Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 28, 1905

The Result of Repentance

[Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]

March 5, 1905 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6BC 1068, 1071; 7MR 292-293. +Note

Repentance is one of the first fruits of saving grace. Our great Teacher, in His lessons to erring, fallen man, presents the life-giving power of His grace, declaring that through this grace men and women may live the new life of holiness and purity. He who lives this life works out the principles of the kingdom of heaven. Taught of God, he leads others in straight paths. He will not lead the lame into paths of uncertainty. The working of the Holy Spirit in his life shows that he is a partaker of the divine nature. Every soul thus worked by the Spirit of Christ receives so abundant a supply of the rich grace that, beholding his good works, the unbelieving world acknowledges that he is controlled and sustained by divine power and is led to glorify God. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 1

There are those who, notwithstanding all the gracious invitations of Christ, continue to reveal ungodliness in their lives. God addresses all such in the words: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in scorning? and fools hate knowledge? Turn ye at my reproof, and I will pour out my spirit unto you; I will make known my words unto you.” [Proverbs 1:22, 23.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 2

“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman; if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 3

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 4

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus shall ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 5

“Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 6

“Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him; he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.” [Ezekiel 33:1-16.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 7

“Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal; but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his own ways. ... For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease, and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” [Verses 17-20, 28, 29.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 8

“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people are still talking against thee by the walls, and in the doors of the houses, and speak to one another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what the word is that cometh forth from the Lord.” [Verse 30.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 9

This scripture represented the spiritual condition of many in Battle Creek. They burlesque the messages in mercy sent them by the Lord, to save the erring from their errors. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 10

“And they come to thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” [Verses 31-33.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 11

Read and study the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel. In it we are given most precious encouragement. “I will save My flock, and they shall be no more a prey,” the Lord declares, “and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit; and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in the land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, neither shall they bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and they, even the house of Israel, are My people, saith the Lord God. And ye are My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” [Verses 22-31.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 12

The most striking feature of this covenant of peace is the exceeding richness of the pardoning mercy expressed to the sinner if he repents and turns from his sin. The Holy Spirit describes the gospel as salvation through the tender mercies of our God. “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,” the Lord declares of those who repent, “and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” [Hebrews 8:12.] Does God turn from justice in showing mercy to the sinner? No; God cannot dishonor His law by suffering it to be transgressed with impunity. Under the new covenant, perfect obedience is the condition of life. If the sinner repents and confesses his sins, he will find pardon. By Christ’s sacrifice in his behalf, forgiveness is secured for him. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law for every repentant, believing sinner. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth. ... And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:12, 14, 16.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 13

The atonement that has been made for us by Christ is wholly and abundantly satisfactory to the Father. God can be just, and yet the justifier of those who believe. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 14

I am instructed to say the every sinner, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [Verse 29.] We may be renewed in the divine nature. The promise has been made, “I will put My laws in their minds, and in their hearts will I write them.” [Hebrews 8:10.] Through disobedience man forfeited holiness, accepting in its place the principles of unrighteousness. But by breaking the yoke that Satan has fastened on him, and taking the yoke of Christ, learning His meekness and lowliness, the sinner is created anew. Christ has promised to write in the heart of every repentant sinner the principles of God’s law, which is holy, just, and good. He promises to renovate the soul, through the medium of truth. He makes no use of the science of sophistry, which would palsy the higher powers of the soul, but diffuses His own life through the entire being. Thus the sinner is born again, and henceforth, in a life of loving service, he is to work out the grand, ennobling principles that he can take with him into the heavenly courts. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 15

There is placed upon him a new mold of character, which the world knows not, but which all must receive who obtain entrance into the courts above. 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 16

Repentance for sin is the first fruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects. In Christ all fulness dwells. Science that is not in harmony with Him is of no value. He teaches us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This knowledge is the highest science that any man can reach. It is the sum of all true science. “This is life eternal,” Christ declared, “that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 20LtMs, Ms 28, 1905, par. 17