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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    YOU may open your Bibles this morning to the 9th verse of the first chapter, and we will take up the last part of the verse: “That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Notice the word “understanding,” and let us turn to the 11th chapter of Isaiah, and find its starting point. “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.” Verses 2, 3. Now read also 1 John 2:20, 27:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 70.5

    But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.GCB February 8, 1895, page 70.6

    We have two anointings mentioned. We read that the Spirit of the Lord rested upon Christ, and John tells us that we have an unction from the Holy One, and through it know all things. Can we then expect that that Spirit will do as much for us as it did for Christ? Yes, if we will let it. 1 Corinthians 2:10. “But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” In our last study we learned that we became partakers of God’s nature. In doing this, we put ourselves into a position where the Spirit of God can show us God’s mind as it is revealed in his word. Thus we are taught the deep things of God. In the Syriac Version the passage is rendered, “For the Spirit exploreth all things, even the profound things of God.” Brethren, we need to be enlightened; we need to go down below the surface, for we must have a deeper, a more thorough-going knowledge of spiritual things.GCB February 8, 1895, page 70.7

    I will read from “Christian Education,” pp.80,81:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.1

    The Bible has been placed in the background, while the sayings of great men, so-called, have been taken in its stead.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.2

    When we come to a passage of Scripture that we cannot understand, how often we think we would like to know what some great man, Dr. Clarke, for instance, has said about it. Or perhaps we are anxious to get the opinions of some of the leading men in our denomination. So we go first to this minister, and then to another, and a third. When we come to compare the opinions of these men, perhaps we find them all different, and we say, “It seems as though our brethren ought to be nearer together than that.” Now it is not necessary to go to men, and ask them such things. It is our privilege to go to God, the source of all knowledge and wisdom. Let us study the Word more for ourselves, and not ask so many to tell us what it means. All that we can ever expect from studying the Bible together, is that through our mutual efforts, the Spirit of the Lord will open up the Word, and we will get below the surface and gather up the pearls and take them to ourselves.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.3

    Let us read further:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.4

    May the Lord forgive us the slight we have put upon his Word. Though inestimable treasures are in the Bible, and it is like a mine full of precious ore, it is not valued, it is not searched, and it’s riches are undiscovered..... Why is it that the word of God is uninteresting to many professed Christians?GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.5

    Notice the answer:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.6

    Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the reason of your lack of interest is that you lack the Spirit of God.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.7

    Yes, that is the trouble. It is not that you need some man to explain it to you, but you need the Spirit of God. “When the heart is brought into harmony with the Word, a new life will spring up within you, a new light will shine upon every line of the Word, and it will become the voice of God to your soul.” There has been quite a change among us as a people during the last few years in regard to the study of the Scriptures, but we can change still more. Has it not been true in your own experience, that when you have gone to the Lord for help to understand the Scriptures, instead of depending on some man to tell it to you, the Word has opened up before you, and you have been surprised to see how much there was in it? But we have been afraid that we should be led to take some position that others would not agree with. Brethren, let us not worry about that. let us read God’s word as a letter written to us individually, and accept what it gives to us.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.8

    We read further from “Christian Education”:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.9

    Jesus is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He is the light of the world, and he bids us come unto him, and learn of him. Jesus was the great teacher. he could have made disclosures on the sciences that would have placed the discoveries of the greatest men in the background, as utter littleness; but this was not his mission or his work. He had come to seek and to save that which was lost, and he could not permit himself to be turned from his one object.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.10

    Following the thought of our text in Colossians, when we have the spiritual understanding, we are able to do what? “Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Then, being enlightened by the Spirit, what fruits will we bear? The fruits of the Spirit. And what are they? “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.11

    “Strengthened with all might.” The word here translated might is translated power in Acts 1:8. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” It occurs again in Philippians 3:10. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” The Greek word dunamis means not merely power capable of action, but power in action. Can we not from that draw out something for us? Have we not been looking for power, that when a time should come that it was needed, we would have a whole store-house full of it, and could all at once do wonders? But this kind of power cannot be housed up. This power, which is the power of the Holy Spirit, is activity. Where it is, there is life. This, then, is the might, the power, with which we are to be strengthened.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.12

    “Unto all patience.” Do we need patience? Is it needed in the ministry? in the laity? in business? in our families? “Be patient unto the coming of the Lord.” “Here is the patience of the saints.” “Let patience have her perfect work.” Paul tells us in the fifth chapter of Romans that “tribulation worketh patience.” Does it? Sometimes. Generally impatience, says one. And is it not just as natural for a minister after he has exhorted others to be patient to manifest impatience himself as soon as something goes wrong? I don’t suppose any of us are so mild in our dispositions that we never meet with anything that does not stir us. I believe it was Mr. Spurgeon who made the remark that “the man whose backbone was so stiff that he could not bend it, was sure to get his head bumped; but the man who had no backbone, never could stand at all.” It is a good thing for a man to have a spirit to undertake a thing and carry it through in spite of obstacles. The man who is willing to be pushed in this way and that, will never amount to anything. It is not patience to have no mind at all. patience is being controlled by the Spirit of God, and so glorifying God in all that we do. When we lose our temper, it is no use to try in our own strength to reform, and say to ourselves, I will never do that again. We will, as surely as we are tempted. Rather let the Spirit of God enlighten the mind, that this “power in action” may come in, and control our words and actions.GCB February 8, 1895, page 71.13

