Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

287/300

Ms 69a, 1896

Diary/Duties of Faithful Parenting; Loyalty to God's Law

NP

c. 1896-1897

Last portion used in Ms 69, 1896.

Marriage is a serious business and should not be entered into thoughtlessly and recklessly. The father of the family should be pure, upright, free from the slavery of any habit or practice that will not elevate, ennoble, and enlarge his usefulness. He is to be the head, the center of the family, bearing the weightiest responsibilities. He is the houseband, to bind the family circle together like Abraham, the father of the faithful, combining faith and works together, each having their respective places. His family is his heritage, under his influence, supervision, and control. Therefore it is not possible for him to be faithful to his God given trust to make his family a sample of the family of heaven unless business shall take a secondary place and the love and fear of God the first place. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 1

A true man before God is that man who, with all his house, fears God. The Lord Jesus abides in the hearts of the members of his family. The rule, the standard, of master, children, and servants is: “They shall keep the way of the Lord.” [Genesis 18:19.] “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked.” [Proverbs 3:33.] The question of the father of the household, of the mother who stands by his side as his helper, is not, “What will others do?” “What will others think of me?” “What will my neighbors think of me?” Shall the father of the children consider it is for their present convenience and neighborly feelings to do according to their wishes? Have they paid the ransom for the souls of father, mother, or children? 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 2

[Neither] parents nor children, nor any member of the household, need expect to be blessed of their heavenly Father if they keep their eye upon their neighbors to see if they are pleasing or displeasing them in keeping the way of the Lord and educating the children to keep His commandments. We should consider our homes our own province, where neighbor, minister, the church, or the world are not to dictate or control. The home is to be made a Bethel, a holy temple where God presides, for we are all living as in sight of the eternal world. The love and fear of God combined is true, pure, unadulterated religion. The love of Christ makes the united heads of the family a firm of themselves, and the children are taken in as a part of the firm. The blending of hearts in the service of Christ will bring peace and joy, a holy contentment, but every other principle will leave the heart restless and dissatisfied. It will prove a harder task to manage or govern a family than for the king to rule his kingdom. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 3

Parents, if your children are encouraged to seek the companionship of those who do not regard the law of God—that law made in the Guidebook the rule of life so that none need to err in understanding its holy requirements—the sure result will be that the laws of the household will be disregarded. The Word of God is to be your counselor and director that you may reach the portals of bliss. God's Word is to be the rule of life, of practice; from this there can be no turning aside to manufacture a map of your own to reach the paradise of God. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 4

Parents, are you daily inquiring, What is the way of the Lord? If you turn your feet out of the safe paths, your children will follow you; and you must render an account to God why they have, under your discipline and influence, walked away from the paths of truth and obedience to God's requirements. Will the excuse stand in the judgment: “I didn't wish to displease my neighbors?” But what about God? Did you carefully study His will, His pleasure, that yourselves and your children should please the Lord by keeping all of His commandments? Is it not sin to set aside the commandments of God, that you may have the favor and pleasure of your neighbors? Have you considered the path you have entered upon, the choice you are making for yourselves and for your children? The Lord Jesus has paid the ransom for your souls and the souls of your children. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 5

The Word testifies that many of the priests and rulers believed on Him but did not confess Him for fear of being turned out of the synagogue. Why? [Because] they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Parents, an awful responsibility rests upon you. If you find no pleasure in wholehearted service to God now, when light is brought to your very doors, and you close that door lest truth and the rays of righteousness shall penetrate the darkness of worldliness that surrounds you, bear in mind you are making your choice that you prefer the society and friendship of your neighbors rather than the friendship of God. You are educating and training your children by precept and example that it is of no account whether they break the commandments of God or choose the ways and companionship of those who despise His commandments and trample them under their feet. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 6

These children are bought with a price. They are the property of Jesus Christ, and the loss of their souls will be reckoned unto you who have those under your guardianship [but who] are entering the path of those who trample upon the law of Jehovah. You feel no burden of responsibility to lead your children in a path that you yourselves do not choose to travel. The children receive error because their parents, in the full face of light, have chosen error before truth. Society is full of disobedient, unthankful, unholy children, and yet parents face the darkness and choose the darkness rather than the light. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] The religion of home becomes a discarded thing. Parents feel that they are under the censure of God, yet they lead their children on in the same way that they choose. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 7

