The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 82—Jesus, Our Redeemer and Ruler

MS - 24 - 1890

May 18, 1890.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: be that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” 1888 665.1

My prayer is, O Lord, take the load of my mind, control my judgment, imbue me with Thy Spirit. In my very weakness I would glorify God. I would put my trust in Him; I would have sincere faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. We need to cultivate faith and love, for our churches are becoming leavened with unbelief, and with hardness of heart. We need to pray for the Lord to give them hearts of flesh. 1888 665.2

Jesus, in communicating with John the Revelator, says, “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” Here is presented a high state of advancement in spiritual knowledge. “Nevertheless,” saith the True Witness, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” 1888 665.3

Will our churches have an ear to hear? Will they take heed? Will they by faith secure the heavenly anointing, the oil of grace which keeps the lamps burning that they may discern their defects, their destitution of the love of God? Certain it is that the love, earnest, vital love for Jesus has been dying out of our churches. Will every member of the church arouse? Will they put on Jesus Christ? And will they heed His positive requirements? “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” The first works, when the love of God was pervading the soul with its energizing, transforming power—how simple was the faith, how trustful the confidence in the Lord, how precious the name of Jesus! His love melted and subdued the proud heart. The knocking of Jesus at the door of the heart met a heart's response in opening and welcoming the heavenly Guest. 1888 666.1

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Thus the world's Redeemer illustrates the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart. The living agent, by an act of faith of his own, places himself in the hands of the Lord for Him to work in him His good pleasure in His time. Well then, there must be a continual exercise of faith to be in Christ, and keep in Christ, abiding by faith in Him. This is a training process, a constant discipline of the mind and heart, that Christ shall work His great work in human hearts. Self, the old natural self, dies, and Christ's will is our will, His way is our way, and the human agent becomes, with heart, mind, and intellect, an instrument in the hands of God to work no more wickedness, but the righteousness of Christ. 1888 666.2

The man works and co-operates with God; the grace of God is constantly at work with the consent of the agent to perfect a Christlike character. In the divine arrangement, God does nothing without the co-operation of man. He compels no man's will. That must be given to the Lord completely, also the Lord is not able to accomplish His divine work that He would do through the human agency. Jesus declared that in a certain place He could not do many mighty works among the people because of their unbelief. He wanted to do for them in that place just what He knew that they needed to have done, but He could not because unbelief barred the way. The potter cannot mold and fashion unto honor that which has never been placed in his hands. The Christian life is one of daily surrender, submission and continual overcoming, gaining fresh victories every day. This is the growing up into Christ, fashioning the life into the divine model. 1888 667.1

Christ says of the church, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” This is represented as a fallen condition spiritually. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” The first new love that pervaded the heart manifested itself not only in ardent love to God, but in love to all men formed in His image. There was a soft heavenly light shining in the soul. It did not remain there, shut up as under a bushel, but it was diffused, for it was the practical working out of God's will. There was lively living, a sanctified, lively love, sanctified in Christ Jesus. 1888 667.2

Said the apostle Paul, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, and ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1888 668.1

Devotion, piety, and sanctification of the entire man comes through Jesus Christ our Righteousness. The love of God needs to be constantly cultivated. Oh, how my heart cries out to the living God for the mind of Jesus Christ! I want to lose sight of self. I want to work with all the powers I am capable of exercising to save souls for whom Christ has made the infinite sacrifice of His own precious life. I must seek wisdom daily to know how to deal with souls that are entrapped in Satan's snares. There are many erring, well-beloved souls that, if imbued with the Spirit of Christ, we may win back to God. Notwithstanding their sins and follies, the Lord loves them; He gave His only beloved Son to save them; and it was because He loved them that He sent His Son into the world that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. We must ever keep close to Jesus Christ that we may be constantly partaking of the divine nature, having a deep personal interest in others who have once been our best friends but in time of temptation have lifted up the heel against us. The love of Christ must not be extinguished in the soul. 1888 668.2

But the prejudice against me cannot make me what they think I am, and I shall not feel hard toward them; but when I see my own brethren in the faith, responsible men, working in darkness, my heart aches. They have not injured me, but the Lord Jesus who has delegated me to bear His message to them. And now I can but weep as I think of the suffering, stubborn natures who will not yield to evidence. They wear an appearance of unconcern, but it is not true. Gladly would they change their relation to me, and those whom they have deeply wronged by thoughts, words, and influence, if they could avoid the humiliation of saying, “I have committed an error; I confess my faults; will you forgive me?” The haughty, stubborn will evades the very points they will have to face, if their souls are converted. Oh, will they never break the spell of Satan that is upon them? Will they cherish their pride to the last? How my heart longs to see them free, and not in the strong deceptions of Satan. 1888 668.3

