Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]


MR No. 452—Beholding Christ

“If your earthly treasures are taken away, you are not to grieve, for I [Christ] will give you heavenly treasure. If I remove the dearest objects of earthly attachment, I will supply the lack with more of myself. It is in the time of deepest sorrow that I send the richest tokens of my grace. I will cause the afflicted soul to break forth into the song of praise and thanksgiving. ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted.’ The trials and losses that come to you are to purify and refine you, and fit you for immortality.” 7MR 140.1

This was the assurance given me, and I am determined to put my trust in the Lord. I will not murmur or complain. I am comforted every day; for the Lord understands my suffering. Even if He does not remove it, He will give me grace to endure the pain. I am comforted, and I praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice. 7MR 140.2

Every worker in the Lord's vineyard will have trials and disappointments, and grievous annoyances to bear. If the worker gives way to discouragement, his soul is wearied and his courage sapped. His only hope is in God. If he will look steadfastly to Jesus for his orders as well as for his inspiration, he will be enabled to maintain self-control. There are times when difficulties are increased, when, though the Lord says, Go forward, some feel called upon to oppose His plans. To fight against the prejudices and opposition of those of like faith requires more taxing effort than the work of preaching the truth to unbelievers.... 7MR 140.3

The past night has been a very long one, and I am so restless that I long for the day. I keep my mind as much as possible on the promises of God. I do not claim these promises because I deserve them, but because they are bestowed upon erring human beings as a free gift. I am comforted with the assurance that although constantly suffering pain, I am never forsaken. I put my trust in One who is too wise to err and too good to do me harm. He will restore me to health. I shall yet speak forth His praise in the congregation of the saints. I am determined not to encourage feelings of despondency and gloom.... 7MR 141.1

I have a longing desire to get well, that I may proclaim the truth in this country [Australia]. While I stand in the shadow of the cross, I feel certain, as I see by faith the rainbow of promise, that God's promise is sure. The Lord is indeed mine and I am the Lord's. I try not to be anxious or to feel restless or dissatisfied.... 7MR 141.2

Constantly my petition is ascending to God for restoration to health, that while here in Australia, I may bear my testimony to the people. But if the Lord has other plans for me, I am content. He knows what is for my good and the good of His people. He doeth all things well.... 7MR 141.3

There are those who are forever making excuses for walking in the counsels of the enemy. Some think that because they have physical infirmities, they are privileged to speak pettish words, and to act in an unlovely manner. But has Jesus made no provision for such ones to overcome temptation? Because of trial and affliction, are they to be unthankful and unholy? Are not the rays of Christ's righteousness bright enough to dispel the shadow of Satan? The grace of God is declared to be sufficient for all the ills and trials against which human beings have to contend. Is it powerless then against bodily infirmity? Shall divine grace stand back, while Satan takes the field, holding the victim in the power of his evil attributes? ... 7MR 141.4

In my suffering, the Lord is sacredly near to me. It seems that I can endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. During these long, wakeful nights, I have precious seasons of communion with my Saviour. I seem to look upon His face, full of tenderness and compassion. These words are impressed on my mind: “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:24, 25.... 7MR 142.1

During the conference the Lord wrought for us, but at its close I became aware that I had overdone. We moved into a retired cottage five miles out of North Fitzroy, and ever since I have been an almost helpless invalid. 7MR 142.2

I think of this, and the mist and fog gathers about me. But the Lord speaks to me saying, Come up higher. Breathe the pure atmosphere of faith. As I look to Jesus, the darkness flees away, and I am happy in Christ. How exceedingly precious is the promise, “thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee”.... 7MR 142.3

I was very nervous last night. The chills that I had on Monday and Tuesday resulted in very lame, painful shoulders and hips. I have done much earnest praying to the Lord for the presence of His spirit. I must learn to live by faith. Then my dark and painful hours will be the brightest. Faith is not sight. It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I have no hope except in Christ. Salvation is of grace through faith; it is the gift of God. 7MR 142.4

