Manuscript Releases, vol. 18 [Nos. 1301-1359]

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MR No. 1343—Christians to be Sanctified, and Serve as Lights in a Dark World

(Written March 23, 1899, from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W., to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Wessels.)

I have only a little time to write to you. I have been writing hours before daylight. I may not be able to get this copied, but I want to say, We thank you that you assisted us in our time of necessity. We did need help so much, and we thank the members of your mother's family that they sent relief in our time of need, so that we were enabled to build our meetinghouse without a debt upon it. Thank the Lord, O my soul, and praise Him for all His benefits! 18MR 276.1

I think of you all because peculiar temptations come to every soul upon the weakest point in their character. That weak point needs to be strengthened and conformed in righteousness. Following Jesus Christ means that you are doing the very same works of righteousness which Christ would do were He in your place. Following always implies obedience. No soldier can follow his commander unless he obeys orders. Following means imitation. In every case of action you are to do just as Christ would do in your place. “Learn of Me,” says the great Teacher. Then keep your eye on the copy. Christ is our model. We are to do all things to His name's glory, and in the love that Christ has for us individually. 18MR 276.2

Christ came to our world to teach every man for whom he died how to practice His virtues in his daily life. “I,” said Christ, “sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” Christ was exalted above His associates because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. The Lord Jesus in His life was without sin, doing that which was just and right in all things. We are to do as He did. Iniquity signifies whatever is crooked, whatever is twisted out of the right line. Oh, how important that we love sound principles, sound doctrine! 18MR 276.3

The eye of God is in every place. He knows all our temptations, and He expects us to resist them as He resisted the devil. We must have sound principles, pure, elevated, ennobling; these we can take with us into the eternal world. As a divine Saviour, Jesus died for us that we might live His life of purity, truth, and righteousness. He teaches us how to live. Our prayer should be, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” 18MR 277.1

Out of the heart are the issues of life. The inward fountain of life must be cleansed, purified. The will must yield its helm to the command of Christ. Paul, the great apostle, describes this as putting “on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” [Ephesians 4:24]. The evidence we bear of this new creation in Christ Jesus is to love righteousness and to hate iniquity. 18MR 277.2

My brother, may the Lord God sanctify you wholly, body, soul, and spirit, because you are a diligent student in the school of Christ. As you educate yourself, you are prepared to educate others. True religion is simply to follow Christ. A religion expressing selfishness is worthless; for the sinful heart is the real citadel. Until the heart is surrendered unconditionally, the blessing of God cannot flow into the soul; the sunshine of His righteousness does not illuminate the chambers of the mind or the soul temple, and a new life does not begin. 18MR 277.3

No compromise with sin can ever be accepted by a pure and holy God. No conversion is genuine which does not radically change the heart, the character, and every line of conduct. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” The gift of the Lord Jesus is a new character, a new creature in Christ Jesus. Not a moment should be wasted on a patchwork religion. We must shine as lights in the world. May the Lord bless you and your family, that you may reveal Christ in a life of faith, purity, true godliness and holiness. Thus it must be with every soul who is a citizen of heaven. Our citizenship is above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. This present life is only our training school; it is to purify us, that we may be without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing—meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. 18MR 277.4

We are individually to be true and loyal to higher laws. Our Redeemer, who paid His life as a ransom for us, has said, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” The world around us sets its standard of customs and fashions to suit the inclination of unsanctified hearts; but they are not the rules for those who love Jesus Christ. Christ has chosen us out of the world, and has given us His own life to be our standard and our pattern. Everyone whom God loves will say, I must live in this world and yet not be of it. I must be as Christ has appointed. He says, “Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Keep the windows of the soul open toward heaven, and let the pure, holy atmosphere of heaven flow into the chambers of your mind and into the soul-temple. Then the windows that open earthward will close of themselves. 18MR 278.1

The world will never be converted by conformity to its evil practices. But what an influence will be exerted upon the world by a people who live and speak and act as sons and daughters of God, as citizens of heaven itself! We should be as salt with all its saving properties. Oh, what witnesses we would be for Christ! What a power would be our example to the world. We could lift up our voice like a trumpet, and show “My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” 18MR 278.2

As souls born again, as our high and exalted birthright, we are never to venture to stoop to anything low, cheap, or questionable, never to be found in suspicious places, never to let our good be evil spoken of. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so much higher, purer, nobler, should be a Christian's ways above those of the sinner. Never need he apologize to the world because he dares to do righteousness. 18MR 279.1

Christ describes His people as a city set on a hill; they cannot be hid. His eyes were directed to the city of Saphat set upon a hill. The city was in full sight, and could be seen from a great distance catching the beams of the morning sun and flashing back its evening glories from its bright battlements. 18MR 279.2

The Bible Christian is a man of principle, sober, watchful, prayerful, a man full of faith and good works. He is not seeking the prominence of the hill, but is firm, established, strengthened, settled. It requires a sound conscience to do the works of Christ. It requires consistent and holy living. By much prayer, watching unto prayer, self-denial, the true Christian lifts the cross of Christ and follows in His footsteps. He walks with God, not with Satan. A Christian is the world's light, and the only Bible that many in Africa can read. 18MR 279.3

God help you, my brother, to be a true Christian, consistent today, consistent tomorrow, always solid in speech, with no frivolity, no lifeless or trifling words. He is reaching up unto Christ, and does not fall into spiritual declension. “Walk as wise men, not as fools.” My brother, seek to be a well built Christian, having a character symmetrical in all its parts. Be always inquiring. “Is my name written there, on the books bright and fair?” 18MR 279.4

God grant that you may have an abundant entrance into His kingdom, that Christ shall not be ashamed to own you, your wife, and your children. Be Christ's representatives, pure, holy, undefiled, sanctified to God in body, soul, and spirit. The Lord bless you and keep you sound, clean, pure in mind and practice. Then will rest upon you the heavenly benediction, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”—Letter 51, 1899. 18MR 280.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

January 22, 1988.

Entire Letter.