The Review and Herald


February 5, 1901

A Warning for This Time


“For this cause,” Paul wrote, “we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” These words present an advancing religious experience. RH February 5, 1901, par. 1

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” This is a warning appropriate for this time. Then comes a charge which will often need to be given: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Learn to take the truths that have been revealed, and to handle them in such a way that they will be food for the flock of God. RH February 5, 1901, par. 2

We shall meet those who allow their minds to wander into idle speculations about things of which nothing is said in the word of God. God has spoken in the plainest language upon every subject that affects the salvation of the soul. But He desires us to avoid all day-dreaming, and He says, Go work today in my vineyard. The night cometh wherein no man can work. Cease all idle curiosity; watch, and work, and pray. Study the truths that have been revealed. Christ desires to break up all vacant reveries, and He points us to the fields ripe for the harvest. Unless we work earnestly, eternity will overwhelm us with its burden of responsibility. God has given us talents upon which to trade, and He expects us to increase them by faithful use. He has made us His almoners; and He requires that wherever we shall go, usefulness shall mark our path. If the contemplation of eternal realities unfits us for the duties of the present life, the blame lies with ourselves. RH February 5, 1901, par. 3

We have encouragement in the Scriptures that if we walk humbly before God, we shall receive instruction. But we are warned against undue curiosity. “Shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness,” leading into paths of supposition and imagination, with which we have nothing to do. These are vain, unessential theories of human creation, which keep the mind dwelling upon nothingness. They have in them nothing sure or substantial. Of those who advance these theories, Paul says: “Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” RH February 5, 1901, par. 4

In the days of the apostles the most foolish heresies were presented as truth. History has been and will be repeated. There will always be those who, though apparently conscientious, will grasp at the shadow, preferring it to the substance. They take error in the place of truth, because error is clothed with a new garment, which they think covers something wonderful. But let the covering be removed, and nothingness appears. RH February 5, 1901, par. 5

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” The “great house” represents the Church. In the Church will be found the vile as well as the precious. The net cast into the sea gathers both good and bad. RH February 5, 1901, par. 6

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work.” He is not to accept theories that, if received, would corrupt. He is to purify himself from all unrighteous sentiments, which, if received, would lead away from the sure word of God to unstable human devisings, degradation, and corruption. He is to resist the working of the enemy through vessels of dishonor. By searching the Scriptures with much prayer, he will find a path to follow, not the path of man, but a path that leads to heaven. RH February 5, 1901, par. 7

The work of purification is an individual work. No one can do this work for another. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use.” The Spirit of God will work through sanctified human agencies, leading them to work aright. Ability and grace will be provided. Men will be filled with an earnest desire to preach the truths of the gospel, firmly, decidedly, and in a clear manner. RH February 5, 1901, par. 8

The men intrusted with sacred responsibilities as teachers of spiritual things are representatives of Christ. Having His meekness and lowliness, they day by day witness for Him. They manifest His Spirit in their earnest endeavor to do good, and they receive the unction represented by the holy oil. The impartation of God's Spirit is an overflowing of the holy oil from the divine receptacle into human vessels prepared to receive it. Thus by the power and grace of God, and under His superintending care, the work is carried forward, in the face of mighty foes. This work is not to cease until its completion amid the triumphant shout of victory, “Grace, grace unto it.” RH February 5, 1901, par. 9

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” RH February 5, 1901, par. 10

The members of the Church of God need converting. Unless they are converted, they will lead away from Christ, making crooked paths for their own feet, and turning the lame out of the way. There is just as much need of repentance in and among believers who err from the principles of Christ as among those who have not a knowledge of the way of the Lord. Let the question come home to every soul, Am I walking in Christ's footsteps? True religion exerts a powerful influence. True Christians are filled with love for God and man; their earnest desire for the salvation of the souls ready to perish gives them decided victories. RH February 5, 1901, par. 11