I have a word from the Lord to you: “I will approach nigh unto you in judgement.” [Malachi 3:5.] Truth and righteousness are exiled from the home, saying, “I want not Thy ways, O, God. I want to follow my own impulse. I care not to respect the restraint the service of God brings. I want not the yoke Jesus placed upon my neck.” 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 8

The most precious possession God can give to human agents is their children, to watch over and guide, to train up in the love and fear of God, that they shall not be left to become the sport of Satan's temptations and lost to Christ, lost to heaven, and swell the ranks of the unbelieving who are commandment breakers. Oh, the Lord is soon to come, and the inquiry every day should be, How shall I subdue the spirit of worldliness which is constantly seeking to insinuate its deadly influence upon my soul bought at such an infinite price? Do you cultivate love for Jesus who took the punishment of your sins upon His own divine soul? Have you ever considered how many might have eternal life who are now so well-satisfied with their present life that they have lost eternity and the result of their present life out of their reckoning? 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 9

It is time you consider seriously your responsibility and influence. On whose side are you placing your influence? Jesus, who died to save you and your children, says to you, “He that is not for Me is against Me. He that gathereth not with Me, scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] You cannot compute the amount of influence you may exert over those who have not the love and fear of God, who are in the darkness of error. “You are not your own, you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] You are privileged to be coworkers with Jesus Christ to save your own souls and the souls of your children, teaching them to live not to please their associates and in thus doing displease God. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 10

You are responsible for the precepts and example you give to your children in this line—that the love and fear of God is to be always first. What your neighbors do and say and think is not to mould and fashion your words or your course of action. You are to avoid, and by your example, teach your children (who are God's heritage purchased at infinite cost) to avoid transgressing one jot or one tittle of the law of God given us as a rule of life. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 11

You are responsible to God to [show] to your neighbors, by precept and example, that you follow the high biddings of God to practice obedience to all His requirements, avoiding all plots of treason and disloyalty. It is your quiet yet active, earnest, sincere piety that is deciding your own destiny and that of your loved ones for the future life. It will not answer for you to place yourselves farther and farther away from religious influences, away from the truth, and suppose that you will have a lamp and light to your feet to avoid the pitfalls Satan is constantly devising and planning to entrap you. God requires of you more than you have ever given Him—the whole heart—and then you will have His glory in view and discharge your God-entrusted responsibilities, not looking to please your neighbors, not feeling their pulse to see if it beats in harmony with your own. There is One who owns you by creation and redemption. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 12

Study to show yourselves approved unto God, workmen that needeth not to be ashamed; then you can truthfully say, “The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” [Psalm 46:7.] Will you consider that an adulterated Christianity is surrounding us? It is now that we are to heed the third angel's message, and the message is to the churches: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:5.] There must be a turning unto God in obeying His commandments. There must be much more praying done, and watching unto prayer, else you will be walking in darkness. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 13

You are not keeping the commandments of God. You are so blinded by the sophistries of Satan that you do not feel or sense your peril. “What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] Is eternal life of value to you? Is heaven of more value to you than this world? Is this world to absorb your mind and engross your attention, and you live as you choose and as your neighbors choose to have you, hiding your light—that which your conscience convinces you is truth—and sacrifice heaven? Will it pay? God calls upon you to change your course of action for your own soul's sake, fathers and mothers, and for your children's sake, and to let your life become a living testimony for God: “Ye are My Witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 14

I ask fathers and mothers who have the responsibility of bringing up children, Are they being trained in every way that they should be to know God and Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour? Are you feeling a responsibility for their souls? Do you have your family prayer at night and in the morning, and thus by precept and example teach your children to ask God for His blessing, to render to God praise and thanksgiving for His great mercies and loving kindness to them and to their parents? The question is, Are you working for your Master? Are you in spirit and in attitude expressing the idea that to be a Christian is a wearisome service rather than saying with John the Beloved, “What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not”? Can you introduce Jesus Christ to your children: “Beloved, now are we the sons and daughters of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” [1 John 3:1, 2.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 15

