Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]


MR No. 1584—Call to a Higher Standard

(Diary entry written November 4, 1899, at Rockhampton, Queensland.)

I thank the Lord for His great mercy and goodness to me. When I look at myself I have not much courage, for I am compassed with infirmities, but I am trusting in a power out of and above myself. I do not doubt but that the Lord will help me. As my day is, so shall my strength be. The Lord is a strong tower, into which the righteous run and are safe. My present state of feebleness makes me feel the necessity of making the Lord my dependence, saying over and over again, In Thee will I trust. 21MR 402.1

There is not the least excuse for the church to be dwarfed and crippled. Our religious experience needs to be of a higher order, that we may see the greatness of the hope presented to us in the gospel. Christ offered Himself as a willing sacrifice in our behalf. He stooped from His high command in heaven to rescue man from the slavery of sin. The Son of God gave up His honor and glory and tasted the bitterness of death that man might be a partaker of the divine nature. He died that everyone might have a second probation, another chance to choose God as their Leader. He has made every provision that men and women may have an experimental knowledge of the character and work of their Redeemer. 21MR 402.2

“When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” The star of hope rose upon our world, and its brightness increased as our Saviour increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. 21MR 402.3

In the wilderness Satan came to Christ as an angel of light and assailed Him with his specious temptations. But Christ failed not. He saw a world perishing in sin, and steadfastly and firmly He moved forward in the path of resistance. He had come to seek and to save that which was lost. 21MR 402.4

Christ passed over the ground where Adam fell, overcoming in our behalf. He endured every test that man will ever be called upon to endure. He met all the temptations which man will meet in his life experience. Christ has Himself traveled over the path in which He calls upon us to walk. He says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. As I endured the test and trial, so you may endure it.” He who is at last crowned conqueror must depend, as Christ did, upon Deity. Every step Christ took was taken in full, entire dependence upon God. Had Christ transgressed the law of God in one particular, He would have been a sinner, and His offering would have been a failure, but not upon a single point did the enemy overcome Him. He declares, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He “that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” 21MR 402.5

God's word is immutable. Jesus has proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Today He stands in the heavenly courts as our High Priest and Advocate. By faith we may grasp the promise that His mediation secures for us all things. When God gave Jesus to our world He gave all heaven. This gift has secured for us our adoption into God's family. God's promise is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. Never will He falsify. Never will He alter the thing that has gone out of His mouth. 21MR 403.1

The clouds of uncertainty and unbelief were rolled back as the Saviour cried with a loud voice, “It is finished.” No longer had the enemy any power to tempt and annoy Him. Holiness and justice united in the completion of the great work of redemption. On the cross mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other. Jesus had testified that God is true. Faith demands no more. The doubting soul need not ask, Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? The answer comes clear and strong, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16]. 21MR 403.2

Human love is weak and changeable, but God's love is full and deep and unchangeable. Why then are our souls not aglow as we contemplate this love? Why do we close our eyes to it? God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, will shine into the hearts of all who believe, to give the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Oh, what amazing love. Language cannot measure it. It is without a parallel. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” 21MR 403.3

Christ's work did not bring Him any worldly glory. Through the prophet Isaiah He declares, “I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face.” Today the Lord Jesus employs every channel through which He can work. But many, by their self-exaltation and self-sufficiency, make it apparent that they are not controlled by the Holy Spirit. Instead, they magnify self into such large proportions that God is not revealed, God is not honored. 21MR 403.4

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. 21MR 404.1

Our views of the Sun of Righteousness are clouded by self-seeking. Christ is crucified afresh and put to open shame by many who have had a wide experience and upon whom have rested important responsibilities. Through self-indulgence Satan gains control over heart, mind, soul, and strength. 21MR 404.2

To those who handle sacred things comes the solemn injunction, “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” The church needs men of devotion to bear to the world the message of salvation, pointing men to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, men who by their works of righteousness and their pure, true words can lift their fellow men out of the pit of degradation. 21MR 404.3

If Jesus were made the sum and substance of every discourse, sinners would be convicted. By the message borne they would know what they must do to be saved. Lift him up, the Man of Calvary, higher and still higher. Who can declare the glory of the incarnate God? What language can describe it? It is not the men learned in this world's wisdom who have true eloquence. True eloquence is possessed only by those who have tasted of the love of Christ. The life renewed by divine grace and hidden with Christ in God is eloquent in its simplicity. 21MR 404.4

The orations and speeches made by apparently learned men are in God's estimation as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal in comparison with the words which come direct from a heart refined by belief in Christ as a personal Saviour. Those who are eloquent in God's sight are willing to walk in lowly paths. They are unappreciated by those who are constantly striving for the supremacy, who have no sense of what it means to walk in humble subjection to God's will and way, but God declares, “To this man will I look, even him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” 21MR 404.5

