The Review and Herald

532/1902

June 10, 1890

Conditions for Obtaining Eternal Riches

EGW

An infinite price has been paid for our redemption, and we should know that we are in the right way, walking in the path of humble obedience. We must bring our work, thought, and emotion to the word of God, and have God impress upon our hearts his written word; then may we have confidence toward him. The Saviour says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” We can see harmony in the word of God. We are to be in a condition to keep God's commandments and live, and his law as the apple of the eye. It is true sanctification to love God with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. We must be subject to the will of God. We must not make our feelings a standard, but God's will must be our rule of action. RH June 10, 1890, par. 1

Forty-five years ago, when I began my labors, we met with some of the most erroneous doctrines. One would say, “I have the truth because my feelings tell me so.” Another would say, “The Spirit tells me that I have the truth.” But how were they to know that they had the right spirit. There are two spirits in the world, the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of antichrist. They declared that they had gone beyond the Bible, and left that for those not so far advanced as themselves; for the Lord talked directly with them. As I stood with my Bible before them, pleading with them, they pushed me away, saying, “No, no, I don't want to hear anything about it. God has told me the way.” We must know what saith the Scriptures. Let God be true and every man a liar. Not one of us must lose the eternal treasure that is laid up for the overcomer. A great sacrifice was made for us because God loved us. RH June 10, 1890, par. 2

Adam and Eve were placed upon probation in the garden of Eden, and they were tested as to whether they would render obedience to God's law. They fell from their allegiance through the temptation of the wily foe, and now a great and infinite sacrifice has been made that man may have another trial. And of all the creatures upon the face of the earth, we should be the most happy because this great sacrifice has been made in our behalf, that a just and holy God may accept our efforts to keep his law. We should come into a position where we will be determined to have salvation even at the cost of every earthly consideration; for a way has been devised whereby every one of us can be saved, and it is by coming back to our allegiance to Christ. And when we realize that the Heavenly Father gave his Son to assume humanity, to lift up the fallen race, we will be ready to praise him. RH June 10, 1890, par. 3

This earth was the field of battle; here the Son of God had to contend with the wily foe in our behalf. Behold him on Jordan's bank just before he entered the desert of temptation. He offered up a prayer such as heaven never heard before, and the heavens opened and the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, encircled the Son of God, and there was heard a voice, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Do you comprehend all that this scene signifies? It tells you that heaven is opened before you, and that your petitions will find access to the Father. After the transgression of Adam, God no longer communicated directly with man; earth was separated, as it were, from the continent of heaven; but Jesus was made our substitute, our surety, that he might bring us back to the Father, and his human arm encircles the race, while his infinite arm reaches to the highest heavens, and thus he unites finite man to the infinite God, and connects earth with heaven. The voice that came from heaven to our Surety, tells us that heaven's portals are open and God hears our prayers, and that the light that enshrouded the Son of God will be over us if we follow in his way. RH June 10, 1890, par. 4

Christ passed from this scene of glory to one of the greatest temptation. He went into the wilderness, and there Satan met him, and tempted him on the very points where man will be tempted. Our Substitute and Surety passed over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. And the question was, Will he stumble and fall as Adam did over God's commandments? He met Satan's attacks again and again with, “It is written,” and Satan left the field of conflict a conquered foe. Christ has redeemed Adam's disgraceful fall, and has perfected a character of perfect obedience, and left an example for the human family, that they may imitate the Pattern. Had he failed on one point in reference to the law of God, he would not have been a perfect offering; for it was on one point only that Adam failed. RH June 10, 1890, par. 5

But he says, “I have kept my Father's commandments.” He withstood the fiercest temptation upon appetite, which has had such a great influence upon the human family; so that whatever may be the habits and practices of men, they may overcome them in his name and through his merits. God saw that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own strength, with his own feeble moral power; yet man is required to exercise all the capabilities and powers that God has given him in order to overcome, and then he needs a higher power, and help has been laid upon One who is mighty to save. Divine power may combine with human effort, that through Jesus man may stand free, a conqueror. Man may conquer perverted appetite. Though the moral image of God was almost obliterated by the sin of Adam, through the merits and power of Jesus it may be renewed. Man may stand with the moral image of God in his character; for Jesus will give it to him. Unless the moral image of God is seen in man, he can never enter the city of God as a conqueror. RH June 10, 1890, par. 6

Satan tempted Christ upon ambition. How many have been ruined by ambition! They have had a knowledge of the truth, but they bring up their business, and say, “I cannot obey the truth on account of my business.” And, again, “What will other people say? I cannot be different from the people around me.” What does the voice of the good Shepherd say? What says the Master?—“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?” We must not study how to serve ourselves, but to do the will of God. Christ left his glory, his majesty, and clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to our world; he was a Man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief. For our sakes he became poor that we through his poverty might become rich. And then after this infinite sacrifice has been made for us, what sacrifices are we willing to make for Jesus? RH June 10, 1890, par. 7

