Ms 56, 1898

1898

Ms 56, 1898

The Need of Harmonious Action

NP

April 27, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3SM 26; OHC 26; 8MR 283-284; MR311 25; SpM 119-122.

“And behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God is come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” [Isaiah 40:9, 10.] Ms56-1898.1

Teachers and students, you are associated together in school capacity, and you are to bear in mind that this school is to be of an altogether different order from any of the schools that have been established in America. There has been a patterning after the colleges and seminaries of America; but the Lord in His providence has arranged that there should be a school established in this country, upon which the example of the schools already molded and fashioned in a wrong direction, shall have no influence. Ms56-1898.2

In America, the Bible has been bought into our schools to some extent, but teachers and students have depended upon the books of authors whose ideas and sentiments are misleading. When the light of truth for these last days come to the world in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, we were shown that a different order of things must be brought in. But it has taken much time to become aware of the changes that should be made in the lines of study in our schools. Ms56-1898.3

It is most difficult to practice right principles after being so long accustomed to the practices of the world, but reforms must be entered into with heart, and soul, and will. Altogether too long have the old habits and customs been followed. The Word of God is to be our study book. How can this be done? has been the question with long established schools. Attempts to do this have been made; but there have been so many questions asked, so many council meetings held [so] that every difficulty may be discerned, that reformers have been handicapped, and some have ceased to urge reforms. They seem unable to stem the current of inquiry and criticism. But if they had advanced step by step in the right way as the light shone upon their pathway, following the great leader, the difficulties would have diminished. The approval of God would have made them hopeful. Ministering angels would have co-operated with the human agents, and they would have received light and grace and courage and gladness. Ms56-1898.4

There has not been that work done with God requires of human intelligences. The first attempt to change the old customs and practices has brought severe trials upon those who would walk in the way which God has pointed out; but young men should understand that as soldier’s life is one of aggressive warfare, of perseverance, and endurance. It is not mimic battles in which we are engaged. Says the apostle: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on (not your citizen’s dress but) the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers: against the rulers of the darkness of this world: against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:10-12.] Ms56-1898.5

This is no make believe conflict. We have to meet most powerful adversaries. But what are we to do in such an emergency? We are to find our strength just where the early disciples found theirs. “They were all with one accord in one place” praying unto God. [Acts 2:1.] “These all continued in one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed, were of one heart and of one soul.” [Acts 1:14; 2:2-4; 4:31, 32.] Ms56-1898.6

This is the work that is needed to be done. Let self be merged in Christ, and Christ in God, and there will be a display of His power such as will melt and subdue the heart. The earnest prayer from contrite souls will be lodged by the throne of God. Those who enlist in the army of Christ are expected to do difficult work, to endure trials for Christ’s sake. All are now to obtain an experience that will center their whole hope and faith and confidence in Christ. Then they will have nothing to fear when conflicts come which tear the soul asunder. They will have a refuge. Their energies will be taxed to the uttermost, but they have the assurance of Christ, “Lo, I am with you alway; even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] Ms56-1898.7

An army in battle would become confused and weakened if all parts did not work in concert. If the soldiers should act out their own impulsive ideas, without reference to each other’s position and work, they could not be a well organized body. They would be an army of independent atoms. Union is strength. A few converted souls acting in harmony acting for one grand purpose under one head, will achieve victories at every encounter. The soldiers of Jesus Christ must act in harmony, not stand apart. They are to come together to be woven in to the great web. Ms56-1898.8

All who believe the great truths for this time, if sanctified through the truth, will wear the yoke of Christ. They will lift the burdens of responsibility. A spirit to act independently and alone must not be cherished. If they do this, in the place of the Lord’s people being in perfect harmony, of one mind, one purpose, and consecrated to one grand object, they will waste their capabilities, and their efforts will be fruitless. Ms56-1898.9

Some may say that they love the Lord, but that they cannot love their brother as they should. The brother may have ways that are very trying; he may do things that are unwise; but if his brethren, who have had longer experience and a more even, well-balanced judgment shall refuse to connect with the one who grieves and tries their soul, they reveal that they are not followers of Christ. They reveal that they do not follow the example of Him who clothed His divinity with Humanity, that by laying aside His glory and His kingly honor, He might reach humanity. Ms56-1898.10

Christ might have remained in heaven and retained all His outward glory and majesty, but He did not do this. In order to bless humanity with His presence and His example, He came to earth as a man, that He might call humanity to unite with Him in His work, to become a part of His firm in the great plan of redemption. In this work there is no such thing as every man being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, influencing each other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law which controls their action. So the Lord’s work cannot advance healthfully and solidly unless we draw together. Ms56-1898.11

