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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE — NO. 9 — Continued

    A. T. JONES

    ANOTHER word upon this in Galatians: Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.”GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.1

    All of this world that ever can cripple a man or hinder him in his heavenly course, is simply what is inside of him; it is simply what there is of him. Therefore when Christ would deliver a man from this present evil world, he simply delivers him from sin, and from himself. Then that man is in the kingdom of God, he is in the world, but not of the world. So Jesus says, “I have chosen you out of the world: if ye were of the world, the world would love his own.” Very good; here am I. Suppose I am of the world. Then the world will love his own. That is, the world that is in me, and of me, will love the world and will cling to the world. It cannot do anything else, and I cannot do anything else, because I am essentially of the world itself. The world outside of me and around me will love his own, that is true; but as certainly as I am of the world, so certainly I will stick to the world, and love the world; the world within me will love and cling to the world without. I may be calling myself a Christian at the same time; but that will not alter the case — the world will love his own. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own. If in heart I am cut loose from this world, I am free from it; but if the world is there, I will love the world; and when the test comes, when the crisis comes, I will surrender to the world, and go the way of the world in general, — stay in Babylon and worship the beast.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.2

    Now turn to the third chapter of 2 Timothy. There we have the same thing taught:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.3

    This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves..... From such turn away.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.4

    Then if I am a lover of my own self, from such I am to turn away. But who is it I am to turn away from? Self, assuredly. Come out of Babylon, from such turn away. It is not that I am to look at you, and study you, and see whether you are a lover of your own self, to see whether you are covetous, and a boaster, and proud, and then I separate from you. Not at all.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.5

    It is not for me to look at others and say, “Oh, I don’t want to be in a church with such brethren as these. I cannot be the right kind of a Christian here. I think I would better go to Oakland, and join the church there; or, I think I would better go to Battle Creek, and join the church there; the brethren here at home seem to be so kind of — oh, I can hardly describe it; but it is very unpleasant, and very hard to be a Christian here. I think I will have to leave this church and join some other one.” That will not answer at all; for unless you are genuinely converted and separated from the world; when you have done all that, the church which you have joined is just so much worse than it was before, and so much more Babylonish, by just so much as you are there. “From such turn away.” Then, as I am to turn away from myself, where does Babylon lie? Where does the world lie? Altogether, in self, just as we found in Galatians, fourth chapter.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.6

    Let us look at the third chapter of 2 Timothy a little further, and see whether any of us are there.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.7

    “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous.” Can you tell what it is that will cause a man who professes to belong to the Lord, and to love the Lord, — what will cause him to hold back from the Lord that which the Lord says definitely belongs to him, the tithe, for instance? Here are means that come into my hands; the Lord says that a tenth of that is his. I profess to love the Lord; I go to meeting every Sabbath; I profess to belong to the Lord myself; I profess to be consecrated; but yet I do not let the Lord have what belongs to him. What is the root of that thing? — Self. and what is the first-fruit of self? Covetousness. I have not stolen anything from my neighbor, or kept anything back from him, but I have held to that which belongs to the Lord. Then I am to turn away from my covetous self.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.8

    Blasphemers. — We cannot take each one of these in detail. “Boasters, proud, blasphemers.” A blasphemer, in the common acceptation of the term, is one who uses the name of God profanely; one who takes the name of God in vain. One of the commandments of God is set against that. But though I do not by word of mouth use the name of God profanely, if I profess the name of God, if I have taken it upon me, and then take such a course as to show that the whole thing is in vain, have I not taken the name of the Lord in vain? — Assuredly I have. If it is a form of godliness without the power, is not it a vain taking of the name of the Lord? And will I not, by just such a course, cause other people to blaspheme the name of the Lord? Then, as I profess to be the Lord’s, and yet take a course which, in the nature of things, causes the name of the Lord to be blasphemed, the blasphemy begins with me.GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.9

    There is a verse which we might read upon that: 1 Timothy 6:1:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 163.10

    Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.1

    There the word of God itself lays the truth right home to the individual, that he is to take such a course as that the name of God and his doctrine shall not be blasphemed; that we are to guard the name and the doctrine of God from blasphemy. But if I sanction it, if I draw it on, then it is certain that the blasphemy begins with me. I have taken the name of God in vain, and wear it in vain.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.2

    Here is another text: Romans 2, beginning with the 17th verse:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.3

    Behold, thou art called a Jew, and resteth in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will...... Thou, therefore, which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.4

    “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Thou that makest thy boast of the law, thou that teachest a man should not steal, what are you doing? Are you cheating? Do you drive sharp bargains? If you should happen to be in charge of some of his business, are you ready to drive a sharp bargain for the Lord? Do you think that is integrity to the cause? — No; it is dishonesty; it is deviltry. I cannot be selfish for the Lord. This is not saying that we are not to be careful and economical; but it is saying that I cannot drive sharp bargains for the Lord any more than for myself, and yet be honest. Therefore, “Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? or are you honest?GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.5

    “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?” — Do you hold the marriage relation sacred? Do you honor that ordinance? or is it to you such a thing — as has been entirely too common among our young men especially, and even those “preparing for the ministry,” too, who seem to think so lightly of this solemn ordinance of God that they can go and engage themselves to some young woman that may strike their fancy at the first; and then, seeing some other one that strikes their fancy a little stronger, break their engagement. And then, if they do not get married before they find another one, they are ready to repeat this course.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.6