The Christian life must be the theme of conversation—every word, every tone of the voice, brought into the service of the Lord to honor His holy name. Talk of His love. Speak of His great goodness in giving Jesus to our world. Tell of His power. Do not for a moment let the seducing sophistry of Satan take effect in your mind, so that you dilute religion—Bible religion—with worldliness in order to attract your neighbors or your children. [Lift] higher your standard for living a holy, consecrated life before the world, before your neighbors, and before your children. You are not educating your children for the society of heavenly angels and teaching them that the love of God, the love of Jesus—His purity, His holiness—is accessible to them, and laboring to have them understand the simplicity of the service of Christ. Home religion—what is home life without Jesus and our assurance of His presence? 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 16

Your work placed in your hands, father and mother, is to keep the minds of your children pure and uncontaminated from the world. In order to do this, you must, by studying the Word, obtain a different kind of experience than you, father or mother, have hitherto had. You will have rich food in studying your Bibles. Study the life and lessons of Christ Jesus and, reading and praying with the door of your heart open to receive the teachings of the Holy Spirit, you will be truly converted. You are not now in a right position with God. Do not, I entreat you, make it necessary for the Lord to afflict you, to withdraw from you the blessings which He has given you, because the blessings He bestows upon you are treated as though they were yours by right and yet made a hindrance rather than a blessing. The Lord who gave His life for you and for your children has left an injunction: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” [John 5:39.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 17

Unless there is a most earnest, decided purpose to cultivate our own spirituality to a higher degree, accepting light, the light we already have becomes darkness. Unless there is a constant necessity felt for prayer to our heavenly Father for His wisdom, and a searching of the Scriptures to know His way and to be kept by the power of God, then it will become very easy to drift farther and farther away from God and unite our interest with those who know not the truth and who will not accept the truth. We need spirituality to discharge our duties daily in the fear of God. The Bible history tells us that when men deliberately turn away from God and the messages He sends them, the Lord turns away from them. What is the result? “Therefore I scattered them with a whirlwind among all nations.” [Zechariah 7:14.] “He that honoreth me I will honor. He that despiseth Me,” (and the message I send,) “I will lightly esteem.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] This is not making God a hard master, it is simply a declaration of the effect of the cause, an eternal necessity of results. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 18

The Sun of Righteousness will shine upon all who will follow Christ. “They that follow Me shall not walk in darkness.” [John 8:12.] We belong to Christ. He has bought us, bought our children. We can educate them to think more highly of earthly pleasures and earthly treasures than of the heavenly. If we give the world all the advantage of obtaining mind, heart, and soul service, every chink is filled, the worldly tide fills every space, and the Word of God is left out. The bright light proceeding from Christ is not admitted. The spirit, the principles, that dwell in the heart of the disobedient dwell in the heart of those who link up in harmony with them. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 19

The Lord will have the whole heart or nothing. The lawyer asked of Jesus, “What shall I do that I may have eternal life?” The Lord Jesus answered, “What saith the Scriptures? how readest thou?” The lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Christ responded, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] How are we treating this question? The law of God is plainly revealed. Will you or I venture to find some other way whereby we shall obtain the precious boon of eternal life? Will we, to whom God has given the opportunity to obtain light and knowledge, refuse to receive the message sent from heaven? Shall we refuse the light because in accepting the truth we see it will cause a separation from those who will not hear, who will not believe? Shall there be concession made with you or me to bind up in bundles with the world? They have “pulled away the shoulder” [Zechariah 7:11], because the yoke of Christ they would not take, and refused to lift His burden. Christ says, “I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.” [John 15:10.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 20

Those who are disloyal to God and turn from the truth of God to fables stop their ears lest they shall hear. They act like disobedient, stubborn children. And then they will blame and accuse the truth-loving and obedient ones in the service of Christ of creating disunion among neighbors and dissension in families. Christ was accused of creating dissension in families. But it is the truth that works upon human hearts. Some see the cross involved in accepting the truth, and refuse it. Some members of the family yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit of God and open their hearts to Jesus. Such divisions have ever been and ever will be. Shall I conclude to remain in darkness and unbelief, and refuse light from heaven, because this will separate me from my neighbors? Which will we choose—Christ or the world? Will we bear in mind that God's law is binding upon the soul of every man? Some will keep it through the merits of Jesus Christ, hanging their helpless souls on Christ. Some will pull away the shoulder, refuse the yoke of Christ, put their fingers in their ears, and care not to hear the words of the Lord, but this does not do away [with] the law of God. It is plain and decided: “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not.” 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 21

