Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

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Ms 27a, 1900

God’s Purpose for His People

NP

April 19, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 273; UL 123; 6BC 1075. +Note

Although our Lord held in His hand the entire map of truth from the commencement to the close of its history, He disclosed only those portions which relate to man’s duty to God and to his fellow men, as he moves on, stage by stage in progressive warfare, in his journey to the promised land. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 1

Christ left an open path to heaven, which all may see. So plain is this path that the ignorant and uninformed need not become entangled in the sophistries of the world. Christ desires His people to keep this path plain and distinct before the eyes of all travellers, that none may err therein. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 2

Instead of theorizing on the subject of truth, as the Pharisees did, Christ presented truth as a message from God, to be received and acted upon. He said to His disciples, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 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.] 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 3

Mark bears testimony, “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” [Mark 16:14-18.] 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 4

Baptism is a sacred rite, instituted by Christ, by which the human agent is dedicated to God. The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper are two monumental pillars, one within and one without the church. Upon these ordinances Christ has inscribed the name of the true God. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 5

Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 6

Those who do this are to make all worldly considerations secondary to their new relations. Publicly they have declared that they will not longer live in pride and self-indulgence. Christ enjoins those who receive this ordinance to remember that they are bound by a solemn covenant to live to the Lord. They are to use for Him all their entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that they bear God’s <sign of obedience to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment,> that they are subjects of Christ’s kingdom, partakers of the divine nature. They are to surrender all they have and are to God, employing all their gifts to His name’s glory. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 7

Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have accepted the invitation, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 8

Let those who receive the imprint of God by baptism heed these words, remembering that upon them the Lord has placed His signature, declaring them to be His sons and daughters. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 9

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 10

This does not please the backslidden church, and Satan inspires professing Christians with an intense opposition, which at times is more pronounced than at others. The enemy is stirred to anger when the message of truth regarding the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus is made prominent by the Lord’s watchmen. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 11

Christ came to this world to establish a kingdom which would be a pattern of His heavenly kingdom. Pure and undefiled, His church was presented in contrast with the powers of this earth, which in the visions of Daniel are symbolized by ferocious beasts. These kingdoms engaged in war and destruction to gain advantage for themselves. While nation was warring against nation, seeking to obtain the ascendancy by physical force, there fell from the lips of Christ the words, “He that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword.” [Matthew 26:52.] From the church of Christ all carnal weapons, all instruments of coercion, are to be banished. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 12

The Lord designs His church below to be a place where heaven is personified. Christ said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” [Matthew 18:20.] The three highest powers of heaven combined to organize a church composed of members who would be distinguished from world-lovers and world-servers by the spiritual nature of their profession and their practical godliness. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 13

Assimilation is a law of human nature. Satan works with untiring perseverance to use this law, ordained by God to be a power for good, to forward his plans. He seeks to blend together righteous and unrighteous principles, in order that through this union sin may lose its offensive appearance. He mixes chaff with the wheat. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 14

The righteous should associate with the wicked only to restore the principles of truth, which have been almost obliterated. He who seeks to help and bless others must depend wholly upon the unseen yet all-essential supply of grace and strength. He must cooperate with God if he would be successful in saving the souls ready to perish. He must associate closely with divine agencies, drawing by faith the grace so much needed to resist the elements of unrighteousness. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 15

Christ saw Satan patterning after heaven by the use of human association, thus extending the contagion of evil, and He determined to make His church a resisting element. His people are not to borrow the forms and customs of the world, but are to be instinct with the principles which make the church on earth a symbol of the church in heaven, a channel through which heaven’s rich blessings can flow. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 16

Untold good may be accomplished by the righteous working with and for the wicked; but too often those who ought to lead sinners to God do not draw with Christ. Frequently the unrighteous are permitted to draw church members into scenes of frivolity and careless pleasure. Too often the principle of assimilation works in the wrong direction. Souls are drawn away from truth. The Lord is not pleased with the work left undone by the church members, for Him, for one another, and for the work. His people have not enough of the true missionary spirit. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 17

Church members are under a solemn pledge to form characters different in every way from the characters of worldlings. If a change does not take place in them prior to their union with the church, there is danger that though they have joined the church, they will assimilate with worldlings. Satan triumphs when he sees the leaven of the world working in the church, to the destruction of its purity and holiness. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 18

It is God’s plan that in His church heavenly influences shall be reinforced and stimulated by the cooperation of the members with Him. His people are to increase in strength and efficiency, knowing that the atmosphere which surrounds the souls of righteous believers is the same as the atmosphere in the heaven of purity and light and love. Through Christian fellowship they are to form their characters, assimilating them to the character of Christ. According to their faith will be their Christlike meekness and lowliness. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 19

As God’s people seek to fulfill this plan, they are answering the prayer of Christ, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their words: that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me: that they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:17-23.] Wonderful, gracious words! 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 20

Love for God is cultivated and developed by beholding Him who has bought us with His own life. Learn to serve Him, not under an oppressive restraint but with cheerful obedience. Thus you may represent Him to the world. We are to strive daily to increase in knowledge, multiplying our powers through the grace given. We are to grow in usefulness. Thus we may testify to the world that God has sent His Son to this earth to save men and women from sin. As God’s followers manifest the mighty power of His grace to transform the heart, they show that they bear the true imprint of His name. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 21

Three distinct agencies, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, work together for human beings. They are united in the work of making the church on earth like the church in heaven. They place the resources of heaven at the disposal of those who will appreciate and impart these spiritual treasures, multiplying them by using them to the glory of God. Every diligent effort to improve adds to the gifts we have. The powers of heaven work with human beings on the plan of multiplication. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 22

Christ came to the earth to set in operation a vast missionary work. Those who compose His church are to cooperate with Him by revealing His attributes. They are to act under the dictation of the Holy Spirit. Heavenly angels cooperate with those who seek to give to humanity the impress of the divine nature. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 23

God will give those who do His will higher and still higher attainments in moral excellence, just as fast as they gain faith to receive them. The Lord has all power to impart to those who will seek earnestly to draw from the source of all power. Light and grace will be given to those who pray, studying the privileges and opportunities given them to restore in the world the principles of righteousness. If they fill their position as lightbearers in the church, shining forth as living stones, God will help them to labor with true piety and earnest zeal for those in the church and out of the church. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 24

Christ knew that as His people received His grace and attributes, they could indeed become a family united by holy love, co-workers with God because [they are] partakers of the divine nature. In His love Christ assigns duties to the members of His church, enjoining them to love and esteem one another. He baptizes them with the oil of His grace, and sets them at work for those whom Satan holds in the slavery of sin. He tells them that thus they can show their love for one another and for God. 15LtMs, Ms 27a, 1900, par. 25