While one class pervert the doctrine of justification by faith, and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God, who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light (new to them) reflected from the cross of Calvary. They do not see the wondrous things in the law of God. To all who are doers of the word, with every injunction to obedience, there is a promise the most positive underlying the command. And we have lost very much in that we have not opened the eyes of our understanding to discern the wondrous things in the law of God. On the one hand the religionist generally has divorced the law and the gospel, while we have on the other hand almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, and brought in the theories and reasonings, preached arguments. 1888 669.1

Unconverted men have stood in the pulpits sermonizing; their own hearts have never experienced the sweet evidence, through a living, clinging trusting faith of the forgiveness of their sins. How then can they preach the love, the sympathy, the forgiveness of God for all their sins? “Look and live.” Looking at the cross of Calvary you will have a desire to bear the cross. A world's Redeemer hung upon the cross of Calvary. Behold the Saviour of the world, in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Can any look and behold the sacrifice of God's dear Son and their hearts not be melted and broken, ready to surrender to God, heart and soul? 1888 669.2

Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance, the perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith. It works by love. Speak it from your heart, “Lord, I believe Thou hast died to redeem my soul. If Thou hast placed such a value upon my soul to give Thy life for mine, I give my life and all its possibilities in all my weakness into Thy keeping.” The will must be brought into complete harmony with the will of God. When this is done every ray of light that will shine into the heart and chambers of the mind will not be resisted, and the soul barricaded with prejudice, calling light darkness, and darkness light. The light from heaven is welcomed as light filling all the chambers of the soul, and this is making melody to God. How much do we believe from the heart, “Draw nigh to God, and God will draw nigh to you”? This means to be much with the Lord in prayer. 1888 670.1

Those who have educated themselves in skepticism and cherished unbelief, weaving questions and doubts into their experience, when under conviction of the Spirit of God they see it to be their personal duty to confess their unbelief and open their hearts to accept of the light sent them, stepping by faith over the line from wrong to right, from doubt to faith, and consecrate themselves unreservedly to God, to follow His light in the place of the sparks of their own kindling. As they maintain their consecration they will see increased light, and the light will continue to grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. The unbelief which is cherished in the soul has a bewitching power; the seed which it has been sowing will produce its harvest. But they must continue to dig up every root of unbelief, and these poisonous plants will cease to grow for want of nourishment in word and action, and the soul must have the precious plants of faith and love put in the soil of the heart and cultivated and cherished there. 1888 670.2

Let not anyone be afraid of going to extremes while he is a close student of the Word, humbling the soul at every step. Christ must dwell in him by faith. He, their Exemplar, was self-possessed. He walked in humility. He had true dignity. He had patience. If we individually possess these traits of character, who accept justification by faith, there will be no extremists. Christ never erred in His judgment of men and of truth. He was never deceived by appearances. He never raised a question but what was clearly appropriate. He never gave an answer but what was fitting and right to the point. He silenced the voice of the cavilling, shrewd, and cunning priests by penetrating through the surface and reaching the heart, flashing light into their consciences, which annoyed them, but they would not yield to conviction. Christ never went to extremes, never lost self-control, or the balance of mind under any excitement. He never violated the law of good taste and discernment when to speak and when to keep silent. Then if all who claim to see the precious golden rays of the light of the Sun of Righteousness will follow the example of Christ, there will be no extremists. 1888 671.1

The example of Christ is before us, ever to keep the law and the gospel closely connected. They cannot be separated. Let calmness and self-possession be cultivated and perseveringly maintained, for this was the character of Christ, while We hear the vehement expressions of false religionists who make bold pretensions, who talk loud and long, saying, “I am holy, I am sinless,” when they have not the least foundation for their faith. We hear no noisy protestations of faith, nor do we see tremendous bodily contortions and exercises in the Author of all truth. 1888 672.1

Remember in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. If Christ is abiding in our hearts by faith, we shall, by beholding the manner of his life, seek to be like Jesus, pure, peaceable, and undefiled. We shall reveal Christ in our character. We will not only receive and absorb light but will also diffuse it. We will have more clear and distinct views of what Jesus is to us. The symmetry, loveliness, and benevolence that were in the life of Jesus Christ will be shining forth in our lives. 1888 672.2

Recopied March 26, 1963