(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)
7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It will revive faith and encourage hope in the hearts of God's people to recount his past dealings with them. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.”
This is the testimony we want to bear, and it is an uplifting testimony. It is the testimony the people need everywhere. Argumentative sermons do not soften and subdue the soul. Those who have been laborers together with God have had an experience of highest value, and this experience is needed at this time. The churches everywhere need the message borne by John. It should be borne to them by men who understand the reasons of our faith, who have had a practical experience in the past history of Seventh-day Adventists, and who have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. We shall have no dark, shadowy testimony to bear if we walk in the light as he is in the light. We need to present to the people the way in which God has led us in the past, and to recount his wondrous works in behalf of his people. We need to “call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you.... Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”
Those who have had a long experience in the cause of God should be highly esteemed of their brethren, and their counsels should be regarded as of great value. There has been a drifting away from the pillars of faith. It should be the burden of every messenger to set forth the fullness of Christ. When the free gift of Christ's righteousness is not presented, the discourses are dry and spiritless; the sheep and the lambs are not fed. Said Paul, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” There is marrow and fatness in the gospel. Jesus is the living center of everything. Put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy, and glory of Jesus Christ be dwelt upon until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory.
The Lord would have us look away from self and cease to depreciate others. Let us gather together that which our own experience has revealed to us of the preciousness of Christ, and present it to others as a precious gem that sparkles and shines. Thus will the sinner be attracted to him who is represented as the chief among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. The cross of Calvary is a pledge to us of everlasting life. Faith in Christ means everything to the sincere believer. The merits of Jesus blot out transgressions, and clothe us with the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven. The crown of life is presented before us as the honor to be given at the end of the conflict. These precious truths are to be set forth in living characters. The Holy Spirit's work is to open them to the mind. Jesus said, “He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Has not this promise been verified in our experience?
The Lord is soon to come; there must be a refining, winnowing process in every church, for there are among us wicked men who do not love the truth. There is need of a transformation of character. Will the church arise and put on her beautiful garments, the righteousness of Christ? It is soon to be seen who are vessels unto honor. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.”
Here are brought plainly to view those who will be vessels unto honor; for they will receive the latter rain. Every soul that continues in sin in the face of the light now shining upon our pathway, will be blinded and accept the delusions of Satan. We are now nearing the close of this world's history. Where are the faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion, who will not slumber, but faithfully declare the time of night? Christ is coming to be admired in all them that believe. How painful it is to contemplate the fact that the Lord Jesus is being kept in the background. How few magnify his grace and exalt his infinite compassion and love. There will be no envy, no jealousy, in the hearts of those who seek to be like Jesus in character.
The gospel is now resolutely opposed on every hand. Never was the confederacy of evil greater than at the present time. The spirits of darkness are combining with human agencies to set them firmly against the commandments of God. Traditions and falsehoods are exalted above the Scriptures: reason and science above revelation; human talent above the teachings of the Spirit; forms and ceremonies above the vital power of godliness. We need the divine touch.
Yet Jesus says to his followers: “My peace give I unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” It is our privilege to realize the preciousness of the Saviour as never before. Our Redeemer is a “Tried Stone.” The experiment has been made, the great test has been applied, and with perfect success. In him is fulfilled all the purpose of God for the saving of a lost world. Never was a foundation subject to so severe a trial and test as this “Tried Stone.” The Lord Jehovah knew what this foundation-stone could sustain. The sins of the whole world could be piled upon it. The Lord's chosen were to be revealed, heaven's gates to be thrown open to all who would believe; its untold glories were to be given to the overcomers.
