? He prayed concerning his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 14}

Parents should bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, educating them to love to do the will of God. It is impossible for us to overestimate the advantages of youthful piety. The impressions received in youth are to many as enduring as eternity. It is in youth that the statutes and commandments of God are most easily inscribed on the tablets of the soul. The instruction of children has been greatly neglected; the righteousness of Christ has not been presented to them as it should have been. The time of probation is given us that we may perfect a character fit for eternity. How solemn is the thought, parents, that your children are in your hands to educate and train that they may develop characters which God will approve, or characters which Satan and his angels can play upon as they choose! Jesus spoke from the pillar of cloud and of fire, and bade his people instruct their children diligently concerning the commandments of God. Who are obeying this instruction? Who are seeking to make their children such as God will approve? Who keep the thought in mind that all the talents and gifts of their children belong to God, and should be wholly consecrated to his service? Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord, and God revealed himself to him in his childhood and youth. We must labor far more for our children and for the youth; for God will accept them to do great things in his name in teaching the truth to those in foreign lands, to those who are in the darkness of error and superstition. If you indulge your children, gratifying their selfish wishes; if you encourage in them the love of dress, and develop vanity and pride, you will do a work that will disappoint Jesus, who has paid an infinite price for their redemption. He desires that th e children shall serve him with undivided affection.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 15}

Parents, there is a great work for you to do for Jesus, who has done everything for you. Take him as your guide and helper. God has not withheld from you the very best gift he had to give–his only begotten Son. Children and youth should not be hinder ed in coming to Jesus. Satan seeks to bind the children to himself as with bands of steel, and you can attain success in bringing them to Jesus only through determined personal effort. Children and youth should receive more earnest labor, for they are the hope of the church. Joseph, Daniel and his fellows, Samuel, David, John, and Timothy are shining examples that testify to the fact that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 16}

We must make more earnest, decided efforts, if we would have the Lord Jesus abide with us as a counselor and helper. The light that shines from the Son of God on Calvary can lead every wanderer home. There is power in him to purify the heart and transform the character. Let every true Christian work for the children and youth, presenting before them the matchless loveliness of Jesus. Then the attractions and the illusions of the world will be eclipsed, and they will see no advantage to be gained in the path of disobedience. {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 17}

October 7, 1890 The High Calling of God in

Christ Jesus.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

As we near the close of time, the current of evil will set more and more decidedly toward perdition. We can be safe only as we hold firmly to the hand of Jesus, constantly looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our mighty Helper. We are to seek God in unity of purpose. We are not to make our ideas and views a criterion for any one else; we are not to set our stakes that we are all right, and our brethren wrong. We should devote ourselves to the study of the plan of salvation, that we ma y have an appreciation of how highly Jehovah has valued the salvation of man.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 1}

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The revelation of God’s love, as displayed on the cross of Calvary, testifies to the fact that God has valued m an at an immense value. Then shall we not be careful how we speak of our brethren, and of mankind? How careful should we be lest we bruise or wound one of the Lord’s little ones. The least among us–are they not among God’s chosen? Has he not died for them as well as for us? redeemed them to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light? Will any of us discourage one of God’s light-bearers, and so cut off the rays that God would have shine in the world? God forbid! {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 2}

We need every ray of light that God can shed upon us. Many who should be setting their tents nearer to the land of Canaan, are pitching their camp nearer to Egypt. They are not living in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Many attend places of amusement, to gratify the taste, but no spiritual strength is gained by so doing, and you will find yourself on the losing side. To encourage the love of amusement is to discourage the love of religious exercises; for the heart becomes so crowded with trifling, with what is pleasing to the natural heart, that there is no room for Jesus.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 3}

You cannot tell how few may be the days of your probation. The Lord may say very soon, “Cut down the tree; for it is not profitable that it should stand in the garden of the Lord.” What shall I say for the benefit of the youth? Will you open your hear ts to Jesus, that his love, his mercy, may fill the chambers of your soul, that you may sing and make melody in your hearts unto God? O if all your affections were given unto Jesus, you would learn the language and the songs of Canaan!  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 4}

In the worldling you expect to see lightness, trifling, vanity, immorality, jesting, and joking, but let it not so much as be named among you who are risen with Christ; for your life work is to seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God; and when he who is your life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 5}

Trials will come upon us all, but if we will bear them uncomplainingly, we shall develop patience, meekness, and long-suffering with joyfulness. All our purposes, and all our aims in life should be to be good and to do good. We are to bring to the foundation gold, silver, and precious stones,–an imperishable substance.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 6}

The time in which we live is fraught with eternal realities. We must now elevate our thoughts, and come to learn in the school of the Master. We must never be discouraged, never be satisfied with bringing to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, which will be consumed. Thank God that there is time now to repent of our wicked works. There is a fountain opened for Judah and Jerusalem, that we may wash in the blood of the Lamb, and be made clean.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 7}

It requires that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, to meet the mind of God. There are those who believe in Christ; they do not think him an impostor, they believe the Bible to be a revelation of his divine character. They admire its holy doctrines, and revere the name, the only name given under heaven whereby men can be saved, and yet, with all this knowledge, they may be as truly ignorant of the grace of God as the veriest sinner. They have not opened the heart to let Jesus in. They are walking in darkness, and see no light. They are at enmity with God, and know not that they are blind and wretched, because they discern not the glory of God in Jesus Christ. They do not understand the obedience he rendered to all the requirements of his Father, or appreciate the sufferings he endured that he might save fallen man, and interweave himself with all interests dear to man, kindling about him his divine light, to guide man in the way to heaven.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 8}

In order to understand the mission of Jesus, it is necessary that his divine light shall illuminate the mind; for the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. Jesus is constantly drawing us to behold him as our only hope and refuge. “Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 9}

The marks of the crucifixion in the hands and feet of our Lord are evidences that Christ has not forgotten his people. He has bought them, and the ransom has been paid. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, knows all his children by name, and on those who believe shall come the glory of God. The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in his wings. {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 10}

Through faith in Christ the child of earth is made an heir of God, joint-heir with Jesus Christ. Those who behold Jesus become changed to his image, become assimilated to his nature; and the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus, is reflected in the lives of his followers. More and more the Christian is changed from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord, and he becomes the light of the world. The more he looks on Christ, the more he loves and longs to look again; and the more light and love and glory he sees in Christ, the more his light increases unto the perfect day. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 11}

It is by faith that the spiritual eye beholds the glory of Jesus. This glory is hidden until the Lord imparts the light of Spiritual truth; for the eye of reason cannot see it. The glory and mystery of Christ remains incomprehensible, clouded by its excessive brightness, until the Lord flashes its meaning before the soul.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 12}

John exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 13}

By faith the soul catches divine light from Jesus. We see matchless charms in his purity and humility, his self-denial, his wonderful sacrifice to save fallen man. Contemplation of Christ leads man to place a proper estimate upon himself, for he realizes that the love of God has made him great. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The possibility of being like Jesus, whom he loves and adores, inspires within him that faith which works by love and purifies th e heart. {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 14}

He who is one with Christ longs to talk of the King in his beauty. The love of Christ constraineth the renewed soul to show forth the praises of him who hath called him out of darkness into his marvelous light. Jesus is more precious to the soul that beholds him by the eye of faith, than is anything else beside; and the believing soul is more precious to Jesus than fine gold of Ophir. Christ looks upon his hands–the marks of the crucifixion are there; and he says, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” The Christian is walled in by the rich, full promises of an infinite God. {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 15}