Men may walk into the dark cellar of unbelief and declare it is midnight at midday. Shall we believe what they say? If they will come out of the cellar or cave, they will see the Sunshine. Christ said of the Jews, “I have come a light into the world, but men have chosen darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.” [See John 3:19.] As soon as men choose God as their portion, there will be a separation from the world. A neglected God is a terrible calamity to the men who choose darkness rather than light. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 22

Men cannot neglect God and be really rich; heaps of money is not true riches. The man does not really own any of these possessions. He is not a proprietor of his possessions; God can scatter faster than he can accumulate. Any amount of gold and silver may be, as he supposes, in his possession, and yet if he has not Christ, the Bread of life, the Water of salvation, he is perishing with hunger and thirst. Those who regard all they possess as the Lord's, an entrusted gift, and hold it as thus, will be faithful stewards for God. He is strong who shares his strength with those who are weak. The great lesson the Lord would have us learn is to acknowledge Him in all His ways. The family is to be an educating school for the future higher grade—the saints in light. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 23

I now wish you to read the Bible carefully and prayerfully. You cannot have searched the Scriptures carefully and prayerfully, as a man searching for hidden treasures, and not have found the jewels of truth. The gospel of St. John is full of treasures more to be valued than real estate, gold, or silver. It is of great consequence to your soul that you know what saith the Scripture. What God hath spoken in His Word standeth fast forever, and it is your Guidebook, and mine, to heaven. If you neglect to study your Guidebook and miss your way and lose your own soul, and by your teaching and example lead your children to consider it of no special consequence whether they heed a “thus saith the Lord” or “what saith my neighbors?” the loss of their souls and the loss of the souls of your neighbors will lie at your door, because your example led them to regard lightly the law of the Lord. Your example led them to suppose it was of no special consequence whether you or they were a doer of the Word of God. You strengthened them in disobedience to the commandments of God. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 24

Although men refuse to see the light that shineth in darkness, it does not extinguish the light. Of Christ John says, “In Him was [life] and the [life] was the light of men, and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. [There was a man sent of God]. ... The same came ... to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. ... He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” [John 1:4-7, 10, 11.] What does this mean? Just this: The very ones who claimed to be children of God did not receive the Son of God. When He came, the Light of the world, to dispel the moral darkness of the world, why did not Christ receive acknowledgement and recognition from those He came to save? When He was their only hope, He came. He did not come in just the way to suit their opinions and ideas. They were too proud and self-righteous to admit that the ideas of the priests and rulers were incorrect and needed remodeling. The repentance, the conversion, essential for their salvation they would not consent to receive. They preferred to count Christ as an imposter, because His teachings were not in harmony with their own teachings. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 25

This same spirit is manifested today in the Christian world claiming to be the children of God. They reject truth sent from heaven, as the Jewish nation rejected Christ, because the truth advocated does not coincide with the errors which they have received. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [Verses 12, 13.] Receiving Christ as our personal Saviour is represented as being born again. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” [Verse 14.] Who beholds Him in this light? Those who receive Him by faith as the Son of God, the Word made flesh, the Light of the world, are blessed with viewing spiritual things, seeing Christ as full of grace and truth, and are partakers of the divine nature. “And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.” [Verse 16.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 26

The reception of the grace of Christ makes a marked change of character which is called “born of God.” That grace is diffusive, and as the believing soul opens his mind and heart to receive truth as it is in Jesus, he obtains a glimpse of the righteousness of Christ in the law and he exclaims, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] “Simon Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:1-4.] Here, in Second Peter, chapter one, is brought to light the whole Christian [life]. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 27

“Ye are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9.] To love and serve God and follow out your own convictions in regard to obeying the truth is making you Christ's witnesses by precept and example. While you are required to manifest moral independence, to believe all the Scriptures say and obey the Word of God, it will be a constant temptation to associate with unbelievers and follow their lead. But to stand in the world as a faithful soldier of Jesus Christ, knowing your neighbors are demeriting you and consider you foolish to advocate the law of the Lord as perfect converting the soul, and separate from your neighbors in practice, making yourself singular—[you say,] “I cannot lift this cross.” I know that there has been cowardice practiced ever since Christ came into the world. Ashamed to acknowledge Christ because of the relation you sustain to your neighbors, there is a shrinking from the consequence of obeying the truth, because it will make it unpleasant for you among your neighbors. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 28