“A Tried Stone” is Christ, tried by the perversity of man. Thou, O our Saviour, hast taken the burden; thou hast given peace and rest; thou hast been tried, proved by believers who have taken their trials to thy sympathy, their sorrows to thy love, their wounds to thy healing, their weakness to thy strength, their emptiness to thy fullness; and never, never has one soul been disappointed. Jesus, my Tried Stone, to thee will I come, moment by moment. In thy presence I am lifted above pain. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
It is our privilege to enjoy sweet communion with God. Precious to the believer is his atoning blood, precious is his justifying righteousness. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” When I meditate upon his fountain of living power from which we may draw, I mourn that so many are losing the delight they might have had in considering his goodness. We are to be sons and daughters of God, growing into a holy temple in the Lord. “No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.... Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” This is our privilege. How is Heaven amazed at the present condition of the church that could be so much to the world were every stone, in its proper place, a living stone to emit light. The stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones; but living stones, stones that catch the bright beams from the chief corner stone, even from the Sun of Righteousness,—the bright glory in which are combined the beams of mercy and truth that have met together, of righteousness and peace that have kissed each other.
If we are indeed followers of Christ, we must reach a higher standard. Heaven looks with pleasure upon him who worships God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. All Heaven is employed in seeking to save that which is lost. But there are many who do not know that they are lost. They are far from spirituality; they have lost the presence of God; lost the true ideal of character and they copy the human instead of divine. All Heaven is active in seeking to surround man with light, to give opportunities to present the highest motives that man shall return to the service of God. The Redeemer of the world has conceived the lofty design of translating all who serve him in spirit and truth to his heavenly temple above. But in Christ's school we are ever learners; human opinions and authorities are not to be the controlling powers; for the lessons of Christ are spirit and life, and there are no limits to the rich mines of truth to be explored.
Are we Christians in deed and in truth? or are we such in name only? Christians are those who are growing up into a holy temple in the Lord. But “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This represents a constant growth in Christian character, growth in spiritual-mindedness. The church of Christ in the world is to be a great power, and a name and praise in all the earth. Jesus has done everything to accomplish this. Now there is need of earnest, deep, sincere efforts to redeem the past unfaithfulness. Time, precious time, has been lost in wanderings and backslidings from God. Every character is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary; if the moral character and spiritual advancement do not correspond with the opportunities and blessings, “wanting” is written against the name.
The Light of the world is our leader, and the path has been growing brighter and brighter as we have advanced in the footsteps of Jesus. O that we may keep close to our Leader. He will fill every heart with divine love,—love to God and love for one another. How long will entreaties and warnings be given before they will be sufficiently valued to be heeded? Why not put away all selfishness, all sin, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Many are not on safe ground. They have not a clear title to an inheritance among the sanctified. But while the atoning blood is presented in our behalf, why not make earnest, thorough work, and be complete in Christ Jesus?
All who claim to be children of God should seek daily to understand why they believe by searching the Scriptures for themselves. Those who humbly study the character of Jesus will reflect his image more and more. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it.
Many fail to meet their high responsibilities and privileges. O how long will this deadness and insensibility continue? How long will differences rend the church? The Lord Jesus is the one spiritual Head, and we are the members of his body. The church is represented as growing up “into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Cannot we pray over this matter more earnestly, that the Holy Spirit of God may quicken the discernment of his people to see that by putting away envy, evil surmisings, jealousy, they may answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father? Can it be that the senses of those who claim to believe the truth are paralyzed? Do they not see that they deny Christ? Do they not understand that they scatter from him in acting as though it was a light matter to disagree and engage in controversy? Brother looks coldly upon brother, minister distrusts minister. The church seems to have lost the blending attribute of love, and its members unite no better than ropes of sand. And yet the great crisis of the day of God is at hand.
What is the reason of this selfishness and bigotry? What means this self-satisfaction, this disposition to tear down and not build up? The truth is not sanctifying the soul, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Many cling to their independence, choosing their own way, but not the way and will of God. The truth is believed in theory, but not received in the love of it, and the soul is left as cold as an iron wedge. Those who are sanctified by the truth will be one in Christ Jesus. The cleansing blood of the Lamb of God cements hearts together. The branches are united in the vine.
Trials are to come upon God's people and the tares are to be separated from the wheat. But let not Ephraim envy Judah any more, and Judah will no more vex Ephraim. Kind, tender, compassionate words will flow out from sanctified hearts and lips. It is essential that we be united, and if we all seek the meekness and the lowliness of Christ, we shall have the mind of Christ, and there will be unity of spirit.
