The Upward Look


He Must Increase, October 21

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30. UL 308.1

On one occasion the Jewish rulers sent messengers to John the Baptist to make the inquiry “Who art thou?” ... He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias” (John 1:23).... UL 308.2

None who listened to the words of John and marked the earnestness of his manner could doubt that he referred to the Christ who had been so long promised to the world.... Multitudes accepted the preaching of John, and followed him from place to place. Many cherished in their hearts the hope that he was the Messiah. But as John saw the people turning to him, he sought to direct their minds to the coming One.... UL 308.3

In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, such a work as that of John the Baptist is to be done. God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. The message preceding the public ministry of Christ was “Repent, publicans and sinners; repent, Pharisees and Sadducees; repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (see Matthew 3:2). As a people who believe in Christ's soon appearing, we have a message to bear, “Prepare to meet thy God.” Our message is to be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. Notwithstanding that his life was imperiled, he did not hesitate to declare God's Word; and our work in this age must be done as faithfully. In order to give such a message as John gave, we must have a spiritual experience like his.... We must behold God, and in beholding Him, lose sight of self. UL 308.4

John had by nature the faults and weaknesses common to humanity, but the touch of divine love had transformed him. When, after Christ's ministry began, the disciples of John came to him with the complaint that all men were following the new teacher, John showed how clearly he understood his relation to the Messiah, and how gladly he welcomed the One for whom he had prepared the way.... “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Looking in faith to the Redeemer, John had risen to the height of self-abnegation. He sought not to attract men to himself, but to lift their thoughts higher and still higher, until they should rest upon the Lamb of God.... UL 308.5

Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” They will lift up Jesus, and with Him humanity will be lifted up.—Manuscript 113, October 21, 1907, “Judge Not.” UL 308.6