Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

403/488

Ms 121, 1899

Lessons From Israel

NP

August 24, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1112; 1MCP 241; 3MR 347; 6MR 394; 16MR 277. +Note

The nation of Israel was God’s church, and special directions were given regarding His claims upon it. Jesus Christ was the invisible Leader of the children of Israel in their wilderness wandering. The congregation numbered more than a million people, and they must have needed continual instruction. This was not withheld from them. To them were committed the laws of heavenly origin, God’s holy oracles. It was of great importance that they should know and understand the purposes of heaven concerning them. They must be educated before they were given possession of the vineyard. God’s directions and requirements were written out in plain terms, and these were to be impressed on their minds by every possible means. By pleasant methods of instruction the children also were to be taught. As soon as they could speak, they were to be taught to sing the words of instruction Christ had given to Moses. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 1

Certain men were appointed to perform certain parts of the holy service. Moses and Aaron and his sons were most closely connected with the sanctuary service. They were to minister before the tabernacle of witness. “The Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of the priesthood ... Ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar; that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel. ... Thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for everything of the altar, and within the veil: and ye shall serve: I have given you your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” [Numbers 18:1, 5, 7.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 2

The tribe of Levi was given a specially significant position. They were to unite with others in taking charge of the tabernacle. “Thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi,” God said, “bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee; but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. ... Behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; to you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. ... They shall keep thy charge and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary, and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die. They shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle; and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.” [Verses 2, 6, 3, 4.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 3

Christ the great Teacher gave every specification necessary to show the people that they were not to become jealous of their brethren, thinking that they placed themselves in an exalted position. God Himself had appointed men to do Him service. Men were not managing, but God. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 4

A special blessing was promised the Israelites on condition that they were obedient to the divine laws. God declared that He would be with them as long as they in simplicity obeyed His statutes and judgment, as long as pure, undefiled religion prevailed among them in their public service and family relations. The divine laws were given for their good, to preserve health, unity, peace, and purity. If obeyed, these statutes would give them temporal as well as spiritual advantages. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 5

Christ gave His commandments, and then declared that those who did them would live in them. This statement He repeated when here upon earth. A lawyer came to [Him] with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ asked him, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” The lawyer answered, “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.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said; “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 6

Spiritual and temporal prosperity was to be granted to the Israelites on condition of obedience. “Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live in them.” [Romans 10:5.] And he declared to the people, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply; and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 7

“But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days.” [Deuteronomy 30:15-20.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 8

Special laws were given to the Israelites in regard to the tilling of the soil. “The Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years shalt thou sow thy field, and six years shalt thou prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord; thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed; for it is a year of rest unto the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, and for thy cattle and for the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.” [Leviticus 25:1-7.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 9

These laws seem peculiar to those who have not known God’s statutes; but the Lord knew better than man what arrangements to make with His people. These laws were written down, and the seventh year after they settled in Canaan was to be a Sabbath year. All agricultural business was to stop. There was to be no planting or sowing. For one year the people were to depend wholly on the Lord, having faith in His arrangements as the Householder. The land needed a rest in order to renew the forces necessary for growth. That which grew of itself was the common property of the poor and the stranger, the cattle and the herds. Thus the land was to receive rest, and the poor and the cattle a feast. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 10

This was to show that nature was not God, that God controlled nature. God designed that from nature His church should constantly learn important lessons. They were to cherish a vivid sense that God was the Manager, the Householder. They were to know the reality of His presence and His providential care over all the earth. They were to realize that all nature was under His supervision, all the productions of the ground under His ministration. This was to give them faith in His providence. He could withhold His blessings or bestow them. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 11

Every fiftieth year, the year of jubilee, every inheritance in the land was to be restored to its original owner. “In the year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession,” God declared. [Verse 13.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 12

