Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7


A Demonstration of Christian Principles

We are not only to publish the theory of the truth, but to present a practical illustration of it in character and life. Our publishing institutions are to stand before the world as an embodiment of Christian principles. In these institutions, if God's purpose for them is fulfilled, Christ Himself stands at the head of the working forces. Holy angels supervise the work in every department. And all that is done in every line is to bear the impress of heaven, to show forth the excellence of the character of God. 7T 142.2

God has ordained that His work shall be presented to the world in distinct, holy lines. He desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness. By His grace every provision has been made for us in all our transaction of business to demonstrate the superiority of heaven's principles over the principles of the world. We are to show that we are working upon a higher plane than that of worldlings. In all things we are to manifest purity of character, to show that the truth received and obeyed makes the receivers sons and daughters of God, children of the heavenly King, and that as such they are honest in their dealings, faithful, true, and upright in the small as well as the great things of life. 7T 142.3

In all our work, even in mechanical lines, God desires that the perfection of His character shall appear. The exactness, skill, tact, wisdom, and perfection which He required in the building of the earthly tabernacle, He desires to have brought into everything that shall be done in His service. Every transaction entered into by His servants is to be as pure and as precious in His sight as were the gold and frankincense and myrrh which in sincere, uncorrupted faith the Wise Men from the East brought to the infant Saviour. 7T 142.4

Thus in their business life Christ's followers are to be light bearers to the world. God does not ask them to make an effort to shine. He approves of no self-satisfied attempt to display superior goodness. He desires that their souls shall be imbued with the principles of heaven, and then, as they come in contact with the world, they will reveal the light that is in them. Their honesty, uprightness, and steadfast fidelity in every act of life will be a means of illumination. 7T 143.1

The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. It comes through the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, through the inward working of His Spirit, the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. The greatest manifestation of its power is seen in human nature brought to the perfection of the character of Christ. 7T 143.2

An appearance of wealth or position, expensive architecture or furnishings, are not essential to the advancement of the work of God; neither are achievements that win applause from men and administer to vanity. Worldly display, however imposing, is of no value with God. 7T 143.3

While it is our duty to seek for perfection in outward things, it should ever be kept in mind that this aim is not to be made supreme. It must be held subordinate to higher interests. Above the seen and transitory, God values the unseen and eternal. The former is of worth only as it expresses the latter. The choicest productions of art possess no beauty that can compare with the beauty of character which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit's working in the soul. 7T 143.4

When God gave His Son to the world, He endowed human beings with imperishable riches, riches compared with which the treasured wealth of men since the world began is nothingness. Christ came to the earth and stood before the children of men with the hoarded love of eternity, and this is the treasure that, through our connection with Him, we are to receive, to reveal, and to impart. 7T 143.5

Our institutions will give character to the work of God just according to the consecrated devotion of the workers—by revealing the power of the grace of Christ to transform the life. We are to be distinguished from the world because God has placed His seal upon us, because He manifests in us His own character of love. Our Redeemer covers us with His righteousness. 7T 144.1

In choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess learning or eloquence or worldly wealth. He asks: “Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?” 7T 144.2

God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul-temple. The work that He will accept is the work that reflects His image. His followers are to bear, as their credentials to the world, the ineffaceable characteristics of His immortal principles. 7T 144.3