Satan came to Christ and presented another temptation. He took him upon an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them in a moment of time, and promised to give them all to him if he would only fall down and worship him. Christ resisted Satan with, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” We see many around us who will be allured by the things of earth. Satan presents these things in a flattering light to them, and they sell their souls for a little worldly gain, when Christ has presented to us eternal riches, on condition of obedience. Who can describe the exceeding great reward that is to be given to the Christian? Eternal riches are promised, and who can turn his eyes from this reward? We are subject to failures in this world. A man may be worth his thousands one day, and it may be all swept away the next. Is it not meet to ask what we must do to secure eternal riches? RH June 10, 1890, par. 8

Jesus withstood all the temptations of Satan, and through Christ we may withstand them. Through Jesus we may overcome the love for earthly treasures. Our Saviour withstood on every point the test of temptation, and in this way he has made it possible for man to overcome. Now, there is enough in this idea, in this thought, to fill our hearts with gratitude every day of our lives. As Jesus was accepted as our substitute and surety, every one of us will be accepted if we stand the test and trial for ourselves. He took our nature that he might become acquainted with the trials wherewith man should be beset, and he is our mediator and intercessor before the Father. RH June 10, 1890, par. 9

Every one that follows in the footsteps of Jesus keeps the commandments of God. Those who flatter themselves that God has told them that they need not keep his commandments because it interferes with their circumstances, make a sad mistake. It is another leader that such are following, and not Jesus. We are to inquire what saith the Scriptures. We must have the law of God before us. Jesus suffered the severest temptation, and finally died upon Calvary's cross, thus demonstrating to the human family that the law of God is immutable, not one jot or one tittle can be changed; but Satan has deceived the Christian world with the story that Christ died to abolish the law. It was the cross of Calvary that exalted the law of God and made it honorable, and showed its immutable character, and thus it is demonstrated before all the worlds God has created, and before the heavenly angels, that the law is changeless. If God could have changed one iota of his law, Jesus need not have come to our world and died. But our Saviour, who was equal with God himself, came into our world and suffered the death upon the cross, to give man another probation. RH June 10, 1890, par. 10

If this great and infinite sacrifice has been made in our behalf, let us ask ourselves what we are doing. Do we say, “Believe on Christ, and that is all you have to do”? It is our privilege to ask those who tell us this, what we shall believe. The words of Satan ever lead to disobedience, but the voice of God in his word leads to a perfect obedience. We must have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every stain of sin. What is sin? The only definition that is given to you in the word of God, is, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” The apostle says, “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” RH June 10, 1890, par. 11

The law of God is the one great standard that will measure every man's character in the day of God. The prayer of Christ was, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Therefore the sanctification of the Spirit of God upon the heart, leads men to walk in the way of God's commandments. The very test that God brought upon Adam in Eden, will be brought upon every member of the human family. Obedience to God was required of Adam, and we stand in the same position that he did to have a second trial, to see whether we will listen to the voice of Satan and disobey God, or to the word of God and obey. We must exercise repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no power in the law to save the transgressor of the law from the penalty, but the penalty has been paid by Jesus. It was because the Father loved us that he gave his only begotten Son to die for us. John says, “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.” It is no cheap faith that we are to have. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Every sin will be put away from us because it is an offense to God, and we will bring ourselves into harmony with God. RH June 10, 1890, par. 12

“Believe, believe, believe in Jesus,” is the soothing fallacy that is lulling many to sleep in the cradle of carnal security, and we need to be alarmed. When you bring Jesus into your daily life and character, you will not talk of your feelings, but of what God hath said. When Christ is in the soul, then we will work for those around us who are in darkness. There will not be heard from any man, “Give me Christ, but away with the commandments of God, I do not want to hear anything about them.” We must know that our feet are upon the eternal Rock. It is not for us to bring the word of God to our feelings and ideas, but to bring these to the word of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” We are in the perils of the last days, and Christ has said that false teachers shall arise in the world, and deceive many with their pernicious doctrines. Then how shall we know the true from the false?—“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Do they teach obedience to the law of God, or do they teach men to break his commandments? We are living in a world of false doctrines, and we must know what is truth. We do not inquire, What is for my convenience? but, What is God's word? If Christ had studied his convenience, he would never have left heaven to come to our world to die, to hang upon the accursed tree for us. Jesus has died for you, and now what will you do for Jesus? He says, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” And if you love Jesus, you will have your feet planted in the blood-stained foot-prints of the Man of Calvary, and at last those who have gained the victory will enter in through the gates into the city, and have a right to the tree of life. God has given us reasoning faculties, and he wants us to use them. He has given us a chart which marks out for us the only right way to reach eternal life. Study the Scriptures for yourselves. Hear what the voice of the true Shepherd says to you, and then walk in the path of humble obedience, and at last the gift of eternal life will be granted to you. We cannot afford to lose eternal life. May God grant that we may meet this dear people around the great white throne, and with them sing the song of redemption in the kingdom of glory. RH June 10, 1890, par. 13