Do you wish to hide your light, the truth, under a bushel? “Let your light so shine that men, by seeing your good works, shall glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] You will necessarily differ from the world and from professed Christians who are so [resistant to] obeying the commandments of God. “If ye love Me,” said Christ, “keep My commandments”—you are not to be ashamed of Me or of My words. John 14:15. [Read also] verse 16. “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love Him and will manifest Myself unto him.” John 14:21. “He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings.” John 14:24. Here is the test of discipleship. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 29

We are sorry that there are some who are too cowardly to own the truth. You feel dependent upon your neighbors for agreeable companionship and do not want to displease them. But your cowardice, your hiding your light so that it shall not shine distinctly in good works, so that they may see with a certainty you are in harmony with the obedient, commandment-keeping people of God, constitute you a stumbling block to your neighbors. They stumble over your disregard of God, taking license from you to follow pernicious ways. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 30

Your life is far from being a representation of Christ. There is no excuse that can avail. Why do you not walk in the way of God's commandments with a perfect heart, not saying, “What will my neighbors say?” We are not to ask, “What might my neighbors say?” for they may feel surprised; but you should say with them in view, “I must know the terms of eternal life and comply with the conditions. I cannot lose the presence and favor and love of God out of my soul because it will bring me in peace with my neighbors.” Peace at such a cost is dearly purchased. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 31

The question for you and me to settle today, while it is called today, is: Whose side am I on—the side of God and Jesus Christ and angels? [I am] in the very best of company, for I am a son, a daughter, of the Lord Jesus. My Father, whose property I am, what does He think of me? The work of lifting the cross of Christ is resting upon us personally. We are not to look to men for their good opinion but to our heavenly Father, and then, approved of God, move forward in the ranks with a heaven-born spirit of independence that will not fear to be alone or stand alone, for in obedience to God you are never alone. Hear the words of Christ: “As the Father loveth Me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love.” [John 15:9, 10.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 32

Be very sure that you are not, by precept and example, in any way placing yourself in the ranks of those who are transgressors of God's law. You are deciding in these last precious hours of probation your own eternal destiny. You are evidencing to the world, to angels, and to men your choice. With your family you are taking the very side that is your deliberate choice, and the decision you make in this important matter may be for eternity. You are evidencing to the world, to angels, and to men in just what measure you have decided to show your respect to spiritual and eternal realities. Christ would not have clothed His divinity with humanity and come to our world, all seared and marred with the curse, if it was not to redeem the world from transgression of the law of God. He came to bring moral power to man—the virtue of His righteousness—that he might be elevated in the scale of moral value with God so that the Lord would accept the human family if they would return to their loyalty. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 33

Who will be on the Lord's side from their own free willing obedience to His commandments? Who will have appreciation of this great humiliation on the part of Christ and stand with our Substitute and Surety, recognized of God and the whole universe of heaven? [They are] a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men, distinctly and definitely God's chosen, because they have received Christ fully as their Saviour and set every faculty of their being [to be] consecrated to His service, forming a character after Christ's likeness, that they may be obedient members of the Lord's family. Christ died for you to open a way,that you who are transgressors of His law shall become obedient children through His own merits, for to this end Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. He subjected Himself to humiliating ignominy to lift up you, a sinner, through His own perfection of character, and yet you have been so unconcerned in regard to your eternal interest that you do not relish heavenly things. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 34

Christ was punished for your sins, [punishment] judiciously inflicted, that you should not perish eternally. And how lightly you esteem these things! Christ, the Sin-bearer who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us, that we might be made righteous through His sufferings and shame in our behalf. What kind of hearts have we, with all this history of the life and love and suffering of Christ in our behalf, and yet we are not fully in sympathy with our Redeemer? Can we wonder that the human nature of Christ staggered and trembled in Gethsemane as He prayed that the cup might pass from Him, if it could be possible and man not perish? But in that anguish, unendurable to finite nature, the loss of your soul, and that of the world, was weighed, and it seemed such a terrible loss that Christ consented to drink the cup. “Not My will but Thy will, O God, be done.” [Luke 22:42.] Nature, if unsustained by Divinity, would have died on this field of battle in our behalf—Christ to bear the wrath of His Father in consequence of sin; Christ to suffer for our sins, loaded with the sins of the whole world. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 35