My heart longs after the Lord. I want to be led by His counsel every hour. I dare not trust my own judgment. I praise my Redeemer for His sustaining grace. I praise Him because He has not allowed the enemy to touch my head. My entire body, bone, muscle, and nerves, has been afflicted, but my head has been clear, my memory good. I have suffered much pain in my arms and across my shoulders, making it impossible for me to dress or undress myself. For months I was unable to get on or off the bed without assistance. But my health is certainly improving. After arranging my position so as not to bring any strain on arms or shoulders, I go to work at my writing, asking the Lord to bless that which I write. I know that He helps me. During each month of my sickness, I have written nearly two hundred pages of letter paper. 7MR 143.1

I am now working on the life of Christ. I know that the enemy will make every possible effort to hinder me; but I shall cling to Jesus; for He is my dependence.—Manuscript 19, 1892, 1, 4, 5, 8-10, 13, 27, 29. (Diary, 1892.) 7MR 143.2

My whole being longs after the Lord. I am not content to be satisfied with occasional flashes of light. I must have more.... 7MR 143.3

I had a very trying night. I was very weary, but was unable to rest, because my body was full of pain. I longed for the morning, so that I might sit up. In these trying times, I look to Jesus; for I know that He is touched with the feeling of my infirmities. In His humanity He was made perfect through suffering. He knows just what we need, just what we can bear, and He will give us grace to endure every trial and test that He brings upon us. My constant prayer is for a greater nearness to God. I long for deeper spirituality, for more vigor in the Christian life.... 7MR 143.4

I slept little during the night, but though I suffer much pain, I am not discouraged. How weak is humanity! How little we can do by depending on self. But when enlightened by the Spirit of God, the believer beholds the perfection of Jesus, and beholding this perfection, he rejoices with joy unspeakable.... 7MR 144.1

During the night I slept but little, but I am not going to look on the dark side. I turn my face to the Sun of Righteousness, and dwell with pleasure upon the Saviour's willingness to pardon my sins and sanctify my soul. It is by beholding that we may reflect Christ's image.... My heart longs for more of the presence of Jesus.... Last night I spent many wakeful hours in prayer. I am resolved to cast myself, body, soul, and spirit upon the Lord.... I am encouraged as I look to Jesus and recount His lovingkindness.... Although I am in pain day and night, yet the grace of Christ sustains me. If I had no hope in Jesus, how lonely I should be. I have a Saviour who is the light of life. How precious to me is the sight that I catch of Jesus during my long, wakeful hours.... 7MR 144.2

The sinner may become a child of God, an heir of heaven. He may rise from the dust, and stand forth arrayed in garments of light. Transformed by beholding Jesus, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature.... We must behold Jesus by faith as an ever-present help in time of need.—Manuscript 20, 1892, 1, 33-35, 37-40. (Diary, 1892.) 7MR 144.3

In the midst of the fiercest pain, Satan presents temptations to doubt the goodness and love of God to me; but I resist him. I find comfort in prayer. I go back over our past history and “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” What a multitude of blessings we received! The presence of Jesus was often in our very midst. We could not doubt it. The bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon us. The proclamation of the mercy and love of God was to us rich morsels of food from heaven's storehouse. Oh what a wealth of experience have all those who acted a part in the first part of the proclamation of the third angel's message! I am living over again those precious experiences.... 7MR 145.1

I thank the Lord I have had an active part in this work from the beginning, and amid all my pain, I have comfort and assurance and peace and hope. What should I do without the grace of Christ? I am filled with the tenderest love for Jesus, and for precious souls for whom He died. When I consider that Jesus gave His precious life for me, and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” I want to have health that I may speak of His love, and tell of His power in the congregation of the saints. Who can withhold from Jesus His purchased possession? Oh why does not the message of such love break every barrier down, and all who hear receive, believe, and live? When pain seems unbearable to me, I cry out loud, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” Precious is His all atoning blood. Precious is His justifying righteousness: He is all and in all to me. He comes very preciously near to me in my most trying times and I feel such an assurance that His everlasting arms are beneath me. “To you therefore that believe he is precious” I know this, I have proved this, it is to me a reality. What should I do if I could not put my entire trust in Him, commit soul, body, and spirit to the Lord? 7MR 145.2

