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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)

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    Ms 7, 1898

    True Education In Our Churches


    January 14, 1898

    This manuscript is published in entirety in TM 120-131.

    “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity; they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” [Psalm 119:1-6.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 1

    Let us take this for our lesson. Study every word attentively. Upright principles and pure sentiments, cultivated and practiced, form a character after the divine similitude. A conscience void of offense toward God and man, a heart that feels the tenderest sympathy for human beings, especially that they may be won to Christ, will have the attributes that Christ had. All such will be imbued with His Spirit. They will have a reservoir of persuasion and a store house of simple eloquence.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 2

    As Christians, we are now to labor most earnestly to bring souls to Jesus Christ. There must be no cheap chapters of experience woven into our Christian life. All true experience costs every soul that obtains it an effort, because of Satan’s temptations. God sees how the soul hungers for the knowledge of God, for salvation through Christ; and the promise is, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” [Matthew 5:6.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 3

    God has commanded all men to obey His law. He sees not as man sees. His standard is elevated, pure, and holy; yet all may reach that standard. The Lord sees the soul-want, the conscious soul-hunger. He regards the disposition of the mind, from whence our actions proceed. He sees whether above everything else, respect and faith is evidenced toward God. The true seeker, who is striving to be like Jesus in word, life, and character, will contemplate his Redeemer and, by beholding, become changed into His image, because he longs and prays for the same disposition and mind that was in Christ Jesus. He is not restrained from evil through fear of shame or through fear of loss, for he knows that all he enjoys comes from God, and he would improve his blessings, that he may represent Christ.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 4

    He is not hungry to stand the highest, to obtain praise from human beings. This is not his eager interest. By making a wise improvement of what he now has, he seeks to obtain more and still more ability, that he may give to God greater service. He longs after God. The history of his Redeemer, the immeasurable sacrifice that He made, becomes full of meaning to him. Christ, the Majesty of heaven, became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich; not rich merely in endowments, but rich in attainments.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 5

    These are the riches that Christ earnestly longs that His followers shall possess. As the true seeker after the truth reads the Word and opens his mind to receive the Word, he longs after truth with his whole heart. The love, the pity, the tenderness, the courtesy, the Christian politeness, which will be the elements in the heavenly mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him, take possession of his soul. His purpose is steadfast. He is determined to stand on the side of righteousness. Truth has found its way into the heart, and is planted there by the Holy Spirit, who is the Truth. When truth takes hold of the heart, the man gives sure evidence of this by becoming a steward of the grace of Christ.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 6

    The heart of the true Christian is touched with true love, with a most earnest hunger for souls. He is not at rest until he is doing all that is in his power to seek and to save that which is lost. Time and strength is spent; toilsome work is not shunned. Others must be given the truth which has brought to his own soul such gladness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 7

    When the truly converted soul enjoys the love of God, he will feel his obligation to yoke up with Christ and work in harmony with Him. The Spirit of Christ rests upon him. He reveals the Saviour’s love, pity, and compassion, because he is one with Christ. He yearns to bring others to Jesus. His heart is melted with tenderness as he sees the peril of the souls that are out of Christ. He watches for souls as one that must give an account. With invitations and pleadings, mingled with assurances of the promises of God, he seeks to win souls to Christ; and it is registered in the books of record. He is a laborer together with God.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 8

    Is not God the proper object of imitation? It should be the work of the Christian’s life to put on Christ, and [to] bring himself to a more perfect likeness of Christ. The sons and daughters of God are to advance in their resemblance to Christ, our Pattern. Daily they are to behold His glory and contemplate His incomparable excellency. Tender, true, and full of compassion, they are to pull souls out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 9

    There is a work to be done by God’s people. What is true eloquence in the human life? It is a heart full of pure sentiment, a veneration for all God’s commandments. But earnest work has not been done. A certain round of duties have been performed, but this is not enough. Step out of the common channel. If you cannot reach the members of the churches, do not become discouraged. Take the work into the highways, and if the self-righteousness of those for whom you labor will not be penetrated by the leaven of truth, go out of the usual round into the byways, and there do your missionary work.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 10