The Lord is coming with power and great glory. All who have made Christ their refuge will reflect his image, and they will be like him; for they shall see him as he is. They are to be presented to him without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 16}

Brethren, opposition will come from the enemies of our faith, but do not sink down and borrow trouble; let no gloom surround your soul. The crisis must come, but walled in by the precious promises of God, we need not fear what man can do unto us.  {RH, October 7, 1890 par. 17}

October 21, 1890 Danger in Rejecting Light.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Before this opening of their understanding, the disciples had not understood the spiritual meaning of what Christ had taught them. And it is necessary now that the minds of God’s people should be opened to understand the Scriptures. To say that a passage means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of God. The more we walk in the light of the truth, the more we shall become like Christ in spirit in character and in the manner of our work, and the brighter will the truth become to us. As we behold it in the increasing light of revelation, it will become more precious than we first estimated it from a casual hearing or examination. The truth, as it is in Jesus, is capable of constant expansion, of new development, and like its divine Author it will become more precious and beautiful; it will constantly reveal deeper significance, and lead the soul to aspire for more perfect conformity to its exalted standard. Such understanding of the truth will elevate the mind and transform the character to its divine perfection.  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 1}

The entire system of the Jewish religion was the gospel of Christ presented in types and symbols. Then how inappropriate was it for those who were under the Jewish dispensation, to reject and crucify Him who was the originator and foundation of what they claimed to believe. Where did they make their mistake?–They made their mistake in not believing what the prophets had said concerning Christ, “That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 2}

It is not God that puts the blinder before the eyes of men or makes their hearts hard; it is the light which God sends to his people, to correct their errors, to lead them in safe paths, but which they refuse to accept,–it is this that blinds their m inds and hardens their hearts. They choose to turn from the light, to stubbornly walk in sparks of their own kindling, and the Lord positively declares that they shall lie down in sorrow. When one ray of light which the Lord sends is not acknowledged, there is a partial benumbing of the spiritual perceptions, and the second revealing of light is less clearly discerned, and so the darkness will constantly increase until it is night to the soul. Christ said, “How great is that darkness!” {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 3}

It is an astonishment to the whole universe that men do not see and do not acknowledge the bright beams of light that are shining upon them; but if they close their hearts to the light, and pervert the truth until it is interpreted to be darkness, the y will imagine that their own criticism and unbelief is light, and will not confess their opposition to the ways and works of God. By pursuing a course like this, men who might have stood fast to the end, will place their influence against the message and messenger that God sends. But in the day of judgment, when the question is asked, “Why did you intercept yourself, your judgment and influence, between the people and the message of God?” they will have nothing to answer. If they open their lips then, it will only be to say that they now see truth as God sees it. They will confess that they were full of pride of opinion, trusted in their own judgment, and strengthened the hands that sought to tear down that which God had commanded to be built up. They will say, “Although the evidence was strong that God was working, I would not acknowledge it; for it was not in harmony with what I had taught. I was not in the habit of confessing any error in the past in my experience; I was too stubborn to fall upon the Rock and be broken. I determined to resist, and not be converted to the truth. I would not reveal the fact that I thought my course was wrong in any degree, and my light went out in darkness.” To such the words apply, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 4}

As the prophet looked down the ages, and beheld the ingratitude of Israel, as he was shown in vision their unbelief, he also saw that which brought him joy of heart, and gave him a vivid sense of the goodness of God to Israel. He said, “I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving-kindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 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 through their own course of rebellion the blessing of God toward Israel was turned away from them. That which they had sown in questioning and unbelief, they had to reap. The record says, “But they rebe lled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.” May the Lord forbid that the history of the children of Israel in departing from God, in refusing to walk in the light, in refusing to confess their sins of unbelief and rejection of his messages, should be the experience of the people claiming to believe the truth for this time. For if they do as did the children of Israel in the face of warnings and admonitions, the same result will follow in these last days as came upon the children of Israel. The apostle admonishes, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” Now comes the warning of the apostle, sounding down along the lines to our time: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 5}

The exhortation of the apostle applies to us as well as to those to whom this epistle was directed. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them.” Christ taught the people the principles of Christianity, speaking from the pillar of cloud and of fire, by day and by night; but they did not obey his words, and the apostle presents before us the consequence of their disobedience, stating that they were overthrown in the wilderness because of their rebellion. He says, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Shall we who are living near the close of this world’s history “take heed”? Shall we heed the apostle’s warning, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”? The Lord would have his people trust in him and abide in his love, but that does not mean that we shall have no fear or misgivings. Some seem to think that if a man has a wholesome fear of the judgments of God, it is a proof that he is destitute of faith; but this is not so. A proper fear of God, in believing his threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgments in his word, simply to have them recorded, but he means what he says. One says, “Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.” Paul says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 6}

The love of God is to be dwelt upon, and when it is presented in the demonstration of the Spirit, it has power to break down every barrier which separates Christ from the soul, provided the sinner will yield to its influence, and make an entire surrender to God; but the stern voice of rebuke and denunciation is uttered against those who will not be drawn to Christ, who will not be affected by the marvelous display of his love. The word of God declares, “He that believeth not shall be dammed.” “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In these words there is something terrible to evil workers, and by these they should be convicted of their self-sufficiency, and feel the terror of the Lord. But mercy’s sweet voice entreats every one who will hear, saying, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door;” “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 7}

Those who have faith in the messages of God will reveal it in their spirit, words, and actions. We are not to sit down and present excuses for unbelief; we are to realize our error, and be zealous and repent. The record says, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 8}

When the Lord sends light to his people, he means that they shall be attentive to hear and ready to receive the message. In great forbearance, he waits for man to come to his terms. For 120 years he waited for the people of the old world to receive th e warning of the flood. Those who rejected the message turned his long forbearance and patience into an occasion of scorn and unbelief. The message and messenger became the butt of their ridicule. Noah’s earnestness and zeal in appealing to them to turn fr om their evil way, was criticised and jeered at. God is not in a hurry to carry out his plans; for he is from everlasting to everlasting. He gives light and opens his truth more fully to those whom he would have to receive it, that they in their turn may take up the words of warning and encouragement, and give them to others. If men of repute and intelligence refuse to do this, the Lord will choose other instruments, honoring those who are looked upon as inferior. If those in positions of trust will put their whole heart into the work, they may bear the message for this time, and press the work forward; but God will honor those who honor him.  {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 9}

There are ministers who claim to be teaching the truth, whose ways are an offense to God. They preach, but do not practice the principles of the truth. Great care should be exercised in ordaining men for the ministry. There should be a close investigation of their experience. Do they know the truth, and practice its teachings? Have they a character of good repute? Do they indulge in lightness and trifling, jesting and joking? In prayer do they reveal the Spirit of God? Is their conversation holy, their conduct blameless? All these questions need to be answered before hands are laid upon any man to dedicate him to the work of the ministry. We should heed the words of inspiration, “Lay hands suddenly on no man.” We need to lift the standard higher than we have done hitherto, when selecting and ordaining men for the sacred work of God. {RH, October 21, 1890 par. 10}

February 3, 1891 Sermon at Otsego.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