Thus in His infinite wisdom the Lord educated His people. His requirements were not arbitrary. Connected with all the instruction received by the people from the Source of all light was the consequence of obedience and disobedience. They were taught that obedience would bring them the richest spiritual grace, and would enable them to distinguish between the sacred and the common. Disobedience would also bring its sure result. If the people chose to manage the land in their own supposed wisdom, they would find that the Lord would not work a miracle to counteract the evils He was trying to save them from. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 13

The Lord presented to His people the course they must pursue if they would be a prosperous, independent nation. If they obeyed Him, He declared that health and peace would be theirs, and under His supervision the land would yield its increase. The tithing system was instituted by the Lord as the very best arrangement to help the people in carrying out the principles of the law. If this law were obeyed, the people would be entrusted with the entire vineyard, the whole earth. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 14

“Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments,” He declared, “and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield her fruit and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase; then will I command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.” [Verses 18-22.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 15

The children of Israel were given laws and regulations which would give all nations on the earth a true idea of God’s kingdom and government. As a nation, as families, as individuals, they were to obey these laws. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. Those who felt their entire dependence on God, looking to Him for instruction and relying upon Him for power to carry out His plans in the vineyard they were to cultivate, would receive the largest blessing and revenue. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 16

Adam and Eve lost Eden, and because of their sin the land was cursed; yet if God’s people obeyed His requirements and followed His directions in regard to tilling the soil, the land would be brought back to a prosperous and beautiful condition. Men were to cooperate with God in restoring the diseased land to health, that it might be a praise and a glory to His name. And as the land they possessed would if managed with skill and earnestness, produce its treasures, so their hearts, if controlled by God, would reflect His character. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 17

But if because of selfishness and covetousness men felt capable of managing without the wisdom of God, if they looked upon the land as their own, and refused to give it a sabbath, it would lose its vigor, and dearth and sickness would testify to their disobedience. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 18

In the laws which God gave for the cultivation of the soil, He was giving the people opportunity to overcome their selfishness and become heavenly-minded. Canaan would be to them as Eden if they obeyed the word of the Lord. Through them the Lord designed to teach all the nations of the world how to cultivate the soil so that it would yield healthy fruit, free from disease. The earth is the Lord’s vineyard, and is to be treated according to His plan. Those who cultivated the soil were to realize that they were doing God service. They were as truly in their lot and place as were the men appointed to minister in the priesthood and in work connected with the tabernacle. God told the people that the Levites were a gift to them, and no matter what their trade, they were to help to support them. Especially were those tilling the soil to bring in the rich treasures of the earth for the sustenance of the Levites. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 19

The poor of the congregation of Israel were not left to haphazard feelings or impulses. God declared, You are to cultivate the land six years, but the seventh year leave it to Me. During that time it is to be cared for by Me. There is to be no planting or sowing, no reaping or gathering. All who would were to use what the ground produced. The poor were to partake of its spontaneous productions, and the stranger was to have free access to them. Thus did the Lord provide a table for the poor. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 20

Let those who believe the word of the Lord read the instruction contained in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. There they will learn what kind of an education was to leave its impress on the families of the nation of Israel. God’s chosen people were to stand forth distinct and holy, separate from the nations who knew not God. But they were given directions to treat the stranger kindly. He was not to be looked down on because he was not of Israel. The Israelites were to love the strangers, because Christ died as verily to save them as He did to save Israel. The Lord God of Israel would receive them if they chose the society of those who knew and acknowledged Him. In this way they would learn of Jehovah, and glorify Him as they beheld His works in behalf of His chosen people. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 21

God declared, “If thy brother be poor and fallen into decay with thee, then shalt thou relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger and a sojourner, that he may live with thee. Take not thou usury of him or increase, but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. I am the Lord thy God which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, to give thee the land of Canaan, and to be thy God.” [Leviticus 25:35-38.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 22

God will reveal Himself as the friend of justice and mercy. He always has been and always will be the enemy of selfishness and covetousness. No one can obtain His favor and blessing who practices fraud, oppressing his brother or a stranger because it is in his power to do so. God blesses those only who love mercy, showing this not only in word but in deed, giving evidence by their courtesy and kindness that they walk with God. “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of the soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [Micah 6:6-8.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 23

