Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135]

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MR No. 1084—Individual Responsibility to Accept Truth; Christ, the Great “I AM”; The Holy Spirit and His Work

(Written February 18 and 19, 1895, at “Norfolk Villa,” Prospect Street, Granville, N.S.W. Part of the manuscript appears to be a letter, but we do not know to whom the letter was addressed. Part seems to be entries in Ellen White's diary.)

We have just sent off a large mail, and I am very, very tired. Elder McCullagh and Brother McCann came in this forenoon and took dinner with us. I was too weary to go [to] the dining room, and a tray was brought to my room, but I ate very lightly. After dinner Brother McCullagh presented several important matters before me for consideration. Among others was the urgent request for me to speak next Sabbath at Ashfield, and next Sunday evening in the tent at Petersham. It is considered necessary for me to speak there quite frequently now. My prayer is that the Lord will strengthen me and imbue me with His Holy Spirit that His name may be glorified by my work. The Lord is very good to me, and I praise His holy name. 14MR 17.1

Although the work seems to have only just begun in Ashfield, they have pitched the tent at Petersham, two miles nearer Sydney, and hold meetings in it every evening except Saturday. The tent is full every evening. Last Sunday, the collection in Ashfield was six dollars, and the collection in Petersham was something over six dollars. This will go far toward defraying the expense of these meetings. 14MR 17.2

Brother McCullagh and his co-laborer, Brother Hare, are much encouraged. Several of the most influential men are much interested in the meetings. Brethren Collins and Pallent are visiting and giving Bible readings, which create some interest, and bring the people to hear the truth. There are many more calls for this kind of labor than can be filled. Brethren McCullagh and Hare think they will be able to organize a church of about 40 members in Ashfield. This is good news indeed. 14MR 18.1

Brother McCullagh also made my heart glad by telling me of a married lady named Robinson who has just decided to keep the Sabbath. The minister of her church, the Wesleyan, I think, visited her, and she told him that she had decided to become a Sabbathkeeper, to obey the fourth commandment. He said, I believe the seventh day to be the Sabbath, but what could I do if I should keep the seventh day? I should lose my position and they would not permit me to preach. 14MR 18.2

This woman is a well-appearing lady, and has been a teacher in the Sunday schools for ten years. Her ministers said that they could not think of such a thing as losing her. “Oh,” said she, “I can teach in the Sunday school just as I have done.” Said he, “That is just what I wish to speak to you about. The church is not willing for you to continue to teach if you keep the Sabbath.” Her husband has not the moral courage to take his position, although he is fully convinced of the Sabbath question. He is just trembling under the cross. May the Lord give him strength and grace to be obedient to all of His commandments. 14MR 18.3

February 19. I could not sleep after twelve o'clock, and am now seated on my bed writing this to you. I thought I would catch up the little items as they occur. They will interest you, and I can send you a diary letter next mail. I pray most earnestly that your faith fail not under fire. All who are seeking to save perishing souls will have the power of darkness to contend with, but the Lord will not leave them nor forsake them. Help is laid upon One who is mighty to save. 14MR 18.4

Many are strongly convinced of the truth, but either husband or wife prevent their stepping out. How can one who is in fellowship with Christ's sufferings refuse to obey His will and do His work? They know the terms of salvation which are plainly revealed in the Word of God. They listen to the messages which the Lord sends through His delegated servants, but although they assent to the truth, they will not obey. They have not genuine faith to appropriate God's promises to themselves. They do not regard Him as their personal Saviour, in whom they may trust as a child trusts his loving parents. They do not regard God as a loving heavenly Father who has provided for them a perfect Saviour, a never-failing Friend, an infallible Guide and Teacher. 14MR 19.1

It is surprising that they can read the promises in the Word of God, the gracious calls to the heavenly feast, and yet refuse to accept them. Holding themselves aloof from the Source of their strength and efficiency, they are as sapless branches. Having not become united with the living Vine, can we suppose that they will have spiritual eyesight to discern the exalted privilege of those who serve God, and the unfavorable position those are placed in who fail to follow Him? 14MR 19.2

Oh so many have not the real faith that works by love and purifies the soul; therefore they choose to labor for the approbation of man rather than God. No real heavenly brightness is brought into their religious life, and the future is devoid of the assurance which leaves them to trust in hope. 14MR 19.3

Many of our neighbors are living in transgression and rebellion against God. They choose to indulge their carnal impulses rather than to yoke up with Christ, lift the cross, and follow Jesus. There is a cross to lift, and self-denial to practice in all the ways of practical godliness. It is through loving care and helpfulness for others that we learn the precious lessons God designs for us. The great sacrifice of love made by the only begotten Son of God, won the victory on our behalf. When will the people of God become pure and true and Christlike? When will they come out from the world and be separate? When will they open the doors of the heart, and welcome the heavenly Guest? 14MR 20.1

