The Review and Herald

749/1902

November 27, 1894

Be Separate

(Concluded.)

EGW

Much is said in the epistles about having sound faith, and this should teach us the necessity of exercising caution so that we shall not weave into our experience our own inclinations and our objectionable traits of character. We should be careful that we do not mix the chaff with the wheat. We should take heed that we do not misrepresent the precious, elevating, ennobling principles of truth, and by so doing lead others astray. Soundness in the faith means the correcting of every error that exists even in the thoughts of our hearts, lest we corrupt the word of God. There is great need of healthfulness of soul, and this condition will be attained by accepting the pure truth, and bringing it into practice in our life. As Christians, we need to keep Jesus ever before our minds, remembering that he is the author and the finisher of our faith. Every soul who is seeking to become one with Jesus Christ, must remember that during this testing period of probation, it is his duty to study the life and character of Jesus Christ, and conform his life to the divine standard. This he can only do by the abundant grace of Christ. When the grace of God is given and appropriated, there will be daily improvement made. While Satan on the one side will be seeking to press the believer into his service, Christ on the other side will seek to win and draw the soul to himself. If you become victor over Satan, you will fight many a sturdy battle with inclination, and will be found on strict guard, in order that you may be loyal to God in all things. Satan continues the warfare in the determined purpose of conquering, and it will require continuous effort on your part to be an overcomer. You will have to bring self to task, asking repeatedly, Is this the way of the Lord? Keeping the eye upon Jesus, drawing from him supplies of grace, the striving one will come forth from the conflict with clearer views of God, and will rejoice in the attainment of new strength and power because he has made the Lord first and best and all in all. RH November 27, 1894, par. 1

Self-discipline must be carried on by every one who claims to be a child of God. Through decided discipline a man or a woman of ordinary mind will accomplish far more for the cause of God than the most brilliant talents and most learned mind without the discipline of the grace of God; for all the highly valued natural endowments are wanting in power without the discipline of the grace of God. Christians should daily feel the necessity of so training their intellectual faculties that should they be called to fill positions of trust, or be required to set the truth before the highest earthly powers, or to whatever duty they may be called, they may be able to do it to the glory of God. There is need of men and women of well-balanced minds and of healthful religious experience. There are many who have but a sickly experience. They cannot endure anything that is unfavorable, and are apt to imagine that they are slighted by their brethren and sisters. They are sick; and yet they feel whole in their one-sidedness and deformity, and will not apply to the Great Physician, who could restore them to soundness. They choose to remain as they are rather than be disturbed by reproofs and warnings. The Lord is not at fault in their case; the patients refuse to take the remedy the Great Physician prescribes. They will not apply the word of God to their souls, and become doers of the word; but prefer to come under influences that are more suited to their natural traits of character, but which counteract all that the Great Physician would do for their souls, and thus they thwart the purposes of God. RH November 27, 1894, par. 2

Many conform themselves to the world's standard, and are influenced by the opinions and statements of various authors of the world, and their worldly maxims floating in the mind, take the place of the pure word of God, because the word of man suits their taste, approves of their customs, and encourages their defects of character, and the word of God condemns their course. To be separate from the world, to be wholly the Lord's, to be uninfluenced by the rules, maxims, practices, and methods of the world, means far more than many comprehend. At times these worldlings at heart are very much elated because certain lines are touched which meet their natural tastes in religious matters, but they know not by practical experience what the religion of Christ means; for when circumstances change, they are as much depressed as they were elated, and they feel the want of their stimulus as much as the drunkard feels the loss of his spirituous liquor. To flash out brightly now and then under the stimulus of the world's praise is not religion. To be separate from the world, to be consecrated to Jesus Christ, mean much more than they seem to take in. The soul consecrated to the service of Christ has a peace that the world cannot give nor take away. Jesus says, “My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Train the mind by close discipline, and let the thoughts of the heart be brought into subjection to Jesus Christ. As human agents co-operate with God in working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. RH November 27, 1894, par. 3

Let those who would be the children of God take heed to the command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” Association with worldly-minded men and women dims the spiritual perception; for it is in direct disobedience to the plain injunctions of the word of God. In worldly society an earthly influence is at work, an atmosphere of poisonous miasma is there which is disastrous to personal piety. Those who truly love God will not cultivate the society of those who do not love Jesus. They will have some realization of their own individual weakness, and they will study prayerfully the word of God, that they may feed upon the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, and they will find that Christian society and conversation is food to the soul, that in the society of those who love God, they breathe in the atmosphere of heaven. Christians will exercise love and sympathy one for another. The encouragement given one to another, the esteem manifested one for another, the helps, the instruction, the reproofs, warnings, the Christian counsel that should be found among the followers of Christ, will further them in the spiritual life; for Christian fellowship is according to God's plan. Christians are to cultivate self-restraint, love, forbearance, and unity one to another by the cords of brotherly love. Thus they will together exercise faith, hope, and love toward God; they will have tender consideration for all of like precious faith, and will draw toward those who love God. There will be fellowship such as the world knows not of. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” RH November 27, 1894, par. 4