Imagine a team of strong, active horses, one pulling in a forward direction, another pulling backward, and at the voice of their master, one jerking forward, and another standing immovable. By such a course they can accomplish nothing. But if in the place of acting fractiously, all pull in the one direction and at the same time, the load will move easily. By unity of action they can draw their burden. Ms56-1898.12

This figure represents the spasmodic, fitful movements of many men who claim to be Christians. If men will not move in concert in the great and grand work for this time, there will be confusion. Some pull with all the power that God has given them, but they do not sense the fact that they must not pull alone. They must not isolate themselves, but draw together. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong direction. They will work counter to the work that God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted. They will be as a sign-board pointing in the wrong direction. Ms56-1898.13

It is not a good sign when men will not unite with their brethren, but prefer to act alone, when they will not take in their brethren because they do not just exactly meet their mind. If men will wear the yoke of Christ, they cannot pull apart. They will wear Christ’s yoke, they will draw with Christ. Jesus came to a world, all seared and marred by the curse, and at an immense sacrifice to Himself, He took fallen man, with all his mistakes and errors, and invited him to wear His yoke. He gives the word of invitation to all, and all who will yoke up with Him will co-operate with Christ, and will be one in the great plan of redemption. Ms56-1898.14

No man can be a wise and good soldier, unless he wear the yoke of Christ. If from self-will, or a too high estimate of his own wisdom, his own methods and plans, he wants to work in his own lines, he cannot be a good soldier of the Lord Jesus. The Christian soldier must act in concert, step in concert, with those who are connected with Him. He must not take offense if every other mind does not run in the same channel with His own. Self-restraint is always needed in order to maintain concerted action. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Ms56-1898.15

“Grace be unto you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; for in everything ye are enriched by him: in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who also shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:3-9.] Ms56-1898.16

Here are lessons for us to learn. If we are in fellowship with Christ, we shall be in fellowship with our brethren, and shall learn to keep that harmony that should ever exist between the believers. Love must be cherished one for another, for the strengthening of the church, and that we may give to the world the very best impressions of our faith. “A new commandment I give unto you,” said Christ, “that ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] Why did the Lord Jesus call this a new commandment? Because it was always to be new to them. It had been covered up by their traditions, and buried out of sight. It had not been put into practice. Ms56-1898.17

The whole of the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus enjoins practical love for our fellow men. “When ye reap the harvest of your land,” God said, “thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. And thou shalt not swear by my name falsely: neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord. Ms56-1898.18

“Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor: neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide by thee all night until the morning. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I am the Lord.” Ms56-1898.19

“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt not in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.” [Verses 9-17.] This old commandment was not taught or practiced by the Jewish religionists in the days of Christ. There are to be faithful servants of God who will reprove sin, and if they neglect this work, the Lord will deal with them as unfaithful servants. “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.” [Verse 18.] Ms56-1898.20

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” [1 John 4:11.] Will all who are disregarding the commands of the Scriptures in regard to unity see that they are guilty of transgressing the law of God as verily, as though they transgressed the fourth commandment of the decalogue? The exhortation of Paul to the Colossians is for us also. “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches unto the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledging of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ: in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you by enticing words. Ms56-1898.21

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the Spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” [Colossians 2:1-10.] Ms56-1898.22

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory (glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth ... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. ... No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” [John 1:14, 16, 18.] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Ms56-1898.23

This firm declaration of God we are to receive as spoken to us. This reveals the glory of God, which is His character. “But God commendeth his love toward us: in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his grace [life]. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Romans 5:8-11.] Ms56-1898.24

Thank God, with heart, and soul, and voice. Let all querulous complaints cease. Let all murmurings be cut out of our Christian experience. Let faith grasp these important assurances: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends (consider the conditions), if ye do whatsoever I command you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go, and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. ... These things I command you, That ye love one another.” [John 15:13-17.] Ms56-1898.25

April 30, 1:30 a.m.

