Lt 13, 1893

1893

Lt 13, 1893

General Matter Bearing on the Christie Case

NP

1893

Formerly Undated Ms 27. Portions of this letter are published in 2BC 997; 7BC 938, 950-951; OHC 142; 10MR 282-283; YI 01/25/1894, 02/01/1894, 02/15/1894. +Note

“The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” [Isaiah 3:9, 10.] “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! ... Therefore as fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” [Isaiah 5:20, 21, 24.] Lt13-1893.1

The eyes of the Lord God of Israel are too pure to behold iniquity, and these utterances of the Lord through His prophets need to be considered by all who claim to be His people. God requires that every man, woman and youth should perfect a Christian character. The command is, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:16.] Conformity to a low standard of Christianity is robbing the church of its vitality and power. The banner of piety, of Bible religion, has been trailing in the dust, because those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ follow their own ways, and conform to a standard that God has not given them, but one they have erected for themselves. But those who make a profession of Christianity and yet fail to have true piety are false lights, false sign boards pointing in a wrong direction. They call evil good and good evil, darkness light and light darkness. While claiming to be righteous, they indulge in loose practices after the order of the ungodly man who has not the love or fear of God before his eyes. They fail to bring the principles of the truth they profess to believe into their life-practices, and regard their sins and errors as trifling things. Lt13-1893.2

When Achan stole the golden wedge and Babylonish garment, he also thought it was a trifling matter, although God had appointed that all the goods of Jericho should be devoted to utter destruction. He thought it was but a little thing to benefit himself by the goods that were to perish if he did not appropriate them. But history shows us that which was of so little moment in his eyes was in the eyes of God a matter of great importance, for he had disregarded the word of the Lord. One man of the tribe of Judah had sinned, for he took of the accursed thing, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. Lt13-1893.3

Because of this one man’s sin, the presence of the Lord was withdrawn from the armies of Israel. The Lord would not serve with their sins. When the children of Israel went up against Ai, they were defeated and came back discomfited for thirty six warriors had been slain, and the hearts of the people melted and became as water. They were astonished that the Lord had not given them the victory as He had done in the past. The General of the armies was not with them, the armies of heaven had been withdrawn, and the children of Israel had been left to plan for themselves, and to arrange for the battle as their own human wisdom might dictate. Lt13-1893.4

When they came back in disgrace, overcome by the enemy, “Joshua rent his clothes, and fell on the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?” [Joshua 7:6-9.] Lt13-1893.5

You can see by the prayer of Joshua, if you have spiritual discernment, that that which was esteemed by Achan as a very little thing was the cause of great anguish and sorrow to the responsible men of Israel. And this is always the case when it is manifest that the Lord is angry with His people. It is the men upon whom rests the burden of the work who most keenly feel the weight of the people’s sins, and who pray in agony of soul because of the rebuke of the Lord. Achan, the guilty party, did not feel the burden. He took it very coolly. Lt13-1893.6

We find nothing in the account to signify that he felt distressed. There is no evidence that he felt remorse, or reasoned from cause to effect, saying, “It is my sin that has brought the displeasure of the Lord upon the people.” He did not ask, “Can it be that it is because I stole that golden wedge and Babylonish garment that we have been defeated in the battle?” He had no idea of making his wrong right by confession of sin and humiliation of soul. Lt13-1893.7

Before they had gone to take Jericho, they had been instructed as to what course to pursue. Joshua had said, “The city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord. ... And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” [Joshua 6:17-19.] Achan had heard all this charge, but he coveted the accursed thing of Jericho, <which God had> appointed to destruction. He was even ready to steal the gold and silver that were <plainly specified> to be consecrated to God and put into the treasury of His house. Lt13-1893.8

But there were devoted men in Israel that felt the reproach that had come upon them in that the people were not sustained in the battle, but were discomfited before the enemy, who triumphed over their defeat. While Joshua was mourning in humiliation and keen anguish over the dishonor that had come upon the cause of God, the word of the Lord came to Joshua. “And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; why wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing (which had been appointed to destruction) and have also stolen (taken the golden wedge and the silver that had been consecrated to the Lord’s treasury), and dissembled also, and they have put it among their stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed (in consequence of the sin of this one offender).” [Joshua 7:10-12.] Lt13-1893.9

