Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 90, 1897

God’s Chosen People


August 2, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in ST 05/26/1898, 06/02/1898.

“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.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 1

These words call for earnest thought. They mean more than many suppose. Being lights in the world means that we must open our mind to receive Christ who is the Light of the world; we must have the mind of Christ. It is a precious privilege to have light, to know Christ by personal experience, and to walk humbly before God. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 2

Said Christ, the great Teacher, to His hearers, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you. For he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of the light.” [John 12:35, 36.] “For ye were sometimes in darkness,” writes Paul, “but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” [Ephesians 5:8.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 3

“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” [Luke 13:23, 24.] “Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” “I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.” [John 7:33, 34; 8:21.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 4

Satan claims this world as his kingdom. Here he has set up his seat. But even amid the moral darkness some light shines. God has a little flock. This people are not popular, for the world has chosen darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. But Christ says to His chosen ones, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of 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.” [John 14:15-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 5

God’s loyal and faithful children are found in a world where atheist and worldly religionists abound, a world that ever since the day when Cain lifted up his hand against Abel has rejected every provision that heaven has made to restore the moral image of God in man. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] But even this gift has been cast aside as worthless. “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?” God asks; “for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: they have dealt treacherously against me.” [Hosea 6:4-7.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 6

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. ... 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. ... 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 1:1-3, 14, 10, 11.] It is amazing to the angels that those who live in God’s house, daily receive His favors, should refuse His only begotten Son. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 7

We are in the world, where because of their sin, our first parents lost the beautiful Eden that God had given them. Adam and Eve were placed in the garden, and were given permission to eat of every tree in the garden, but one. But they ate of the forbidden tree, and that sin opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. From that time men grew worse, till God destroyed the world by a flood, saving only Noah and his sons. And since then sin has been steadily increasing. Men have not learned that God means what He says. Sodom was destroyed by bolts of fire from heaven. God threatened to destroy Nineveh, but the inhabitants repented, and their destruction was averted. They turned once more to their idolatry, their sins reached to heaven, and their destruction came. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 8

The world is fast becoming as it was before the flood. Satan has set up his throne in the earth, and the law of God is trampled under foot. His Sabbath, sanctified and blessed in Eden, is set aside and polluted, and a rival sabbath, the first day of the week, instituted by the man of sin, is exalted. The sins of the inhabitants of the cities and towns have reached to heaven, and it is time for men to pray in humility before God. “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him: even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breast; let the bridegroom go forth out of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” [Joel 2:12-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 9

God made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh day, sanctifying it as the day of His rest. He gave it to man as a memorial of His creation, saying, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” [Exodus 20:8.] But Adam’s sin is repeated. The Sabbath of the Lord is discarded and scorned, while a spurious sabbath, the child of the papacy, is accepted by the Protestant world, and is cherished and exalted as supreme. But it has not a vestige of sacredness, [any] more than has any common working day. “Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good; the enemy shall pursue him. They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. ... I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” [Hosea 8:1-4, 12.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 10

How true is this today. Laws enacted by finite authority are exalted above the law of Jehovah. Men trample under foot God’s holy law, and say of God’s people, as the Jews said of Christ, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” [John 19:7.] Over and over again this will be repeated in the courts. Christ tells us that in the world we shall have tribulation, but that in Him we shall have peace. [John 16:33.] Those who live in the last days of this world’s history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth’s sake. Injustice will prevail in the courts. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal and true to the commandments of God, and will say, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” God’s law is nothing to them. “Our law” with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, but those who will not bow to the idol sabbath have no favors shown them. Those by whom they are tried utterly refuse to listen to their reasons, because they know that arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. All that is brought against the validity of the fourth commandment is of human invention. There is not one word in the Bible that sustains the first day of the week. It is a spurious sabbath, baptized by human enactment, and given to the world to be kept holy. And false though it is, the world cherishes it, thus pursuing a blasphemous course. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 11

Hear the words spoken by Christ when enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and given to Moses for the chosen people of God. “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord the God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people: for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and released you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore, that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth him, to will repay him to his face. Thou therefore shall keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-11.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 12

