The Review and Herald

928/1902

April 12, 1898

Waiting and Working for Christ

EGW

“Brethren,”

“I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press forward to the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 1

This warning in regard to the perils of the people of God is given by one who knew. The enemies of the cross of Christ will put on the garments of light. This they did in Paul's day. As the apostle saw the power of their influence for wrong, he warned the people with weeping not to give them encouragement. They were enemies of Christ, “whose end is destruction, ... who mind earthly things.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 2

“For our conversation is in heaven,” Paul continues, “from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 3

Is Christ soon to come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory? Is the end of all things at hand? If so, those who claim to be followers of Christ must work in proportion to their faith. Our part is not to wait in idle expectancy, but to act in accordance with our faith in the word of God. Vigilant waiting is to be combined with earnest watching. In view of the solemn events soon to take place, every soul who has been privileged to hear the truth is to work earnestly. RH April 12, 1898, par. 4

No one who is in Christ's service can rest content with doing nothing. The Christian life is not alone a life of waiting and meditation, not alone a life of prayer, but a life also of work. We are to wait, and watch, and work for Christ. Thus only can we attain to the full stature of men and women in Christ. RH April 12, 1898, par. 5

“We are laborers together with God,” is the inspired declaration. While we search the Scriptures to learn God's plan, we are to strive to carry out that plan, praying for strength to do the work that God has given us. Not only are we to seek for strength from God, in order to know his will, but to do that will. As his earthly agents, we are to co-operate with divine intelligences in carrying out God's plan for the salvation of those for whom Christ has died. As we work under the Captain of our salvation, faithfully obeying his orders, our characters are developed. Through his merits we are enabled to work in harmony with God's great plan. RH April 12, 1898, par. 6

While we are to guard against all hurry and bustle that would lead us to neglect to form characters after the divine Pattern, we are also to heed the admonition, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” We are to guard against the devices which lead to spiritual declension, that the day of the Lord may not come upon us as a thief. Those who merely profess to be Christians,—the subjective part of religion,—who do not do faithful service for Christ, will fail of obtaining that experience that will make them of value in God's sight. But those who realize the necessity of working for the Master, communicating to others the light and knowledge that he has given them, will be growing Christians. Waiting, praying, watching, and working, they are prepared to witness to the truth. RH April 12, 1898, par. 7

Heart-work reveals itself in actions. Those who appreciate truth and righteousness will show their zeal by their efforts to give the light to others. Those who are chosen vessels must reflect the character of Christ. Through these the grace of Christ from the river of the water of life flows in rich, pure streams, enabling them to bless all with whom they come in contact. RH April 12, 1898, par. 8

Golden instruction is given us in the fourth chapter of Zechariah. “The angel that talked with me,” the prophet writes, “came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.... And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 9

There is a work for all to do for the Master. Every human being who has a vital connection with Christ will earnestly strive to carry forward the work committed to him. But no selfishness can enter God's work. The most splendid service, if it originates with self, is useless. Unless the root is holy, no fruit can be borne to God's glory. RH April 12, 1898, par. 10

God calls upon every true worker to be an ambassador of love. The Lord is at the door, and all the manhood and womanhood of our spiritual being is to be called into activity. We are to be justified by faith and judged by works. God's law claims obedience from all, and condemns disobedience. All are tested and proved, to see if they will keep the law of the heavenly courts. At this time, when universal contempt is shown by the professed Christian world to the royal law of Jehovah, God's witnesses are to arise and show their loyalty by keeping his law. Their prayer will be, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 11

“Ye are my friends,” Christ said, “if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” For what purpose?—That they might make it known to others. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” RH April 12, 1898, par. 12

God has said, Remember, do not forget, that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. If we are loyal to God's commandments, we shall hold as sacred the day he has sanctified and blessed as commemorative of his work of creation. He has set the Sabbath as a sign between us and him throughout all our generations forever, and we honor him when we reverence his Sabbath. RH April 12, 1898, par. 13

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Precious assurance, to be realized as true by those who are obedient. RH April 12, 1898, par. 14

“He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Shall we not continue in God's love by obeying implicitly all his commandments? “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Full and entire obedience brings joy, not mourning, doubt, and uncertainty. RH April 12, 1898, par. 15

All who stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, working out his commands as loyal subjects, can claim the words: “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.... Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” Here it is definitely stated that it is the law given in Eden to which John refers, and that this law has binding claims upon all mankind. RH April 12, 1898, par. 16

We are not in a dreamland of inaction. We are soldiers of Christ, enlisted in the work of showing our loyalty to him who has redeemed us. What we are in the heavenly home, when saved, eternally saved, will be the reflection of what we now are in character and holy service. Shall we not show our loyalty by keeping God's commandments here, in this our place of probation? Shall we not raise the standard of loyalty to the God of heaven, irrespective of consequences, unheeding the reviling and hatred of the churches that have apostatized from the service of their Creator? RH April 12, 1898, par. 17

The Lord has a people on the earth, who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. He has his thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Such will stand with him on Mount Zion. But they must stand on this earth, girded with the whole armor, ready to engage in the work of saving those who are ready to perish. Heavenly angels conduct this search, and spiritual activity is demanded of all who believe present truth, that they may join the angels in their work. RH April 12, 1898, par. 18

We need not wait till we are translated to follow Christ. God's people may do this here below. We shall follow the Lamb of God in the courts above only if we follow him here. Following him in heaven depends on our keeping his commandments now. We are not to follow Christ fitfully or capriciously, only when it is for our advantage. We must choose to follow him. In daily life we must follow his example, as a flock trustfully follows its shepherd. We are to follow him by suffering for his sake, saying, at every step, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” His life practise must be our life practise. And as we thus seek to be like him, and to bring our wills into conformity to his will, we shall reveal him. RH April 12, 1898, par. 19

Are we following Christ with unswerving loyalty, keeping his life of perfect obedience, of purity and self-sacrifice, ever before us, that, by beholding, we may become changed into his image? Do we strive to imitate his fidelity? If we educate ourselves to say, Be thou my Pattern; if by the eye of faith we see him as a living Saviour, we shall be strengthened to follow him. Then with the undefiled we shall follow him in the future life. As eye- and heart-witnesses, we can bear testimony to his majesty; for by faith we have been with him in the holy mount. RH April 12, 1898, par. 20