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Elder George C. Tenney, Dear Brother:
I have words to speak to you and to others in Battle Creek. I shall go over the ground step by step, just as I am led by the Holy Spirit. It is presented to me that there are some in Battle Creek who are being deceived by men linked together to support one another. I could name individuals, but this may not be necessary.
Your recent letter was received. You write like an honest man, and I believe you to be sincere; but you are a man greatly deceived. In the past, I have had a great interest in your welfare. I have regarded you as a man who feared God and kept His commandments. But when you left Australia, and came to Battle Creek this last time, and linked your interests with the physicians at the sanitarium, you made a grave mistake. You followed your own impulses in this matter instead of moving in the counsel of God.
We are living in an age of this earth’s history when men must seek counsel of God, and not be led away from their posts of duty, and away from the truth, by men who have not a real faith in Christ. Let no one regard it safe to follow human impulse. Brother Tenney, you have been drawn away from the truth more than you have known, and your connection with men in Battle Creek has been to your great injury. The light of your past experience is going out.
I have been surprised and made sad to read some of your articles in the Medical Missionary, and especially those on the sanctuary question. These articles show that you have been departing from the faith. You have helped in confusing the understanding of our people. The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.
If you had remained away from the seducing influences that Satan is exerting at the present time in Battle Creek, you might yet be standing on vantage ground
We are very sorry to see the result of gathering a large number to Battle Creek. Ministers who have been believers in the foundation truths that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists; ministers who went to Battle Creek to teach and uphold the truths of the Bible are now, when old and gray-headed, turning from the grand truths of the Bible and accepting infidel sentiments. This means that the next step will be a denial of a personal God, pulling down the bulwarks of the faith that is plainly revealed in the Scriptures. In the Word is given the warning, “Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
I must again say to our people, Keep your children away from Battle Creek. Some of our medical missionary workers are becoming leavened with infidelity. Specious heresy has been taking hold of minds, and its threads have been woven into the pattern of the figure. Who is responsible for giving young men and young women an education that has left an evil influence upon their minds? One father writes that of his two children who were sent to Battle Creek, one is now an infidel, and the other has given up his faith in the advent message.
Those who are not walking in the light of the message may gather up statements from my writings that happen to please them, and that agree with their human judgment, and, by, separating these statements from their connection, and placing them beside human reasonings, make it appear that my writings uphold that which they condemn. I charge you not to do this work. To use my writings thus, and at the same time reject the message which I bear to correct errors, is misleading and inconsistent.
I thank the Lord that the only true and living God still lives. Jesus Christ took humanity upon Himself, to make it possible for human beings, through faith, to be partakers of the divine nature, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The end is so near that it will come unexpectedly, as a thief in the night; and if we do not watch, we shall be found unready, with our lamps going out, unprepared to meet the Bridegroom.
I was instructed to write to some these words:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
There is a group of men in Battle Creek who today would be standing on the platform of eternal truth, had it not been for the acceptance of misleading sentiments regarding our Creator, such as appeared in Living Temple.
The presentation given to me of the perils of Dr. J. H. Kellogg—of the subtle, specious workings of the tempter on his mind—is as clear as the daylight. Men who ought to know their duty have upheld him in that which they knew to be wrong. All who thus sustain him, bring upon themselves the displeasure of God. Those who should have discerned his dangers and errors have refused light, and therefore they are deceived. I know whereof I speak. I could relate many things, but the time is not yet come.
In (Ezekiel 33:7-9), it is written:
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them for Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”
The sixth chapter of John is full of instruction for us. Study it again. The multitude did not believe my Master; why should I be surprised that men refuse to believe me? If the world’s Redeemer was insulted and even mocked, shall I complain? I am constantly trying to do what I can to lead men to put their whole trust in Jesus Christ, who gave His own life to save souls. For over sixty years I have spoken the word of reproof that have been given me of God. And now I shall not refuse to bear the message God has given me.
In (John 6:35), and onward, we read:
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father given Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And 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.
“The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven?
“Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? “Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. 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 that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.”
“Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve.”
“These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.”