In company with Elder Rousseau and his wife, I left Battle Creek, Oct. 3, 1890, to attend meetings at Otsego, Mich. We went by private conveyance, and as we passed through the different towns on our way, we had many serious thoughts in regard to the work to be done in spreading the light of truth in these small villages. Are there not in Battle Creek church persons who are free from responsibilities in connection with our institutions there, who could enter Harmonia, Augusta, Gull Lake, Richmond, and o ther places near Battle Creek? Have the members of the Battle Creek church have the true missionary spirit? Are they following the example of Christ? He did not remain in the pleasant courts of heaven, and leave a world to perish. Where are our home missionaries? May the Lord awaken an interest in the hearts of those who could do this work, that the light may shine into darkened places. Those who are content to sit under the clear light of truth Sabbath after Sabbath, and do nothing to diffuse this light, w ill lose the light themselves. If we would keep the light, we must be constantly giving it out. Jesus did not neglect the villages. The record declares, “He went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered un to him of their substance.” Not only Christ, but his disciples also, labored in the cities and villages; and those who had been in the truth longer than the new converts, ministered unto him of their substance. {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 1}

Jesus left his glorious home, and went without the camp, bearing reproach; and shall those who have received the sacred treasures of truth, crowd together into large communities, and leave the work committed to them undone? Mark the example of the divine Teacher: “The people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed with him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” “In the morning, rising up a great whi le before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him. All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also; for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.”  {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 2}

No one who professes to be a follower of Christ is left without some burden of responsibility. He is to let his light shine forth to the world. All heaven is interested for the salvation of souls. The angels that excel in strength have their commissio n to work for the perishing souls of men. Thousands and tens of thousands are engaged in active warfare, seeking to repulse the hosts of darkness, setting captives free from the power of the enemy. If angels are thus engaged, shall we be indifferent? God means that we shall all be laborers together with him. The least of all saints is to keep himself in the love of God, that he may not be a burden to others, but be able to lift with the active workers. Satan and his agents are working to destroy the Church of Christ, and it is necessary that every soul should be on the alert, helping on the great mission of the Redeemer. {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 3}

Seven discourses were given at Otsego, five by Bro. Rousseau, and two by myself. I longed for physical strength that I might engage still more actively in the work. I had freedom in speaking to the people on Sabbath, but the social meeting that followed the discourse was not marked by the promptness, zeal, and earnestness that characterize the meetings where the people have on the whole armor of God. We long to see those who profess the truth for this time, show works corresponding to its importance an d value. We are to be living witnesses for God. Those who have received the truth into the heart and life cannot withhold a living testimony of gratitude, showing forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.  {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 4}

On Sunday Bro. Rousseau spoke in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon. As I spoke in feebleness, I realized that power was given me of God; my faith was strengthened, and I knew that God would be with me as I went to fill various appointments in different States. I realized my great physical weakness, and was prepared to appreciate the help and strength that had been imparted to me by Him who has said to his workers, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” I believed the promise of G od, and was able to say, “I will go forth trusting that the Lord will do the work that humanity alone cannot do.” “Without me,” said Christ, “ye can do nothing.” But with Christ we can do all things. {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 5}

I spoke to the people of Otsego from the fourth and fifth verses of the second chapter of Revelation: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” The people to whom these words are addressed have many excellent qualities, which are recognized by the True Witness; “nevertheless,” he says, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Here is a want that will have to be supplied. All the other graces fail to make the deficiency. The church is counseled to “remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. . . . He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”  {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 6}

In these words are warnings, reproofs, threatenings, promises, from the True Witness, he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand. “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 7}

When this church is weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, it is found wanting, having left its first love. The True Witness declares, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and has patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” Notwithstanding all this, the church is found wanting. What is the fatal deficiency?–“Thou hast left thy first love.” Is not this our case? Our doctrines may be correct; we may hate false doctrine, and may not receive those who are not true to principle; we may labor with untiring energy; but even this is not sufficient. What is our motive? Why are we called upon to repent?–“Thou hast left thy first love.” Let each member of the church study this important warning and reproof. Let each one see if in contending for the truth, if in debating on the theory, he has not lost the tender love of Christ. Has not Christ been left out of the sermons, and out of the heart? Is there not danger that many are going forward with a profession of the truth, doing missionary work, while the love of Christ has not been woven into the labor? This solemn wa rning from the True Witness means much; it demands that you shall remember from whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; “or else,” says the True Witness, “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” O that the church might realize its need of its first ardor of love! When this is wanting, all other excellences are insufficient. The call to repentance is one that cannot be disregarded without peril. A belief in the theory of the truth is not enough. To present this theory to unbelievers does not constitute you a witness for Christ. The light that gladdened your heart when you first understood the message for this time, is an essential element in your experience and labors, and this has been lost out of your heart and life. Christ beholds your lack of zeal, and declares that you have fallen, and are in a perilous position. {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 8}

In presenting the binding claims of the law, many have failed to portray the infinite love of Christ. Those who have so great truths, so weighty reforms to present to the people, have not had a realization of the value of the atoning Sacrifice as an e xpression of God’s great love to man. Love for Jesus, and Jesus’ love for sinners, have been dropped out of the religious experience of those who have been commissioned to preach the gospel, and self has been exalted instead of the Redeemer of mankind. The law is to be presented to its transgressors, not as something apart from God, but rather as an exponent of his mind and character. As the sunlight cannot be separated from the sun, so God’s law cannot be rightly presented to man apart from the divine Auth or. The messenger should be able to say, “In the law is God’s will; come, see for yourselves that the law is what Paul declared it to be,–‘holy and just and good.'” It reproves sin, it condemns the sinner, but it shows him his need of Christ, with whom is plenteous mercy and goodness and truth. Though the law cannot remit the penalty for sin, but charges the sinner with all his debt, Christ has promised abundant pardon to all who repent, and believe in his mercy. The love of God is extended in abundance to the repenting, believing soul. The brand of sin upon the soul can be effaced only through the blood of the atoning Sacrifice. No less an offering was required than the sacrifice of Him who was equal with the Father. The work of Christ–his life, humiliation, death, and intercession for the lost man–magnifies the law, and makes it honorable.  {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 9}

Many sermons preached upon the claims of the law have been without Christ, and this lack has made the truth inefficient in converting souls. Without the grace of Christ it is impossible to take one step in obedience to the law of God. Then how necessa ry that the sinner hear of the love and power of his Redeemer and Friend! While the ambassador for Christ should plainly declare the claims of the law, he should make it understood that none can be justified without the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Without Christ there can be only condemnation and a fearful looking for of fiery indignation, and final separation from the presence of God. But he whose eyes have been opened to see the love of Christ, will behold the character of God as full of love and compass ion. God will not appear as a tyrannical, relentless being, but as a father longing to embrace his repenting son. The sinner will cry with the psalmist, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” All despair is swept f rom the soul when Christ is seen in his true character. {RH, February 3, 1891 par. 10}

August 7, 1894 Look to God for Wisdom.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” How can the truth be laid out before our people that they will every one arouse from the lethargy which has been upon them, and come to a realization of the times in which we are living? How shall we present the need of greater zeal and more determined earnestness in searching the Scriptures, so that they may dig in the mines of truth and bring forth the treasures of God’s word? It is not safe for us as reformers to repeat the history of the Reformers in every particular; for after those to whom God gave light advanced to a certain knowledge, many of them ceased to be reformers. We must not for a moment think that there is no more light and truth to be given us, and become careless, and let the sanctifying power of the truth leak out of our hearts by our attitude of satisfaction in what we have already attained. We are not to fold our hands in complacency, and say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”  {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 1}

