Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


Cooperation Between Man and God in Salvation

Just prior to the coming of the Son of man, there is and has been for years a determination on the part of the enemy to cast his hellish shadow right between man and his Saviour, and why? So that he shall not distinguish that it is a whole Saviour, a complete sacrifice that has been made for him. Then he tells them that they are not to keep the law, for in keeping that law man would be united with the divine power, and Satan would be defeated. But in keeping that law man would be united with the divine power. Notwithstanding man was encompassed with the infirmities of humanity he might become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Now here is the redemption.... 6MR 7.1

“Then,” says one, “you cannot be accepted unless you repent.” Well, who leads us to repentance? Who is drawing us? Here the law of God condemns the sinner. It points out the defects of his character. But you can stand before that law all your lifetime and say, “Cleanse me. Fit me for heaven,” but can it do it? No; there is no power in law to save the transgressor of law in sin. Then what? Christ must appear in that law as our righteousness, and then Christ is lifted up. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32.) 6MR 7.2

Here we look at the cross of Calvary. What has made us look at it? Christ is drawing us. Angels of God are in this world, at work upon human minds, and the man is drawn to the One who uplifts him, and the One who uplifts him draws him to repentance. It is no work of his own; there is nothing that he can do that is of any value at all except to believe. 6MR 7.3

As he sees Christ hanging upon the cross of Calvary he sees that He loves sinners, those who were at enmity with God. He begins to marvel, and is abased. What is the reason for this? Why, he sees that there is a transgressed law, and that man cannot keep it, but he sees Christ, and with hope and faith he grasps the arm of infinite power and repents at every step. Of what? That he has violated every principle of the law of Jehovah. 6MR 8.1

Paul says he taught from house to house repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. What did Christ come to our world for?—To attract the mind and bring it to repentance. Here we have the love of the Father in giving His Son to die for fallen man, that he might keep the law of Jehovah. 6MR 8.2

Now Jesus stands in our world, His divinity clothed with humanity, and man must be clothed with Christ's righteousness. Then he can, through the righteousness of Christ, stand acquitted before God. 6MR 8.3

Oh, I am glad I have a Saviour! We must have the Holy Spirit to combine with man's human effort. We can do nothing without Christ. “Without Me, ye can do nothing.” “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20.) I am so glad that we can be partakers of the divine nature, and that through Jesus Christ we can be conquerors. This is the victory,—even your faith, feelings and good works?—Is that it? No; “This is the victory..., even [your] faith.” (1 John 5:4.) 6MR 8.4

What is faith? It “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Then what? “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17.) Therefore we lay hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. Our lives are hid with Christ in God. There we have the whole of it. We can do nothing of ourselves, but the fire of God's love is burning on the altar of our hearts. We are not following cunningly devised fable, no indeed; but we have been revealing Christ our righteousness. If you boast in your own good works, you cannot boast in Christ.... 6MR 9.1

God has opened to us our strength, and we need to know something about it and be prepared for the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. But here is our strength, Christ our righteousness. Let us ask Isaiah who is to be our strength. Well, he answers, and it comes echoing down along the lines to our time: “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, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6.) Is not that enough for us? Cannot we cover ourselves all over with it? Do we need any of our own self esteem? No, we cannot have that. We must hide in Christ, and we can hide in the mighty strength of Israel's God. Thus we work to meet the powers of darkness. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, and spiritual wickedness in high places. And it is only in Christ that we can meet them.... 6MR 9.2

We want you to go forward. Advance from light to clearer light. Here are the mines of truth. Work them; dig for the truth as for hid treasures. As you go to the Scriptures and ask God to help you, He will illuminate your minds, and the Holy Spirit will bring all things to your remembrance and the light of heaven will shine upon you.—Manuscript 5, 1889, 5, 6-10. (“Christ and the Law,” June 19, 1889.) 6MR 9.3