Christ presented to them a parable. He represents Himself under the similitude of heavenly bread. The eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood He has spoken of in a figure, representing true, earnest belief. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” All who are true receivers of His Word never hunger, and all who believe in Him never thirst for higher or more satisfying food.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Read and study the whole of the fifty-fifth chapter of Isaiah.
“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
God calls for all who now see and understand to take their position on the Lord’s side. God’s rebuke is upon the accuser of the brethren. The work of upbuilding the advancement of the cause of God in all the earth has been laid open before the churches believing present truth. But Satan has manifested his presence in the assemblies of the saints. Some unadvised moves have been made, but the guardians of the truth are to work on the side of Christ. If the church stood on the ground of their own righteousness, then Satan would have abundant reason for accusing them of being unworthy of the favor of God.
If the Lord has ever spoken through me, there is surely a class of men in Battle Creek who have placed themselves in the position of accusers. Through them Satan is presenting his plans to counterwork the very things that the Lord has laid out should be done to substantiate His work in all places.
In all our cities, workers are to be sent out to sow the seeds of truth through the medium of publications that proclaim the last message of mercy to a fallen world. But Satan is standing at the right hand of the angel of the Lord, to resist him, and to hinder the work that God has outlined should be done. He stands as an accuser of the people whom God has appointed to give the closing message to the world. Decisions are now being made for time and for eternity.
“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. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.”
I am instructed to say to the churches, Stand fast in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. There are human powers at work that have not been on the Lord’s side for years. Joshua, clothed with filthy garments, standing before the angel of the Lord, represents the ministers over the congregations. The churches are represented as clothed with filthy garments. And the ministers over the congregations entrusted to their care are required, with the congregations, to be earnestly humbling their hearts before God, and to fast and pray, that their sins shall be pardoned, and that the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God may come up before God with sincere repentance for sin.
The prayer of Christ, as recorded in (John 17), has been presented to the Father in their behalf. The Lord Jesus, presenting His bruised hands bearing the wounds of cruel spikes, pleads with the Father, I have graven My church—the names of those who believe on Me—upon the palms of My hands.
33 The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel; their axle pins, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all of cast bronze.
10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
There is a special work to be done at this time. Please read and study carefully the first, second, and third chapters of First Corinthians. I present these chapters as of great importance. The Lord desires His people to understand and practice the instruction they contain.
Paul writes, “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it. ... For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying and strife and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
Those addressed in these words had not been feeding on Christ, and therefore they were not advanced in spiritual knowledge. Paul said, I have fed you with milk—the plainest, most simple truths, suitable for converts young in the faith; not with meat—the solid, nourishing, spiritual food suited to those who have made progress in a knowledge of divine things. They were living on a low level, dwelling on the surface truths which call for thought, no deep research.
“For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” Their contentions did not reveal growth in grace, but a narrow, limited comprehension, a worthless, <defective> experience. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one.” He who is a partaker of the divine nature will not seek to stand at the head of a party. True workers for God will not attract men to themselves, but to Christ. They will preach the truth which makes all men one in Christ Jesus.
“And every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Christ declared. “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
A banquet has been prepared for us. The Lord has spread before us the treasures of His Word. But we must not come to the repast clothed in citizen’s dress. We must have on the white robe of Christ’s righteousness, which has been prepared for all the guests. But the spirit of the world is carnal. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them; because they are spiritually discerned.” The more spiritual knowledge one has, the better able is he to distinguish between good and evil.
“The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” He is not one with Christ in mind and heart, and he cannot rightly appreciate or enjoy the high, exalted truths of God’s Word. It seems foolishness to him to put on the white garment of Christ’s righteousness. With him the religious experience is a matter of chance. He is not born of the Spirit; therefore he cannot judge correctly concerning spiritual things. Many of those who claim to believe in Christ reveal by their words and actions that they are not partakers of the divine nature. They do not appreciate the truths of eternal value.
The Lord meets men where they are. The apostle declares, “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” The Holy Spirit teaches those who are willing to be taught, not only what they should impart, but how they should impart. To the believing Christian the highest, purest instruction is given. Heavenly wisdom is imparted to him.
The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge.
I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption—the Son of God uplifted on the cross of Calvary. This is to be the theme of every discourse. Christ declares, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.”
