Manuscript Releases, vol. 2 [Nos. 97-161]
MR No. 161—Holy People Do Not Claim To Be Sinless
[Material requested by teachers at Andrews University for use in classwork.]
Says John, in speaking of the deceiver that doeth great wonders: He shall make an image to the beast, and shall cause all to receive his mark. Will you please consider this matter? Search the Scriptures and see. There is a wonder-working power to appear, and it will be when men are claiming sanctification, and holiness, lifting themselves up higher and higher, and boasting of themselves. 2MR 348.1
Look at Moses and the prophets, look at Daniel and Joseph and Elijah. Look at these men, and find me one sentence where they ever claimed to be sinless. The very soul that is in close relation to Christ, beholding His purity and excellency, will fall before Him with shamefacedness. 2MR 348.2
Daniel was a man to whom God had given great skill and learning, and when he fasted the angel came to him and said, “Thou are greatly beloved.” And he fell prostrate before the angel. He did not say, Lord, I have been very faithful to You and I have done everything to honor You and defend Your word and name. Lord, You know how faithful I was at the king's table, and how I maintained my integrity when they cast me into the den of lions. Was that the way Daniel prayed to God? No. He prayed and confessed his sins, and said, Hear O Lord, and deliver; we have departed from Thy Word and have sinned. And when he saw the angel, he said, My comeliness was turned into corruption. He could not look upon the angel's face, and he had no strength; it was all gone. So the angel came to him and set him upon his knees. He could not behold him then. And then the angel came to him with the appearance of a man. Then he could bear the sight. 2MR 348.3
Why is it that so many claim to be holy and sinless? It is because they are so far from Christ. I have never dared to claim any such a thing. From the time that I was fourteen years old, if I knew what the will of God was, I was willing to do it. You never have heard me say I am sinless. Those that get sight of the loveliness and exalted character of Jesus Christ, who was holy and lifted up and His train fills the temple, will never say it. Yet we are to meet with those that will say such things more and more, every year.—Manuscript 5, 1885, 8-9. (“Hearing and Doing,” Sermon at Santa Rosa, March 7, 1885.) 2MR 349.1
Released May, 1964.