I have asked the Lord to restore me to health, but I will not be impatient. I will not become discouraged. I will not look on the dark side. I have peace and joy in Jesus, and the treasures of His love. I can say, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. I would know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. I am not sure that I shall ever recover, but I know that Jesus is my Saviour, I am His child, and whether I live or die I am the Lord's. Jesus is my precious Saviour. I want to copy the Pattern. How exact in principle and upright in conduct was He! He gave no place to Satan when He was tempted. How wide-awake He had to be to discern the tempter's wiles. Oh, if we would only walk and work as Jesus worked, how strict would be all our transactions with believers and unbelievers; how tender, how charitable, how meek and lowly of heart would we become, because we had learned of Him. How dimly we reflect the great glory of our Lord! We ought to be faithful depositories of so rich a treasure. Thank the Lord. Oh, I will praise Him that I am His child. Thank God that I have my reason. I feel so sad that the professed children of God should bring so little glory to our Redeemer. We need to behold Him more steadfastly, that we may be changed into His image. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” How He longs to help every soul. He bids them, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Are any burdened? He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” How is the rest found? “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Do we believe this? Will we draw near and repose in His love? I hope you will both be of good courage; never look on the dark side or talk doubts. Whatever your circumstances, whatever your trials, whatever your adversaries, you know just where to flee for refuge. As the watchful shepherd, Jesus labours for His sheep and lambs. He bids His flock draw near, and He will lead them to green pastures, to living streams of water to quench their thirst and refresh their spirits. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”—Letter 38, 1892, pp. 2-4. (To Uriah Smith, June 29, 1892.) 7MR 146.1

We are not to linger about the tomb, as though Christ were there. We are to remember that Christ is a risen Saviour. We have a living Christ; He is not lying in Joseph's new tomb. There are those who are always complaining of something in their life or religious service. Full of complaint, their tongues do great mischief. The Lord does not enjoy our sorrow and tears. He would have us walk before Him in obedience, with grateful thanksgiving.... When trial comes, do not think that some strange thing has happened unto you, but hear the voice of God saying in your test and trial, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. God desires you to hear His voice amid the cloud. It is a voice of peace and not of war, telling you to look to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith, a Saviour able and willing and longing to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. He declares, I am touched with the feeling of their infirmities. Those who put their trust in Him will never be confounded. The shepherd's crook, which stops you from turning into strange paths, is not an evil; it is a mercy. Thus God would draw you away from evil to good. The refining fire must purify the gold and silver from all dross, that those who claim to be Christians may offer to God an offering in righteousness.... 7MR 147.1

Brethren and sisters, do we believe the word of God, or not? Do we not see the signs fulfilling all around us? Do we realize that we are standing on the verge of eternity, that we have no time to make crooked paths and blundering movements, involving the worth of the soul? When the last call shall be made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye forth to meet him, shall we represent the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their vessels with their lamps? Whatever our line of work, let us remember that we cannot carry it ourselves. Let us be sure that we are making every possible effort to save souls. Self and self-serving has no place now and never had in a true religious experience. Everything we do must be done to the glory of God. Work and pray, and God will cooperate with your efforts.... 7MR 148.1

The Lord could not now bring many souls into the truth because of the church members that have never been converted and those who were once converted, but who have backslidden. What good would these unconsecrated members do the new converts? They would make of none effect the message God has given His people to bear.—Manuscript 49, 1898, 1, 2, 6, 14. (“Lack of Spirituality in Our Churches,” April 9, 1898.) 7MR 148.2