Every soul of man may be saved if they believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. All will not be saved. Not because He does not want them to be saved, for He is drawing every soul whatever may be their position, whatever may be their education, their nationality, or their training, He is drawing every soul to Himself. Why? Because in Him is life and light and truth, and all of these are essential to us for our happiness daily in this present life, and all these things are going to help us bear the burdens and trials and perplexities of life with greater ease, and Christ says in his invitation, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”.... 6MR 10.1

John pointed the people to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. He said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” There is a great deal in that “taketh away.” The question is shall we keep on sinning as though it were an impossibility for us to overcome? How are we to overcome? As Christ overcame, and that is the only way. He prayed to His heavenly Father. We can do the same.... When tempted to speak wrong and do wrong, resist Satan and say, I will not surrender my will to your control, I will cooperate with divine power and through grace be conqueror.—Manuscript 83, 1891, 2-4. (“Importance of Exercising Faith,” Sermon, July 22, 1891.) 6MR 10.2

The Lord has done great things for you in California, particularly in Oakland. But there is much more that He would be well pleased to do for you if you will make your works correspond with your faith. God never honors unbelief with rich blessings. Review what God has done, and then know that it is only the beginning of what He is willing to do. We must place a higher value than we do upon the Scriptures, for therein is the revealed will of God to man. It is not enough to merely assent to the truthfulness of God's Word, but we must search the Scriptures to know what they contain. Do we receive the Bible as the “Oracle of God?” It is really a divine communication as though its words came to us in an audible voice. Oh, we do not know its value, its preciousness, because we do not obey its instructions.... 6MR 11.1

“A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you.” I believe with all my heart that the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world; and those who have had great light and opportunities and have not improved them, will be the first to be left. They have grieved away the Spirit of God. The present activity of Satan in working upon hearts, and upon churches and nations should startle every student of prophecy. The end is near. Let our churches arise. Let the converting power of God be experienced in the heart of the individual members, and then we shall see the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Mere forgiveness of sin is not the sole result of the death of Jesus. He made the infinite sacrifice not only that sin might be removed, but that human nature might be restored, rebeautified, reconstructed from its ruins, and made fit for the presence of God.... 6MR 11.2

Christ is the ladder which Jacob saw whose base rested on the earth and whose topmost round reached the highest heavens. This shows the appointed method of salvation. We are to climb round after round of this ladder. If any one of us (shall finally be) saved, it will be by clinging to Jesus as to the rounds of a ladder. Christ is made unto the believer wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.... 6MR 12.1

There will be some terrible falls by those who think they stand firm because they have the truth; but they have it not as it is in Jesus. A moment's carelessness may plunge a soul into irretrievable ruin. One sin leads to the second, and the second prepares the way for a third and so on. We must as faithful messengers of God, plead with Him constantly to be kept by His power. If we swerve a single inch from duty we are in danger of following on in a course of sin that ends in perdition. There is hope for every one of us, but only in one way by fastening ourselves to Christ, and exerting every energy to attain to the perfection of His character. This goody goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin and he knows it to be sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess to believe present truth. The truth is kept apart from their life, and that is the reason it has no more power to convict and convert the soul. There must be a straining of every nerve and spirit and muscle to leave the world, its customs, its practices, and its fashions.... 6MR 12.2

Will those who claim to be children of the Most High elevate the standard, not for a day, not simply while assembled in your meeting, but as long as time shall last? Will they not be on the Lord's side and serve him with full purpose of heart? ... If you put away sin and exercise living faith, the riches of heaven's blessing will be yours.—Letter 53, 1887, pp. 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 12. (To “Dear Brethren and Sisters Who Shall Attend the April Meeting at Oakland, California,” undated.) 6MR 12.3

A work of self-renunciation is essential, and unreserved casting of yourself, all broken on Christ Jesus. Then He will gather you in His everlasting arms. Open the door of the heart, and bring into your soul all the heavenly agencies and attributes that will make you a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.... 6MR 13.1

