The Review and Herald

787/1902

August 13, 1895

“Draw Out Thy Soul to the Hungry”

EGW

When Christ was accused of eating with publicans and sinners, he said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Again he said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” In the synagogue at Nazareth he announced the character of his mission to the world and said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” He quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah where it is said of him that he came “to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called Trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” RH August 13, 1895, par. 1

Brethren, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. I would address myself to those who are sitting in council, who would mold and fashion the work which is so important, so significant, at this time. It will not answer for any man to act in official capacity at these council meetings where important decisions are to be made, unless he realizes the sacredness of the work, and is under the molding influence of the Holy Spirit. Every phase of the work of God should bear the imprint of the character of the principles of the commandments of God, which we as a people claim to observe and vindicate. Making this profession, we shall confuse minds in regard to the character of the law, unless in spirit and work we represent the principles of God's holy commandments, and thus make manifest to the world the character of God. While claiming to be commandment-keepers, we are in danger of becoming commandment-breakers. RH August 13, 1895, par. 2

Christ is to be our example. The mission of Christ was to live out the law of God. On one occasion when Jesus and his disciples went through the corn, they were hungry, “and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.” Jesus immediately brought forward an illustration to vindicate his action, and showed that what they had done was in complete harmony with the law of God. He said to the Pharisees: “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” He sought to convince them that while they were so scrupulous in the performance of their ceremonies, they neglected the weightier matters of the law, and failed to exercise mercy, judgment, and the love of God. RH August 13, 1895, par. 3

“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!” In what contrast is the work of Christ set forth! “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” Brethren, take heed to these words, for they are of deep importance to every soul connected with the great work to be accomplished in these last days. Unless our eyes, our ears, our tongues, are under the control of the Holy Spirit, and guided by divine power, they cannot be trusted. They will surely mingle the thread of selfishness and the chaff of vanity with the work of God, and commingle with it that which is marred by unsanctified and ambitious projects, and the work will not bear the signature of Heaven; for it will not represent the principles of the law of God, which is a transcript of his character. RH August 13, 1895, par. 4

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” We are to imitate the pattern which Christ gave us to copy. “With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.... And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” The great crisis is upon us, and it will be for our present and eternal good to make sure that the Spirit of God is prompting us to action. RH August 13, 1895, par. 5

Any measure that is of such a nature as to oppress the poor and afflicted, bring neglect upon the widow and the orphan, is leading us away from the example given us in the life of Christ, and misrepresenting the principles of God's law. Representative men connected with the work and cause of God will bring a heavy retribution upon themselves if they mislead the people by their spirit and action, and misrepresent the principles of the law of Jehovah. If they weave into the work that which springs from their own natural temperament, and mar the cause by disorders of their own natural disposition, they will cause to appear in the work of God the attributes of the fallen foe and his confederate angels, rather than the attributes of Jesus Christ. The fashion of the work coming forth from every soul that is born of God has been clearly pictured before us. He who is truly a child of God will experience the transforming power of grace upon mind and heart, and his character will develop after the divine similitude. The description of the work of Christ will be the description of the work of every one who is born of God, who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The apostle says of such, “Ye are laborers together with God,” representing the holy law of God to heaven, to worlds unfallen, and to the fallen world. Representing the law of God in its true character arouses the enmity of Satan. Those who love God with all the heart, will love the law of his kingdom. They will not only profess to be guided by its principles, but they will actually live them out, even in a world that is no more favorable to the development of Christian principles than were the inhabitants of the world before the flood, of whom it is written that the thoughts and imaginations of their hearts were evil, and only evil continually. A similar condition of society exists in our world today, and if those who claim to be God's commandment-keeping people do not put in practice the principles of the law which Christ came to our world to vindicate, pronouncing it holy, just, and good, they misrepresent the character and mission of their professed Master. They mislead men in regard to the requirements of the law, and will be stumbling-blocks in the way of sinners. The Lord of hosts has warned us that we shall take heed not to misrepresent the law of his government by any unmerciful action on our part toward our fellow-men. Neither are we to rob God in tithes and in offerings; for the remnant people of God are to be representatives to the world of the character of Christ. Not a thread of selfishness is to be woven into their practices. The law of God is to be lived out. Thus in the character of God's people a living testimony will be borne that will contradict the fallacy of Satan, who has declared that the law of Jehovah is arbitrary, and holds its subjects under a cruel bondage. RH August 13, 1895, par. 6

(Concluded next week.)