Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 70a, 1897

Words of Comfort


July 12, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 10/26/1897.

[The first two paragraphs, missing from the manuscript, were copied from The Review and Herald, 10/26/1897.] 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 1

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,” Christ continued, “he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” [John 14:12.] By this Christ did not mean that the disciples would make any more exalted exertion than He had made. He meant that their work would have greater magnitude. He did not refer merely to miracle-working, but to all that would take place under the working of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s work was largely confined to Judea. But though His personal ministry did not extend to other lands, people from all nations listened to His teaching, and carried the message to all parts of the world. Many heard of Jesus by hearing of the wonderful miracles that He performed. And the knowledge of His suffering and death, which were to be witnessed by the large number in attendance at the Passover, would be spread from Jerusalem to all parts of the world. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 2

Used as Christ’s representatives, the apostles would make a decided impression on all minds. The fact that they were humble men would not diminish their influence, but increase it. The minds of their hearers would be carried from them to the Majesty of heaven, who, though unseen, was still working through them. The teaching of the apostles, their words of trust, would assure all that it was not by their own power they worked, but that they were only continuing the same work carried forward by the Lord Jesus when He was with them. Humbling themselves, they would declare that He whom the Jews had crucified was the Prince of life, the Son of the living God, and that in His name they did the works that He had done. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 3

“Greater works than these shall ye do because I go to my Father.” [Verse 12.] He would intercede for them, and would send them His own representative, the Holy Spirit, who would attend them in their work. This representative would not appear in human form, but by faith would be seen and recognized by all who believe in Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 4

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” This promise is given on a condition: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [Verses 13-15.] The ten commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, secured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. A certain lawyer came to Christ, saying, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] This is the sum and substance of the law of God. The terms of salvation for every son and daughter of Adam are here outlined. It is plainly stated that the condition of gaining eternal life is obedience to the commandments of God. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 5

The whole universe is under the control of the Prince of life. Fallen man is subject to Him. He paid the ransom money for the whole world. All may be saved through Him. He calls upon us to obey, believe, receive, and live. He would gather together a church embracing the whole human family, if all would leave the black banner of rebellion and place themselves under His banner. Those who believe on Him, He will present to God as loyal subjects. He is our Mediator, as well as our Redeemer. He will defend His chosen followers against Satan’s power, and will subdue all their enemies. Through Him, they will be conquerors and more than conquerors. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul says, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward, who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places.” [Ephesians 1:18-20.] 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 6

“Many shall be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. ... Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” [Hosea 14:5-7, 9.] 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 7

Those who dishonor God by transgressing His law may talk sanctification, but it is of the same value, and just as acceptable, as was the offering of Cain. Obedience to the commandments of God is the only true sign of sanctification. Disobedience is the sign of disloyalty and apostasy. “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 manifest myself to him.” [John 14:21.] Again Christ repeated the condition of union with Him. This promise is made to every sincere Christian. Our Saviour speaks so plainly that no one need fail to understand that true love will always produce obedience. Obedience is the sign of true love. Christ and the Father are one, and those who in truth receive Christ will love God, as the great center of their adoration, and will also love one another; and in so doing they will keep the law. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 8

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of the truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [Verses 16, 17.] Christ was about to depart to His home in the heavenly courts; but He assured His disciples that He would send them a Comforter, who would abide with them forever. To the guidance of this Comforter all may implicitly trust. He is the spirit of truth, but this truth the world can neither see nor receive. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 9

Christ gave His followers a positive promise that after His ascension He would send them His Spirit. “Go ye therefore,” He said, “and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father (a personal God), and of the Son (a personal Prince and Saviour), and of the Holy Ghost (sent from heaven to represent Christ); teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 10

“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I.” [John 14:26-28.] This assurance was given to the disciples to be given to all who should believe on Him till the close of this earth’s history. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 11

Christ desired His disciples to understand that He would not leave them orphans. “I will not leave you comfortless,” He declared; “I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.” [Verses 18, 19.] Precious, glorious assurance of eternal life! Even though He was to be absent, their relation to Him as to be that of a child to its parent. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 12

“At that day,” He said, “ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” [Verse 20.] He sought to impress the minds of the disciples with the distinction between those who are of the world, and those who are of Christ. He was about to die, but He desired them to realize that He would live again. And although after His ascension He would be absent from them, yet by faith they might see and know Him. And He would have the same loving interest in them that He had while with them. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 13

Christ assured His disciples that after His resurrection He would show Himself alive to them. Then every mist of doubt, every cloud of darkness, would be rolled away. They would then understand that which they had not in the past understood—that there is a complete union between Christ and His Father, a union that will always exist. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 14

The words spoken to the disciples come to us through their words. The Comforter is ours as well as theirs, at all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone. These are times when the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 15

There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart. Circumstances may separate us from our friends; the broad, restless ocean may roll between us and them. Though their sincere friendship may still exist, they may be unable to demonstrate it by doing for us that which would be gratefully received. But no circumstances, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always there, one given in Christ’s place, to act in His stead. He is always at our right hand, to speak soothing, gentle words, to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. This Spirit works in and through every one who receives Christ. Those who know the indwelling of this Spirit reveal its fruit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. 12LtMs, Ms 70a, 1897, par. 16