“Learn of Me, “says the great Teacher, “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” The time is coming when those who have wanted their own way, who have refused to wear the yoke of Christ, will see that they have failed to find the rest that Christ's yoke gives, but it will then be too late. 21MR 405.1

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. 21MR 405.2

Church members cannot honor God till they arise and shine because the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. I appeal to every church member to inquire, “Is my name written in the books of heaven?” There are those who, unless they are thoroughly converted, will crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to open shame. This age is one of peculiar temptation, especially to the self-sufficient ones, who feel no special need of guarding the avenues of the soul. Unless they heed the warnings God has given, they will most surely be drawn away from the principles of the truth. They will stand among those who dishonor the faith and give heed to seducing spirits. They plead for indulgence of appetite. They enjoy those things which animalize the nature. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart. They take no delight in contemplating the character of the Saviour. The rebuke of Christ is upon them because in thought and action they are corrupt. 21MR 405.3

Truth held in unrighteousness is the greatest curse that can come to our world. But the truth as it is in Jesus is a savor of life unto life. It is worth possessing, worth practicing, worth defending. Christ calls upon us to enter the pathway of self-denial, where every step means a denial of appetite and unholy lust. He calls upon us to stand upon the platform of eternal truth and contend, yes, contend earnestly, for the faith once delivered to the saints. 21MR 405.4

Paul wrote to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” “Hold fast the form of sound words ... in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” There is need of a higher grade of spirituality in the church. There is need of heart purification. God calls His people to their posts of duty. He calls upon them to purge [themselves from that which has been revealed as the bane of the church]—an exalting of the men placed in positions of trust. 21MR 405.5

There is earnest work to be done. Upon their knees men are to seek God in faith and then go forth to speak the Word with power sent down from on high. Such men come before the people direct from the audience chamber of the Most High, and their words and example promote spirituality. Their work in families is elevating and corrective. When they come in contact with wrong principles they plant their feet firmly upon the word, “It is written.” 21MR 406.1

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. The light that is in him shines forth in clear, bright rays, in words and works of righteousness. Christ's grace dwells in him richly, and heaven's light shines through him. He honors Christ by complete obedience. He is stimulated to more vigorous action in the cause of God as he imparts that which the Lord gives him. He is a light bearer to the world, shedding light on those who are in the darkness of error. He does not walk away from Christ, but keeps close by His side, conversing with Him, gathering divine principles from His Word. He goes about doing good, comforting the downcast, guiding wandering footsteps into the narrow way, sweetening the cup of bitterness which many drink as a result of their own course of action. There are those who need the guidance of a firm, steady hand to lead them to the feet of the Master. Those who are truly successful in the work of overcoming will help others to fight manfully the battles of the Lord. 21MR 406.2

Man has nothing in himself wherein to glory. Tell it in clear strong language. All he has, his talent of reason, affection, speech, spiritual discernment, come to him through the mercy of the Son of the Infinite God. These are to be surrendered to God again. Self-annihilation is a hard process, for self struggles for existence and dies hard. But prayer and faith place the weakest sinner on vantage ground, where the hand of faith can grasp firmly the hand of the Saviour. In and through Christ we may come off more than conquerors. 21MR 406.3

God has given us instruction that every child of His has a work to do. To every one is given talents according to his several ability. To minister for Christ it is not necessary for a man to be a preacher. There are many who, though they do not feel that they have been set apart for the special work of preaching, are, nevertheless, ministering for Christ. The Sun of Righteousness shines upon them, and they reveal that they are one with Christ. The Word of God is the man of their counsel. As they study the Scriptures they are enabled to understand what they read. They work in unity with one another. There will be no discordant opinions among those who are taught by God. True saints are one in spirit and action. The Holy Spirit binds them together, and all the power of satanic agencies cannot break this union. 21MR 406.4

The pure in heart shall see God. The impure cannot see Him. All upon which they look is tarnished for them by their impurity. Those who search the Scriptures with a heart which hungers and thirsts to know God and Jesus Christ will be rewarded. They will understand the words spoken to Daniel, that man of prayer. To Daniel many wonderful things were presented in vision. “I heard, but I understood not,” he said. “Then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?” 21MR 407.1

The angel answered: [Daniel 12:4, 10, 13, quoted]. 21MR 407.2

The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth's history. 21MR 407.3

Those who commune with God walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. They do not dishonor their Redeemer by corrupting their way before God. Heavenly light shines upon them. They are of infinite worth in God's sight, for they are one with Christ. To them the word of God is of surpassing beauty and loveliness. They see its importance. Truth is unfolded to them. The doctrine of the incarnation is invested with a soft radiance. They see that the Scripture is the key which unlocks all mysteries and solves all difficulties. Those who have been unwilling to receive the light and walk in the light will not be able to understand the mystery of godliness, but those who have not hesitated to take up the cross and follow Jesus will see light in God's light.—Manuscript 176, 1899. 21MR 407.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

April 18, 1991.

Entire Ms.