“God forbid that I should glory,” Paul writes, “save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The more deeply the ministers of God feel their inefficiency and their entire dependence upon Christ for success, the less they will seek <to be> head and shoulders above their brethren. Hiding in Christ, self will not appear. Christ will be revealed as the chiefest among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. They will know the meaning of Paul’s words:
“I was with you in weakness and fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
If we would love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, we must come to Christ, to be imbued with His love. Let every member of the church try to realize what he is and what he may be if he yields to Christ’s control. Under the Saviour’s guidance, he will exert upon others a saving, restoring influence. Christians must be brought into family relationship with Christ. He must be formed within, the hope of glory.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
There are many who have erroneous ideas in regard to the nature of repentance. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares them for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait until he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour? Jesus has said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Christ is constantly drawing men to himself, while Satan is as diligently seeking by every imaginable device, to draw men away from their Redeemer. Christ must be revealed to the sinner as the Saviour dying for the sins of the world; and as he beholds the Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary, the mysteries of redemption begin to unfold to his mind, and the goodness of God leads him to repentance.
Although the plan of salvation calls for the deepest study of the philosopher, it is not too deep for the comprehension of a child. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is incomprehensible; and in beholding this love, the heart is impressed the conscience is aroused, and the soul is led to inquire, “What is sin, that it should require such a sacrifice for the redemption of its victim?” John, the beloved disciple, declares that “whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” The apostle Paul instructed men in regard to the plan of salvation. He declares, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” John, speaking of the Saviour says, “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
The living oracles do not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Men must come to Christ because they see him as their Saviour, their only helper, that they may be enabled to repent; for if they could repent without coming to Christ, they could also be saved without Christ. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ that leads to genuine repentance. Peter makes the matter clear in his statement to the Israelites, when he says, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Repentance is as much the gift of Christ as is forgiveness, and it cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience, than we can be pardoned without Christ. Christ draws the sinner by the exhibition of his love upon the cross, and this softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition and repentance in the soul.
Paul says, “I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” What was it that brought that commandment to the mind of Paul but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus said, “the Father will send in my name? He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Paul continues, “And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which was good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
Men sometimes become ashamed of their sinful ways, and give up some of their evil habits, before they are aroused to manifestly come to Christ; but it is the power of the gospel, the grace of Christ, that is drawing them to make reformation in their conduct. An influence of which they are unconscious works upon the soul, and the conscience is quickened, and the outward life is amended. And as Christ draws them to look upon his cross, to look upon him whom their sins have pierced, the commandment comes home to the conscience. The wickedness of their life, the deep-seated sin of the soul, is revealed to them. They begin to comprehend something of the righteousness of Christ, and exclaim, “Was all this love, all this suffering, all this humiliation demanded that we might not perish, but have everlasting life?” They then understand that it is the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance. A repentance such as this lies beyond the reach of our own powers to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high, and has given gifts unto men. Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one who can arouse in the natural heart enmity against sin. He is the source of our power if we would be saved. No soul can repent without the grace of Christ. The sinner may pray that he may know how to repent. God reveals Christ to the sinner, and when he sees the purity of the Son of God, he is not ignorant of the character of sin. By faith in the work and power of Christ, enmity against sin and Satan is created in his heart. Those whom God pardons are first made penitent.
The pleasing fable that all there is to do is to believe, has destroyed thousands and tens of thousands, because many have called that faith which is not faith, but simply a dogma. Man is an intelligent, accountable being; he is not to be carried as a passive burden by the Lord, but is to work in harmony with Christ. Man is to take up his appointed work in striving for glory, honor, and immortality. God calls upon men for the use of every talent he has lent them, the exercise of every power he has given; for man can never be saved in disobedience and indolence. Christ wrestled in earnest prayer; he offered up his supplications to the Father with strong crying and tears in behalf of those for whose salvation he had left heaven, and had come to this earth. Then how proper, yea, how essential that men should pray and not faint! How important that they should be instant in prayer, petitioning for the help that can come only from Christ our Lord! If you will find voice and time to pray, God will find time and voice to answer.