The Lord has given to every man his work. He imparts to men his talents, and He requires of every soul a return. However wise we may be in the knowledge of the Bible, the Lord requires that we shall each receive and believe in Christ. And if we do this, we shall co-operate with God. We shall have a knowledge of God, whom to know aright is life and peace. Ms56-1898.26

God calls upon His people to be minutemen. They are to engage in aggressive warfare. The apostle says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” [Ephesians 6:10-13.] Ms56-1898.27

In the name of Christ I address the church in North Fitzroy: Awake out of sleep. Send up the genuine cry to God, “O that I knew where I might find him.” [Job 23:3.] This is a confession that you have lost His love out of your soul, and in this passionate appeal you reveal that you begin to see yourself as the Lord sees you—wretched, miserable, poor, and blind, and naked. When light penetrates the darkness that surrounds your soul, you will discern your poverty, your unrighteousness, your self-sufficiency, and you will cry out as did Peter when he was sinking beneath the waves, “Lord, save; or I perish.” [Matthew 14:30.] And as the light of hope breaks into your soul, Christ will be revealed to you with His merciful arm outstretched to save. The prayer of human instinct will become the prayer of earnest longing and faith. The sharp, agonized cry will become softened and subdued as you trust in Him who is able to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. Ms56-1898.28

The mission of Christ to earth was to seek and to save the sinner—not in his sins, but from his sins. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: which hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” [Ephesians 1:3-7; 5:1, 2.] Ms56-1898.29

“As touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it to all the brethren which are in Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” [1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.] Ms56-1898.30

The Lord is not glorified in His people as He should be. What listlessness is manifested, what little concern for the souls perishing around us, what little zeal to help those ready to perish. Do we have the Spirit of Christ? Are we yoked up with Him? Do we draw in His lines or do we choose our life of ease and pleasure? Read the words of the Prophet Isaiah: Ms56-1898.31

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, He hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; ... to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3.] Ms56-1898.32

Are we imbued with this spirit? If we have taken the yoke of Christ, we will, with Christ, seek to save souls. Ms56-1898.33

“And you hath he quickened,” said Paul to the Ephesians, “who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom we all had our conversation in times past, in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. For God, who is rich in mercy for the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved): and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that is the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 2:1-7.] Ms56-1898.34

And has not the converted soul the same work to do for other souls dead in trespasses and sins? Who will bear with Christ the burden for souls? “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:7.] There are souls around us in every way as valuable as our own, and what personal effort have we made in the name of Jesus to bring them to a knowledge of the truth? What have we done for them? Who is doing the work of Christ? “He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; ... and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Ms56-1898.35

“For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:14, 17-22.] Ms56-1898.36

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee; I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things: thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defensed city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” “They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.” [Isaiah 25:1-4; 24:14, 15.] Ms56-1898.37

Why, I ask, do we not all have the spirit of Christ, and offer praise and thanksgiving to God? Why is there so much murmuring and complaining, and so little praise? Why do we not press together in unity? Why are we so ready to accuse and pick flaws. Why are not zealous efforts made to save souls? Is it because God has forsaken His people, and has nothing for them to do? Those who do not practice the truth, though they may claim to believe it, are not doers of the Word. Ms56-1898.38

The prayer that Christ taught His disciples was, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” [Luke 11:4.] Will the Lord lead us into temptation? Never. Then what does this mean? The sincere soul who presents this petition to God in faith will be given clear, sharp discernment. He will be on guard as a faithful sentinel. He will not sit on the stool of temptation, doing nothing but criticize those who are doing what they can, or pondering over the abuse he thinks he has suffered. The man who stands ready to criticize every action that does not agree with his own experience and perverted ideas places himself at the mercy of Satan and invites his temptations. Does the Lord lead such a soul into peril? No; the human agent placed himself in the channel of darkness, tempting the devil to tempt him; and unless he sees his peril, he will never again stand in the clear light of truth. The truth is no longer his anchor. Ms56-1898.39

Then the Lord works through his chosen agencies, and sends them to expose the devices of Satan and let the light shine into the darkened minds. The man who has admitted doubts and unbelief, and who refuses to be convinced, cannot discern any difference between those whom the Lord is using to His name’s glory, and those who are walking under the banner of darkness. He does not have eyes to perceive, or ears to hear, or a mind to comprehend the message. He does not discern the true character of the work of God nor of those whom God has sent to correct errors, and faithfully guard the interests of His cause from the reproach brought upon it by evildoers. The reproof that God has sent they regard as evil-speaking and faultfinding. When souls come to this state of darkness, nothing that can be said will they interpret aright or correctly understand; and this brings the greatest burden upon those whom the Lord has commissioned to bear their testimony of reproof. Ms56-1898.40

All that can be done should be done by the servants of God to explain the truth as it is in Jesus, but if then their efforts are misconstrued and thrown back upon them; if they are accused of judging and condemning others when they are doing the very work God has given them to do; if nothing that God’s messengers can say will clear away the hellish shadow of Satan, the rejecters of His grace will be left in the sport of Satan’s temptations, until they are humbled by the hand of God in some way. Ms56-1898.41