The Lord would have His sons and daughters reach the highest efficiency in His service; in order to do this, they must maintain the most clear and practical views with regard to the agencies connected in the Lord's economy with the working out of their salvation, else they will often dwell in darkness and doubt, and in their warfare beat the air; for they seem to have lost sight of the Saviour. The Power is of God, not of us; out of weakness we may become strong.—Letter 47, 1892, pp. 5, 6. (To Brother Morrison, December 22, 1892.) 6MR 13.2

It is not enough to say, “I am a child of God”; but it's our works that will bear witness if we are children of God. Every one who is a child of God will do the will of God. Profession is of no value unless it is followed by true practical godliness. Our Saviour has a right to the service of every one of us.—Manuscript 17, 1887, 1. (“Godliness,” Sermon, June 11, 1887.) 6MR 13.3

The Lord has in His heavenly counsels set forth methods and agencies whereby His grace shall be at work through various influences for the saving of the soul of the sinner; but all these facilities will be ineffectual and powerless without the sinner's consent to be drawn, and he cooperates with the Divine agencies.... 6MR 14.1

The Spirit of God does not propose to do our part either in the willing or the doing. This is the work of the human agent in cooperation with the Divine agencies. As soon as we incline our will to harmonize with God's will, the peace of Christ stands to cooperate with the human agent. But it [the Holy Spirit] will not be the substitute to do our work independent of our resolving and decidedly acting; therefore it is not the abundance of light, and evidence piled upon evidence that will convert the soul. It is only the human agent accepting the light, rousing the energies of the will fully to that which he knows is righteousness and truth, and thus cooperating with the heavenly ministrations appointed of God in the saving of the soul.... 6MR 14.2

Always the Lord gives the human agent his work. Here is the Divine and the human cooperation. There is the man working in obedience with Divine light given. If Saul had said, “Lord, I am not at all inclined to follow your specified directions to work out my own salvation,” then should the Lord have let ten times the light shine upon Saul, it would have been useless. It is man's work to cooperate with the Divine. And it is the very hardest, sternest conflict which comes with the purpose and hour of great resolve, and decision of the human to incline the will and way to God's will and God's way, relying upon the gracious influences which accompanied him all his life long. The man must do the work of inclining,—“For it is God which worketh in you (us) both to will and to do.” And the character will determine the nature of the resolve and the action. The doing was not in accordance with the feeling or the inclination, but the known will of our Father which is in heaven. Follow and obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit. 6MR 14.3

Obey not the voice of the deceiver which is in harmony with the unsanctified will, but obey the impulse that God has given. The work of the heavenly intelligences, in all their operations, is constantly working to induce the human agent to will and to do. Everything is at stake. Will the human agent cooperate with the Divine? “To will and to do.” If man places his will on God's side, fully surrendering self to God's will, the high and holy endeavor of the human agent tears down the obstruction he himself has erected; the rubbish is cleared away from the door of the heart, the defiance and barricading of the soul is broken down. The door of the heart is opened, and Jesus enters to abide as a welcome guest.—Manuscript 9, 1889, 1-3. (“Behold the Lamb,” undated.) 6MR 15.1

God has come near to bless and revive his children, and empower them to do a special work if they will allow the Holy Spirit to work them, but some have refused the Spirit's power.... 6MR 15.2

The voice of God, plainly heard by Moses, has been given to his people from age to age.... 6MR 15.3

The word of God is to be the guide book, the counsellor, the teacher in the highest class of education. The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning the plan of salvation, and if men are ignorant, it is because they do not choose to be wise. God says of the supposed great men of our world, They must become fools in order to be wise. The sentiments of infidel authors are not needed to perfect an education. In the past our schools have mingled with that essential for education, the writing of men who advance error, the sophistries of men who trample under foot God's memorial. The Book that reveals the plan of salvation has been made secondary. But how is the honest inquirer after truth to find the way to heaven. Only by the Word of God, from which, even in his ignorance, he will learn the truth and be saved from destructive errors.—Manuscript 12b, 1896, pp. 4, 5, 15. (“Higher Education,” March 17, 1896.) 6MR 15.4

