The Review and Herald

748/1902

November 20, 1894

Be Separate

EGW

“Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” To whatever field of labor Christians may be called, in whatever part of the Lord's vineyard they may be assigned to work, they cannot conform to the world. The world's way is not God's way. The world would have Christians conform to its ideas, and meet its own standard of Christianity. The world has marked out a line, and demands that Christians follow in its way, and do those things which will suit the world, and make them one with it in purposes and plans. But the voice of God is heard in his word, speaking to the children of men in unmistakable language, and saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Will you obey that voice? RH November 20, 1894, par. 1

The life of Christ manifested in human character will be antagonistic to the world, and in opposition to its customs and practices. Yet there is continual danger on this point among those who profess to have advanced light. It is Satan's purpose to set in operation such agencies as will lead the people of God into conformity to the world's standard, and it becomes every Bible Christian to sound an alarm in every organized body of professed followers of Jesus Christ. The ministers who stand in the sacred desk should be guarded upon this point, and not lose sight of the fact that they are to be laborers together with God. The Lord will not leave his people to the mercy of their own weak inefficiency; but he will gather them in the arms of his mercy, and bind them to his great heart of infinite love. The Lord sets before his ministers the divine standard, and instructs them that they are to be shepherds of the flock of God and ensamples of good behavior, that the ministry be not blamed, or brought down to a low, common level, and shaped according to the desires of the natural, unconverted heart. The ministers are not to carry into their sacred office their own defective spirits and faulty characters; for in all things they are to fulfill the word, and be found approving themselves “as the ministers of God.” RH November 20, 1894, par. 2

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are a savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men; forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to Godward; not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament.” “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but, by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.... For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” RH November 20, 1894, par. 3

Those who profess the name of Christ, are to represent Christ as their pattern and example. They are to unfold to others the truth in its purity, and make known to them what are the privileges and responsibilities of the Christian life; and this can be done by the professed follower of Christ only as he conforms his character to the sacred principles of truth. There must be no betrayal of sacred trusts on the part of any one who professes to be a child of God. There must be no obliterating of the line of demarkation between Christians and the world. There must be no bringing down of the truth to a low, common level; for this will dishonor God, who has given an infinite sacrifice in the gift of his Son for the sins of the world. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. RH November 20, 1894, par. 4

Many who claim to be the children of God do not seem to understand that the heart must be regenerated; for their practices ignore the words and works of Christ. By their actions they plainly say, “It is my privilege to act out myself. I should be perfectly miserable, if I did not act out myself.” This is the kind of religion that is current in the world; but it bears not the heavenly indorsement. It is a deception, a delusion of the enemy. Science, so-called, human reasoning and poetry, cannot be passed on as of equal authority with revelation; but it is Satan's studied purpose to exalt the maxims, traditions, and inventions of men to an equal authority with the word of God; and, having accomplished this, to exalt the words of man to the place of supremacy. Weak souls who have never realized that to be a follower of Christ means the subordination of every power that God has given to the obedience of Christ, will be drawn into the snare that Satan has set for inexperienced feet. The true voice of God, speaking from his word, was not heard, or being heard, was ignored; for other voices attracted the attention and engaged the mind, and thus they were led astray. They did not realize that God required that every thought should be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Such restraint as the gospel presented seemed to them a yoke of bondage. They found nothing attractive in the voice of God, which declared unto them what it means to be a child of God, an heir of heaven; but they considered the requirement of God a cruel restriction of their liberty, and one that was wholly unnecessary. They at first neglected the word that pointed out the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, and then despised, and then assailed it as something that restricted and bound them. They were found at last out of conformity to the revealed will of God, and opposed in heart and practice to the word of God. RH November 20, 1894, par. 5

There is no safety for any of us except as we daily receive a new experience in looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Day by day we are to behold him, and to become changed into his image. We are to represent the divine attributes, and follow the footsteps of Jesus at whatever cost to ourselves. We are to place ourselves under divine guidance, consulting the word of God, and daily inquiring, Is this the way of the Lord? There are various erratic characters that are wholly unlike Jesus, and that are within the church of Christ; but unless they will submit to become as clay in the hands of the potter, and will be willing to receive the heavenly mold, and be shaped into such vessels as God shall choose to make them, they will always bear their deformity of character, always be vessels unto dishonor, and will never receive the finishing touch of immortality. No deficiency of character will be immortalized and mar heaven with its imperfection. RH November 20, 1894, par. 6

A profession of truth is of no value unless the soul grasps fast the principles, and appropriates and absorbs the rich nourishment of the truth, and thus becomes a partaker of the divine nature. If this is accomplished, the will of the human agent will co-operate with the divine will. The wild, trailing vine which lies prone on the ground, catches at twigs and stumps, and fastens its tendrils about the things of the earth; and in order to have it twine about a proper support, its tendrils must be cut loose from the false supports to which it has attached itself. So it is with the soul. Earthly supports must be removed, and the thoughts and affections must be trained to find their support in God. RH November 20, 1894, par. 7

(Concluded in next number.)