The world’s Redeemer was brought up in a lowly village, which was not noted for its high standard of morality. In this despised town of Galilee He lived till He was thirty years of age. The greatest gift that heaven could send was born and brought up in lowliness. Thus God would teach His people that they are not to put their trust in outward show and parade. Jesus knew the wrong steps which the Jewish nation had taken in this direction, and He would not come in a way that would meet their expectations. The Lord would bless His church only through their obedience. He permitted the Roman power to have control over them, but notwithstanding this, it was only a remnant of Israel that received Him. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 24

Because of their pride, their belief in their own superiority, the Jews as a nation refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah. It was because of this that He declared, “Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of heaven shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” [Matthew 21:43.] All the advantages the Jewish people enjoyed had come to them through the mercy and benevolence of God, and it was their duty to respond to the favors shown by rendering to God His own in tithes and offerings and in willing obedience. They were to be teachable and obedient to God’s commands. Thus they would stand among the Gentiles, people who knew not God, as representatives of the good and right. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 25

When Christ came, literal Israel had long been trodden down by the Gentiles, but the Lord had a people who were to be spiritual Zion. “The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.” [Micah 5:7.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 26

Let all who claim to be the chosen of God understand that they are to be what they claim to be. The Israelites failed grievously to fulfil God’s plans for them. Ezekiel writes of them, “He said unto me, Son of man, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely had I sent thee unto them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 27

“Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead; fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” [Ezekiel 3:4-11.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 28

And Christ said concerning the Jewish people, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than 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. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but no they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the words which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” [John 15:20-24.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 29

These Scriptures should be a warning to those living in 1899 who have been given many privileges and opportunities, and great light and knowledge. Let them remember that whatever their position, if they do not respond to the word the Lord sends them, the severity of their visitation will be proportionate to the light and knowledge given them. There is great need that the people whom God has exalted to positions of trust as teachers of His Word be refined and purified. The Bible is to be studied as the Word of God. It is to be received just as it reads, and then obeyed. It is to be the daily food of believers, for in it is their strength. Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God brings eternal life. Those who do this have a religious experience after the divine similitude. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 30

The Lord requires those who have any connection with His work to honor Him. They will be held accountable for the influence for good they might have exerted by maintaining correct principles. By their words and deeds they are to bear a distinct, solemn message to the world. The watchmen are to purify their own souls by obeying the truth, the living Word of God. They are no longer to be self-centered. They are to understand that their work is nigh and afar off. Their neighbors need their labor. The churches claiming to believe the truth, but not practicing it, need to be plainly warned in regard to the perilous position of those who know the truth but do it not. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 31

For years Christ has been warning His people as He warned the Jewish people when here on earth. The cities wherein most of His mighty works were done were upbraided because the people repented not. They were convicted, their hearts were stirred; but they were not willing to humble themselves. They acted as though they thought it beneath their dignity to humble their hearts to confess and forsake their sins. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 32

Who among those now claiming to believe the truth are in a position similar to this—enjoying great light, yet standing in impenitence. Listen to the words of the Saviour: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” [Matthew 11:21-23.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 33

In Capernaum Christ made His home during the greater part of His public ministry. Constantly the people had before them the example of His perfect life. In this city Christ did many of His mighty works. Angels communed with Him and guarded Him from harm. But notwithstanding the wonderful works they witnessed, and the gracious words they heard, the people repented not to give God the glory. Thus they could have rendered Him the fruit of His vineyard, but they refused to do it. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 34

Christ’s words should come home to the hearts of those in our institutions who have enjoyed great light and many spiritual blessings, yet have not shown repentance and reformation which in any way correspond with the privileges bestowed. The husbandmen have not given the fruit of the vineyard to the Householder. Let those at the centers of the work, connected with the instrumentalities by which God reflects light to the world, remember that the Lord will call for fruit from His vineyard. Proportionate to the blessings bestowed will be the returns required. Heavenly angels have visited and ministered in every place where God’s institutions are established. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 35

