The Review and Herald


July 13, 1905

Lessons From the First Epistle of John

[A talk at the General Conference by Mrs. E. G White, May 25, 1905.]


“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 1

There are those who are always seeking for something new. If they understood aright, they would realize that the newness that they need is that which comes from a daily growth in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let us keep firm and unshaken our faith in the message that God has given us for these last days. The world is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. Christ declared that this would be the sign of the end,—men would be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day of the coming of the Son of man. His words mean far more than we have yet seen. Do not the events that have taken place show this? RH July 13, 1905, par. 2

“And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” All through the Scriptures, the Father and the Son are spoken of as two distinct personages. You will hear men endeavoring to make the Son of God a nonentity. He and the Father are one, but they are two personages. Wrong sentiments regarding this are coming in, and we shall all have to meet them. RH July 13, 1905, par. 3

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” If we would apply the precious truth of God to our own individual cases, we should find such blessing, such consolation, that we should be ashamed to murmur and complain. Some have educated their tongues to utter complaints, and thus they lose many precious blessings that come with the exercise of patience. RH July 13, 1905, par. 4

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” “God is light.” How are his disciples to declare it?—Not with their lips merely, but in their lives. They themselves are to be “the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men,” Christ said, “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 5

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” Every church-member is to walk worthily of the high calling to which he has been chosen, having gained a living experience in the things of God. There is no need for us always to be babes in religious things. We are to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. RH July 13, 1905, par. 6

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 7

We may pray for sanctification, but whether or not we get it depends on whether we walk in the light, reflecting light to those around us. My brethren and sisters, the salvation of your souls depends on the course that you pursue. If you fail of gaining eternal life, it will be because you have failed to keep the commandments of God. From the Word of God there shines light sufficient to guide us along every step of the way to heaven, and those who lose the way will be without excuse. RH July 13, 1905, par. 8

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 9

In this world we are exposed to the temptations of the enemy, and because we do not depend on God as we should, we are continually sinning. There are those who, when they make mistakes, stand out in stubbornness, saying that they have not sinned, and refusing to confess. Those who say, “I never confess,” will never see the kingdom of heaven unless they do confess. Read the prayer of confession that Daniel offered. He was called a man greatly beloved by God, and yet he confessed that he as well as the people had sinned. RH July 13, 1905, par. 10

Those who make no acknowledgment of sin, those who refuse to confess because they think it would hurt their position and influence, will never be cleansed from unrighteousness unless they make a decided change in their attitude. We need the spirit of confession right here in this meeting. It would be surprising if none of those present had anything to confess. Brethren and sisters, will you not take the stumbling-blocks out of the way, and clear the King's highway, that he may enter in among us? Then we shall see of the salvation of God, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed. RH July 13, 1905, par. 11

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” When we thus unite with Christ, we are gaining an experience that will be of more value to us than gold or silver or precious stones. RH July 13, 1905, par. 12

“And 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. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 13

We are to lift the cross, and follow the steps of Christ. Those who lift the cross will find that as they do this, the cross lifts them, giving them fortitude and courage, and pointing them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. RH July 13, 1905, par. 14

“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. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” RH July 13, 1905, par. 15

We can have something fresh to think of all the time. We have held communion with God as we have tried to understand the high privilege of being one with Christ. I am so thankful for the Word of God. I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice. We have no need to be led astray. We have no need to seek for something new and strange from the lips of human beings. We have a science that is above all human science. Many will grasp false science, teaching it as truth. But we need not be led astray. God wants us to cherish the truth in the simplicity in which we have received it from Christ. RH July 13, 1905, par. 16

(To be concluded.)