Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 17, 1903

Talk/Unity of Spirit


April 2, 1903

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1087.

April 2, 1903

Talk by Mrs. E. G. White at the General Conference

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:1-3.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 1

It is only by knowing God and Christ that we can gain eternal life. We must separate from any line of work that hinders us from obtaining this knowledge. We are safe only as we comply with the conditions that God has laid down for us. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 2

Just as soon as we receive the instruction that Christ has given, and follow it to the letter, we shall be so filled with the spirit and grace of God, that we shall be unable to sit in the congregation of His people without being impressed by a sense of the nearness of His presence. Our minds will be in harmony with the mind of Christ. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 3

“I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. ... I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and they have kept Thy word.” [Verses 4, 6.] “They have kept Thy word.” This is what we are to do. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 4

As the disciples received the words of Christ, so we are to receive them. We are to speak the words that God has given us to speak. Never are we to manufacture theories of our own, which have no foundation in the Scriptures. In the Bible we are given a knowledge of God and of Christ. There are those who think that they have exhausted the treasures of this Word, when they have hardly made a beginning in gaining a knowledge of its wonderful truths. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 5

Many spend their time seeking for doctrines that are new and strange. They try to find out what is meant by the hundred and forty-four thousand. When we get to heaven we shall know and understand who will be included in this number. We are not to let our imaginations work upon matters that God has not revealed to us. We are to plant our feet upon the Word of the living God, and when we reach the kingdom of heaven, we shall understand the mysteries of that country. Christ will lead us beside the river of life and open to our minds the truths of His Word. He will unfold to us mysteries that we cannot now grasp. In the school above we shall obtain the higher education. Till then we must be content to leave with God the mysteries that we cannot comprehend. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 6

But this we know—we are to manifest His name unto those with whom we come in contact. On the street, in the cars, wherever we are, we are to speak of Christ, of His work, His goodness, His power. We are not to reveal ourselves, but Christ. As we do this, our lips will be filled with His praise. Our whole being will be drawn out after heavenly things. We shall be in harmony with Christ, and with our brethren. Then the idle talk that hinders us so much will find no place in our lives. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 7

“I have given unto them the words which thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.” [Verses 8, 9.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 8

“And now come I to Thee, and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” [Verse 13.] Christians are not to go with their heads bowed down with sorrow, talking about their trials and difficulties and sorrows. When Christ’s joy is fulfilled in us, we shall not be hurt because somebody has said something about us. We shall not cherish thoughts of distrust and evil. We shall think of the promises that God has made, making them our own; and our faces will be lighted up with the glory of God. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 9

“I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” [Verse 14.] We are not to follow the customs and practices of the world. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 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.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 10

“I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” [John 17:15.] Until the Lord puts His hand upon the cruel power of darkness, saying, “Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther,” there will be evil in the world. But in the strength of the Redeemer we can live lives of holiness and purity, uncontaminated by the evil around us. Enoch walked with God in an age as degenerate as the age in which we are living. Did he see God by his side? Only by faith. He knew that the Lord was there, and he adhered steadfastly to the principles of truth. We, too, are to walk with God. When we do this, our faces will be lighted up by the brightness of His presence, and when we meet one another, we shall speak of His power, saying, Praise God. Good is the Lord, and good is the Word of the Lord. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 11

“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 may be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; 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.” [Verses 18-21.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 12

The Lord’s people, by their unity, are to be the means of convincing the world that God sent His Son to save sinners. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 13

“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.” [Verses 22, 23.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 14

I ask those who have been drawing apart from one another to think of these things. Christ said, “That they may be made perfect in one.” There is no perfection in our being separate, atoms, each one going his own way and following his own judgment. We must be one; we must speak the same things. “That the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” [Verse 23.] Think of these words. God loves us as He loves His Son. How it must grieve Him, then, to see us fighting and quarreling like a family of unruly children, offended first with one and then with another. My brethren and sisters, do you not desire to live in the unity for which Christ prayed? Then when some one begins to talk of the faults and wrongdoings of some one else, turn the conversation to the subject of Christ’s power and mercy. Speak of heaven and eternal things. Angels of heaven will be close beside you, and you will be lifted from the lowlands of earth to vantage ground with God. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 15

We are in a school—God’s lower school. God desires us, while in this world, to learn all that we possibly can of that which will give us strength and nobility of character. We may, if we will, attain to the heights of knowledge and power to which God points us in His Word. By beholding Christ, we shall be changed into His image, His likeness. May God help us to realize that day by day we are given the privileges of learning what God is to us and what we may be to Him. He is saying, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 16

Let us confess our faults to one another and pray for one another. Let us act as if we were in earnest. Let us leave the darkness and the gloom and the mist, and stand where the Sun of righteousness can shine upon us. Then we shall be a blessing and a help to one another. We shall strengthen one another in the most holy faith. Let us cherish the principles that called us out of the world to stand as God’s peculiar people—a holy nation, a royal priesthood. If we steadfastly maintain these principles, if we are true to God and to one another, when He comes in the clouds of heaven, He will take us to Himself. We shall be waiting and watching for Him, and when He appears we shall exclaim, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” [Isaiah 25:9.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 17

Jesus loves us. He gave His life for us. And when He ascended, He took His humanity into heaven, and today He stands before God as our Elder Brother, pleading in our behalf. He holds out to us power to live pure, holy lives. But very few, perhaps none of us, are ready to meet the King in His beauty. Unless we gain a deeper experience in the things of God, we shall never see the King in His beauty. Those who, at Christ’s coming, are cherishing sin, cannot be received into heaven. All who are saved will be “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” [Ephesians 5:27.] 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 18

Those who enter the city of God will enter as His little children, there to be instructed through the eternal ages. O I want to be there, and I want you to be there. I want to see the King in His beauty, and I want you to see Him. But you can never see Him while you are satisfied with your own way and your own disposition. Ask Christ to form in you a character like His own. Come to God in humility and contrition, and His salvation will be seen among us. The lips of every one here will be filled with the praise of God. We shall see of His grace and talk of His power. 18LtMs, Ms 17, 1903, par. 19