The Review and Herald

1009/1902

August 8, 1899

The Pearl of Great Price

EGW

While God warns us to beware how we waste truths of the highest value upon those who do not appreciate them, he also presents to us such cases as that of Cornelius and the centurion, “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” An angel came to this man, saying, “Cornelius.” When he saw the angel, “he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

There are many today who are in the same position as Cornelius. They are living up to the light they have received, and God speaks to them, as he spoke to Cornelius, and brings them by his appointed agencies to the place where they will receive the truth into good and honest hearts. God reveals himself to those who are striving to form characters that he can approve. The prayers of those who fear him, who recognize their obligations to him, are heard and answered. The Lord takes special notice of those who walk in the light that he has given them, who testify by their deeds that they are trying to honor God. Through a Peter he will present the pearl of great price, and through a Cornelius and his family many souls will be brought to the light. RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

God declares, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” In every place God has his witnesses, who testify to the power of his rich grace. In all their ways they acknowledge God, and he directs their path. They testify to the transforming power of the grace of God; for they stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

God desires us to realize the value he sets on his believing people. “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord harkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

Christ has revealed the value of his word. He declares that we must eat and drink his flesh and blood, if we would be partakers of the divine nature. “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst....This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.... Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me....It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

No work of man can improve the great and precious truths of God's word. They are not a mixture of truth and error. They are without a flaw. RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The righteousness of Christ, as a pure white pearl, has no defect, no stain, no guilt. This righteousness may be ours. Salvation, with its blood-bought, inestimable treasures, is the pearl of great price. It may be searched for and found. But all who really find it will sell all they have to buy it. They give evidence that they are one with Christ, as he is one with the Father. In the parable the merchant man is represented as selling all that he had to gain possession of one pearl of great price. This is a beautiful representation of those who appreciate the truth so highly that they give up all they have to come into possession of it. They lay hold by faith of the salvation provided for them at the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God. RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

There are some who are seeking, always seeking, for the goodly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not lift the cross, and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. They never know what it is to have peace and harmony in the soul; for without entire surrender there is no rest, no joy. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they do not enter therein. Almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost. RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

A daily consecration to God brings peace and rest. The merchant sold all that he had to possess the pearl. When those who are seeking for salvation refuse to fail or be discouraged, they will find peace and rest in the Lord. Christ will clothe them with his righteousness. He will provide them with a clean heart and a renewed mind. These blessings cost the life of the Son of God, and are freely offered to those for whom the sacrifice was made. But how do many treat the proffered gift?—They turn away, choosing rather the pleasures of this life. Christ says of them, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

Sinners are under a fearful deception. They despise and reject the Saviour. They do not realize the value of the pearl offered to them, and cast it away, rendering to their Redeemer only insult and mockery. Many a woman decks herself with rings and bracelets, thinking to gain admiration, but she refuses to accept the pearl of great price, which would secure for her sanctification, honor, and eternal riches. What an infatuation is upon the minds of many! They are more charmed with earthly baubles, which glitter and shine, than with the crown of immortal life, God's reward for loyalty. “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” RH August 8, 1899, Art. A, par. 10