The Lord has not left the world without witness. He has His loyal, chosen people. They do not make this world their home, but they are here, to witness for God, and as long as probation lasts, a living witness will be borne by these faithful messengers. Satan and his angels confederate, with men who yield to temptation, against God’s remnant people, the champion of righteousness. They strive to counteract their testimony, and to destroy them. So Christ was treated. The Prince of life came to His own, but they refused to receive Him. He came on an embassage of mercy, to save, not to condemn the world, though rebellion against His law had become wide spread. He called upon all to behold Him, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [John 1:29.] But He was scorned as deceiver, and hunted from place to place as a pretender. But did the words of men make Him a pretender? 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 13

Christ has ascended on high, but before He left this earth, He said to His chosen people, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hateth you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than the his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” [John 15:18-21.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 14

Satan has wrought through bigoted religionists to uproot the vine of God’s planting. But the roots strike deep, and cannot be torn up. The Husbandman cares for His own vineyard, watching over the precious plants. If these plants will receive the nourishment God offers them, they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 15

We may all know, if we wish, of the provision that has been made for the salvation of every one that lives on the earth. But there is a serious question for each one to answer: Have you personally accepted that salvation? A mere assent to the theory of truth is of no value to you. Your name may be enrolled on the church books, but do you love the truth of God’s Word? Do you regard it as a great privilege to be able to gain an experimental knowledge of the truth? 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 16

Associate with those who are faithful and true, who believe and practice the truth. In the sixth chapter of John is recorded Christ’s lesson on the bread of life, spoken that His children might have an understanding of the terms of eternal life. Read and understand the truth as it is here presented. Cling to the truth of Christ’s Word, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 17

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons 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.] By the mighty cleaver of truth God has separated a people from the quarry of the world and brought them into His workshop. Here the Master worker can successfully hew them with axe and hammer and chisel, and polish them for a place in His kingdom. No longer are they like the mass from which they were taken. They stand like noble pillars amid the debris and confusion of the useless, neglected material. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 18

The future glory and elevation of the adopted sons and daughters of God is not now discerned. By the world they are scorned and despised. But God’s people have the sympathies of a better world than this, even a heavenly. “And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [Verse 3.] They have that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. The Spirit of God brings every faculty, every organ of the body, into conformity with Him. Even the thoughts are brought into obedience to Christ. In every habit and practice the living principle to be like Jesus, is cherished. The desires are upward; the heart is filled with joy at the anticipation of the future, for they looked “for a city which hath foundations whose maker and builder is God.” [Hebrews 11:10.] Many, because of their faith, will be cut off from house and heritage here; but they may still be filled with joy, if they will give their hearts to Christ, receiving the message of His grace, resting upon their substitute and surety, even the blood of the Son of God. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 19

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of his majesty.” [2 Peter 1:16.] “He that believeth on the Son hath life, and he that believeth not the Son hath not life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” [John 3:36.] The Word of God, just as it reads, is the ground of our faith. That Word is the sure word of prophecy, and it demands implicit faith from all who claim to believe it. It is authoritative, containing in itself the proof of its divine origin. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 20

The only evidence that the world can have that God’s people believe His Word is to see them practicing that Word, and following Christ’s example in all things. Those who do not practice the truth in true piety and godliness, who shun the reproach that always comes to the true believer, will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Our Redeemer endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. It was all for us. There was not one iota of His suffering that was not borne in our behalf, that we might be justified before God. Every pang of distress and anguish borne by our Redeemer was to secure deliverance for us. If Satan could have led Christ to commit one sin, then the serpent would have bruised the head of the seed of the woman. Satan would have triumphed in the fact that he had succeeded in overcoming our Saviour. The world would have been his property. But Christ did not yield in one instance, and He says to us, Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. [John 16:33.] “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” [Hebrews 2:14.] With one hand Christ holds to humanity, while with the other He grasps the throne of the Infinite. 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 21

What are we who claim to be one with Christ? “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] There will ever be the same conflict between the true believer and the unbeliever that there was between Christ and those who rejected Him. Those who are partakers with Christ of His sufferings will also be partakers with Him of His glory. But those who evade the cross here deny Him who has bought them at an infinite price, and in the day of judgment, they will be denied. Many, many, are denying Christ and misrepresenting Him by their low standard of Christianity. Those who truly believe in Christ will show their faith in Him by a well ordered life and a godly conversation. By working in Christ’s lines, they will show that they have been adopted into the family of heaven. Of all such God says, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 12LtMs, Ms 90, 1897, par. 22