Willing and doing are bound together. The salvation of the soul requires the blending of human and divine strength. God does not propose to do the work that man can do to meet the standard of righteousness. Man has a part to act. Humanity must unite and cooperate with divinity. Grace and sufficiency have been abundantly provided for every soul. But in order to receive this, man must unite with his divine Helper. Unless of his own accord man consents to renounce his sinful practices, Christ cannot take away his sin. Man must heartily cooperate with God, willingly obeying his laws, showing that he appreciates the great gift of grace. Feeling his dependence upon God, having faith in Christ as his personal Saviour, expecting efficiency and success only as he shall keep the Lord ever before him,—it is thus that man complies with the injunction, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 6MR 16.1

But human effort is not sufficient. Human effort avails nothing without divine power. Of himself man has not strength to wrestle with the powers of darkness. Therefore Christ clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to this earth that he might cooperate with man. To those who will receive him and trust in his power to save, he imparts the virtue of his righteousness. He gives them power to become the sons of God. “As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” 6MR 17.1

The human agent must remember that he has in himself no merits to present to God. Christ is the fountain of life, the only security for man's salvation, the one great source of immortality. He is the author and finisher of our faith. The great, grand work of perfecting character cannot be accomplished without the help that heaven is always ready to supply. 6MR 17.2

He who desires to grow in physical, mental, and moral power must feel every moment his dependence upon the One who provides efficiency for growth. In the work of perfecting the strength and activity of the faculties of mind and body, man must constantly receive power from on high. The Lord is watching with earnest interest to see how man will conduct himself in the life which has been given him. Be not careless and indifferent in regard to the grand union work to be done by man and God. On your part you are to believe, receive the grace of God, and honor Christ in your life. On his part, he dwells in your heart, supplying you with divine strength, working in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.... 6MR 17.3

Without human effort divine effort is in vain. God will work with power when in trustful dependence upon him parents will awake to the sacred responsibility which rests upon them, and seek to train their children aright. 6MR 18.1

He will cooperate with those parents who carefully and prayerfully educate their children, working out their own and their children's salvation. He will work in them, to will and to do of his own good pleasure.—Manuscript 49, 1901, 1-3, 9. (“Work Out Your Own Salvation,” typed June 26, 1901.) 6MR 18.2

I cannot neglect the great salvation that has been brought to me at such an infinite cost to my heavenly Father, “who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I will not dishonor My Redeemer to lightly esteem His sufferings, His trials, His condescension, His sacrifice, His death, because He so loves us, He would himself become our sin-bearer. Oh, what love, what inexpressible love! He became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He died on the cross a transgressor that man might be justified through his merits. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”—Manuscript 73, 1893, 3. (“Parables,” undated.) 6MR 18.3

[Mark 2:17 quoted:] Then you are not to wait, but come now, and believe that He will receive you. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You cannot enjoy His blessing without any action on your part. Salvation is a gift offered to you free; on no other condition can you obtain it, only as a free gift. But cooperation on your part is essential for your salvation.... 6MR 18.4

The arms of Jesus are open to receive you; will you not come to Him? Jesus presents to you the gift of eternal life; will you receive it? Faith and works go together, and each is dead if alone. Not that works will save you; they are the fruit of faith, and living faith will reveal itself in action. The hand of Christ is stretched forth to receive you; will you put your hand in that of the dear Saviour and say, Lead me; I will follow Thee, my Saviour? You must not be neglectful of the conditions of salvation, which are faith and obedience. There must be a cooperation of the human with the divine. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord; but Jesus is ready to receive you now; and if you will only believe that He is your Saviour, that He died to redeem you, He will be found of you as the most precious friend.—Letter 9a, 1891, pp. 3, 6. (To Sister D. S. Gilbert, June 3, 1891.) 6MR 19.1