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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1292—The Importance of Philippians 2 and 3; God's Law To Be Proclaimed and Obeyed

    (Written August 17 and 25, 1903, from “Elmshaven,” Sanitarium, California, to W. C. White.)

    I am trying to keep up good courage in the Lord. I am beginning to feel sorry that I have not visited Healdsburg before this time. I would go today if I were prepared for the journey. I must look to the Lord every moment. His hand will I hold by faith, and will not let go.17MR 316.1

    I am unable to sleep after two o'clock. Some things trouble me exceedingly, but I must not lay my burdens upon any other soul. When I think of the spiritual blindness of many who profess to believe the truth, my heart is made very sad. Many cannot see afar off, and have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins. How can it be possible for them to forget, and to go back to their old practices wherein they stood condemned before God? How can they afford to go upon the enemy's ground, where they are subject to his temptations?17MR 316.2

    In every city, and in all parts of the world, we hear of “reforms, reforms.” But what are the world's reforms? Men seek to bear rule over their fellow men, and the results show that those so-called reforms are instigated by a power from beneath. An intense desire to rule has been taking possession of men's minds. And the rulers themselves are controlled by the princes of the power of the air.17MR 316.3

    I am troubled in regard to the publishing work. I ask if the same men, Brethren Evans and Rhodes, who have occupied responsible positions in the office of publication at Battle Creek, are to be leaders in the publishing work in Washington. In the past, Brother Sisley, with his strong spirit, too often stood on the negative side. He has done many strange things, and his course has been an education to others in the office who were carrying responsibilities. Had he been thoroughly under the guidance of the Lord, he might have exerted an influence that would have molded and fashioned others in accordance with the pure principles of Bible truth. But for many years he refused to yield himself to the will and way of God. The precious grace of Jesus Christ was not revealed through him.17MR 317.1

    August 25, 1903. [Philippians 2:1-16, quoted.]

    This is the best instruction that can be given at this time. Will our leading brethren earnestly take heed, and work to fulfill this instruction? It is so clear that there is no excuse for anyone to walk contrary to the will of God. Who is ready and willing thankfully to obey these words, which at this time are of such great importance to us?17MR 317.2

    Our people need to read and study the whole of this chapter—the second chapter of Philippians—and read also the third chapter. Let not the lessons of these chapters be disregarded.17MR 317.3

    “What things were gain to me,” Paul writes, “those I counted loss for Christ.” [Philippians 3:8-15, quoted.]17MR 317.4

    These words came not from a human mind. They are truths that were declared in vision to the apostle Paul, to whom God gave many revelations. They are recorded for the benefit of all who desire to be sincere, earnest, wholehearted Christians, obedient to all God's requirements. They are the fundamental principles of the law that declares the whole duty of man.17MR 317.5

    Human beings are Christ's property—the purchase of His blood. By creation and redemption they belong to Him; therefore He claims their undivided service. But many are unsanctified, unwilling to submit to God, cherish evil hereditary and cultivated traits of character. So much of self and so little of Christ is cherished in the heart, that they do the will and works of the arch-deceiver. They are not laborers together with God. They need to be converted. Those who would be teachers need first to learn to do the will of God.17MR 318.1

    To everyone who will serve Him, Christ has given his individual task. Each is to discharge with faithfulness the trust committed to him, and all are to help one another. Never are we to forget that as human beings we belong to a common brotherhood.17MR 318.2

    We are to strive daily through the grace of God to discharge every responsibility that rests upon us. We are to study the Word, that we may learn how best to honor and glorify God, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”17MR 318.3

    God would have the rulers of the nations know that He is the supreme Ruler. Those who preside over the affairs of nations should realize that there is a King of kings. The man who does not know God as his Father, and Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of the infinite God, cannot rule wisely. He who has been placed where he has authority over others should seek the Lord for wisdom, that he may govern wisely the subjects of God's kingdom. An earthly ruler cannot exercise authority wisely or set an example that is safe to follow unless he obtains wisdom from the God who is too wise to err and too good to do injustice to His human subjects.17MR 318.4