The Lord would have every teacher of truth behold Him, until he is changed into the same image. Then he will delight in the law after the inward man.—Letter 84, 1899, p. 5. (To A. T. Jones, April 28, 1899.) 7MR 149.1

Under the Lord's guidance, every sphere of action, every position in life, every disappointment, becomes the means of the development of Christian experience.... God designs every man to reach the perfection of character revealed in Christ's humanity.... The believer becomes imbued with the love, grace, kindness and benevolence that led Jesus to go about doing good. He beholds constantly a loving, tender, compassionate Saviour. The more he beholds Him, the more he longs and prays to be like Him in character.—Letter 173, 1899, pp. 1, 2, 4. (To Peter Wessels, November 4, 1899.) 7MR 149.2

This fallen world is in strange hands. Men rule for hire and preach for hire. In all business transactions there is a strife for the supremacy. If Christ should walk through the streets of our cities today, few would have interest enough to follow Him.... Let me urge you, my brother, to seek for a deeper insight into the truth as it is in Jesus.—Letter 174, 1899, pp. 4, 6. (To H. C. Lacey, October 30, 1899.) 7MR 149.3

The church needs men today who like Enoch walk with God, revealing Christ to the world. Church members need to reach a higher standard. Heavenly messengers are waiting to communicate with men who have sunk self out of sight, whose lives are a fulfilling of the words, “I live, yet not I; but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Of such men and women must the church be composed before her light can shine forth to the world in clear, distinct rays.... 7MR 149.4

He who wears Christ's yoke sees constantly new beauty and loveliness in the Saviour. He counts self as nothing; for he keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus. He thinks of Jesus and speaks of Jesus. His soul is constantly reaching forward and upward for more distinct views of the One in whom all his hopes of eternal life are centered. Nothing is permitted to eclipse this view. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed into the same likeness from glory to glory, from character to character, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.... He who draws nigh to Christ need not try to shine. As he beholds the Saviour, he catches the divine rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness, and he cannot help shining.—Manuscript 176, 1899, 4-6, 8. (Diary, 1899.) 7MR 150.1

When Christ abides in the hearts of the church members, all quarrels, all dissensions, all discourteous words, all selfish actions, will be repudiated. Each member will ask earnestly, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?”—Letter 65, 1900, p. 9. (“Appeal in Behalf of Our Work in Scandinavia,” November 20, 1900.) 7MR 150.2

We are privileged to receive from Christ all the excellence necessary for perfection of character. But in order for us to obtain this excellence, we must show more self-denial, more self-sacrifice.... 7MR 151.1

How long will it be before we yield our wills to the will of God? It took fearfully severe experience to lead Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge Jehovah as the supreme Ruler. God is waiting for us to give ourselves to Him. Then He will mold and fashion the perverse human mind into His own likeness, taking the things of Christ and showing them to us. And as we behold the beauty of the Saviour's character, we shall grow more and more like Him, until at last God can speak to us the words, “Ye are complete in Him.”—Letter 155, 1902, pp. 8, 12, 13. (To Judge Arthur and Wife, September 5, 1902.) 7MR 151.2

We need the impartation of the Holy Spirit, that we may realize how closely heavenly things are bound up with God's church on this earth.—Letter 115, 1903, pp. 2, 3. (To John Wessels, June 20, 1903.) 7MR 151.3

Study to develop a sensitive appreciation of what Christ has done for you. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. There is danger that your mind will continue to be so filled with business cares that you will not give yourself time to receive the grace of Christ. Your eyes have been so blinded that you have not seen your danger.... 7MR 151.4

Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Study His life—a life filled with goodness, grace, and truth. Follow His example. Ask yourself, Am I, in purpose and character, like Christ. The contemplation of the Saviour will attract you more and more strongly to Him. It is the beholding of the love of Jesus that gives light and life to the soul. Study the excellence of the character of Christ. Remember that to Him has been given all power. This power is for you, if you will have it. As you become a humble, faithful witness for Christ, you will be able to say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”—Letter 257, 1903, pp. 8, 9. (To J. H. Kellogg, November 26, 1903.) 7MR 151.5