It is a fact that we have the truth, and we must hold with tenacity to the positions that cannot be shaken; but we must not look with suspicion upon any new light which God may send, and say, Really, we cannot see that we need any more light than the old truth which we have hitherto received, and in which we are settled. While we hold to this position, the testimony of the True Witness applies to our cases its rebuke, “And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and nake d.” Those who feel rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, are in a condition of blindness as to their true condition before God, and they know it not. But the True Witness declares, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 2}

What is it that constitutes the wretchedness, the nakedness of those who feel rich and increased with goods?–It is the want of the righteousness of Christ. In their own righteousness they are represented as clothed with filthy rags, and yet in this c ondition they flatter themselves that they are clothed upon with Christ’s righteousness. Could deception be greater? As is represented by the prophet, they may be crying, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we,” while their hearts are fille d with unholy traffic and unrighteous barter. The courts of the soul-temple may be the haunt of envy, pride, passion, evil surmising, bitterness, and hollow formalism. Christ looks mournfully upon his professed people who feel rich and increased in the knowledge of the truth, and who are yet destitute of the truth in life and character and unconscious of their destitute condition. In sin and unbelief, they lightly regard the warnings and counsels of his servants, and treat his ambassadors with scorn and contempt, while their words of reproof are regarded as idle tales. Discernment seems to have departed, and they have no power to discriminate between the light which God sends them and the darkness that comes from the enemy of their souls.  {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 3}

The voice of the True Witness calls to his chosen people, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” We have tried to arouse our brethren to the fact that the Lord has rich blessings to bestow upon us as a people. The people of God have lost much by not maintaining the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus. This simplicity has been crowded out, and forms and ceremo nies and a round of busy activities in mechanical work have taken its place. Pride and lukewarmness have made the professed people of God an offense in his sight. Boastful self-sufficiency and complacent self-righteousness have masked and concealed the beggary and nakedness of the soul; but with God all things are naked and manifest. Yet Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul-temple, proclaiming, “I stand at the door, and knock.” As a heavenly merchantman, he opens his treasures, and cries, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The gold he offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment he invites the soul to wear is his own robes of righteousness, and the oil for anointing is the oil of his grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. Open your doors, says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, and transact your business with me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of me.  {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 4}

Those to whom God has intrusted sacred truths should be far in advance of what they are; they should have grown in grace and in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. All who practice the truth will be right and shining lights amid a crooked an d perverse nation. Whatever light God sends us, let us be open to receive it, immediately recognizing the voice that says, “Buy of me.” Great weakness has been brought upon the church which he has blessed with great light, because their character and work have not corresponded to the light that God has given them. They have misrepresented the truth, and by their attitude have lulled the people to sleep, so that those with whom they have associated have no real sense of the times in which they are living.  {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 5}

The people of God have educated themselves in such a way that they have come to look to those in positions of trust as guardians of truth, and have placed men where God should be. When perplexities have come upon them, instead of seeking God, they have gone to human sources for help, and have received only such help as man can give. If as brave soldiers of Jesus Christ, they had borne their burden, doing their work with courage, with fidelity, and in faith, they would have received great blessings. Christ has sounded the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;” but instead of carrying their perplexities and difficulties to Jesus, as he has told them to do, they have laid their burdens upon human souls, and have looked to human beings and human counsels, and they have received accordingly; for God removes his wisdom from men who are looked up to as God. Those who occupy positions of trust are greatly injured when they are tempted by their brethren to thi nk that they must always be consulted by the workers, and that the people should bring to them their difficulties and trials. It is a mistake to make men believe that the workers for Christ should make no move save that which has first been brought before some responsible man. Men must not be educated to look to men as to God. While it is necessary that there be a counseling together and a unity of action among the laborers, one man’s mind and one man’s judgment must not be the controlling power.  {RH, August 7, 1894 par. 6}

When Jesus went away, he intrusted to men his work in all its varied branches, and every true follower of Christ has some work to do for him, for which he is responsible to his own Master, and that work he is expected to do with fidelity, waiting for command and direction from his Leader. We are the responsible agents of God, and have been invested with the goods of heaven, and we should have an eye single to the glory of Him who has called us. On our part there should be a faithful execution of duty, doing our appointed task to the full measure of our intrusted capability. No living being can do our work for us. We must do our work through a diligent use of the intellect which God has given, gaining in knowledge and efficiency as we make progress in our work. God never designed that another should do our thinking, while we leave our mental powers to rust through inaction. God has never designed that one man should be crushed under the burden, should be loaded down with various kinds of work as a cart pressed beneath the sheaves, while another should go free of all burden and responsibility. The president of the Conference is not to do the thinking for all the people. He has not an immortal brain, but has capabilities and powers like any other man. And to every man God has given his work. When men place the president of the Conference in the place of God, and make him the depositary of all their difficulties, the bearer of all their burdens and troubles, and the adviser in all their plans and in all their perplexities, they are doing that which is exactly opposite to what Christ has told them to do.

(Concluded in next number.)

{RH, August 7, 1894 par. 7}

June 4, 1895 Qualifications for the Worker.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

We have before us a great work, and it is essential that we depart from every evil way, and serve God in the beauty of holiness, as though living in his presence. Let us put away all cheap talk, all suspicions and jealousies, all evil-surmising, and work according to our several abilities. Let us cherish no thought as to who shall be accounted greatest. He who keeps his heart open to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will ever be prepared to diffuse light. Let us walk in the light of Christ’s righteousness, and pursue such a course as will make us faithful shepherds of the flock. The Spirit and grace of Christ must vitalize our daily experience, and cause us to assimilate the divine image, cleansing, refining, uplifting, supporting, and ennobling us until we shall have the mind of Christ, and learn meekness and lowliness of heart from the greatest Teacher that the world ever knew. By revealing a high and holy character we may make manifest to the world the fact that God loves us even as he loves his only begotten Son.  {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 1}

Let every one of us seek to be Christlike. The world is in great need of representatives of Christ. They need lives like the divine life, in order that they may have some tangible proof of the power of Christianity to uplift humanity in this world of sin and corruption. As laborers together with God, we should make our plans daily with an eye single to the glory of God. We should appreciate the condescension and love of Jesus in giving us finite beings the great privilege of bearing the yoke of Christ. We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and work in his spirit, manifesting his grace, his love, his gentleness. We are to fear to indulge the spirit of self-sufficiency or to cherish the desire to be thought the greatest. The Lord knows every heart. He looks beneath the surface. He sees into the true inwardness of the soul-temple, and he will manifest himself to every one who will use the gift of his grace to bless others, and not for the purpose of exalting himself. Every ability, every power, is received from God. The human agent can originate nothing. If we are meek and lowly of heart, we may link ourselves with the forces of heaven, and be strong because Christ is strong, be great because Christ is great. We may hang our helpless souls upon Jesus, and be complete in him. The resolutions that are formed when the heart is deeply moved by the love of Christ will be high and holy, and will lead to the formation of wise plans of action. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk in his counsels. Superficial piety will lead to self-sufficiency. {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 2}

There are some people who are crippled in mind, who struggle with morbid peculiarity, who have had a wrong education, which colors all their labors. Every path of duty which they tread is tinged with their own defects. Unless they control these difficulties, humbly relying upon Christ as their only sufficiency, they will walk in continual uncertainty. They will resist the Holy Spirit in its influence upon their minds, and will not yield to its power. To him that hath shall be given. Those who receive t he divine light will be molded in spirit and character by its holy influence; but those who choose their own way, and follow their own inclinations, will extinguish the light. Jesus said, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.”  {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 3}