    In the law of the kingdom of God who rules the sinless inhabitants of heaven are to be found the principles that should lie at the foundation of the laws of earthly governments. The laws of these governments should be in harmony with the law of Jehovah, the standard by which all created beings are to be judged. No man should be forced to act in harmony with human laws that are in direct opposition to the law that God has given.17MR 319.1

    The law of God, with its binding claims and its solemn injunctions, should be clearly and distinctly set forth just as it is given in the decalogue. We should make efforts to call together large congregations to hear the words of the gospel minister. And those who preach the word of the Lord should speak the truth. They should bring their hearers, as it were, to the foot of Sinai, to listen to the words spoken by God amidst scenes of awful grandeur. These words are as changeless and eternal as the throne of Jehovah.17MR 319.2

    Those who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit will not fail to urge the claims of the law of God, and to impress upon the rulers and the subjects of earthly nations the importance of obeying the commandments of God. Let all understand that they are working in harmony either with the Lord or with the great rebel, the enemy of God and man.17MR 319.3

    By the repetition of the solemn words spoken by the Monarch of the universe, and the presentation of His claims upon the human family, many will be impressed. While some will refuse to listen and will turn away, many will be aroused as the words of God are spoken through His appointed agencies. Sinners will tremble. Many will awake to a sense of their duty, and will find from experience that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”17MR 319.4

    The rulers of the nations need to plant their feet upon the platform of eternal truth. They should not be allowed, because of ignorance, to build their houses on the sand. These men are not to be worshiped as gods. They are accountable to God for their course of action. To Him they must answer if they become a savor of death unto death to those who are under their jurisdiction.17MR 320.1

    As men are impressed with the importance of the law of God and the solemnity of the scenes connected with its proclamation, as in imagination they stand in the presence of God and His Son, they will say as did Moses when he beheld the majesty of God and thought of the high and holy principles of the law, and of his own impurity, “I exceedingly fear and quake.”17MR 320.2

    Some may turn away, saying, “I am exceedingly afraid. Let not God speak to me any more.” And when they are removed from the immediate glory of the mountain, they will begin to criticize the sternness of the requirements of the law. They will say, “Prophesy unto us smooth things. It fills us with terror to look at our lives in the light of that law.”17MR 320.3

    The sermon on the mount is an exposition of the law of God. We need to become more familiar with this scripture. We need to study the following words: [Matthew 5:17-20, quoted].17MR 320.4

    Here is the gospel message that is to be preached to the world. The grand result at which we are to aim is freedom from sin. Not one dishonest action, in kings or nobles, ministers or teachers, will be overlooked by the Lord. At Sinai God gave His people a solemn, sacred charge. It is of the utmost importance that we faithfully obey the law of God.17MR 320.5

    There are many who profess to be loyal and true to God. But how many of these are keeping every precept of the law of Jehovah?17MR 321.1

    I have a message for the presidents of our schools. Have you exalted the law of Christ's kingdom by giving to it willing obedience? If you are not of yourselves under the control of the Ruler of the universe, how can you obey His law, as required in His Word? We know that it is the determined purpose of some to be obedient to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Such men and women will be given power of intellect to see the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness. They have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, and they reveal God to the world.17MR 321.2

    To those in charge of our schools I would say, Are you making God and His law your delight? Are the principles that you follow sound and pure and unadulterated? Are you keeping yourselves, in the life-practice, under the control of God? Do you see the necessity of obeying Him in every particular? If you are tempted to appropriate the money coming into the school, in ways that bring no special benefit to the school, your standard of principle needs to be carefully criticized, that the time may not come when you will have to be criticized and found wanting.17MR 321.3

    Who is your bookkeeper? Who is your treasurer? Who is your business manager? Are they careful and competent? Look to this. It is possible for thousands of dollars to be misappropriated, apparently without anyone understanding how, and the school be losing continually. Those in charge may feel this keenly, supposing they have done their best. But why do debts accumulate? Let those in charge of a school find out each month the true financial standing of the school. [James 1:2-7, 19-27, quoted.]—Letter 187, 1903.17MR 321.4

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    September 3, 1987.

    Entire Letter.