“O, if it were possible, let this cup pass from Me.” [Matthew 26:39.] But the woes of a sinful, disobedient world come up before Him, a tide of human anguish that men are ignorant of. They know not the terrible consequence of their own iniquity. Christ was bearing the agony of a lost world. It is only through His sacrifice that everlasting salvation can come to a single soul who has transgressed the law of God, and yet your mind, your individual experience, is such that it seems a very light matter to not be a decided commandment keeper. You have not been a partaker in spirit with the sufferings of Christ. You do not want to be disturbed in your ease just now but do very much as you please. You are about decided you will not suffer reproach for the truth's sake. You have no sense of what Christ has suffered to bring salvation within your reach and make it possible for you to return to your loyalty to God—with your name registered in the book of life to stand uncondemned because you receive and believe in Him who was condemned for you. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 36

But what is the duty now of those who have light in regard to the truth? “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] How shall we evidence that we are on Christ's side of the question, to recognize the binding claims of the law of God, unless by precept and example we reveal the same? The screen is not to be cowardly placed before us in our actions. Our light is not to be put under a bushel or under a bed, but is to be put on a candlestick where it may give light to all that are in the house. The light is to shine for what purpose? To expose and condemn the darkness. Moral degeneracy prevails. Right must be made to stand in contradiction to sin and unrighteousness. The light is to discern and condemn sin, therefore those who think they can pass along and be in harmony with men who are going on in disobedience and transgression and sin make a terrible mistake, for they will find themselves written in the registers of heaven, “transgressors of God's law.” [They are] virtually saying to the sinner, “It is well with thee.” 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 37

Transgression and sin are rebuked by obedience and loyalty. Men whom you think hopeless, who will never see the truth and [to whom you feel] you must make concessions to please them, might have been saved by your steadfast faith and practice in right doing. You caviled in telling them all the time that it is a terrible affliction to keep God's commandments and live, and [to keep] His law as the apple of your eye. The man in the neighborhood who has the moral courage to be true to principle, to obey a “Thus saith the Lord,” will be an annoyance to those who disregard the Word of the Lord and who do not think it really matters whether men obey God or disobey Him. But when you conscientiously take your position to love and serve God—who has shown His love and service for the human agent in giving His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life—standing firmly to the written Word, “Thus saith the Lord,” it disturbs your neighbor; it disturbs the members of your family who will not yield their hearts to believe the truth. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 38

These witnesses for Christ will be all through our world, and the voice of truth from God will be loved and make its impression. A God-fearing, obedient character that reverences God's commandments will send its rays of light far and near and, if decided wholly on the Lord's side, will find something of an echo amid the unconcerned and those in darkness. It is not too late for the conscience to be aroused so that it will not yield. The true, wholehearted inquirer for truth will see and understand what is truth. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 39

We are to consider that we are to do service for God. If we have hitherto misapplied our capabilities, we have dishonored God and must render an account to God for the good the Lord had given us capability to do, and we did not do because we did not improve our opportunities to become more and more settled, rooted, and grounded in the truth. No one can live to himself and have the heavenly benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] The solemnity of our life would be much more deeply infused upon mind and heart if we looked at ourselves and our influence in the light of the Word of God. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 40

We are to consider that many with whom we are brought in contact with are getting their only knowledge of God and Jesus Christ through our lives, our words, our actions. Then what a positive necessity that our thoughts and our words should be right in every respect, else we fail in being partners with Jesus Christ in manifesting the truth. Is the heart right? We can, through prayer and faith, know that our hearts are one with the heart of Christ, and that God loves us as He loved Jesus Christ. “Therefore,” says the world's Redeemer [through the apostle Paul,] “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:8.] Because He kept His Father's commandments His abiding place was the Father's love. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 41

God has made known His will in regard to us through His Word. “As the Father hath sent Me into the world so have I sent you into the world to save the world, but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” [See John 20:21; Matthew 5:13.] With our Bible speaking to us individually, clear and distinct upon these subjects, how can any one of us who has the Bible in our possession remain in darkness if we read the Scriptures and search the Scriptures with the interest that we should have where eternal interests are involved? If we care not to hear the voice of God speaking to us out of His Word—if one goes to his farm, another to his merchandise, and says, I cannot comply with the heavenly invitation, “Come to My supper for all things are now ready”—if the invited souls begin, with one consent, to make their excuses, the Lord is dishonored, His invitation slighted. [Luke 14:17-19.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 42

