Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 164, 1898

“Be Ye Therefore Perfect, Even as Your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect.”


December 14, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 357; 6MR 5.

The Lord Jesus took upon Him the form of sinful man, clothing His divinity with humanity. But He was holy, even as God is holy. If He had not been without spot or stain of sin, He could not have been the Saviour of mankind. He was a Sin-bearer, needing no atonement. One with God in purity and holiness of character, He could make a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 1

Christ is the light of the world. Through Him light is shining amid the moral darkness. If He were not light, the darkness would not be apparent, because light reveals darkness. The clearer the light, the more manifest the contrast between light and darkness. Let the light be removed, and there is naught but darkness. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 2

Christ has declared our position. “He that abideth in me,” He says, “shall not walk in darkness; but shall have the light of life.” [John 15:5; 8:12.] He is Himself the Bright and morning star. He is the Sun of Righteousness, the brightness of His Father’s glory. He is the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [John 1:9.] A Physician, a Healer, He came to restore the moral image of God that was lost by transgression. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 3

When Christ abides in the soul by faith, He makes the one who loves Him all light in the Lord. It is true that many who say they believe the truth have only a nominal faith. They are not doers of the Word. They profess to believe, but their profession will not convert them. Their hearts have not been surrendered to Christ. They have not opened the door of the heart and welcomed Christ as a heavenly guest. They love themselves and their own ways, and have not realized that their ways, their words, and their characters are virtually opposed to God. When Christ dwells in the heart, His presence is apparent. Good and pleasant words and actions reveal the Spirit of Christ. Sweetness of temper is manifested. There is not angry passion, no obstinacy, no evil-surmising. There is no hatred in the heart because the ideas and methods called Truth are not accepted and appreciated by others. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 4

The Cain-spirit must not be allowed to enter the heart, for the hatred it cherishes is next of kin to murder. The Lord has provided a remedy. He gave His only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 5

Faith is genuine if it works by love and purifies the soul. Self must be crucified, else sin will remain, to defile the whole being. Man cannot have God’s favor if he does not show love to God and to his neighbor. He has lost God’s favor by sin, and cannot be saved unless Christ takes away his sin, which he loathes. The moral image of God cannot be restored in him while he fosters his own image and retains his own scent, which means uncleanness and defilement. He must be a diligent worker with God if he desires to have the divine image restored in his individual case. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 6

Jesus gave His life for the world. This is the covenant, the pledge, that if man will come to the Saviour, renouncing his own ways and his own works, he will receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. As man works out his own salvation, God works with him, to will and to do of his good pleasure. Christ works in co-operation with man. He is a complete Saviour, for it was a complete sacrifice that He offered on Calvary’s cross, that man might have a full and complete sanctification. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 7

Wonderful is the provision that has been made! And I bear testimony to the truth that if those who claim to know the truth do not reveal an altogether different character, an altogether different temper, if the old disposition is not changed, if it remains as it was before they knew the truth, they are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot. Christ says of them, “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” [Revelation 3:15, 16.] I cannot plead is your behalf, for you have no desire for My glory. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 8

But when the truth controls the life, there is purity and freedom from sin. The glory, the fulness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The light of truth irradiates the soul temple. The understanding takes hold of Christ. Christ declared, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] If man’s will is submitted to the will of God, the man, although he is a sinner, will be drawn to Christ. He will realize something of the love manifested by God when He gave His Son to die on Calvary’s cross to bring life and immortality within the reach of men. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 9

The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ, revealed in the life, testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world. No other power could bring about such a marked change in a man’s words, his spirit, his actions. His whole soul is in harmony with the mind and will of Christ. He does not hate the light because it reproves and warns him, revealing his darkness, but accepts it and rejoices in it. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 10

Shall we choose darkness rather than light, because the light discerns our sins and reproves us? Shall we refuse to come to the light, lest our deeds shall be made manifest? 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 11

Without Christ, the heart of man is cold, but when the human agent feels his need of the Sun of Righteousness, when he comes to Jesus, saying, “Lord, I am sinful, unworthy, hopeless; save me, or I perish,” he is accepted in the Beloved, and his heart is warmed by the rays of divine love. In this sincere coming to Christ he opens the door to Him who has long been saying, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” [Revelation 3:20.] He is accepted by faith, and he knows what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 12

God says, “Let there be light,” and there is light. [Genesis 1:3.] The soul possesses an abiding Christ, who is the light of life. Christ humbles the proud heart by giving it a view of Himself, His generosity, His great love. He would save us, soul, body, and spirit, by uniting us to Himself. He would have us behold His glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Then we can say, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:16.] 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 13

He who shows that he appreciates the grace he receives by imparting it to others receives increased grace, in proportion to the grace he imparts. He is so full of joy that he receives by imparting it to others receives increased grace, in proportion to the grace He imparts. He is so full of joy that he exclaims, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] The one great lesson that all must learn—the poor sinner dead in trespasses and sins, and the professed Christian who has known the truth, but has clung to his unsanctified elements of character—is that Christ will save to the uttermost all who will come to Him. “Him that cometh to me,” He says, “I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37.] The poor, the suffering, the sinful, may in Christ find all they need. As soon as they receive Jesus as their personal Saviour, the cries of distress and woe are changed to songs of praise and thanksgiving. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 14

All may share Christ’s grace if they will confess their sins to the great Sin-bearer, whose work it is to take away the sins of all who believe. You have the assurance that as you renounce your own righteousness, you will be clothed with His righteousness. Christ invites you, saying, Let him take hold of My strength, and make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me. [Isaiah 27:5.] The door is open to receive all. No one who comes is turned away. Christ proffers to all a priceless treasure—His peace, a peace that the world can neither give nor take away, peace that like a river ever increases if kept flowing. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 15

But many professed Christians have never seen the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This is the reason why there is so little freedom and sanctification. One safeguard after another is removed from the sanctuary of the conscience. The failure to overcome leaves the soul unguarded. One evil habit, if not firmly resisted, will strengthen into chains of steel, binding the whole man. Slipshod religion is a dangerous thing is the home, in the church, or in any place. And to educate the mind to look for defects in others unfits the soul for communion with God. It is a leaven of evil. The very act of looking for evil in others develops defects in those who look. These would be alarmed could they see the facts that are registered against them in the books of heaven. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 16

The man with the beam in his own eye thinks he has discovered a mote in his brother’s eye. But the very discovery of the mote is the sign of the beam. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, and considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 17

Jesus has given His lessons. The everlasting gates of pearl will not open to those who come with the symbols of power, but they will open wide to the trembling touch of the meek and lowly. To be great in the kingdom of God is to be as a little child in simplicity and love. Cannot the Lord work in our behalf? He will, if we come to him as children to an earthly father. He will lead us by the hand, upholding us, that our feet may not slip. 13LtMs, Ms 164, 1898, par. 18