The Upward Look


Living Stones for a Heavenly Temple, December 25

All the 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 2:21, 22. UL 373.1

If we do not respond to the light given and render corresponding obedience, keeping our souls in the love of God, abiding in Christ, that which to us would become a blessing becomes a curse. It is the deceiver, not the Spirit of truth, that makes us believe that we cannot become pure and holy, a powerful people separate from the world, united in love and union with one another through Christ. We need not expect any other portion than that which was given to our Lord. According to the heart service given to God will be the enmity of Satan against the followers of Jesus; and the children of God are more wise and powerful when the wisdom and influence of the world are arrayed against us than when they are engaged in favor and fellowship with them.... UL 373.2

The Jewish Temple was built of hewn stones, and at great expense of time and money and labor these stones were cut out of the mountain and fitted for their places in the building before they were collected together, so that when the building was completed there was not the sound of an ax or hammer heard in its upbuilding. The stones which are in God's sacred temple are not collected from the mountains of Judea but gathered from the nations, kindreds and tongues and people. They are not lifeless material that must be prepared with hammer and chisel, but living stones which emit light. The great cleaver of truth has taken them from the quarry of the world and placed them under the hand of the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, and He is polishing them in His workshop, which is this world, that all the rough edges and crookedness may be removed and they hammered and chiseled and squared by the truth of God, polished and refined, ready to fill their place in God's spiritual temple, that they may grow up a holy temple for God. UL 373.3

Now we are in the workshop of God, and the process is going on in these hours of probation to fit us for the glorious temple. We cannot now be indifferent and negligent and careless, and refuse to depart from sin, but we must be dying to our defects of character and expect to become pure and holy and fashioned in character after the similitude of a palace. When Christ shall come, it is then ... too late to obtain a holy character. Now is the day of preparation; now is the time when we can have our defects removed; now is the time when our sins must go beforehand to judgment, be confessed and repented of and pardon written off against our names.—Letter 60, December 25, 1886, to John Corliss and wife, pioneer workers in Australia. UL 373.4