The Review and Herald


February 3, 1903

“Prepare to Meet Thy God”


“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.... Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” RH February 3, 1903, par. 1

We are here warned not to defraud our souls of the privileges that the Lord has provided in order that we may be rich in faith, and heirs according to the promise. We are to watch vigilantly for the coming of the Lord. The first symptoms of spiritual slumber are to be sternly overcome. The first inclinations to spiritual indolence are to be firmly resisted. “Be sober, be vigilant,” is the apostle's exhortation. Every moment is to be faithfully employed. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” We are told to work out our own salvation, and the way in which we are to do this is plainly stated: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” RH February 3, 1903, par. 2

Those who would be ready to meet their Lord must keep their lamps filled with the oil of grace. It was a neglect to do this that distinguished the foolish virgins from the wise. They had lamps, but no oil; their characters could not stand the test. The wise virgins had not only an intelligent knowledge of the truth, but through the grace of Christ their faith and patience and love constantly increased. Their lamps were replenished by their vital connection with the Light of the world. And while the foolish virgins awoke to find their lamps burning dimly or going out in the darkness, the wise virgins, their lamps burning brightly, entered the festal hall, and the doors were shut. RH February 3, 1903, par. 3

The oil with which the wise virgins filled their lamps represents the Holy Spirit. “The angel that talked with me,” writes Zechariah, “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.... Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof? 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 February 3, 1903, par. 4

By the holy beings surrounding his throne, the Lord keeps up a constant communication with the inhabitants of the earth. The golden oil represents the grace with which God keeps the lamps of believers supplied. Were it not that this holy oil is poured from heaven in the messages of God's Spirit, the agencies of evil would have entire control over men. RH February 3, 1903, par. 5

God is dishonored when we do not receive the communications that he sends us. Thus we refuse the golden oil which he would pour into our souls to be communicated to those in darkness. When the call shall come, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” those who have not received the holy oil, who have not cherished the grace of Christ in their hearts, will find, like the foolish virgins, that they are not ready to meet their Lord. They have not in themselves the power to obtain the oil, and their lives are wrecked. But if God's Spirit is asked for, if we plead, as did Moses, “Show me thy glory,” the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts. The golden oil will be given to us. RH February 3, 1903, par. 6

Only by knowing God here can we prepare to meet him at his coming. “This is life eternal,” said Christ, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” But many of those who profess to believe in Christ do not know God. They have only a surface religion. They do not love God; they do not study his character; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. They do not know what restful love is, or what it means to walk by faith. Opportunities to hear and receive the messages of God's love are unappreciated and unimproved. They fail of understanding that it is their duty to receive, in order that they may enrich others. RH February 3, 1903, par. 7

The world by wisdom knows not God. Many have talked eloquently about him, but their reasoning brings men no nearer to him, because they themselves are not in vital connection with him. Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools. Their knowledge of God is imperfect. They are not conformed to him. RH February 3, 1903, par. 8

Christ is a perfect revelation of God. “No man hath seen God at any time,” he says; “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Only by knowing Christ can we know God. And as we behold him, we shall be changed into his image, prepared to meet him at his coming. RH February 3, 1903, par. 9

So fully did Christ reveal the Father, that the messengers sent by the Pharisees to take him were charmed by his presence. As they heard the gracious words that fell from his lips, they forgot their commission. And when, returning without him, they were asked by the Pharisees, “Why have ye not brought him?” they answered, “Never man spake like this man.” RH February 3, 1903, par. 10

Now is the time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. Readiness to meet him cannot be attained in a moment's time. Preparatory to that solemn scene there must be vigilant waiting and watching, combined with earnest work. So God's children glorify him. Amid the busy scenes of life their voices will be heard speaking words of encouragement, hope, and faith. All they have and are is consecrated to the Master's service. Thus they prepare to meet their Lord; and when he comes, they will say, with joy, “This is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.... We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” RH February 3, 1903, par. 11

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” RH February 3, 1903, par. 12