My heart is often sad, and often I spend the greater part of the night in prayer. I am thankful that the Lord is so kind and helpful to me. I desire to praise Him with heart and soul and voice.... Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. In the home of the redeemed there will be no tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. The inhabitants shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on. Think of this; tell it to the children of suffering and sorrow, and bid them rejoice in hope. 7MR 152.1

The nearer we come to Jesus, the more clearly we behold the purity and greatness of His character, the less we shall feel like exalting self. The contrast between our characters and His will lead to humiliation of soul and deep heart-searching.—Letter 73, 1905, pp. 1, 5, 6. (To Dr. D. H. Kress and Wife, February 1, 1905.) 7MR 152.2

They who will not seek to exalt themselves, are the ones whom God can most safely entrust with responsibilities.—Manuscript 89, 1906, 4. (“Humility, An Essential Qualification for Christian Service,” October 22, 1906.) 7MR 152.3

The enemy will come in and try to draw our minds away from the important work to be done for this time. He will seek to keep us engaged on trivial matters, make us think that it is our province to criticize and condemn others; but our work is to deal faithfully with our own souls.... If you keep looking at their faults, you will become like them. Instead of looking at the lives of your fellow men, look to Jesus. There you will see no imperfection, but perfection, righteousness, goodness, mercy, and truth. Take the Saviour as your example in all things. In looking to men instead of beholding Christ, you have made a great mistake.—Manuscript 87, 1906, 1, 2. (“And What Shall This Man Do,” 1906.) 7MR 153.1

When physicians are diligent students of the Scriptures, when our ministers live in accordance with the Word of God, making this Word their textbook, then the truth will be proclaimed with power, and souls will be converted.—Letter 214, 1906, p. 3. (To “Ministers and Physicians,” July 3, 1906.) 7MR 153.2

Beholding the glory of the Son of God caused the prophet himself to appear very insignificant. He felt nothing but contempt for himself. I abhor myself! Woe is me, for I am undone! The more closely we view the Lord Jesus in His purity and loveliness, the less will we esteem self, the less will we strive for the mastery, or even for recognition. When the light of Jesus reveals the deformity of our soul, there will be no desire to lift up ourselves into vanity. The appearance of self is most unpleasing. The more continuously the human looks upon Jesus, the less he sees in himself to admire, and his soul is prostrated before God in contrition. 7MR 153.3

So many have this self-satisfied feeling, and manifest this inclination to uplift self unto vanity; thus giving evidence that they are clothed with the filthy rags of their own self-righteousness. If they do not seek most diligently for the heavenly anointing they will not, cannot, see Jesus. Neither can they see their own poverty. Their spiritual defects are hid from their eyes. They have a name to live, but give not the slightest evidence that their life proceeds from God. The true spiritual life is a reflection of the life of Christ. The meekness and lowliness of our Saviour is apparent in their daily life. The gentleness of Christ is revealed. Such a life is constantly speaking of His love, and telling of the power of His grace. In beholding Christ, there is a continual change wrought in the human agent; his conversation is made fragrant with His grace.... Perpetually looking unto Jesus, the human is assimilated by the divine. The believer is changed into His likeness.—Manuscript 64, 1895, 2, 3, 6. (“Sanctified Humility,” 1895.) 7MR 154.1

Rest in Christ's love, my sister. This is all that He requires of you. Look unto Jesus, not yourself Christ is the Author and Finisher of your faith. Trust the One who has helped you in the past to hold fast to the faith. In the hour of death Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Had God forsaken Him? No, no. Neither has He forsaken any soul who trusts in Him. He will bring them off victorious, and give them the crown of life.—Letter 299, 1904, p. 4. (To “An Aged Sister,” October 31, 1904.) 7MR 154.2

Released November 10, 1975.