Some of our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there would not now be a necessity of calling especial attention to it. Some of our brethren are not receiving the message of God upon this subject. They appear to be anxious that none of our ministers shall depart from their former manner of teaching the good old doctrines. We inquire, Is it not time that fresh light should come to the people of God, to awaken them to greater earnestness and zeal? The exceeding great and precious promises given us in the Holy Scriptures have been lost sight of to a great extent, just as the enemy of all righteousness designed that they should be. He has cast his own dark shadow between us and our God, that we may not see the true character of God. The Lord has proclaimed himself to be “merciful and gracious, long- suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”
Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel's message in verity.” The prophet declares, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Brightness, glory, and power are to be connected with the third angel's message, and conviction will follow wherever it is preached in demonstration of the Spirit. How will any of our brethren know when this light shall come to the people of God? As yet, we certainly have not seen the light that answers to this description. God has light for his people, and all who will accept it will see the sinfulness of remaining in a lukewarm condition; they will heed the counsel of the True Witness when he says, “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.”
The Church is presented as standing in a self-satisfied, pleased, proud, independent position, ignorant of her destitution and wretchedness. By her attitude she says, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” How many who claim to be keeping the commandments of God are in this position today! The charge against the Church is, “Thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot.” But while many may be satisfied with their lukewarm condition, the Lord is far from pleased, and declares that unless you are zealous and repent, he will spue you out of his mouth. But he warns you, he entreats you. He says, “Thou 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 eye-salve, that thou mayest see.”
The gold that Jesus would have us buy of him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eye-salve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.
To our brethren who are standing in this self-confident, self-satisfied position, who talk and act as if there was no need of more light, we want to say that the Laodicean message is applicable to you. Many professed Christians are without Christ because they refuse to weave his principles of truth into their life. The word of God declares, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” We should pray earnestly and inquire with sincere hearts as to what the will of the Lord is, that we may be ready to receive the blessing we so much need.
We must have oil in our vessels with our lamps, and not be like the foolish virgins of the parable whose lamps went out as they slumbered and slept, and who had no oil to replenish them, and so failed to be ready to meet the bridegroom. We should seek for a living experience, and obtain the grace of Christ. We need his love and gentleness; we need our faith revived. Let no one disregard the counsel of God, but let us all buy of him gold, and white raiment, and plead for the anointing of his Holy Spirit. Jesus desires us to have a personal knowledge of the truth, and we should search the heart carefully, critically, cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Jesus says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” No one should feel like rebelling, like standing in defiance of God, because he rebukes you on account of your lukewarm condition and spiritual pride. God condescends to entreat you that he may talk with you, and invites you to open the door of the heart, that he may come in and sup with you, and you with him. He declares, “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.”
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Marks of the Ministry
1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.
The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them. They are not to engage in speculation, neither are they to enter into business enterprises with unbelievers; for this would hinder them in their God-given work.
Christ says of His people: “Ye are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. It is not a small matter that the counsels and plans of God have been so clearly opened to us. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to understand the will of God as revealed in the sure word of prophecy. This places on us a heavy responsibility. God expects us to impart to others the knowledge that He has given us. It is His purpose that divine and human instrumentalities shall unite in the proclamation of the warning message.
So far as his opportunities extend, everyone who has received the light of truth is under the same responsibility as was the prophet of Israel to whom came the word: “Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:7-9.
Are we to wait until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the end before we say anything concerning them? Of what value will our words be then? Shall we wait until God’s judgments fall upon the transgressor before we tell him how to avoid them? Where is our faith in the word of God? Must we see things foretold come to pass before we will believe what He has said? In clear, distinct rays light has come to us, showing us that the great day of the Lord is near at hand, “even at the doors.” Let us read and understand before it is too late.
We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others. The Holy Spirit is to animate and pervade the whole church, purifying and cementing hearts. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism are to rise to newness of life, giving a living representation of the life of Christ. Upon us is laid a sacred charge. The commission has been given us: “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of 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 always even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19, 20, margin. You are dedicated to the work of making known the gospel of salvation. Heaven’s perfection is to be your power.