Now hear the words from the lips of Jesus Christ who was enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed thing from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” [Verses 12, 13.] Lt13-1893.10

The Lord did not specify as to who was the guilty party, but He gave directions as to what was to be done. He said, “In the morning ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come man by man. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath trespassed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.” [Verses 14, 15.] And Achan confessed not, but braved it out as though he were innocent. Lt13-1893.11

“So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken.” <The knot was drawing around him, yet he would not make confession.> “And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken. And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah was taken.” [Verses 16, 17.] Lt13-1893.12

In thus sifting the matter to the bottom, the Lord reveals the fact that He is acquainted with the hidden things of dishonesty, however men may think that they have hidden them. In all the transaction, Achan manifested a determination not to acknowledge his sin; but the Lord fastens his sin upon him. Had Joshua declared his [Achan’s] sin, many might have sympathized with him as the guilty one protested that he was innocent, and they might in their human judgment have thought he was misused and maltreated. It is thus that many do today when men are reproved for sin. <They will justify themselves,> for they drop God out of their reckoning. This is the reason that Joshua addressed Achan as he did. He said, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him, and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.” [Verse 19.] Lt13-1893.13

The Lord had told Joshua just what Achan had done, but so many are led by human sympathy, and [the] wrongdoer is so often excused, that the Lord meant to give Israel a lesson which should be also of benefit to us in our day. Therefore Joshua entreats the young man to tell him what he had done. Joshua would have the Lord God feared and honored, as One who knew all their works and searched the hidden things of darkness, so that the people might always know that the Lord God was among them and was acquainted with all their actions. Lt13-1893.14

When a man who is a transgressor is reproved, and he puts on an appearance of innocence, and complains that he has been dealt with unjustly, there are many who will sympathize with him, and will cast reflection upon the reprover who has in the fear of God sought to do his duty. Had punishment come upon Achan before he had with his own lips made confession of his wrong, the people who were naturally ready to rebel would have charged Joshua with dealing harshly with the young man, and would have denounced him as unmerciful in apportioning so dreadful a punishment. They would have treasured up the memory of his deed, and would have repeated to others the judgment he had given, and would have used it as an example of the severity of men who were placed in high position among the children of Israel. Lt13-1893.15

Those who are not consecrated heart and soul to the service of God will rise up in rebellion against God when He metes out judgment to the transgressor, although the sinner, if spared, would only pursue a course that would corrupt others, and scatter the leaven of evil until many would be involved in ruin. The Lord God of Israel would not permit that such a state of things should exist. Lt13-1893.16

Achan confessed and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done. When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” [Verses 20, 21.] Achan had thought that his sin was secret and hidden from all human eyes except those of his own household. “So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took it out of the midst of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. Lt13-1893.17

“And Joshua and all Israel was with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? The Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The Valley of Achor unto this day.” [Verses 22-26.] Lt13-1893.18

This history shows us how the Lord regards sin that men may think of little account. Achan had indulged in covetousness, in theft, in embezzlement (appropriating that which had been dedicated to the cause of God), and he had dissembled; that is, he had put on an appearance of innocence through all the critical examination that had been carried on, and pretended to be a man guiltless of any crime. The Lord made manifest by His dealing with Achan just how He looks upon such a course, in order that the people of God in all ages may fear and honor the Lord of heaven. Lt13-1893.19

Achan’s sin had caused the loss of thirty-six lives, and yet he had regarded it as a light matter. The men and women who claim to be keeping the commandments of God make it manifest that they have very little idea of its grievous character if they indulge in any phase of sin. Those who profess to be Christians, and yet do things that are after the same order as did Achan, who embezzle the Lord’s goods and appropriate for the use of their families that which should go to the treasury of the Lord’s house, will not be left without judgment at the hand of God. Lt13-1893.20

What was the sin of Achan? Listen carefully to the words spoken by Jesus Christ from the pillar of cloud. “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.” [Verse 11.] Let such plain statements as these, given by the Lord in the Old Testament be compared with the same line of instruction given in the New Testament. Lt13-1893.21

The confession of Achan, although too late to be available in bringing to him any saving virtue, yet vindicated the character of God in His manner of dealing with him, and closed the door to the temptation that so continually beset the children of Israel, to charge upon the servants of God the work that God <Himself had ordered to be done.> It was the Lord Jesus Himself that specified what should be the punishment of Achan, or there might have been murmuring in the camp of Israel, even though the stolen goods were found in his tent. Lt13-1893.22