O that all would look to Jesus and find in him all that precious love and affection which they fail to find in any human being! There are souls all around us starving for love, yearning for kindly, tender, appreciative words. But in Christ discontent will be healed by immeasurable love. The soul can find satisfaction in Christ. Jesus says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Again he says: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Losing sight of ourselves, and looking unto Jesus, we obtain brighter and more glowing views of God. Our hearts are melted by contemplating his great love in giving us Jesus, his priceless gift. We receive Jesus, as we appreciate the love of God.  {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 4}

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” We see in him the perfection of wisdom, might, truth, and righteousness. With grateful wonder we repeat the words: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Each individual may say, “He so loved me, that he gave me Jesus. I receive him as my personal Saviour. He is the God of forgiveness, the God of compassion and love. I receive his precious gift, he is mine and I am his.” The more we behold the character of Christ, the more lovable it appears; then why is there so much silence everywhere? Why are not the praises of God heard from every voice? When we contemplate the love of Christ, when we behold him and become changed into his image, gratitude and thanksgiving spring up. We exclaim, “Who shall not praise thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?”  {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 5}

The law of God, which so many cannot bear to hear, is the proclamation of his pure and holy character. It was because God loved mankind that he gave men his holy precepts. They are a testimony of his character, and are holy, just, and good. They bring a good report of God to the world, by presenting his holy character to mankind. “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” Shall we not be able to persuade the silent lips and voices to sing his praises? The time will come when all will praise him. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. . . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” O let us begin to sing the songs of heaven here, and then we can join the heavenly company above. {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 6}

Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the tr uth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. {RH, June 4, 1895 par. 7}

We need missionaries, but we fear to call men to the missionary field, who, though they appear to have ability, are not fitted for the work, because they are not devoted, humble, pious men. They may go forth to far countries; but because of their lack of consecration to God, they are not self denying, and therefore they make a failure of the work. How long will it be before men will learn to be wise, before they will have the mind of Christ? Missionaries should be shepherds to seek and save that which was lost. There are men who have been chosen as counselors in our churches whom God has not chosen for such positions. They are hard-hearted and unfeeling; but when God places men as caretakers of his flock to work in the interests of his kingdom, he chooses men who have hearts of flesh, who have not an education that will spoil them for dealing with human minds. The love of Christ pervades the soul and creates a kindly atmosphere. They watch for souls as those who must give account. They do not follow inclinations and give up to selfish indulgence. They have a living zeal for the work of Christ; they do their work with fidelity, and their influence leavens those with whom they associate. As soon as they hear of a field, whether it be nigh at hand or afar of f, they feel like saying, “Here am I; send me.” -{RH, June 4, 1895 par. 8}

July 21, 1896 Why the Lord Waits.

By Mrs. E. G. White.

The blessing of God cannot come upon those who are idlers in his vineyard. Professed Christians who do nothing, neutralize the efforts of real workers by their influence and example. They make the grand and important truths they profess to believe, appear inconsistent, and cause them to have no effect. They misrepresent the character of Christ. How can God let the showers of his grace come upon the churches that are largely composed of this kind of members? They are of no manner of use in the work of God. How can the Master say to such, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” when they have been neither good nor faithful? God cannot speak a falsehood. The power of the grace of God cannot be given in large measure to the churches. It would dishonor his own glorious character to let streams of grace come upon the people who will not wear the yoke of Christ, who will not bear his burdens, who will not deny self, who will not lift the cross of Christ. Because of their slothfulness they are a hindrance to those who would move out in the work if they did not block up the way. God calls not for an empty charity that is but a name, but for liberal, open-handed charity. The liberality of God demands that his people render to him his own in tithes and gifts and offerings. There are many who possess an empty benevolence, who make no retrenchments, practise no self-denial or self sacrifice. They leave that for some one else to do; but God calls for men who, through faith and prayer, will give themselves to the work; who will study, who will plan, and unite with their plans, self-denial and self-sacrifice. This is the only kind of liberality that is after the order of Christ, and which will redound to the honor and glory o f God. Until this benevolence is brought into active exercise, God’s blessing cannot come upon his people in its fulness and power.  {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 1}

Every truly converted soul will be intensely desirous to bring others from the darkness of error into the marvelous light of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with his glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of his Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. God cannot pour out his Spirit when selfishness and self-indulgence are so manifest; when a spirit prevails that, if put into words, would express that answer of Cain,–“Am I my brother’s keeper?” If the truth for this time, if the signs that are thickening on every hand, that testify that the end of all things is at hand, are not-sufficient to arouse the sleeping energy of those who profess to know the truth, then darkness proportionate to the light which has been shining will overtake these souls. There is not the semblance of an excuse for their indifference that they will be able to present to God in the great day of final reckoning. There will be no reason to offer as to why they did not live and walk and work in the light of the sacred truth of the word of God, and thus reveal to a sin-darkened world, through their conduct, their sympathy, and their zeal, that the power and reality of the gospel could not be controverted. {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 2}

It is not the ministers alone, but the laymen, who are not contributing all that they can to persuade men, by precept and example, to accept the saving grace of Christ. With skill and tact, with wisdom received from above, they should persuade men to behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. When the hearts of the believers are warm with the love for God, they will do a continual work for Jesus. They will manifest the meekness of Christ, and display a steadfast purpose that will not fail nor be discouraged. God will use humble men to do his work; for there is a large vineyard calling for laborers. “Why stand ye here all the day idle?”  {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 3}

Christ pronounced a woe upon the cities and the people who had been favored with his labors, who had witnessed his gracious works, and listened to his gracious words, and had failed to repent. To those who made a great profession of godliness while failing to bring forth corresponding works, he gave his most scathing rebukes. To the

Pharisees he said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” The mercy and love of God will flow forth from the lips of those in whose hearts abide the mercy and love of God. “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”  {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 4}

If those who have had great light will not respond to the invitation to become laborers with God, then God will take and use those who have had far less light and much fewer opportunities. Those who will work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, will realize that it is God that worketh in them, to will and to do of his own pleasure. There should be thousands fully awake and in earnest in the work of God, who should be bright and shining lights. There should be thousands who know the time in which we are living, and who wait not to be urged, but who are constrained by the power of God to diffuse light, to open to others the truth that is so distinctly revealed in the word of God. There is no time to lose. Men and women should be ministering i n unenlightened communities in regions beyond. After they have awakened an interest, they should find the living preacher who is skilful in the presentation of the truth, and qualified to instruct families in the word of God. Women who have the cause of Go d at heart can do a good work in the districts in which they reside. Christ speaks of women who helped him in presenting the truth before others, and Paul also speaks of women who labored with him in the gospel. But how very limited is the work done by those who could do a large work if they would! There are families that have means which they could use for God’s glory in going to distant lands to let their light shine forth in good works to those who need help. Why do not men and women engage in the missio nary work, following the example of Christ?  {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 5}

But we can say nothing more than to repeat what has been said. Instruction has been given, but how few have acted upon it! How few have been sufficiently interested to go without the camp bearing the reproach of Christ! God calls for personal effort from those that know the truth. He calls for Christian families to go into communities that are in darkness and error, to go into foreign fields, to become acquainted with a new class of society, and to work wisely and perseveringly for the cause of the Master. To answer this call, self sacrifice must be experienced. While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, souls are dying without hope and without God in the world. Many, very many, for the sake of worldly advantage, for the sake of acquiring knowledge of the sciences, will venture into pestilential regions, and will go into countries where they think they can obtain commercial advantage; but where are the men and women who will change their location, and move their families into regions that are in need of the light of the truth, in order that their example may tell upon those who shall see in them the representatives of Christ?  {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 6}

