The Review and Herald

976/1902

February 28, 1899

The Truth as It Is in Jesus—No. 3

EGW

I am afraid for our churches. I tremble before God on their account. We have light on the Scriptures, and we shall be held accountable for all the light not cherished. The works of many do not harmonize with the truth they have received. There is far too much of the human element brought into our plans. We do not depend upon the Holy Spirit to work with its transforming energy upon the heart and life. We are deficient in faith, which is invincible and mysterious. The efficacy of truth is weakened by the course of those who do not purify their souls by obeying the truth. RH February 28, 1899, par. 1

The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him and keep his covenant. We need faith in God, that under the sanctifying power of God's word, the principles of human brotherhood may be manifested. We need the Holy Spirit's guidance. Its power upon mind and heart will enable us to present the truths of God's holy word. Sound doctrines brought into actual contact with human souls will result in sound and elevating practises. The truth as it is in Jesus must be cherished. Then Christians will not be Christians in name only. The love of Christ will pervade their lives. RH February 28, 1899, par. 2

The power of the Holy Spirit is needed to chase away our unbelief and unchristlike attributes: We must see our need of a physician. We are sick, and do not know it. May the Lord convert the hearts of his workmen! When there is a converted ministry, then look for results. But we can not convert our own hearts. This work can be done only by the power of the Holy Spirit. In every stage of the work let this be remembered: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” RH February 28, 1899, par. 3

“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” But this should not intimidate one soul. What can give such sunshine to the soul as the evidence of sins forgiven? What can impart true nobility if it is not the restoration of the moral image of God in man? Whence can peace come if not from the Prince of Peace? To what source can we look for help, but to Him who can give us light in the midst of darkness? RH February 28, 1899, par. 4

Christ has promised to send us the Comforter, whose work is to establish the kingdom of God in the soul. When such abundant provisions of mercy, grace, and peace have been made, why do human beings act as if they regarded the truth as a yoke of bondage?—It is because the heart has never tasted and seen that the Lord is good. The truth of the word of God is thought by some to be a fetter. But it is the truth that makes men free. If the truth therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. The truth separates man from his sins, from his hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing. The soul that cherishes the love of Christ is full of freedom, light, and joy. In such a soul there are no divided thoughts. The whole man yearns after God. He does not go to men to know his duty, but to Christ, the source of all wisdom. He searches the word of God, that he may find out what standard he must reach. RH February 28, 1899, par. 5

Can we ever find a surer guide than Jesus? True religion consists in being under the guidance of the Holy One in thought, word, and deed. He, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, takes the humble, earnest, whole-hearted seeker, and says, Follow me. He leads him in the narrow way to holiness and heaven. Christ has opened this path for us at great cost to himself, and we are not left to stumble our way along in darkness. Jesus is at our right hand, proclaiming, I am the way; and all who decide to follow the Lord will be led in the royal path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. RH February 28, 1899, par. 6

The usefulness of workers for God depends on whether they have an abiding Christ. “Without me,” he says, “ye can do nothing.” God's workers should be filled with his Spirit. By their faith and labor of love, true Christians give unquestionable evidence that their work is wrought in God. Their spiritual discernment testifies that they have been taught of God, that their eyes are not blinded to the interests of the cause of God, or to the elements of true Christianity. RH February 28, 1899, par. 7

“Our gospel came not unto you in word only,” writes Paul, “but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” Paul lived the gospel that he preached; and if our ministering brethren will live the truth, they will be loving, kind, tender, lowly in heart, unpretending, earnest, devoted. Their works will be their credentials. There would be a hundredfold more conversions than the record shows today if God's workmen were what they should be. God demands truth in the inward parts. The spirit of those in the ministry must correspond to the truth preached. RH February 28, 1899, par. 8

Will the workers in the various lines of God's work ponder these things? A large share of the shallowness of the work is the result of the shallowness of the workers. When the Spirit of God works, something will be done, and in a much larger degree than we have yet seen. Where is the power of the workers? Where is the demonstration of the Spirit? Where is the assurance of faith? There is a sad deficiency in the preaching of God's word. Much fluent talking may be done. Much cleverness may be shown in the presentation of the different points of truth. All this has been seen. Ears are gratified, a present emotion is excited; but where are the souls who are identifying themselves with Christ? Where is the holy unction, the living earnestness, the deep moving of the Spirit of God? Where are those who expound the truth by upholding staunch, correct principles, irrespective of loss or gain? O that God would impress his ministers with the need of being thoroughly converted! O that he would impress them with their need of an abiding Christ! Then there would be a revival of the Holy Spirit. RH February 28, 1899, par. 9

The question has been asked, What kind of vessels does the Spirit use? What does Christ say?—“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” What kind of vessels are meet for the Master's use?—Empty vessels. When we empty the soul of every defilement, we are ready for use. Are we emptied of self? Are we cured of selfish planning? O for less self-occupation! May the Lord purify his people, teachers, and churches. He has given a rule for the guidance of all, and from this there can be no careless departure. But there has been, and still is, a swerving from righteous principles. How long shall this condition of things exist? How can the Master use us as vessels for holy service until we empty ourselves, and make room for his Spirit to work? RH February 28, 1899, par. 10

God calls for his people to reveal him. Shall the world manifest principles of integrity that the church does not maintain? Shall a selfish ambition to be first be shown by the followers of Christ? Shall not the principles cherished by them be laid upon the true foundation, even Christ Jesus? What material shall we place upon this foundation, that there may no longer be antagonism, but unity, in the church? Shall we bring to it wood, hay, stubble? Shall we not rather bring the most precious material,—gold, silver, precious stones? Shall we not distinguish sharply between the chaff and the wheat? Shall we not realize that we must receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts, that it may mold and fashion the life? RH February 28, 1899, par. 11

We are living in perilous times. In the fear of God I would say that the true exposition of the Scriptures is necessary for the correct moral development of our characters. When mind and heart are worked by the Spirit, when self is dead, the truth is capable of constant expansion and new development. When the truth molds our characters, it will be seen to be truth indeed. As it is contemplated by the true believer, it will grow brighter, shining with its original beauty. It will increase in value, vivifying the mind, and subduing selfish, unchristlike coarseness of character. It will elevate our aspirations, enabling us to reach the perfect standard of holiness. RH February 28, 1899, par. 12