    What do we understand by long-suffering? To suffer long, is it? Yes, and it is a good thing to have. the absence of it is the very cause of church trials. I firmly believe that many more people are disfellowshiped from the church because some give way to their personal feelings and prejudices and act hastily, than are disfellowshiped properly and consistently. Think over this. Let your minds go back to past experiences. You can see some of those things now as you could not see them at the time. Ask yourself if this is not so. While there was a wrong, it was exaggerated, and the member disfellowshiped because of somebody’s impatience.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.1

    Now let us read Colossians 1:12: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Here we are told that the Father has made us meet, that is qualified, to be partakers of the inheritance; and Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:11, that we have obtained an inheritance. In whom do we have it? In Christ.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.2

    Verse 13: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Notice especially the tense. We are not told that God will do this, but he has. Let us make this personal, and ask ourselves, “Is it the case with me to-day?”GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.3

    Verse 14: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” What is redemption? buying back. Can we do anything to redeem ourselves? No. We are in bonds and darkness. Light and freedom we get only through Christ. Redemption begins where the fall began. Innocency was the first thing lost, and with it went everything else. Christ restores it to us in his life, and with it all things. In him we have all things, and can do all things. Philippians 4:13. This is divine strength.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.4

    In him human weakness is lost in divine strength; our foolishness becomes the wisdom of God; our sinfulness becomes the righteousness of God.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.5


    No Authorcode

    THIS meeting was again devoted to the interests of the canvassing work. An essay, prepared by Elder A. J. Breed, of District 5, was read by the secretary of the Convention, E. R. Palmer, and will probably appear in these columns. It reviewed the situation in the district, and contained comments and suggestions pertaining to the general and local work. The paper was well received, and was worthy of consideration.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.6

    Following this, Elder R. M. Kilgore, of District 2, gave an extempore account of the canvassing work in the South. He heartily endorsed the sentiments of the article just read, and said it expressed better than he could do, the condition of things in the South as relating to the canvassing work.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.7

    In some respects the South presents unique aspects in regard to the circulation of reading matter. It is generally known that among the colored people and a certain class of white people, illiteracy prevails to a larger extent than in the North. but it is a pleasure to report that this obstacle is being gradually removed. Observation and statistics show that education is on the increase in the South. From 1880 to 1890 the decrease of illiterates among negroes was nearly four per cent., and among the white people, nearly eight per cent. Since 1890 we have no official statistics, but the work of education is going even more rapidly forward.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.8

    Elder Kilgore spoke encouragingly of the success of the canvassing work in his district, and threw out some pertinent hints in regard to the proper relations of head canvassers to the workers. He would encourage the circulation of small books written in pure, simple language,GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.9

    In glancing over the field there is much to encourage us. the time when there was not a single Sabbath keeper in District 2 was but a few years ago. Now there are churches or companies in every State in the South. During the past year three active ministers of the gospel have embraced the truth.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.10

    After Elder Kilgore had spoken, Elder Olsen addressed the meeting. He said in substance:—GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.11

    God is now testing his people to see who can be depended upon in hard places. We are being watched, and proved, and tested. Some canvassers have expressed the thought that they as canvassers were classed as the least of the agencies in God’s work. There are no class distinctions among God’s workers. Each one, if faithful, will receive the approval, Well done. It is nothing against the canvassing work that it is sometimes made a stepping stone to the ministry. Each should do faithfully the work committed to him. The great burden should be to do the work in hand faithfully. Every branch of work is important. Each bears its part.GCB February 8, 1895, page 72.12

    F. L. Mead said: I have been much interested in the points brought out in the readings and remarks. Our work is a pioneer work. It is a work of progression and aggression. For this reason it has been and will be beset by many difficulties. The hard financial depression has had its effect upon the canvassing work. The remedy for the present state of things is not in dropping it and turning to some other line. Rather, the difficulties will best be met by taking a firmer hold upon those methods and means from which we have departed, and which in the past have brought success to us. While fewer books have gone out in the last few years, I am satisfied that more good per volume has been done than by the books sold in years past. Our canvassers have left a better influence.GCB February 8, 1895, page 73.1

    Elder H. P. Holser spoke of their experience in selling books in Central Europe: We have been holding to the old principle that it is best to carry one book, a high priced one, and put all the energy on that. but there is another class of canvassers who have had best success in selling small books. While hard times may come, they don’t come as a rule in all parts of the field at once. When there is a depression, we ought to put our shoulder to the wheel and lift the harder. Our canvassers in Switzerland have to pay $30 per year license in order to sell books. When the license is taken out for six months, $20 is charged. Canvassing work is one of the best schools to fit us for labor in any department of the message. it is an excellent discipline of the mind.GCB February 8, 1895, page 73.2

    Elder C. McReynolds spoke of the necessity of following up the interest awakened by the canvassing work. Examples were cited showing the work done in Kansas.GCB February 8, 1895, page 73.3

    Elder H. E. Robinson spoke of the work of selling our periodicals as it had been carried on in the Atlantic Conference. A good work has been done, especially in selling the Review. Lists had been worked up by some canvassers, reaching in several instances to 300 copies. While it is a matter of experiment with us, we still believe that much good will result from the carrying out of the plan.GCB February 8, 1895, page 73.4

    GOOD men who agree in principles may not at first agree in their deductions. But all that is needed to produce harmony, even in carrying out principles, are forbearance, teachable minds, and the aid of the Holy Spirit. “He will guide you into all truth.”GCB February 8, 1895, page 73.5

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