Men's selfish interests are made all-absorbing. The Guidebook which would place questions of eternal interest before their minds is neglected, and the world—its associations, its atmosphere—is preferred to the instruction from heaven. They do not care to hear the voice of God speaking to them of heavenly things. [Unless] they place themselves and their children away from influences which absorb the mind and draw their attention from truth and righteousness, they walk in the same path the world travels, away from God, and are registered in God's books as one with the world. They have chosen their portion, to be with the unbelievers of the truth, because they suppose they can serve self better and please their neighbors. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 43

God calls to them, “Follow Me and ye shall not walk in darkness. I am the Light of the world.” [John 8:12.] But they answer back, “Lord, I do not wish to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, for that will not please my neighbors. I do not want to cause any dissension among my neighbors; therefore, I will link up my interest with my neighbors, for it would be very unpleasant to obey Your injunction. I know that Thy Word is pledged: ‘Come out from the world and be ye separate and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’ [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] But the carnal heart says, This will make it very inconvenient for me. I should displease my neighbors with whom I am acquainted, with whom I have lived for long years. I cannot follow You, Jesus. I must not break up my association with my neighbors. I will walk in the path they walk.” 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 44

Choosing to be in conformity to the will of God is choosing to obey His commandments and abide in His love, “as I,” said Christ, “have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” [John 15:10.] Brethren, you are in the valley of decision. You are making your choice for eternity, not only for yourselves as parents but for your children who are the property of God, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. Your sentiments, your example, the manner in which you treat the plain injunctions of the Word of God, the character of your influence, are deciding their future eternal destiny. And if you lead in false paths and your children learn through this association to regard the great moral standard of character as lightly as you give them [example of] in your life and by your association and practice, what will you do in rendering up your account to God when the judgment shall sit, and the books be opened, and every man shall be judged out of those things that are written in the books? 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 45

Christ's words will appear in all their significance, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” every specification of the law just as it was given in Eden, just as it was proclaimed from Sinai. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break” (violate or disobey) “one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so,” (by precept or example,) “shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19.] The councils of the universe of heaven register them as the least of value among men who compose the human family. This is the decision made and pronounced in the heavenly courts, the kingdom of heaven. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 46

Not one of these moral precepts is to be trifled with because it is convenient for man to please himself rather than obey God, and in just the degree that he shall do this, God will bring him into judgment. These commandment violators will not be taken into the kingdom of heaven and then treated as inferior subjects of that kingdom, for disobedient subjects will never enter the kingdom of heaven, but the kingdom of heaven pronounces them the least in all God's creation. They are not reckoned by God as proper religious teachers, for they mislead the inexperienced and lead them into forbidden paths. [But] “whosoever shall do and teach them” is recognized in heaven as one with Christ and with God, called great by the angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim. How careful we should be, then, to obey the commandments of God and exercise all our trusted capabilities of talents to show to a disobedient world that we do honor God by keeping His law which He has given as a transcript of His character for all human intelligence to copy, that no mistake may be made by them to reach a lower standard than God has given them through Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 47

In David's time he was greatly afflicted to see more than a common contempt put upon God's law. This was a time of extraordinary depravity because men had thrown off the restraint of the law of God. “They made void the law.” The law was to them a dead letter. The human beings whom God had created were refusing to receive the ten holy precepts as the rule of their life. When wickedness was so great, David expected that the forbearance of God would cease, and he sent up his heartfelt prayer, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” [Psalm 119:126.] David thought in his day that men had exceeded the limits of God's mercy, therefore God must now work and vindicate the honor of His law and bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 48

But what influence will this widespread iniquity have upon men who love and fear God in this age of the world? By the widespread disobedience and increased swelling of iniquity will the professed Christian world be evil with the evil, unrighteous with the unrighteous? Will [the professed Christian] place his influence on the side of the great first apostate? Will the universal scorn placed upon God's law, His great moral standard of righteousness, lead him to regard that law slightly and he be swept away by the strong tide of transgression and apostasy? Will the perception of the righteous become more clear and distinct as they search and research the Scriptures, that they may learn for themselves the conditions [prescribed] for the salvation of souls? 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 49

