The Signs of the Times


November 21, 1892

Make All Things According to the Pattern


When the sanctuary was to be built, the Lord directed Moses, saying, “Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” Moses was full of zeal to do God's work. The most talented, skillful men were at his command to carry out his suggestions; and yet it was not given to him to make a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel, a fringe, a curtain, or any vessel of the sanctuary, except according to the pattern shown him as God's ideal. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things. The Lord covered him in order that he might see God and live, and behold the things that God would have made according to the pattern. Forty days he was in direct communication with God; and when he descended the mount, his face shone with glory, and he was ready to give directions as to how the sanctuary should be made according to the pattern shown him in the mount. ST November 21, 1892, par. 1

It is in neglecting to follow the exact directions of the word of God that many err. They turn away from God's plans, to follow their own ideas. Christ himself declared, “The Son of Man can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” So utterly was he emptied of self that he made no plans for himself. He accepted God's plan for him, and day by day the Father unfolded his plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, declaring, “I do nothing of myself,” how much more should the human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God's will. Oh, that failing, erring mortals would be content to seek wisdom from God, and be entirely submissive in working out his directions, in exemplifying his character! If ever mortals needed to send to heaven an earnest cry, “Lord, show me thy way; teach me the way of the Lord,” it is now. Only those will have a fitness for the mansions above who give to God full and implicit obedience. God knows that we would not appreciate his rarest gifts if we were not perfectly submissive to his will. ST November 21, 1892, par. 2

And in keeping the way of the Lord there is great reward. We shall be tempted by the adversary of souls to deviate from God's way, to neglect to search the Scriptures in order that we may find out whether we are walking in the sparks of our own kindling, or seeking the light which God has given us. Oh, that we may be vessels unto honor, prepared for the Master's use! Oh, that the work of the grace of God may so go forward in our hearts that we may come to see the matchless charms that are revealed in Jesus! ST November 21, 1892, par. 3

Whatever may be our temperament, we are to form a character after the divine Pattern; we have no excuse for retaining the mold and superscription of our nature; for Christ has died that we may have his mold and superscription. We cannot retain self and yet be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self, and the receiving of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified, and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. Are we willing to pay the price required of us for eternal life? Are we ready to sit down and count the cost, and conclude that heaven is worth the sacrifice of dying to self, of having our will brought into perfect conformity with the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God will not be manifested upon us. When we present our emptied nature to God, he will by his Holy Spirit supply the vacuum made by the renunciation of self, and give us of his fullness. The Lord would not have us perish. He would have us consecrate to his service all there is of us; for he desires to bless us more than we desire to be blessed. He would have us abide in Christ, receive his blessing, and diffuse it to others while we live, that we may enjoy a blessed eternity. Life is short, but eternity is endless. ST November 21, 1892, par. 4

We should ask ourselves, For what are we living and working? And what will be the outcome of it all? We need the religion of Jesus Christ daily; for everything we do or say comes under the notice of God. “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” What we are at heart, we reveal in life. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, are the result of what we are; and our influence is a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death, according to whether we abide in Christ or not. In the judgment we shall be brought face to face with those whom we have had opportunity to help by directing them, through choice words of counsel, into right, safe paths. If we have a daily connection with God, we shall have a living, abiding interest in the saving of the souls of men, and our influence will be a savor of life unto life. ST November 21, 1892, par. 5

The Lord has blessed us with the light of truth, and we are to let that light be seen, by being doers of the word. We are to let the bright rays of God's word extend to others, to cheer and bless all that are in the house. If we do not have oil in our vessels, accept of the grace of Christ, which is abundantly provided for us, our light will burn dim, and, if neglected, will die out. But if from the treasure of the heart you bring forth good things, then your light shines out to those who are in darkness. But if you indulge in slang phrases and foolish talk, you bring forth from the treasure of the heart evil things, and darkness comes upon your soul, and upon the souls of others; for evil words bring forth a harvest after their kind. Evil words do more mischief than you have any idea of; they are seeds sown to produce a harvest, and your influence as a Christian is weakened. Foolish, idle jesting fails to exalt the character of Christ; and when he is not lifted up, souls are not drawn to him. The Lord Jesus calls upon you to place yourself in the channel of light, that the result of thorough faith in Christ as your personal Saviour may appear. Christianity is not to be put on and off at will, but it is to be our constant adorning; we are to be clothed with Christ's righteousness as a garment. ST November 21, 1892, par. 6

Let no one rob God of the service he requires. Half-hearted service is of no value. Have we not tried our own way again and again, and found it was but foolishness? In following our independent judgment, have we not virtually said, “Lord, I want not thy way, for it does not please me; I want my own way; and if I cannot do as I please, I will not serve thee?” How many have let go of Christ, to follow their own plans? Did Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have his way? Behold him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to his Father. What forced those blood drops of agony from his holy brow? Oh, the sins of the whole world are upon him! It was separation from the Father's love that forced from his pale, quivering lips the cry, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” Three times was the prayer offered, but was followed by, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, O God, be done.” This must be our attitude: “Not my will, but thine, O God, be done.” This is true conversion. ST November 21, 1892, par. 7

The church of Christ is to represent his character. Its members, if their names are written in the Lamb's book of life, will be united by a vital connection with Christ, as the branch is united with the living vine. Jesus says, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” Christ devoted himself entirely to the work of saving souls. He left the glories of heaven, and clothed his divinity with humanity, and subjected himself to sorrow, and shame, and reproach, abuse, denial, and crucifixion. Though he had all the strength of the passion of humanity, never did he yield to temptation to do that which was not pure and elevating and ennobling. He says. “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified.” He devoted himself wholly to God in an infinite sacrifice to redeem the world. What a wholeness in his life, his character! The plan of salvation, devised prior to the beginning of time, expresses the love of Christ to man, the devotion of the Son to the Father's glory. “To the intent that now the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This eternal purpose embodied before the universe the glory of the divine love in the salvation of man. ST November 21, 1892, par. 8

Charged with his exalted mission, Jesus came into the world as the visible representative of the invisible God. He said to Philip: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? ... From henceforth ye know him and have seen him.” “I and my Father are one.” What height, and depth, and breadth of meaning in the Saviour's words! They are clothed with a mysterious power that can only be spiritually discerned. ST November 21, 1892, par. 9