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The great difference between the Jews and the Samaritans was a difference in religious belief, a question as to what constitutes true worship. The Pharisees would say nothing good of the Samaritans, but poured their bitterest curses upon them. So strong was the antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans that to the Samaritan woman it seemed a strange thing for Christ to ask her for a drink. "How is it," she said, "that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?" "For," adds the evangelist, "the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." John 4:9. And when the Jews were so filled with murderous hatred against Christ that they rose up in the temple to stone Him, they could find no better words by which to express their hatred than, "Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?" John 8:48. Yet the priest and Levite neglected the very work the Lord had enjoined on them, leaving a hated and despised Samaritan to minister to one of their own countrymen.
The Samaritan had fulfilled the command, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," thus showing that he was more righteous than those by whom he was denounced. Risking his own life, he had treated the wounded man as his brother. This Samaritan represents Christ. Our Saviour manifested for us a love that the love of man can never equal. When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. He did not remain in His holy, happy home, where He was beloved by all the heavenly host. He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, "These things I command you, that ye love one another"; "as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 15:17; 13:34.
The priest and the Levite had been for worship to the temple whose service was appointed by God Himself. To participate in that service was a great and exalted privilege, and the priest and Levite felt that having been thus honored, it was beneath them to minister to an unknown sufferer by the wayside. Thus they neglected the special opportunity which God had offered them as His agents to bless a fellow being.
Many today are making a similar mistake. They separate their duties into two distinct classes. The one class is made up of great things, to be regulated by the law of God; the other class is made up of so-called little things, in which the command, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," is ignored. This sphere of work is left to caprice, subject to inclination or impulse. Thus the character is marred, and the religion of Christ misrepresented.
There are those who would think it lowering to their dignity to minister to suffering humanity. Many look with indifference and contempt upon those who have laid the temple of the soul in ruins. Others neglect the poor from a different motive. They are working, as they believe, in the cause of Christ, seeking to build up some worthy enterprise. They feel that they are doing a great work, and they cannot stop to notice the wants of the needy and distressed. In advancing their supposedly great work they may even oppress the poor. They may place them in hard and trying circumstances, deprive them of their rights, or neglect their needs. Yet they feel that all this is justifiable because they are, as they think, advancing the cause of Christ.
Many will allow a brother or a neighbor to struggle unaided under adverse circumstances. Because they profess to be Christians he may be led to think that in their cold selfishness they are representing Christ. Because the Lord's professed servants are not in co-operation with Him, the love of God, which should flow forth from them, is in great degree cut off from their fellow men. And a large revenue of praise and thanksgiving from human hearts and human lips is prevented from flowing back to God. He is robbed of the glory due to His holy name. He is robbed of the souls for whom Christ died, souls whom He longs to bring into His kingdom to dwell in His presence through endless ages.
Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when it should exert much influence through our practice. The mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight. We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.
By no selfish practices can the cause of Christ be served. His cause is the cause of the oppressed and the poor. In the hearts of His professed followers there is need of the tender sympathy of Christ--a deeper love for those whom He has so valued as to give His own life for their salvation. These souls are precious, infinitely more precious than any other offering we can bring to God. To bend every energy toward some apparently great work, while we neglect the needy or turn the stranger from his right, is not a service that will meet His approval.
The sanctification of the soul by the working of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity. Gospel religion is Christ in the life--a living, active principle. It is the grace of Christ revealed in character and wrought out in good works. The principles of the gospel cannot be disconnected from any department of practical life. Every line of Christian experience and labor is to be a representation of the life of Christ.
Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within--when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance.
It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good.
Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God's Holy Spirit. In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education. The "Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9), is shining in his soul; and this light, if heeded, will guide his feet to the kingdom of God. The glory of heaven is in lifting up the fallen, comforting the distressed. And wherever Christ abides in human hearts, He will be revealed in the same way. Wherever it acts, the religion of Christ will bless. Wherever it works, there is brightness.
No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It lifts out of Satan's circle the poor souls who have been deluded by this deceptions. It places them within reach of the throne of God, the throne encircled by the rainbow of promise.
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free. All are brought nigh by His precious blood. (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:13.)
32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”But we have the mind of Christ.