The Macedonian cry is coming from every quarter of the world, and men are saying, “Come over, . . . and help us,” and why is there not a decided response? Thousands ought to be constrained by the Spirit of Christ to follow the example of him who has given his life for the life of the world. Why decline to make decided, self-denying efforts, in order to instruct those who know not the truth for this time? The chief Missionary came to our world, and he has gone before us to show us the way in which we sh ould work. No one can mark out a precise line for those who would be witnesses for Christ. Those who have means are doubly responsible; for this means has been entrusted to them of God, and they are to feel their accountability to forward the work of God i n its various branches. The fact that the truth binds souls by its golden links to the throne of God, should inspire men to work with all their God-given energy, to trade upon their Lord’s goods in regions beyond, disseminating the knowledge of Christ far hence among the Gentiles. {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 7}

Many to whom God has entrusted means with which to bless humanity, have let it prove a snare to them, instead of letting it prove a blessing to themselves and others. Can it be that the property that God has given you shall be permitted to become a stumbling-block? Will you let his entrusted means, which has been given you to trade upon, bind you away from the work of God? Will you allow the trust which God has reposed in you as his faithful steward, serve to lessen your influence and usefulness, by keeping you from being laborers together with God? Will you permit yourself to be detained at home, in order to hold together the means which God has entrusted to you to put into the bank of heaven? You cannot plead that there is nothing to do; for there is everything to do. Will you be content to enjoy the comforts of your home, and not try to tell perishing souls how they may obtain the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love him? Will you not sacrifice your possessions, in order that others may obtain an immortal inheritance? {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 8}

What are the principles of the law of God? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and . . . thy neighbor as thyself.” Every soul that obeys the first four commandments, will obey the last six commandments, and make manifest what is the duty of man to his fellow men. He will manifest tender, pitying love toward every one for whom Christ has died. He will consecrate himself to be a missionary, to be a laborer together with God. All who have the Spirit of Christ are missionaries; for they derive zeal and energy from the chief Missionary. They will have the wisdom that comes from God, which is neither a blind impetuosity nor a cold, calculating Phariseeism, but springs from trust in God. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peac eable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” {RH, July 21, 1896 par. 9}

What can the universe of heaven think of those who profess to believe that Jesus Christ is the world’s only hope of salvation, when they do so little to make him known to those who are in the darkness of error? In the great day when every case is deci ded for eternity, how enormous will seem the guilt of those who have failed to warn their associates in probationary time of the doom that awaits those who neglect so great salvation. What a revelation will then be made of what professed Christians might h ave done, and did not do! How many souls will they see that might have been saved through their instrumentality had they been laborers together with God! Many who profess to love God seem to be enclosed in an icy atmosphere, and the love of Christ has never melted their souls. The Lord Jesus says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” -{RH, July 21, 1896 par. 10}

June 18, 1901 A Message for Today.

Mrs. E. G. White.

The time has come when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. We are in the shaking time. Be assured that only those who live the prayer of Christ for unity among His disciples, working it out in practical life, will stand the test.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 1}

The enemy will make most determined efforts to ensnare those who should be co-workers with Christ. All who seek to qualify themselves for the Lord’s work are the objects of Satan’s attacks. But the unity and love for which Christ prayed is an impregnable barrier against the enemy. When there is dissension, when each one seeks the highest place, the prayer of Christ is not answered. The enemy finds easy access, and there is weakness instead of strength in the Church. Those who exalt self place themselves in Satan’s power, and are prepared to receive his deceptions as truth. {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 2}

The will of God in regard to His people is plainly expressed in the sixth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John. The divine antidote for the sin of the whole world is contained in the gospel of John. “Whoso ea teth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,” Christ declared, “hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” He may die, as Christ died, but the life of the Saviour is in him. His life is hid with Christ in God. “I am come that they might have life,” Jesus said, “and that they might have it more abundantly.” He carries on the great process by which believers are made one with Him in this present life, to be one with Him throughout all eternity. {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 3}

There are those today who will present falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jews presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. Sayings of no value are given to the people of God as their portion of meat, while souls are starving for the bread of life. Fables have been devised, and men are trying to weave these fables into the web. Those who do this will one day see their work as it is viewed by the heavenly intelligences. They choose to bring to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, when th ey have at their command the word of God, with all its richness and power, from which they can gather precious treasures of truth.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 4}

The food that is being prepared for the flock of God will cause spiritual consumption, decline, and death. When those who profess to believe present truth come to their senses, when they accept the word of God just as it reads, when they do not try to wrest the Scriptures, they will bring from the treasure-house of the heart things new and old, to strengthen themselves and those for whom they labor.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 5}

There are those who say not only in their hearts, but in all their works, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Because Christ’s coming has been long foretold, they conclude that there is some mistake in regard to it. But the Lord says, “The vision is yet fo r an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come.” It will not tarry past the time that the message is borne to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Shall we who claim to be students of prophecy forget that God’s forbearance to the wicked is a part of the vast and merciful plan by which He is seeking to compass the salvation of souls? Shall we be found among the number who, having ceased to co-operate with God, are found saying, “My Lord delayeth His coming”? {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 6}

Christ’s true followers will represent Him in character. They will turn aside from worldly policy, and every day will train themselves for service in God’s cause. In active service they find peace and hope, efficiency and power. They breathe the atmos phere of heaven, the only atmosphere in which the soul can truly live. By obedience they are made partakers of the divine nature. The doing of the living principles of God’s law makes them one with Christ; and because He lives, they will live also. At the last day He will raise them as a part of himself. He declares, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “This is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Christ became one with us in order that we might become one with Him in divinity.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 7}

The Lord is soon to come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Is there not enough in the truths which cluster around this event and in the preparation essential for it, to make us think solemnly of our duty? “The Son of man shall come in His glory; . . . and before Him shall be gathered all nations.” This subject should be kept before the people as a means to an end,–that end the judgment, with its eternal punishments and rewards. Then God will render to every man according to his work. Enoch prophesied of these things, saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.” And Solomon, the preacher of righteousness, when making his declaration and appeal, presented the judgment to come. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,” he said; “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 8}

We have an abundance of weighty, solemn truths to proclaim without spending time in devising fanciful theories to present as testing truth. What is the chaff to the wheat? The final judgment is a most solemn event, which must take place before the assembled universe. When God honors His commandment-keeping people, not one of the enemies of truth and righteousness will be absent. And when transgressors receive their condemnation, all the righteous will see the result of sin. God will be honored, and His government vindicated; and that in the presence of the inhabitants of the universe. Oh, what a change will then take place in the minds of men! All will then see the value of eternal life.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 9}

To His Son the Father has committed all judgment. Christ will declare the reward of loyalty. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son . . . and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” Christ accepted humanity, and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of judge. He who occupies the position of judge is God manifest in the flesh. What a joy it will be to recognize in Him our Teacher and Redeemer, bearing still the marks of the crucifixion, from which shine beams of glory, giving additional value to the crowns which the redeemed receive from His hands, the very hands outstretched in blessing over His disciples as He ascended. The very voice which said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” bids His ransomed ones welcome to His presence. The very One who gave His precious life for them, who by His grace moved their hearts to repentance, who awakened them to the ir need of repentance, receives them now into His joy. Oh, how they love Him! The realization of their hope is infinitely greater than their expectation. Their joy is complete, and they take their glittering crowns and cast them at their Redeemer’s feet.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 10}