    The seventh commandment is put in the law of God to guard the marriage institution, the marriage ordinance, and men cannot disregard the marriage institution, that solemn ordinance of God, without violating the commandment. In a single year I could put my finger on at least half a dozen young men, professed Christians, who had engaged themselves to young ladies, and every one of them broke their engagement, and married somebody else, because they had more fancy for the new one. And some of these were preparing for “the work of the Lord.” I want to know whether it is a fit preparation for the work of the Lord to trample under foot one of God’s most sacred ordinances at the first step?GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.7

    “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, does thou commit adultery?” Do you honor God’s commandments? Do you honor his ordinances? “Well,” says one “would you have a man marry a woman he does not love?” No, I would not; but I would have him know what love is, and know what he is about, before he engages himself to a woman. In this course that I am describing, there is no love to start with. It is mere aimless fancy. The woman may be perfectly honest in it; it may be love on her part, and in most cases it is. But on his part it is mere fancy. And if it should so happen that the marriage should be performed before another one strikes his fancy a little more forcibly than does the first, some day he will meet one that does, and then he is not sure of his position. Any man that will violate the sacred confidence that he has pledged in that way to one woman, is never sure that he will be faithful to another woman. When he has trampled under foot that sacred thing in which God has stored most happiness for human beings as such, he has no surety, even to himself, that he will be faithful in any other case of the like kind.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.8

    But what of the man, anyway, who will go so far as to win the love of a woman to betray it. The Bible, in speaking of the mutual love of two men, finds its strongest illustration in describing it as “passing the love of women.” and yet a man will win that, and have her love bound about him, and then ruthlessly break all its tendrils and trample it under foot. It is a violation of the seventh commandment. It is trampling under foot the institution which that commandment guards, in taking steps which, if carried to their logical conclusion, — only a few steps, — will lead to the actual fact.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.9

    Let me say again, I would not have any one marry a person whom he does not love, but I would have every soul have sufficient reverence for the ordinance of God, sufficient sobriety and thoughtfulness as a Christian, to know his own feelings. I would have him possess sufficient sense to know what he is doing to find out before God what love is before he enter this most solemn relation with its sacred obligations.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.10

    “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?” That is the question.GCB February 15, 1895, page 164.11

    “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?” — But you say, “I don’t worship sticks and stones; I don’t bow down to graven images.” — No, you do not. But how about the fashions of the world? What kind of hat is it that you have on? What kind of cane is it that you carry? What kind of dress is it that you cut and make? Why do you cut and make it the way you do? Is it because it is more comfortable that way? Is it because it is more pleasing to God that way? — No. You know that it is rather because it is nearer to the fashion that way. You know that it is because it conforms more to the world, and will suit the world’s ways better? But this world is vanity; it is idolatry; Satan is the god of this world. “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” “Whosoever would be the friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” Therefore, although I may not bow down to graven images; although I may not worship sticks and stones; yet if I follow the fashions, the ways, and the things of this world, and conform to the ways of the world, rather than ask God what he would have, then what am I worshiping? — The god of this world. There is idolatry also. There is enmity against God.GCB February 15, 1895, page 165.1

    I know of nothing more incongruous, more unreasonable, anyhow, than fashion, — wanting everybody shaped on the same mold, and cut the same way, and to look just the same way. Why did not God make us all alike when he made us? Why did he not make us all just exactly alike? Fashion’s way is precisely the devil’s way. He wants to make everybody of the same cut in religion, and so he must have that so fashionable that all will wear it, and then have the government take it up and fix it in the law and demand that all shall wear this fashionable cut of religion. And all this concession to fashion in dress is simply training yourself to make concessions to the world’s religion. Oh, it is all idolatry. Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?GCB February 15, 1895, page 165.2

    If God wanted us all to be alike, and to look alike, why did he not make us all alike to begin with? Why, you sometimes see people with clothing upon them that is in no sense becoming to them, but is utterly incongruous. They may have on a hat or a dress of a color that makes them look as if they were recovering from a fit of the jaundice. But that question is not thought of. All that they think is that such is the fashion now.GCB February 15, 1895, page 165.3

    Now God has made us in the world so that no two of us are alike. Each one is himself; he has a personality, an individuality of his own. And the Lord intends each Christian to exert an influence in this world that no other person in this world can exert. He expects each one to so dress that the way God has made him will be represented to the world in perfect harmony, perfect congruity in every respect; so that God can use the individuality which he has created for the purposes for which he created it. Dress to suit the Lord, and then all there is about us will tell for God, and the things of righteousness. But one can destroy all that God has made him or her for, by professing to be a Christian, and then expecting to exert an influence in the world by dressing according to the way of this world! It cannot be done. The two things will not work together at all. You cannot impress anybody in favor of christianity in that way, because the whole thing through which the Lord would work is shut away by this tribute to idolatry. Dress the way the Lord would have you, and you will find that it is not expensive; nor will it require much workmanship, or very much ingenuity always to be neatly and becomingly dressed. “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?” That is what I want to know. Is your mind upon God? Do you dress to please him? Are you seeking to please him? or are you caring for what this one will say, or what that one will say? “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”GCB February 15, 1895, page 165.4

    Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written: “One of the reigning evils of the last days, is that people professing godliness will be blasphemers. Are you one? Do you bear the name of the Lord in vain? From such turn away.”GCB February 15, 1895, page 165.5

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