The Lord knew just where the stolen goods were to be found, and had told Joshua where they were, although He had not specified who was the guilty one. But the honor of God must be vindicated by confession from the sinner’s own lips, and Achan testified to the truth against himself. In the manner in which the Lord dealt with Achan, we can see how great is His displeasure against those who commit similar sins. The standard of the gospel today is no lower than it was in the days of Joshua, <but as much more elevated as increased light shines upon our pathway.> Lt13-1893.23

In the New Testament we read that “a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou has not lied unto men but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all of them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. Lt13-1893.24

“And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” [Acts 5:1-11.] The case of Ananias and Sapphira is recorded that the whole world may have a testimony as to how God regards dishonest practices. Lt13-1893.25

From the pillar of cloud Jesus spoke to Joshua, condemning Israel because of the sin of coveting and of taking the accursed things of the heathen. This was written for our admonition, and we are to take a lesson from this circumstance. We are not to covet the goodly Babylonish garments and the things which God has appointed to destruction, for they are not to be desired. They are cursed of God; they are a snare to the soul, for they lead to vanity, pride, and self-exaltation. They are not the goods which the Lord can bless, for He has specified them as accursed. They are the idols of the people who have estranged themselves from God and have corrupted their ways before Him. God has borne long with them, has given them advantages of light and knowledge; but their attitude toward Him is, “We want not thy way, but our own way, O God.” Lt13-1893.26

God keeps a reckoning with nations as well as with individuals. He allows to nations a certain period of probation, and gives them evidences of His requirements, of His supremacy, and makes known to them His laws which are to be the rule of His kingdom in the government of nations. All this He does that heathen nations may not be given up to destruction unwarned and without light; but after He has given light and evidence, and they still persist in insolence toward Him, then when their iniquity is full, as in the case of the Amorites, God takes the matter in hand, and His judgments are no longer withheld. Lt13-1893.27

The Amorities made themselves conspicuous by their idolatry. They accumulated guilt and indulged in wickedness after the order of that found in Sodom and Gomorrah and in the world before the flood. But though iniquity was added to iniquity, the Lord would not punish until the specified measure of guilt was reached, and their [cup of] iniquity was full. He gave special direction that the Amorites were not to be disturbed until their cup of iniquity was full; but when God saw that more evidence would be vain, that forbearance would do no good, His long-suffering had an end. When they had gone to the full measure of making void the law of God, the indignation of the Lord broke forth upon them. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” [Nahum 1:3.] When He arises in His anger to punish, as in the case of the Amorites, how fearful is His retribution. Though punishment is long delayed, it is not an evidence that it will be any less severe. Lt13-1893.28

The power of the Lord had been manifested in the taking of Jericho in no common manner, and this made the sin of Achan of greater moment than ever. The management of the attack had not been left to man as the human agent. Let us read the record. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? Lt13-1893.29

“And he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord to his servant? And the Captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” [Joshua 5:13-15.] Then the Lord revealed to him the plan of the battle, and how the city was to be taken by supernatural forces. Lt13-1893.30

The mighty power of God was displayed in the overthrow of Jericho, yet notwithstanding this, notwithstanding the fact that God had given an express command not to take any of the spoil for themselves, yet Achan disregarded the commandment of the Lord, and showed with how little abhorrence he regarded sin, by taking of the accursed thing. Then the Lord revealed what was His estimation of the act that Achan regarded as trifling. He withdrew His presence from the camp, for all Israel were involved in the transgression, and all Israel must have an opportunity to clear themselves before the Lord for making void His law. Lt13-1893.31

In Achan’s case we have an example of a man sinning in the very presence of God, in the consequences of this man’s sin. How fearful the work wrought upon his family through his example and influence. He had developed a character that was entirely unsound, and had manifested his rebellion in the very presence of God when He was working mightily for His people. It was in a time of this kind that Achan exhibited his weakness of character which had been developed by taking steps in what he thought minor matters of transgression, by repetition of what he regarded as little sins. Lt13-1893.32

I write to the church in Napier: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” [1 Peter 4:7.] “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” [Titus 2:6-10.] Lt13-1893.33

