The Review and Herald

765/1902

March 19, 1895

Recount God's Dealings

EGW

It will revive faith and encourage hope in the hearts of God's people to recount his past dealings with them. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.” RH March 19, 1895, par. 1

This is the testimony we want to bear, and it is an uplifting testimony. It is the testimony the people need everywhere. Argumentative sermons do not soften and subdue the soul. Those who have been laborers together with God have had an experience of highest value, and this experience is needed at this time. The churches everywhere need the message borne by John. It should be borne to them by men who understand the reasons of our faith, who have had a practical experience in the past history of Seventh-day Adventists, and who have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. We shall have no dark, shadowy testimony to bear if we walk in the light as he is in the light. We need to present to the people the way in which God has led us in the past, and to recount his wondrous works in behalf of his people. We need to “call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you.... Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” RH March 19, 1895, par. 2

Those who have had a long experience in the cause of God should be highly esteemed of their brethren, and their counsels should be regarded as of great value. There has been a drifting away from the pillars of faith. It should be the burden of every messenger to set forth the fullness of Christ. When the free gift of Christ's righteousness is not presented, the discourses are dry and spiritless; the sheep and the lambs are not fed. Said Paul, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” There is marrow and fatness in the gospel. Jesus is the living center of everything. Put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy, and glory of Jesus Christ be dwelt upon until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. RH March 19, 1895, par. 3

The Lord would have us look away from self and cease to depreciate others. Let us gather together that which our own experience has revealed to us of the preciousness of Christ, and present it to others as a precious gem that sparkles and shines. Thus will the sinner be attracted to him who is represented as the chief among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. The cross of Calvary is a pledge to us of everlasting life. Faith in Christ means everything to the sincere believer. The merits of Jesus blot out transgressions, and clothe us with the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven. The crown of life is presented before us as the honor to be given at the end of the conflict. These precious truths are to be set forth in living characters. The Holy Spirit's work is to open them to the mind. Jesus said, “He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Has not this promise been verified in our experience? RH March 19, 1895, par. 4

The Lord is soon to come; there must be a refining, winnowing process in every church, for there are among us wicked men who do not love the truth. There is need of a transformation of character. Will the church arise and put on her beautiful garments, the righteousness of Christ? It is soon to be seen who are vessels unto honor. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” RH March 19, 1895, par. 5

Here are brought plainly to view those who will be vessels unto honor; for they will receive the latter rain. Every soul that continues in sin in the face of the light now shining upon our pathway, will be blinded and accept the delusions of Satan. We are now nearing the close of this world's history. Where are the faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion, who will not slumber, but faithfully declare the time of night? Christ is coming to be admired in all them that believe. How painful it is to contemplate the fact that the Lord Jesus is being kept in the background. How few magnify his grace and exalt his infinite compassion and love. There will be no envy, no jealousy, in the hearts of those who seek to be like Jesus in character. RH March 19, 1895, par. 6

The gospel is now resolutely opposed on every hand. Never was the confederacy of evil greater than at the present time. The spirits of darkness are combining with human agencies to set them firmly against the commandments of God. Traditions and falsehoods are exalted above the Scriptures: reason and science above revelation; human talent above the teachings of the Spirit; forms and ceremonies above the vital power of godliness. We need the divine touch. RH March 19, 1895, par. 7

Yet Jesus says to his followers: “My peace give I unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” It is our privilege to realize the preciousness of the Saviour as never before. Our Redeemer is a “Tried Stone.” The experiment has been made, the great test has been applied, and with perfect success. In him is fulfilled all the purpose of God for the saving of a lost world. Never was a foundation subject to so severe a trial and test as this “Tried Stone.” The Lord Jehovah knew what this foundation-stone could sustain. The sins of the whole world could be piled upon it. The Lord's chosen were to be revealed, heaven's gates to be thrown open to all who would believe; its untold glories were to be given to the overcomers. RH March 19, 1895, par. 8

“A Tried Stone” is Christ, tried by the perversity of man. Thou, O our Saviour, hast taken the burden; thou hast given peace and rest; thou hast been tried, proved by believers who have taken their trials to thy sympathy, their sorrows to thy love, their wounds to thy healing, their weakness to thy strength, their emptiness to thy fullness; and never, never has one soul been disappointed. Jesus, my Tried Stone, to thee will I come, moment by moment. In thy presence I am lifted above pain. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” RH March 19, 1895, par. 9

