Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 142, 1899

God’s Care for His Church


October 3, 1899 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7BC 922, 930-931. See ST 02/14/1900.

The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. It was a wonderful structure, made in two parts, the outer and the inner, one open to the ministration of all the priests, the other to the high priest alone, who represented Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 1

The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the “true tabernacle,” whereof the Redeemer is the minister. [Hebrews 8:2.] God and not man pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. This tabernacle is Christ’s body; and from north, south, east, and west, He gathers those who shall help to compose it. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 2

Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the High Priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour, and His office no other can take. He is the High Priest of the church, and He has a work to do which no other can perform. By His grace He is able to keep every man from transgression. His ambassadors, those who receive Him, are born again and are thus fitted to represent Him. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 3

“Such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s; for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forever more.” [Hebrews 7:26-28.] 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 4

Through Christ the true believers are represented as being built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Paul writes “God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 5

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ... Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom the whole building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:4-10, 19-22.] 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 6

God employed men to rear the Jewish tabernacle, giving them skill and efficiency for their work. We read, “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, ... and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship, ... And in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.” [Exodus 31:1-6.] “Then wrought Bezaleel ... and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding.” [Exodus 36:1.] Thus heavenly intelligences co-operated with the workmen whom God Himself selected. Thus the church on earth must unite with the heavenly intelligences in doing God’s work for this time. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 7

“Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.” [Isaiah 28:16.] On this stone, laid by the Lord, there would have arisen no building had not the work of redemption been carried on after the Lord’s prescribed plan. And although the plan of salvation was carried forward according to the plan ordained from the foundation of the earth, yet men and women will not be saved unless they themselves exercise faith and build on the true foundation, unless they allow God to re-create them by His Holy Spirit. God works in and through the human agent who co-operates with Him by choosing to help to compose the Lord’s building. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 8

A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as their personal Saviour. Of them John writes, “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 flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] By receiving Christ and being conformed to His will, man goes on to perfection. This building up of individual characters which are renewed constitutes a structure more noble than any mortal workmanship. Thus the great work of God goes forward from point to point. Those who desire a place in His church show this by their willingness to be so conformed to the will of God that they can be trusted with grace to impart to others. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 9

Divine ministration is needed to give power and efficiency to the church in this world. God’s family on earth, subject to temptations and trials, is very near to His heart of love. He has ordained that communication be kept up between heavenly intelligences and His children on this earth. Angels from the courts above are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, those who as faithful warriors are partaking of Christ’s suffering. Christ is represented as dwelling in His people. They must be fed with meat in due season. Therefore, a connection has been established between them and the church above. God cares for His human creation as a husbandman cares for a vineyard. Christ declares, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” [John 15:1.] What a wonderful representation. God is not only the Keeper, but the Owner of the vineyard. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 10

To the church is given the work of making known to the world: “what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” [Ephesians 3:9, 10.] 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 11

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul continues, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye night be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, to him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end.” [Verses 14-21.] This promise is for us. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 12

Christ offered His broken body to purchase back God’s heritage, to give man another trial. “Therefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us.” [Hebrews 7:25.] By his spotless life, his obedience, his death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our Salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, the incense ascends to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. To the true believer Christ is indeed the minister of the sanctuary, officiating for him in the sanctuary and speaking through God’s appointed agencies. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 13

Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him in faith. He will cleanse them from all defilement if they will let Him. But if they cling to their sins, they cannot possibly be saved; for Christ’s righteousness covers no sin unrepented of. God has declared that those who receive Christ as their Redeemer, accepting Him as the One who takes away all sin, will receive pardon for their transgressions. These are the terms of our election. Man’s salvation depends upon his receiving Christ by faith. Those who will not receive Him lose eternal life because they refused to avail themselves of the only means provided by the Father and the Son for the salvation of a perishing world. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 14

The whole human family is the Lord’s property by creation, and doubly so because of the price paid to redeem them. After they had enlisted in the army of the great apostate, God brought them back by the gift of His only begotten Son. But men and women make very poor returns for the wonderful sacrifice Christ has made for them. When the souls of God’s people become quickened by His living Word, they will realize more of what they owe to their Redeemer. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 15

“My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” [1 John 2:1-5.] 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 16

For the church on earth, those who are obedient to God’s Word, keeping His commandments, Christ is performing His office work. Through His appointed instrumentalities He carries forward His work. If we walked in accordance with the light of God’s Word, we would understand better the mysteries of redemption. Mysteries, into which angels desire to look, which prophets and kings and righteous men desired to understand, the church will carry in messages from God to the world. The prophets prophesied of these things, and they longed to understand that which they foretold, but to them this privilege was not given. They longed to see what we see and to hear what we hear, but they could not. They will know all when Christ comes the second time, when surrounded by a multitude which no man can number, He explains the deliverance He worked out by the great sacrifice He made. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 17

Let us try to understand something of the mighty work that Christ did by His incarnation, His life of humiliation, His lessons, His deed of mercy. “For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” [2 Corinthians 8:9.] In the strength of that wondrous love, which is unexplainable to humanity, He arose, and laying hold of the world, held it in His grasp. Satan, claiming the world as his rightful territory, sought by every device to wrench it from the Redeemer’s grasp, but by His life and death of humiliation Christ held it fast. And when in His dying agony Christ cried out, “It is finished” [John 19:30], He drew the world back into favor with God. Satan knew that his triumph was short. 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 18

In dying, Christ proclaimed Satan’s death sentence. And this victory was heralded by all the heavenly host. All the angelic family, cherubs and seraphs, sang the praise of the wonderful work which united earth to heaven, and finite man to the infinite God. And when the conflict is over forever, what songs of praise will burst forth from the redeemed host. That will indeed be music. Without a discordant note the rich, full anthem will rise from immortal voices, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb.” [Revelation 5:12.] 14LtMs, Ms 142, 1899, par. 19