    God will not leave you to work alone. Ever since the first proclamation of the third angel’s message, angels of God have been waiting to co-operate with the human agent who is in earnest and determined to work. We must go deeper into the mines of truth than we have done.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 11

    “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Oh, what love God has shown for fallen man! Why do those who know the truth pass by on the other side so many who are in suffering need?13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 12

    The whole worship of ancient Israel was a promise, in figures and symbols, of Christ; and it was not merely a promise, but an actual provision, designed by God to aid millions of people by lifting their thoughts to Him who was to manifest Himself to our world.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 13

    In Christ the world beheld the invisible God. “I am in my Father,” He said, “and my Father in me.” “He that hath seen me, hath seen the father.” “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” [John 14:10, 9, 7.] In all our acts of true devotion we fix our eye of faith upon our Advocate, who is standing between man and the eternal throne, waiting to meet our every effort and by His Spirit assist us to a more perfect knowledge of God.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 14

    The Lamb of God is represented before us as “in the midst of the throne” of God. [Revelation 5:6; 7:17.] He is the great ordinance by which man and God are united and commune together. Thus men are represented as sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This is the appointed place of meeting between God and humanity.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 15

    “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hath loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:19-23.] Christ brought human nature into a personal relation with His own divinity. Thus He has given a center for the faith of the universe to fasten upon.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 16

    God designs that His law shall be obeyed by all who believe on Jesus Christ. Satan knew that if the human family could be induced to believe that God abolished His moral standard of character, man would not have a moral looking glass into which he could look and see what manner of person he was.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 17

    “If any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:23-27.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 18

    This is the Word of the living God. The law is God’s great moral looking glass. [Man] is to compare his words, his spirit, his actions, with the Word of God. If we decide that in these last days we have no work assigned us that is out of the common course of the nominal churches, we shall meet with great disappointment. The great question to be investigated, weighed, and decided is, What can I do to reach souls that are lost? God calls for a work to be done by Seventh-day Adventists that I need not define. Unless the work is first done in their own hearts, all the specific directions that might be given to point out their course of action will be labor in vain.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 19

    Read the second chapter of James. Practice the truth in your daily life and you will know the work that the Lord has given you to do. Read also the fourth chapter, especially (verses 5-12); and chapter five, especially verses 13-20. These chapters are a dead letter to the larger number of those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists. I am directed to point you to these Scriptures, and to the seventh chapter of Matthew. You need to study every word as for your life.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 20

    What the church in Battle Creek needs is to be doers of the Word. This will lead a large number out of Battle Creek into other places, towns, and cities, where people have not had the light and opportunities that you have had. Many souls are now hanging in the balance. They are not with Christ. They are not gathering with Christ. Their influence is divided. They scatter abroad.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 21

    Especially give heed to these words: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” [Verses 24-27.] Many houses now supposed to stand secure will fall. The Lord declares that He will not accept divided service.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 22

    If you will take heed to the words of warning found in the chapters that I am directed to present before you, you will change your attitude, and become children of God. Thus you may save your souls through faith in Jesus Christ. You will receive the counsel given in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 23

    If you will follow the directions marked out, the promise will be fulfilled: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health 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 He 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 noonday. 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.” [Verses 8-11.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 24

    Take up your appointed work. The Lord will fulfill the promise on His part. These inspired Scriptures would never have been given to you if the Lord had not had confidence that you could do all He has required. You can heed the invitation, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 25

    You may rise to the heights to which the Holy Spirit calls you. True religion means living the Word in your practical life. Your profession is not of any value without the practical doing of the Word. “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] This is the condition of discipleship. “Behold my servant whom I have chosen: my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment unto the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” [Matthew 12:18-21.]13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 26