Unfaithfulness in these institutions is a greater sin than it would be elsewhere, because it has a greater influence than it would have elsewhere, as coming from men who have been favored with greater light than any others in the world. Christ is in these institutions as a Watcher and a Healer. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” [John 1:4]; and any unfaithfulness, any injustice, any dishonesty, any conniving at wrong, obstructs the light which God designs shall shine forth from these institutions. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 36

God should be honored by all who connect with His instrumentalities. If wrongs are tolerated there, the work that should be done—the glorifying of God’s name—is hindered. The people have been educated to look upon God’s institutions as places where truth and righteousness are to be found. Those who pursue a course in business deal that does not rightly represent God are like the unfaithful husbandmen, who refused to give the householder the fruit of the vineyard in its season. Such unfaithfulness is contagious. The practice of principles that are not according to truth and righteousness is doing its baleful work. Light which should go to the people, to all who come in contact with the men placed in positions of trust, is being shut away from them. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 37

In the relation of men to God’s institutions there must be revealed something higher and holier than natural love. If the truth as it is in Jesus abides in the heart, it will be revealed by the love of which Christ told His disciples not long before He left them to be offered up for the sins of the world. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] Nothing short of this love will be accepted by God. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 38

Writing to the Colossians, Paul speaks of “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” [Colossians 1:26-28.] Holiness to the Lord is required in all who come nigh God in service. Self-exaltation is to find no place in the heart. Devotion to self cannot exist in the life that is ruled by Christ. By selfishness Christ is dishonored, and He can never bless those whom it controls. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 39

The devotion which God requires reveals itself in unfeigned love for the souls for whom Christ gave His life. Christ dwelling in the heart will be manifested by the love which He enjoins upon His disciples. His true children will prefer others to themselves. They do not seek for the lion’s share at any time or in any place, because they do not look upon their talents as superior to those of their brethren. When this is indeed the case, the sign will be given in a revelation of the love which Christ manifested for the souls of men—an unselfish, unfeigned love, which preferred the welfare of others before His own. They “look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” [Philippians 2:4.] Holiness will bear fruit in good works. The character formed in true holiness will hate greed and everything of a selfish nature. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 40

God calls the church His body. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. God is the Father of the family, the Shepherd of the flock. But a mere outward connection with any church will not save a man. It is personal faith in a personal Saviour which brings the soul into spiritual union with Christ. This truth Christ plainly teaches in the sixth chapter of John. “Labor not for that meat which perisheth,” He said, “but for that meat which endureth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed. ... I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I say unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believed not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 41

“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all things which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life. ... I am the Bread of life. ... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [Verses 27, 35-40, 48, 50, 51.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 42

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” [Verses 53-58.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 43

The second chapter of Revelation presents a church in a condition which calls for reformation. The church possesses excellent qualification, but there is need of individual heart-searching. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” [Verses 1-3.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 44

The True Witness mingles commendation and encouragement with His reproof and warning. The reproof comes because they have lost from their hearts something which they once had. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,” He says, “because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come to thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verses 4, 5.] 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 45

These warnings and encouragements are needful for the church in all ages. The specifications mentioned should be earnestly considered and studied by our teachers in every line of work. When church members are deficient in these things, they should be reproved and earnestly labored for. The love of Christ must be revived in their hearts. God will not accept a profession of love for Him which does not embrace love for their brethren. If we are Christ’s disciples, we shall love one another as He has loved us. This truth was taught by Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand, thus expressing His power and knowledge, and His authority over all who minister in the churches. From Him they receive their office, and He it is who imparts to them strength and efficiency to fill that office. To Him they must render an account in the day of God. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 46

“These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” [Verse 1.] These words assure us of Christ’s constant presence with His church. Those who are knit together in love will find Him an ever present Friend. Though they are in the deepest poverty and abasement for Christ’s sake, they are never alone, never without His sympathy and love. The light of His presence shines upon all who are united in Him, and this light they in turn are to reflect to the world. 14LtMs, Ms 121, 1899, par. 47