The Review and Herald


January 31, 1893

“Seek First the Kingdom of God”



We shall have to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Because finite men do not comprehend the power and greatness of God, science, falsely so-called, and religion will be placed in opposition to each other, and “of your ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” There will be among us those who will so blind their eyes that they will fail to perceive the most wonderful and important truths for this time. Truths which are essential to the safety and salvation of men will be set aside, while ideas that are in comparison to the truth as the merest atoms, will be dwelt upon, and magnified by the power of Satan, so that they will appear of the utmost importance. The moral sight of those who forsake truth has become dim; and yet they do not feel their need of the heavenly anointing, that they may discern spiritual things. They think themselves too wise to err. But those who have not a daily experience in the things of God will not move wisely. They may have a legal religion, a form of godliness, there may be an appearance of light in the church; all the machinery—much of it human invention—may appear to be working well, and yet the church may be as destitute of the grace of God as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. RH January 31, 1893, par. 1

Scores of men have preached the word when they themselves had not faith in it, and did not obey its teachings. They were unconverted, unsanctified, unholy. But if we would stand the test, piety must be brought into the life. What we want is inspiration from the cross of Calvary. Then God will open eyes to see that we are not to expect to do any work for the Master successfully, unless we connect with Christ. If we are indeed laborers together with God, we shall not have a dead, scientific religion, but our hearts will be infused with a living power, even the Spirit of Jesus. All those who are truly converted will be drawn out of, and away from, themselves. With the blessing of Christ upon them day by day, they will be channels for communicating light and blessings to others. RH January 31, 1893, par. 2

Those who are wavering between Christ and the world, need the converting power of God. When they see what sin is, and what is the righteousness of Christ, they will no longer dwell in the cave of unbelief. God calls upon them to come out of the cave, and stand with him. No longer question your need of a personal Saviour. The heart, as well as the understanding, must be enlarged. It is not enough to have an intellectual knowledge of the truth; there must be a heart work done. The soul-temple must be cleansed from the buyers and sellers, and must be opened for the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Christ drew a decided line of distinction between his disciples and the world. Listen to these words from his prayer offered just before his agony in Gethsemane: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” RH January 31, 1893, par. 3

We must comply with the terms of salvation, or we are lost. At the hour when we leave the service of Satan for the service of Christ, when true conversion takes place, and by faith we turn from transgression to obedience, the severest of the heart struggles take place. But many accept the theory of truth, and compromise with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The soul that has truly experienced the transforming grace of Christ has chosen Christ for its portion; it yields to the gracious influence of his Holy Spirit, and thus the character is formed according to the divine pattern. We are to feel, to act, as one with Christ. RH January 31, 1893, par. 4

It is the work of the heavenly angels to unite with human agencies in shedding light amid the moral darkness that rests upon the earth. Christ says to his followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” Shall we envelop our light in a thick covering of worldly policy? Shall we seek for scientific measurement of how much light shall emanate from us to the world? God help us to live under the direct rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that we may be channels of light to the world. There are many false beacons established, to lead unwary souls to make shipwreck of faith; but the true light of the world must shine, not smothered, not put under a bushel nor under a bed, but set on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house—the world. The true light is to stand in distinction from all other lights. The system of truth must stand distinct from all other systems, whether of religion or of morals; for it sheds forth light emanating from Christ. Our great work is to reveal Christ to the world, and thus reveal the Father. RH January 31, 1893, par. 5

There are men of the world who will volunteer to be our guides; they regard their course as wise, but they are of the class who, professing to be wise, need to become fools in order to become wise in God's wisdom. They lead away from the path where the voice of Jesus is heard, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” They are false teachers, blind leaders of the blind. They divert the attention from the very work to be done in this period of the world's history. But those who follow the Leader step by step, will hear and recognize the voice of the True Shepherd. RH January 31, 1893, par. 6

We are to learn from Christ how to work, how to be as he was, self-denying, self-sacrificing. If we have his Spirit, we shall realize the worth of souls, and work for their salvation. Our work is to be done wholly through the grace of Christ. We are to have a continual sense of our weakness and frailty and be led to Jesus in earnest prayer for his wisdom and efficiency. There will be times of despondency, as we realize our unlikeness to Christ; we see ourselves small, weak, and compassed with infirmities; but we are to depend upon Jesus, and commit our ways unto the Lord; and while we trust to him in humility, obedient to his word, heavenly wisdom will be imparted to us that we may do the Master's work. Our life may seem a tangle; but if we commit ourselves wholly to the wise Master-worker, he will bring out the pattern of life and character according to his plan, for our good and his own glory. RH January 31, 1893, par. 7

Do not take your eyes off Jesus. Let the prayer go forth from unfeigned lips that we may not trust in our finite, human wisdom, but that our thoughts may be brought into subjection to Christ, our characters be molded after the mind of Christ. Why should we not walk with God, as did Enoch? Why should we not have the transforming grace of Christ daily? Has he not promised to us great and precious things? Who can find words to explain the rich promises of God? “Behold,” said John, “what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” RH January 31, 1893, par. 8

In the last conflict in the great controversy between good and evil, God has called us to give the final warning to the world. The Christian world are honoring a false Sabbath, and we are to show them its true character and foundation. We must make it plain to them that they are honoring a man-made institution in place of that which God himself has sanctified. Every rival to God must be made to appear as an idol. Solemn is our responsibility. RH January 31, 1893, par. 9

The people of the world will try to induce us to soften down our message, to suppress some of its more distinctive features. They say, “Why do you make the seventh-day Sabbath so prominent in your teaching? This difference is always thrust before us. We would harmonize with you if you would not say so much on this point. Let arguments in the Sentinel be free from mention of the seventh-day Sabbath, and we will give it our influence and support.” This is their invitation to compromise, and there has been a disposition on the part of some of our workers to adopt this policy. But those who favor this action entertain deceptive sentiments, are bound by false modesty and caution, and manifest a disposition to withhold the confession of our faith. Seventh-day Adventists have discussed the feasibility of conceding to these demands; but shall we permit the world to shape the messages that God has given us to bear to them? Shall we entertain the proposals of Satan, and thereby entangle our souls, and the souls of others, for the sake of policy? Shall we betray sacred trusts? If the world are in error and delusion, breaking the law of God, is it not our duty to show them their sin and danger? We must proclaim the third angel's message. RH January 31, 1893, par. 10

What is the Sentinel for?—It is to be as the voice of the watchman on the walls of Zion, ready to sound the danger signal. We should cry aloud, and spare not, and show the people their transgressions. We are not to cringe, and beg pardon of the world for telling them the truth. We should scorn concealment. Unfurl your true colors to the gaze of men and angels. Let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists can make no compromise. In our opinions and faith there must not be the least appearance of wavering. The world has a right to expect something of us, and will look upon us as dishonest, as hiding our real sentiments and principles out of policy, if we present even the semblance of being uncommitted. RH January 31, 1893, par. 11

The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which Christ said he would send into the world, was to bear an unwavering testimony: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin [What is sin?—The transgression of the law], and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” On no account will a real believer of the truth present an appearance of neutrality in that which concerns the salvation of souls. We are not to voice the sentiment of the world. Jesus says, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” The Lord calls upon all to consider whom they will serve and whom they mean to worship,—whether they will be swayed to the right or to the left by the opinions and position of the world, or stand firm to truth. Shall we be time-servers? Now, before we advance another step, let us look carefully to see what are our feelings, our aims, and purposes. RH January 31, 1893, par. 12

(Concluded next week.)