    Thank God that a work is being done outside of the church. The church has not been properly educated to work outside [of] their own people. Many souls out of the church might have been enlightened, and a great deal more light brought into the church, if every church member in every country, who claims to have the advanced light of truth, had worked with heart, and soul, and voice to win souls to the truth. Altogether too little work is being done by church members for those who need the light, whose who are outside the church of Seventh-day Adventists. The Lord declares, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” [Verses 20, 21.] Those who co-operate with Jesus Christ will realize that all these promises are fulfilled in their own experience. The Lord has pointed out the duty of every soul. In the judgment no one will have any excuse to present for not doing his duty.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 27

    The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventist, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side to come out of the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. When they give evidence that they fully understand their position, they are to be accepted. But when they show that they are following the customs and fashions and sentiments of the world, they are to be faithfully dealt with. If they feel no burden to change their course of action, they should not be retained as members of the church. The Lord wants those who compose His church to be true, faithful stewards of the grace of Christ.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 28

    The sin of these last days is upon the professed people of God. Through selfishness, love of pleasure, and love of dress, they deny the Christ that their church membership says that they follow. I thank God that Jesus Christ knows every impulse in the heart of the believer. Many profess to be children of God who do not follow Christ. Their frivolity, their cheap conversation, their want of high-toned piety, their low aims, mislead others who would pursue a different course were it not for the example of these deceptive characters who do not love Christ or do His will but simply follow their own imaginations.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 29

    Jesus is acquainted with every heart that is humble, meek, and lowly. These have trials, and make mistakes, but they are brokenhearted because they grieve the Saviour who loved them and died for them. They come humbly to His feet; they fight His battles. In meekness and lowliness of heart they seek to do good to others. They seek to advance the cause of truth in good and earnest endeavor.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 30

    The Lord Jesus loves those for whom He has given His life; and when worldly influences are allowed to come in between them and their Helper, when idols are chosen before Christ, when His appeals to the human soul are regarded with indifference and there is no response, Jesus is grieved. He knows they are meeting with great loss, for they are stumbling blocks to sinners. They are not gathering with Christ, but scattering from Him. But when through affliction, the Spirit of God touches their heart, and they turn to Him, He will hear their prayers. Christ knows the capabilities He has given to every soul to serve Him for [his] present and eternal good. He desires that these souls shall not disappoint Him. He wants them to shine in His kingdom. Those who will be the most highly honored are those who take up their cross daily, and follow Christ.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 31

    The Lord Jesus demands that every soul make a reality of truth. Show that you believe that you are not half with Christ and half with the world. Of all such Christ says, “I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither could nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” [Revelation 3:15, 16.] He who appreciates the love of Christ, will be an earnest worker with Christ to bring other souls as sheaves to the Master. Thorough work is always done by all who are connected with Christ. They bear fruit to His glory. But indolence and carelessness and frivolity separates the soul from Christ, and Satan comes in to work his will with the poor worldly subject. We have a great truth, but through careless indifference the truth has lost its force upon us. Satan has come in with his specious temptations, and has led the professed followers of Christ away from their Leader, classing them with the foolish virgins.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 32

    The Lord is coming, and we now need the oil of grace in our vessels with our lamps. I ask, Who will now be on the Lord’s side? Before Jesus went away, He promised that He would come again, and receive us unto Himself, “that where I am,” He said, “ye may be also.” [John 14:3.] We are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are to wait, watch, pray, and work. The whole mind, the whole heart, and the whole strength are purchased by the blood of the Son of God. We are not to feel it our duty to wear a pilgrims dress of just such a color, just such a shape, but neat apparel, that the Word of Inspiration teaches us we should wear. If our hearts are united with Christ’s heart, we shall have a most intense desire to be clothed with His righteousness. Nothing will be put upon the person to attract attention or to create controversy.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 33

    Christianity! How many there are who do not know what it is! It is not something put on the outside. It is a life inwrought with the life of Jesus. It means that we are wearing the robe of Christ’s righteousness. In regard to the world, Christians will say, We will not dabble in politics. They will say decidedly, We are pilgrims and strangers; our citizenship is above. They will not be seen choosing company for amusement. They will say, We have ceased to be infatuated by childish things. We are strangers and pilgrims, looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.13LtMs, Ms 7, 1898, par. 34

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