Resist the enemy, do not be seduced by his flattering inducements and presentations. It is the work of the human agent to be strong in the Lord, not in his own finite strength, but 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.” [Ephesians 6:11.] This is the work that man is called upon to do—to be continually on guard as a faithful sentinel, strong in God and in the power of His might. Lt13-1893.34

Christ has said, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] The resolutions you may make in your own finite strength will be only as ropes of sand; but if you pray in sincerity, surrendering yourself, soul, body and spirit, unto God, you put on the whole armor of God, and you open the soul to the righteousness of Christ, and this alone—Christ’s imputed righteousness—makes you able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Lt13-1893.35

The work of every soul is to resist the enemy in the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise is that he shall flee from us. But let all realize that they are in peril, and there is no assurance of safety except as they comply with the conditions of the text. The Lord says, “Draw nigh to God.” [James 4:7, 8.] How? By secret, earnest examination of your own heart, by childlike, heartfelt, humble dependence upon God, making known all your weakness to Jesus, and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Lt13-1893.36

But let us read the remainder of the lesson given for our instruction, that we may more fully comprehend what it means to draw nigh to God “Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” [Verse 8.] The work that is essential to be done by the sinner is here clearly defined. It is a work not agreeable to the inclination of the human heart; but unless it is done the soul is not in a condition to appreciate the purity and perfection of the character of Christ, and in no condition either to understand the offensiveness of sin. The exhortation is given, “Purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Lt13-1893.37

While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God. They are double minded, making an attempt to serve God and mammon at the same time; but the world’s Redeemer has declared “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:24.] By trying to serve two masters, they are unstable in all their ways, and cannot be depended upon. To all appearances they are serving God, while at the same time in heart they are yielding to the temptation of Satan and cherishing sin. They may speak words that are smoother than oil, yet their hearts are full of deception and deceit in all their practices. Professing to be righteous, yet they have an heart that is desperately wicked. Lt13-1893.38

Of what profit is it to say pleasant things, to deplore the work of Satan, and yet at the same time to enter into the fulfillment of all his devices? This is being double minded. “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Isaiah 1:16-20.] Lt13-1893.39

There must be a cleansing of the hands, and a purifying of the double mind. “Be afflicted, and weep, and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness.” [James 4:9.] It is right to be cheerful, and even joyful. It is right to cultivate cheerfulness of spirit through sanctification of the truth; but it is not right to indulge in foolish jesting and joking, in lightness and trifling, in words of criticism and condemnation of others. Those who observe such persons who make a profession of religion know that they are deceived. They know that the hands of such professors need to be cleansed, their hearts need to be purified. They need to experience genuine repentance for sin. What have they to mourn over? They should mourn over their inclination to sin, over the danger they are in from inward corruption and from outward temptation. They should be afraid because they have so feeble a sense of the sinfulness of sin, and so little idea of what constitutes sin. Lt13-1893.40

When you truly repent of sin, you will not be satisfied to acknowledge simply that you are sinful and let the matter rest there. Do you intend to remain sinful while life shall last? Do you mean to violate your conscience? Do you mean to do evil always? What does the Lord say to those who have had light, and yet have failed to live in accordance with it? “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” [Verses 17, 10.] There is a repentance of sin that needeth not to be repented of. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [1 John 3:3.] Lt13-1893.41

Does this text mean that the human agent can remove one stain of sin from his soul? No. Then what does it mean to purify himself? It means to look upon the Lord’s great moral standard of righteousness, the holy law of God, and see that he is a sinner in the light of that law. “Whoso committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law, and ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins, and in him is no sin.” [Verses 4, 5.] It is through faith in Jesus Christ that the truth is accepted in the heart, and the human agent is purified and cleansed. Lt13-1893.42

Jesus was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] Is it possible to be healed, while knowingly committing sin? No, it is genuine faith that says, I know that I have committed sin, but that Jesus has pardoned my sin, and hereafter I will resist temptation in and through His might. “Every man hath this hope in him (abiding in him) purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [1 John 3:3.] He has an abiding principle in the soul that enables him to overcome temptation. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” [Verse 6.] God has power to keep the soul that is in Christ [when that soul] is under temptation. Lt13-1893.43

“Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” [Verse 6.] That is, every one who is a true believer is sanctified through the truth in life and character. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth (not professeth to do) righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” [Verse 7.] “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin ... because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.” Now mark where the distinction is made: “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” [Verses 9, 10.] “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” [Verse 18.] Lt13-1893.44

A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian. “For every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [Verse 3.] In every clime, in every nation, our youth should co-operate with God. The only way a person can be pure is to become like-minded with God. How can we know God? By studying His Word. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of man, every effort to purify himself will be useless, for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. Lt13-1893.45

The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be, as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as “whited sepulchers,” full of corruption and dead men’s bones. [Matthew 23:27.] But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement. “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hath pleasure in uprightness.” [1 Chronicles 29:17.] Lt13-1893.46

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139:23, 24.] We can see how necessary it is that there should be a union of the human and the divine. All the heart is to be enlisted in the conflict. The law of God is to be written in the heart, or the soul will never obey the truth, for the truth of God may be no truth to one who even may claim to believe it. Persons may profess to love the Saviour and yet make it manifest that love does not actuate them in His service. Why is it that the love of Christ does not wield a constraining power over the life? It is because it has never been brought into the sanctuary of the soul, it has never been made the principle of action. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:10.] Lt13-1893.47

Unless the truth is stamped upon the soul, it will not be obeyed in the life. Unless every word of profession is heartfelt, it will be but empty sound. Through neglecting to practice the truth, it loses its power over the mind and conscience, and through love of sin, the word loses its light, and certain ruin follows. He who does not practice the truth he knows, loses the love and Spirit of God. There are many of our young men and women who will not, cannot, be witnesses for Christ unless they have altogether a different view of what it means to be children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. May the Lord work upon the hearts of our youth. Lt13-1893.48

Coming out to Jesus means coming out of the world, and being separate from the world. It means coming out fully on the Lord’s side, realizing that although you are in the world, you are not of it; but are a living representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.” [2 Corinthians 11:3.] Then he beseeches the brethren to walk as dear children, to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” “being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” [Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10.] He admonishes them to walk in Christ Jesus even as they received Him, that they may be rooted and grounded and built up in Him, and established in the faith. [Colossians 2:6, 7.] Lt13-1893.49

The youth of New Zealand might become an army of young soldiers to go forth as missionaries for God, but they cannot do this while their ideas of what constitutes religion are so far below the standard. They make it manifest that they do not feed upon the Word of God. They have a knowledge of the theory, but no realization that it is necessary to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. They live to please self, to enjoy their own way, to indulge in their own habits and customs, to seek pleasure in holiday festivities, and if they have earned a little money, to spend it upon things to gratify themselves. They indulge their inclination to go visiting, or to obtain some article of dress for the gratification of pride. They study self, they glorify self. Lt13-1893.50

Young men seek to be in the company of the girls, and the girls are just as forward to be in the society of the young men. Many of the names on the church record are not on the record of heaven, not in the Lamb’s book of life. These youthful persons who profess to be Christians are not living for Christ. They are not bringing their will into subjection to Christ. Lt13-1893.51

How often, when the young come together, it is not to see in what way they shall glorify their professed Master, but it is to talk cheap, commonplace things. Should you listen, you would hear the light speech, the giddy laugh, and plenty of profitless nonsense. This seems to be the only aim of many of our youth in associating together, but will this result in a growth in grace? Will this enable them to perfect a Christian character? O, no, this will not train them to become missionaries for God. If they ever enter heaven, they must put themselves under a different training, and have a very different experience. They must compare their characters with the great moral standard, the law of God, for if the character will not stand comparison with this standard now, how will it stand the test of the judgment? Lt13-1893.52

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the heaven and the earth fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works ... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:11, 12, 15.] Lt13-1893.53

We feel to rejoice that souls may turn to God, that they may turn their faces Zionward. Have you abandoned the service of Satan? Have you ceased to sin? Have you come out from among your wicked associates? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? Have you entered the service of Jesus, saying to Him, “Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” When the lawyer came to Jesus asking this question, Jesus said, “What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answered, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength ... and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said to him, Thou hast answered right. This do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] Lt13-1893.54

Have you this wholeheartedness to God? If not, you need converting. The converting power of God must come upon our youth that they may be transformed in life and character, that they may realize what a great privilege it is to become a son and daughter of God, to be refined, ennobled, elevated, to be a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. Lt13-1893.55