When sinners are compelled to look upon Him who clothed His divinity with humanity, and who still wears this garb, their confusion is indescribable. The scales fall from their eyes, and they see that which before they would not see. They realize what they might have been had they received Christ, and improved the opportunities granted them. They see the law which they have spurned, exalted even as God’s throne is exalted. They see God himself giving reverence to His law.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 11}

What a scene that will be! No pen can describe it! The accumulated guilt of the world will be laid bare, and the voice of the Judge will be heard saying to the wicked, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Then those who pierced Christ will remember how they slighted His love and abused His compassion; how they chose in His stead Barabbas, a robber and murderer; how they crowned the Saviour with thorns, and caused Him to be scourged and crucified; how, in the agony of His death on the cross, they taunted Him, saying, “Let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” “He saved others; himself He cannot save.” They will seem to hear again His voice of entreaty. Every tone of solicitude will vibrate as distinctly in their ears as when the Saviour spoke to them. Every act of insult and mockery done to Christ will be as fresh in their memory as when the satanic deeds were done.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 12}

They will call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. “The wrath of the Lamb,”–One who ever showed himself full of tenderness, patience, and long-suffering, who, having given himself up as the sacrificial offering, was led as a lamb to the slaughter, to save sinners from the doom now falling upon them because they would not allow Him to take away their guilt.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 13}

The judgment will be conducted in accordance with the rules God has laid down. By the law which men are now called upon to obey, but which many refuse to accept, all will be judged. As by it character is tested, every man will find his proper place in one of two classes. He will either be holy to the Lord through obedience to His law, or be stained with sin through transgression. He will either have done good, cooperating in faith with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man, or he will have don e evil, denying the Saviour by an ungodly life. Christ will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left. Then men and women will see that their course of action has decided their destiny. They will be rewarded or punished according as they have obeyed or violated the law of God.  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 14}

Are not these subjects of sufficient moment to present to the people? Should we not call upon the members of our churches to take their Bibles and study them, realizing that their eternal interest is at stake?  {RH, June 18, 1901 par. 15}

Let us remember that there will be no second probation. Some flatter themselves with the thought that the Lord will give them another opportunity. Fatal delusion! Just now, day by day and hour by hour, we are building for the judgment. We are trading on our Lord’s goods, and at His coming He will reckon with us. He will expect results from every one. Let us arise and shine, because the glory of the Lord has risen upon us. Our reward will be proportionate to the work we have done. “My reward is with me,” Christ declares, “to give every man according as his work shall be.” Let all who can, go forth to work with wisdom and in the love of Christ for those nigh and afar off. The Master calls upon us to do according to our ability the work He has intrusted to us. -{RH, June 18, 1901 par. 16}

February 25, 1902 The Need of a Revival and a Reformation.

Mrs. E. G. White.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 1}

I am instructed to say that these words are applicable to Seventh-day Adventist churches in their present condition. The love of God has been lost, and this means the absence of love for one another. Self, self, self, is cherished, and is striving for the supremacy. How long is this to continue? Unless there is a reconversion, there will soon be such a lack of godliness that the Church will be represented by the barren fig tree. Great light has been given to her. She has had abundant opportunity for be aring much fruit. But selfishness has come in, and God says, “I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 2}

Jesus looked upon the pretentious, fruitless fig tree, and with mournful reluctance pronounced the words of doom. And under the curse of an offended God, the fig tree withered away. God help His people to make an application of this lesson while there is still time. {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 3}

Just before His ascension, Christ said to His disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” God’s people today are not fulfilling this commission as they should. Selfishness prevents them from receiving these words in their solemn signif icance. {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 4}

In many hearts there seems to be scarcely a breath of spiritual life. This makes me very sad. I fear that aggressive warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil has not been maintained. Shall we cheer on, by a half-dead Christianity, the selfish, covetous spirit of the world, sharing its ungodliness and smiling on its falsehood?–Nay! By the grace of God let us be steadfast to the principles of truth, holding firm to the end the beginning of our confidence. We are to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” One is our Master, even Christ. To Him we are to look. From Him we are to receive our wisdom. By His grace we are to preserve our integrity, standing before God in meekness and contrition, and representing Him to the world. {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 5}

Sermons have been in great demand in our churches. The members have depended upon pulpit declamations instead of on the Holy Spirit. Uncalled for and unused, the spiritual gifts bestowed on them have dwindled into feebleness. If the ministers would go forth into new fields, the members would be obliged to bear responsibilities, and by use their capabilities would increase.  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 6}

God brings against ministers and people the heavy charge of spiritual feebleness, saying, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children. {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 7}

A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 8}

“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Christ gave His life for a fallen race, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps. To him who does this will be spoken the words of approval, “Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 9}

The word of the Lord never represses activity. It increases man’s usefulness by guiding his activities in the right direction. The Lord does not leave man without an object of pursuit. He places before him an immortal inheritance, and gives him ennobling truth, that he may advance in a safe and sure path, in pursuit of that which is worth the consecration of his highest capabilities,–a crown of everlasting life.  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 10}

Man will increase in power as he follows on to know the Lord. As he endeavors to reach the highest standard, the Bible is as a light to guide his footsteps homeward. In that word he finds that he is a joint heir with Christ to an eternal treasure. The Guidebook points him to the unsearchable riches of heaven. By following on to know the Lord, he is securing never-ending happiness. Day by day the peace of God is his reward, and by faith he sees a home of everlasting sunshine, free from all sorrow and disappointment. God directs his footsteps, and keeps him from falling.  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 11}

God loves His Church. There are tares mingled with the wheat, but the Lord knows His own. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 12}

Shall not the counsel of Christ have an effect on the churches? Why halt, ye who know the truth, between two opinions? “If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” Christ’s followers have no right to stand on the ground of neutrality. There is more hope of an open enemy than of one who is neutral.  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 13}

Let the Church respond to the words of the prophet, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.”  {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 14}

God’s people have lost their first love. They must now repent and make steady advancement in the path of holiness. God’s purposes reach to every phase of life. They are immutable, eternal; and at the time appointed they will be executed. For a time it may seem that Satan has all the power in his hands; but our trust is in God. When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us, and will work with mighty power to accomplish His gracious purposes. {RH, February 25, 1902 par. 15}

God rebukes His people for their sins, that He may humble them, and lead them to seek His face. As they reform, and His love revives in their hearts, His loving answers will come to their requests. He will strengthen them in reformatory action, lifting up for them a standard against the enemy. His rich blessing will rest upon them, and in bright rays they will reflect the light of heaven. Then a multitude not of their faith, seeing that God is with His people, will unite with them in serving the Redeemer. -{RH, February 25, 1902 par. 16}

November 19, 1908 Preparing for Heaven

Mrs. E. G. White

(Reading for Sabbath, December 12)

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” Zechariah 3:1-3. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 1}

Here we find a representation of the people of God of today. As Joshua stood before the angel, “clothed with filthy garments,” so we stand in the presence of Christ, clothed in garments of unrighteousness. Christ, the angel before whom Joshua stood, is now interceding for us before his Father, as he is here represented as interceding for Joshua and his people who were in deep affliction; and Satan now, as then, stands by to resist his efforts. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 2}