All who make the Word of God the man of their counsel will esteem the law of God in proportion as it is set aside and despised. The echo from David will be heard by the loyal and true subjects of Christ's kingdom: “They have made void Thy law. Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Verses 126, 127.] This is the only safe and true position that those who love God sincerely and their neighbor as themselves can take. The love and steadfast promotion of the commandments of God grow with the increasing contempt which professed Christians, in harmony with the world, put on these commandments which are a transcript of the character of God. The point is fast being reached when the iniquity of the transgressor will be full. God allows nations a probation, a certain time, and He sends light and evidence which, if received, will save them. But if they refuse the message as the Jews refused the light that came into the world for their benefit, if they choose darkness rather than light, they can expect nothing but indignation and punishment. “He cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for her iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain.” [Isaiah 26:21.] 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 50

The [professed] Christian world is advancing, as did the Jewish nation, from one degree of sinfulness to a greater, refusing all warnings, rejecting a “Thus saith the Lord,” and accrediting fables. And the Lord God will soon arise in His wrath and evidence [His judgments] in His dealings with men who are repeating the sins of the inhabitants of the Noachic world—those whose hearts, like that sinful race, were fully set in them to do evil, and as did the inhabitants of Sodom; and both were destroyed. God's long forbearance, His long patience and mercy, makes not the punishment any less severe because long delayed. The Jewish nation is before us as an example. In her destruction is typified the destruction of the world. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 51

On one occasion Christ's lips, that had ever been opened in blessing and in encouragement to the poor, the suffering, and the humble, pronounced a curse upon those who had light presented to them but did not appreciate the light, and sought to evade the clear and distinct Word of God for man-made traditions. He declared that the blood of all the prophets which had been shed from the foundation of the world would be required of that nation He addressed. [Luke 11:50.] Long had God borne with the Jewish nation. He had arrested them again and again by His chastisement, but they provoked God by their wicked works, casting off God and refusing Jesus Christ. Each century was treasuring up wrath. Jesus bade the stubborn and impenitent to fill up the measure of their iniquity. Their wicked works were not forgotten nor overlooked, and when the mandate went forth from the sacred place of the Most High, it was because the time had come for God's retributive justice to vindicate His honor and magnify His law, and present it as honorable, sure, and steadfast forever. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 52

In these last days the history of the Jewish nation is being repeated in the [professed] Christian world, and men are doing despite to the Spirit of God and, notwithstanding the example before them of the Jewish nation, they are doing as they did, and the time is now soon to come when it will be demonstrated that it is a fearful thing to have worn out the patience of God. There shall be throughout the whole earth a time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation, and the punishment will fall more surely upon those who have educated and deceived the people to accept of errors in the place of truth, to turn from the commandments of God to walk in paths God has not cast up for them to walk in. God keeps a reckoning with nations, and when the law of God is fully made void, then the destruction cometh. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 53

The Lord is visiting in the earth, permitting the hater of God and man to do his will. God's mercy is gradually being withdrawn, the calamities on land and sea are the warning of God speaking to the world of what will be. The messages and invitations of mercy are still presented to the human family while the figures of their iniquity are steadily increasing, the world and fallen churches uniting in their apostasy. The ministry of wrath is preparing, the Divine patience becoming exhausted, and the register is being kept of the swellings of iniquities with the unerring accuracy of the Omnipotent. As the figures are fast reaching their fullness, still God is at work, calling to repentance with promise of forgiveness and pardon. Every consecrated capability God will use. Every jot of consecrated influence He will require now in His service. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 54

Ingratitude and contempt of the restraining grace of God, which would [hold] them back from presumptuous sins, pride, selfishness, and covetousness, are prevailing everywhere. And now every voice, every particle of influence, is to be exercised, not on Satan's side of the question but on the Lord's side. No new but the old commandments from the beginning are to be vindicated. Vigor of piety is to increase and make for itself a place in the earth. The standard of truth is to be elevated in new places, in regions beyond. This calls for men wholly consecrated, and the lent, entrusted capital of means man is to lay upon the altar to build up the interest of the kingdom of God in our world. Everything is to be done that can be done to reflect light to the dark places of the earth. We have little enough time to work. The Lord is coming. 11LtMs, Ms 69a, 1896, par. 55