It is our privilege to enjoy sweet communion with God. Precious to the believer is his atoning blood, precious is his justifying righteousness. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” When I meditate upon his fountain of living power from which we may draw, I mourn that so many are losing the delight they might have had in considering his goodness. We are to be sons and daughters of God, growing into a holy temple in the Lord. “No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.... Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” This is our privilege. How is Heaven amazed at the present condition of the church that could be so much to the world were every stone, in its proper place, a living stone to emit light. The stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones; but living stones, stones that catch the bright beams from the chief corner stone, even from the Sun of Righteousness,—the bright glory in which are combined the beams of mercy and truth that have met together, of righteousness and peace that have kissed each other. RH March 19, 1895, par. 10

If we are indeed followers of Christ, we must reach a higher standard. Heaven looks with pleasure upon him who worships God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. All Heaven is employed in seeking to save that which is lost. But there are many who do not know that they are lost. They are far from spirituality; they have lost the presence of God; lost the true ideal of character and they copy the human instead of divine. All Heaven is active in seeking to surround man with light, to give opportunities to present the highest motives that man shall return to the service of God. The Redeemer of the world has conceived the lofty design of translating all who serve him in spirit and truth to his heavenly temple above. But in Christ's school we are ever learners; human opinions and authorities are not to be the controlling powers; for the lessons of Christ are spirit and life, and there are no limits to the rich mines of truth to be explored. RH March 19, 1895, par. 11

Are we Christians in deed and in truth? or are we such in name only? Christians are those who are growing up into a holy temple in the Lord. But “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This represents a constant growth in Christian character, growth in spiritual-mindedness. The church of Christ in the world is to be a great power, and a name and praise in all the earth. Jesus has done everything to accomplish this. Now there is need of earnest, deep, sincere efforts to redeem the past unfaithfulness. Time, precious time, has been lost in wanderings and backslidings from God. Every character is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary; if the moral character and spiritual advancement do not correspond with the opportunities and blessings, “wanting” is written against the name. RH March 19, 1895, par. 12

The Light of the world is our leader, and the path has been growing brighter and brighter as we have advanced in the footsteps of Jesus. O that we may keep close to our Leader. He will fill every heart with divine love,—love to God and love for one another. How long will entreaties and warnings be given before they will be sufficiently valued to be heeded? Why not put away all selfishness, all sin, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Many are not on safe ground. They have not a clear title to an inheritance among the sanctified. But while the atoning blood is presented in our behalf, why not make earnest, thorough work, and be complete in Christ Jesus? RH March 19, 1895, par. 13

All who claim to be children of God should seek daily to understand why they believe by searching the Scriptures for themselves. Those who humbly study the character of Jesus will reflect his image more and more. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it. RH March 19, 1895, par. 14

Many fail to meet their high responsibilities and privileges. O how long will this deadness and insensibility continue? How long will differences rend the church? The Lord Jesus is the one spiritual Head, and we are the members of his body. The church is represented as growing up “into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Cannot we pray over this matter more earnestly, that the Holy Spirit of God may quicken the discernment of his people to see that by putting away envy, evil surmisings, jealousy, they may answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father? Can it be that the senses of those who claim to believe the truth are paralyzed? Do they not see that they deny Christ? Do they not understand that they scatter from him in acting as though it was a light matter to disagree and engage in controversy? Brother looks coldly upon brother, minister distrusts minister. The church seems to have lost the blending attribute of love, and its members unite no better than ropes of sand. And yet the great crisis of the day of God is at hand. RH March 19, 1895, par. 15

What is the reason of this selfishness and bigotry? What means this self-satisfaction, this disposition to tear down and not build up? The truth is not sanctifying the soul, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Many cling to their independence, choosing their own way, but not the way and will of God. The truth is believed in theory, but not received in the love of it, and the soul is left as cold as an iron wedge. Those who are sanctified by the truth will be one in Christ Jesus. The cleansing blood of the Lamb of God cements hearts together. The branches are united in the vine. RH March 19, 1895, par. 16

Trials are to come upon God's people and the tares are to be separated from the wheat. But let not Ephraim envy Judah any more, and Judah will no more vex Ephraim. Kind, tender, compassionate words will flow out from sanctified hearts and lips. It is essential that we be united, and if we all seek the meekness and the lowliness of Christ, we shall have the mind of Christ, and there will be unity of spirit. RH March 19, 1895, par. 17