The Review and Herald

846/1902

October 6, 1896

Whosoever Will, Let Him Come

EGW

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Here is brought to view the Christian's strength and efficiency, and I would that I had power to present the subject in its fulness. Christ is the root, and he sustains every branch by his divine power; but those who make finite man their dependence will certainly fall. RH October 6, 1896, par. 1

Christ is the root; his disciples are the branches. Great dishonor is done to Christ by those who profess to be his disciples, and are not. If men are not evidencing that they are branches in the divine root, if they are not partakers of the divine nature, they will not, they cannot, love those for whom Christ has given his life. His word declares: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” But notwithstanding these positive utterances, there is but little expression given to that love which evidences that its possessors are sons and daughters of God. RH October 6, 1896, par. 2

Christ is the “bright and morning star.” He is the Christian's light. “They that follow me,” he says, “shall not walk in darkness.” They are to receive their light from the morning star; and as they catch his bright beams, they are actively, interestedly, to transmit to others the light received. RH October 6, 1896, par. 3

“As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Every sincerely converted soul has his work to do; he is to receive grace from Christ, and to give as freely as he has received. He is to let the light from the bright and morning star shine forth in self-denial, in self-sacrifice, as Christ has given the example in his own life and character. RH October 6, 1896, par. 4

Jesus would impress upon his church that they are his brethren. He would have them unite with him in one brotherhood, as laborers together with God. They are to constitute the light of the world. They are to be co-partners with Christ in the great work of saving souls. Their efforts will be determinedly opposed; but they are to remember that Jesus failed not nor was discouraged. His manner of labor must be the plan adopted by his followers. The Lord expects every man to do his duty, each uniting with each, and all with Christ, the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star. RH October 6, 1896, par. 5

When they are in unity with him, a living testimony goes forth, in words and actions, that the church have the spirit and mind of Christ. They love as brethren; they are the light of the world, the salt of the earth. RH October 6, 1896, par. 6

Jesus freely offers salvation. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Jesus says, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This offer embraces all who accept Christ individually. The invitation “Come” is to be echoed by every soul who is a partaker of the divine nature. Christ was standing only a few steps from the heavenly throne when he gave his commission to his disciples. Including as missionaries all who should believe on his name, he said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” God's power was to go with them. If those who claimed to have a living experience in the things of God had done their appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would have been warned ere this, and the Lord Jesus would have come in power and great glory. For God has appointed a day in the which he will judge the world. He tells us when that day shall come,—“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Jesus wants every minister to whom he has committed a trust, to be faithful, to remember his injunctions, to contemplate the vastness of the work, and upon how large a number the obligation rests. “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” RH October 6, 1896, par. 7

God has organized his instrumentalities for drawing all men unto him. As the worker seeks to give to others the light God has given him, the Lord imparts increased light; and doing his best, with an eye single to the glory of God, he realizes the value of souls. As he visits from house to house, opening the Scriptures to those whose understanding is darkened, angels of God will be close beside him to impress the heart of the one who is athirst for the water of life. RH October 6, 1896, par. 8

When the latter rain is poured out, the church will be clothed with power for its work; but the church as a whole will never receive this until its members shall put away from among them, envy, evil-surmisings, and evil-speaking. Those who cherish these sins know not the blessed experience of love; they are not awake to the fact that the Lord is testing and proving their love for him by the attitude they assume toward one another. Christ says to us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” When this commandment is obeyed, envy, evil-speaking, evil-surmising, and evil-thinking will not be indulged; they will have no part in the formation of character. RH October 6, 1896, par. 9

This love means growth spiritually. Christ has given an example which his people are to follow. He binds them to one another and to himself by his own divine attributes. Their oneness with Jesus Christ makes them love one another, for this is the sure fruit. He makes their affection for one another the badge of their discipleship. RH October 6, 1896, par. 10

As the Saviour lifted his eyes to heaven, just before he descended to the greatest depths of his humiliation, offering up his life on the cross, he prayed that his disciples might all be one, “even as we are one: ... that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” RH October 6, 1896, par. 11

God's people have battles to fight, close and severe, but not against their brethren. All dissension, all desire to hurt or weaken or destroy the influence or work of one of God's weakest workers, will be registered in the books of heaven as done unto Jesus. The warfare we must undertake is against the confederacy of evil; but woe unto those who shall turn their implements of warfare against their own brethren! RH October 6, 1896, par. 12

“But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” The love of Jesus in the heart will always be revealed in kind heartedness and tender compassion for those for whom he paid so dear a price. The beloved disciple continues: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.... And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” We cannot be loveless Christians; the thing is simply impossible. RH October 6, 1896, par. 13

The education of the church has not been altogether what it should be. Satan has been working to blind the understanding, that the church shall not realize her weighty responsibilities. The ordained minister is depended upon to pray, and to open the Scriptures to the people who assemble for worship; but God would have every one do a work for the Master. Thousands might be at work who are not ordained to preach the gospel. It is humble men whom God will use,—those who will open their hearts to the voice and knock of Jesus, that he may come in and abide with them. And because they have neglected their God-given work, many have lost their first love. A hard, selfish spirit has taken possession of a large number of those who, if they had loved the souls for whom Christ has died, would work for them in a variety of ways as God's instrumentalities. RH October 6, 1896, par. 14

God reminds his army that they are to fight in unison with the angels of heaven, and that more than angels are engaged in the warfare. The Holy Spirit, Christ's representative, is in their ranks, arming the weakest with his might to press forward unto victory. RH October 6, 1896, par. 15