“I am the light of the world,” said Jesus; “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him: Thou barest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” But Christ vindicated Himself saying, “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, or whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.” [John 8:12-16.] Ms56-1898.42

This whole chapter teaches a lesson of greatest importance. “When ye have lifted up the Son of man,” said Jesus, “then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews that believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [Verses 28-32.] Ms56-1898.43

“If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth, and came from God: neither came I of myself but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? and if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God, heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” [Verses 42-47.] Ms56-1898.44

If we are followers of Christ, we shall meet in our life just such things as Jesus met in His life. “Why,” He asks, “do ye not understand my words?” [Verse 43.] God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If there were no light, there would be no shade. But while the shade comes by the sun, it is not created by it. It is some obstruction that causes the shadow. So darkness emanates not from God, but is the result of an intruding object between the soul and God. Ms56-1898.45

It is stated that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh because he yielded not to the command of God to let Israel go. After the plagues were removed, Pharaoh disregarded the evidence which caused him to yield when the plagues were upon the land. And because of his rejection of light and evidence, moral darkness came upon him. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] “They have sown to the wind,” says God, “they shall reap the whirlwind.” [Hosea 8:7.] Disregard of the light that God has given brings the sure result. It creates a shadow, a darkness that is more dark because of the light which has been sent. The Lord did not confirm Pharaoh in his impenitence. If a man withdraws himself from light and evidence, and yields to Satan’s seducing arts, he himself draws the curtain of unbelief about him, so that light cannot be distinguished from darkness. More light and evidence would only be misunderstood by him. The greater the evidence, the greater will be the indifference. This will lead the deceived soul to call darkness light and truth error. Ms56-1898.46

“Wisdom crieth without: she uttereth her voice in the streets. She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and the fools hate knowledge. Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, and I will make known my words unto you. Ms56-1898.47

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I will also laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and destruction cometh as the whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” [Proverbs 1:20-33.] They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, shall reap the same. Ms56-1898.48

There is an enemy constantly at work to ensnare souls, to make of none effect the light and evidence that God has sent to His people. God has sent special messages to churches and individuals, and if these heaven-sent messages are ascribed to faultfinding and accusing, what power has God in reserve to bring the reproofs he gives to the people, to the church to the wrongdoer, to the apostate? Those who regard the word of God as the word of the enemy, reveal that they have the same spirit that Satan stirred in the hearts of the unbelieving Jews. They declared the works and words of Christ to be of satanic origin. And the same work will be repeated in all who close their eyes to light, their ears to evidence, in this day of probation. Ms56-1898.49

After Satan has insinuated his specious temptations, and men refuse to place themselves in the channel of light, they call His [God’s] word, given in warning to His people, a word of faultfinding and accusing. They close the door of their hearts, so that whatever God may send them, they cannot receive. They call it darkness. If, after the Lord has made known to them His will and correct statements are made in regard to Satan’s workings, they remain unconvinced, the Spirit of God can do no more for them. They have themselves closed the door to Christ, and further light and evidence would only call out more stubborn resistance. They place themselves just where Pharaoh stood. Ms56-1898.50

Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and he reaped the obstinacy that he had sown. God did not compel Pharaoh to disbelieve. The seed of unbelief was left to germinate and produce a harvest of its kind—infidelity. This resistance continued until Pharaoh looked upon the devastated land, upon the cold dead form of his first-born and the first born of all in his house and in all the families in his kingdom, until the Lord could say to Israel, “I gave Egypt for thee.” [Isaiah 43:3.] Ms56-1898.51

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] God destroys no man. Every man who is destroyed will destroy himself. When a man stifles the admonitions of conscience, he sows the seeds of unbelief, and these produce a sure harvest. Ms56-1898.52

Paul gave this solemn charge to Timothy: “I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be instant in season, out of season: reprove, rebuke, with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” [2 Timothy 4:1-5.] Ms56-1898.53

“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” [2 Timothy 3:12-15.] There must be a watching for souls, as they that must give an account. Ezekiel 33:1-20. Ms56-1898.54

Is there not as great need at this time for warnings and reproof as at any period of this earth’s history? And warnings will come, discovering the hidden things of darkness. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] There are individuals who require plain words of reproof, and the apostle says, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” [1 Timothy 5:20.] Ms56-1898.55

There are times when private reproof has no effect. The Lord knows better than human beings the needs of His people. He does not consult man’s imperfect judgment as to how he shall work in bringing reproof to his people. The charge of Paul is, “I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. ... Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment: and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” [Verses 21, 22, 24, 25.] Ms56-1898.56