Ever since his fall, it has been the work of Satan to oppose Christ’s efforts to redeem the race. In the Bible he is called an accuser of the brethren. It is said that he accuses them before God day and night. Pointing to their sins, as he did to the filthy garments of Joshua, he says: “They profess to be thy children; but they do not obey thee. See the traces of sin upon them. They are my property.”  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 3}

This is the argument that he employs concerning God’s people in all ages. He pleads their sinfulness as the reason why Christ’s restraining power should not hold him back from exercising his cruelty upon them to its fullest extent. But to the accuser of his people the Saviour says, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; . . . is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Have I not thrust my own hand into the fire to gather this brand from the burning?” {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 4}

So long as the people of God preserve their fidelity to him, so long as they cling by living faith to Jesus, they are under the protection of heavenly angels, and Satan will not be permitted to exercise his hellish arts upon them to their destruction. But those who separate themselves from Christ by sin are in great peril. If they continue to disregard the requirements of God, they know not how soon he may give them over to Satan, and permit him to do to them according to his will. There is, therefore, the greatest necessity of keeping the soul free from defilement, and the eye single to the glory of God; of thinking soberly and watching unto prayer continually. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 5}

Satan is now more earnestly engaged in playing the game of life for souls than at any previous time; and unless we are constantly on our guard, he will establish in our hearts, pride, love of self, love of the world, and many other evil traits. He will also use every possible device to unsettle our faith in God and in the truths of his Word. If we have not a deep experience in the things of God, if we have not a thorough knowledge of his Word, we shall be beguiled to our ruin by the errors and sophistries of the enemy. False doctrines will sap the foundations of many, because they have not learned to discern truth from error. Our only safeguard against the wiles of Satan is to study the Scriptures diligently, to have an intelligent understanding of the reasons of our faith, and faithfully to perform every known duty. The indulgence of one known sin will cause weakness and darkness, and subject us to fierce temptation.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 6}

Joshua is represented as pleading with the Angel. Are we engaged in the same work? Are our supplications ascending to God in living faith? Are we opening the door of the heart to Jesus, and closing every means of entrance to Satan? Are we daily obtaining clearer light, and greater strength, that we may stand in Christ’s righteousness? Are we emptying our hearts of all selfishness, and cleansing them, preparatory to receiving the latter rain from heaven?  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 7}

Now is the time when we are to confess and forsake our sins, that they may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out. Now is the time to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” It is dangerous to delay this work. Satan is even now seeking by disasters upon sea and land to seal the fate of as many as possible. What is the defense of the people of God at this time?–It is a living connection with heaven. If we would dwell in safety from the noisome pestilence, if we would be preserved from dangers seen and unseen, we must hide in God; we must secure the protecting care of Jesus and holy angels. In these days of peril, the Lord would have us walk before him in humility. Instead of trying t o cover our sins, he would have us confess them, as Joshua confessed the sins of ancient Israel. We profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. We profess to be building up “the old waste places,” and to be raising up “the foundations of many generations.” If this great and solemn work has indeed been committed to us, how important that we depart from all iniquity!  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 8}

The third angel’s message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 9}

As the intercession of Joshua was accepted, the command was given to those that stood by, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And unto Joshua the Angel said, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. . . . So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments.” Even so will all those who come to Jesus in penitence and faith receive the robe of Christ’s righteousness. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 10}

As we approach the perils of the last days, the temptations of the enemy become stronger and more determined. Satan has come down in great power, knowing that his time is short; and he is working “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them tha t perish.” The warning comes to us through God’s Word that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 11}

Wonderful events are soon to open before the world. The end of all things is at hand. The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God. Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sel l, and threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 12}

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” By this we see the importance of having our names written in the book of life. All whose names are registered there will be delivered from Satan’s power, and Christ will command that their filthy garments be removed, and that they be clothed with his righteousness. “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 13}

In the time of trouble, Satan stirs up the wicked, and they encircle the people of God to destroy them. But he does not know that “pardon” has been written opposite their names in the books of heaven. He does not know that the command has been given, “Take away the filthy garments” from them, clothe them with “change of raiment,” and set “a fair miter” upon their heads.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 14}

If we could only see the many dangers from which we are daily preserved by the holy angels, instead of complaining of our trials and misfortunes, we would talk continually of the mercies of God. How precious in the sight of God are his people!  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 15}

The exhortation of the prophet is, “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you.” “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 16}

In view of what is soon to come upon the earth, I entreat you, brethren and sisters, to walk before God in all meekness and lowliness of mind, remembering the care that Jesus has for you. All the meek of the earth are exhorted to seek him. Those who h ave wrought his judgments are to seek him. Let self break in pieces before God. It is hard to do this; but we are warned to fall upon the rock and be broken, else it will fall upon us, and grind us to powder. It is to the humble in heart that Jesus speaks; his everlasting arms encircle them, and he will not leave them to perish by the hands of the wicked. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 17}

What is it to be a Christian?–It is to be Christlike; it is to do the works of Christ. Some fail on one point, some on another. Some are naturally impatient. Satan understands their weakness, and manages to overcome them again and again. But let none be discouraged by this. Whenever little annoyances and trials arise, ask God in silent prayer to give you strength and grace to bear them patiently. There is a power in silence; do not speak a word until you have sent up your petition to the God of heaven . If you will always do this, you will soon overcome your hasty temper, and you will have a little heaven here to go to heaven in.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 18}

God wants his people to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts. Will it make them unhappy to do this? Will it bring unhappiness into their families if they are kind and patient, courteous and forbearing?–Far from it. The kindness they manifest t oward their families will be reflected upon themselves. This is the work that should be carried forward in the home. If the members of a family are not prepared to dwell in peace here, they are not prepared to dwell in the family that shall gather around the great white throne. Sin always brings darkness and bondage; but right-doing will bring peace and holy joy.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 19}

The work of overcoming is a great work. Shall we take hold of it with energy and perseverance? Unless we do, our “filthy garments” will not be taken from us. We need never expect that these will be torn from us violently; we must first show a desire t o rid ourselves of them. We must seek to separate sin from us, relying upon the merits of the blood of Christ; and then in the day of affliction, when the enemy presses us, we shall walk among the angels. They will be like a wall of fire about us; and we shall one day walk with them in the city of God.  {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 20}

When tempted to sin, let us remember that Jesus is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. When we put away our sins and come to him in faith, he takes our names on his lips, and presents them to his Father, saying, “I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; I know them by name.” And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial he will say, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” What are the chambers in which they are to hide?–They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself. {RH, November 19, 1908 par. 21}

There has never been a time when the people of God have had greater need to claim his promises than now. Let the hand of faith pass through the darkness, and grasp the arm of infinite power. While we speak of the necessity of separating from sin, remember that Christ came to our world to save sinners, and that “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” It is our privilege to believe that his blood is able to cleanse us from every spot and stain of sin. We must not limit the power of the Holy One of Israel. He wants us to come to him just as we are, sinful and polluted. His blood is efficacious. I entreat you not to grieve his Spirit by continuing in sin. If you fall under temptation, do not become discouraged. This promise comes ringing down along the line to our time: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I feel that for this one promise a continual song of thanksgiving ought to go forth from the lips of mortals. Let us gather up these precious jewels of promise, and when Satan accuses us of our great sinfulness, and tempts us to doubt the power of God to save, let us repeat the words of Christ, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” -{RH, November 19, 1908 par. 22}

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