We cannot overestimate the value of simple faith and unquestioning obedience. It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection. Adam was required to render strict obedience to God's commandments, and no lower standard is presented to those who desire salvation in 1895. Christ has promised us sufficient power to reach this high standard. He says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive” [John 14:13-17]. Consider this statement a moment. But why “cannot” the world receive the truth? “Because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him” [Verse 17]. The world is leagued against the truth, because it does not desire to obey the truth. Shall I who perceive the truth close my eyes and heart to its saving power because the world chooses darkness rather than light? Shall I bind myself up with the bundles of tares because my neighbors refuse to be bound up with the wheat? 14MR 20.2

Shall I refuse light, the evidences of truth which lead to obedience, because my relations and friends choose to follow in the paths of disobedience which lead away from God? Shall I close my mind against the knowledge of the truth because my neighbors consent to remain dwarfs? 14MR 21.1

6:30 a.m. The sun is beginning to penetrate the clouds, and reveal its beams of light. I am thankful for this, and I will praise the Lord for all His goodness. We have a very pleasant household. May Lacy is like a sunbeam all the time. We appreciate her very much, and Willie will be greatly blessed in his union with her. Today I must commence in earnest the work of writing on the life of Christ. I cannot tell what matter has been sent to you, as I was at Dora Creek, but hope that it was all of that character which will prove a blessing to you and your company. We are a long distance apart but we will be thankful that there is a line of communication between us. I am very glad to know that the Lord is your Helper. To Him you may look, and in Him you may trust; and He will be to you a present help in every time of need. 14MR 21.2

I AM means an eternal presence; the past, present, and future are alike to God. He sees the most remote events of past history and the far distant future with as clear a vision as we do those things that are transpiring daily. We know not what is before us, and if we did, it would not contribute to our eternal welfare. God gives us an opportunity to exercise faith and trust in the great I am. 14MR 21.3

The Lord must keep the city except the watchman labor in vain. This wonderful truth was revealed by Christ during His mission on earth. Our Saviour says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” [John 8:56]. Fifteen hundred years [On page 204 of Patriarchs and Prophets Ellen White refers to this period as being eighteen centuries.] before Christ laid off His royal robes, His kingly crown, and left His position of honor in the heavenly courts, assumed humanity, and walked a man among the children of men, Abraham saw His day and was glad. 14MR 22.1

“Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. Then took they up stones to cast at Him” because of that saying [Verses 57-59]. Christ was using the great name of God that was given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence. 14MR 22.2

Isaiah also saw Christ, and his prophetic words were full of significance. He says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” [Isaiah 9:6]. 14MR 22.3

Speaking through him, the Lord says: [Isaiah 43:3-13, 15, quoted]. 14MR 22.4

The Pharisees were horrified at this declaration of Christ's, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” They were beside themselves with rage that [He] should express such awful blasphemy, claiming to be the I AM. They would have stoned Him then and there, but the “I am” blinded their eyes that they should not see Him, although He went out of the temple, passing through their very midst. As Jesus passed through the multitude, He saw a man who had been blind from his youth, and healed him. 14MR 22.5

When Jesus came to our world, He proclaimed Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” [John 14:6]. “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” [John 1:51]. 14MR 23.1

Although our Lord ascended from earth to heaven, the Holy Spirit was appointed as His representative among men. “If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless” [John 14:15-18]. 14MR 23.2

Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” [John 14:26]. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you” [John 16:7]. 14MR 23.3

It is not in the order of God that any man, or any class of men, should assume that God has made them conscience for their brethren, or put forth the finite hand in a patronizing manner to control the Lord's delegated workers, thus endangering the safety of the Lord's heritage as well as their own, and retarding the work of God. God does not confine Himself to one man, or to a set of men, through whom to accomplish His work, but says of all, Ye “are laborers together with God.” This means that every believing soul should have a part to act in His sacred work, and every individual believer in Jesus Christ is to manifest to the world a symbol of Christ's sufficiency, to represent to His church the higher laws of the future immortal world, and an obedience to the mandate of Heaven that is without a parallel. They should reveal a depth of knowledge independent of human inventions. 14MR 24.1

The Lord must be believed and served as the great “I AM,” and we must trust implicitly in Him. Let not men prescribe laws to take the place of God's law. Never educate men to look to men, to trust in men; for man's wisdom is not sufficient to decide as to their right to engage in the Lord's work. When God lays a work upon individuals, men are not to reject His sanction. God must not be impeded in the working out of His plans by man's interference, but this has been done again and again. 14MR 24.2

If the church on earth is to resemble a temple, let it be built according to the pattern shown in heaven, and not according to man's genius. The invention of man often counteracts the working out of God's plans. The golden measuring rod has not been placed in the hands of any finite man or any class of men, whatever their position or calling, but is in the hand of the heavenly Architect. If men will not meddle with God's plan, and will let Him work upon minds and characters, building them up according to His plan, a work will be accomplished that will stand through the severest of trials.—Letter 119, 1895. 14MR 24.3

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

August 16, 1984.