The Review and Herald

691/1902

October 17, 1893

The Church the Property of God

EGW

The church is the property of God, and God constantly remembers her as she stands in the world, subject to the temptations of Satan. Christ has never forgotten the days of his humiliation. In passing from the scenes of his humiliation, Jesus has lost none of his humanity. He has the same tender, pitying love, and is ever touched with human woe. He ever bears in mind that he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He forgets not his representative people who are striving to uphold his down-trodden law. He knows that the world that hated him, hates them. Although Jesus Christ has passed into the heavens, there is still a living chain binding his believing ones to his own heart of infinite love. The most lowly and weak are bound by a chain of sympathy closely to his heart. He never forgets that he is our representative, that he bears our nature. RH October 17, 1893, par. 1

Jesus sees his true church on the earth, whose greatest ambition is to co-operate with him in the grand work of saving souls. He hears their prayers, presented in contrition and power, and Omnipotence cannot resist their plea for the salvation of any tried, tempted member of Christ body. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. Through our Redeemer what blessings may not the true believer receive? The church, soon to enter upon her most severe conflict, will be the object most dear to God upon earth. The confederacy of evil will be stirred with power from beneath, and Satan will cast all the reproach possible upon the chosen ones whom he cannot deceive and delude with his Satanic inventions and falsehoods. But exalted “to be a prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins,” will Christ our representative and head, close his heart, or withdraw his hand, or falsify his promise?—No; never, never. RH October 17, 1893, par. 2

God has a church, a chosen people, and could all see as I have seen, how closely Christ identifies himself with his people, no such message would be heard as the one that denounces the church as Babylon. God has a people who are laborers together with him, and they have gone straightforward, having his glory in view. Listen to the prayer of our representative in heaven: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.” O, how the divine Head longed to have his church with him! They had fellowship with him in his suffering and humiliation, and it is his highest joy to have them with him to be partakers of his glory. Christ claims the privilege of having his church with him. “I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” To have them with him is according to covenant promise and agreement with his Father. He reverently presents at the mercyseat his finished redemption for his people. The bow of promise encircles our substitute and surety as he pours out his petition of love, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.” We shall behold the King in his beauty, and the church will be glorified. RH October 17, 1893, par. 3

Like David, we may now pray, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Men have gone on in disobedience to God's law, until they have reached a point of insolence that is unparalleled. Men are training in disobedience, and are fast approaching the limit of God's forbearance and love, and God will surely interfere. He will surely vindicate his own honor, and repress the prevailing iniquity. Will God's commandment-keeping people be carried away with the prevailing iniquity? Will they be tempted, because universal scorn is placed upon the law of God, to think less of that law which is the foundation of his government both in heaven and in earth?—No. To his church his law becomes more precious, holy, honorable, as men cast upon it scorn and contempt. Like David, they can say, “They have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” RH October 17, 1893, par. 4

The church militant is not now the church triumphant; but God loves his church, and describes through the prophet how he opposes and resists Satan who is clothing the children of God in the blackest and most defiled garments, and pleading for the privilege of destroying them. The angels of God were protecting them from the assaults of the enemy. The prophet says: RH October 17, 1893, par. 5

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him, he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair miter upon his head. So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” RH October 17, 1893, par. 6

When men arise, claiming to have a message from God, but instead of warring against principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, they form a hollow square, and turn the weapons of warfare against the church militant, be afraid of them. They do not bear the divine credentials. God has not given them any such burden of labor. They would tear down that which God would restore by the Laodicean message. He wounds only that he may heal, not cause to perish. The Lord lays upon no man a message that will discourage and dishearten the church. He reproves, he rebukes, he chastens; but it is only that he may restore and approve at last. How glad my heart was made by the report from the General Conference that many hearts were softened and subdued, that many made humble confessions, and cleared away from the door of the heart the rubbish that was keeping the Saviour out. How glad I was to know that many welcomed Jesus in as an abiding guest. How is it that these pamphlets denouncing the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon were scattered abroad everywhere, at the very time when that church was receiving the outpouring of the Spirit of God? How is it that men can be so deceived as to imagine that the loud cry consists in calling the people of God out from the fellowship of a church that is enjoying a season of refreshing? O, may these deceived souls come into the current, and receive the blessing, and be endued with power from on high. RH October 17, 1893, par. 7