The Review and Herald

1392/1902

August 31, 1905

“Hold Fast That Which Is Good”

EGW

From Sinai, in awful grandeur, God proclaimed his law to Israel, that they might realize the high standard to which they were to attain. He presented to them the beauty and safety of obedience, declaring that only through obedience could they find peace and prosperity. He portrayed also the sure results of disobedience to his law. We who live in this period of the earth's history see the fulfilment of his warnings to Israel. In the stormy scenes taking place in our world, we see the result of the transgressions of God's law. RH August 31, 1905, par. 1

“Now therefore harken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.” RH August 31, 1905, par. 2

It was in mercy that the Lord destroyed those who had been led away by Baal-peor. Had they been permitted to live, their influence would have corrupted the whole congregation of Israel. The judgment that came on them was a warning to others not to disregard the honor and glory of God. Often the Lord speaks in judgment to repress iniquity. He sees and rebukes the sins of those who disobey his laws, but he shows mercy to those who obey him. When their own inclinations would lead them into danger, he withholds from them that which they desire. RH August 31, 1905, par. 3

God chose Israel to be his own people, that, by adhering closely to his commandments, they might be to the world an illustration of the beauty of character, the moral power, and the virtue that might be attained through fearing and honoring him. He desired also to reveal through them the advantages that would come to those who, as his true sons and daughters, would walk in harmony with the principles of his law. In his dealing with men, God has often demonstrated that through the virtue obtained by obedience to the laws of heaven, human beings may gain a beauty of character that will fit them to be laborers together with him. RH August 31, 1905, par. 4

Purity of character will be distinctly revealed by all who truly follow Christ. In them will be seen the fulfilment of the promise, “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.” The psalmist thus describes the beauty and growth of the Christian: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” RH August 31, 1905, par. 5

Striking its roots deep down into the earth, the tree gains strength to withstand the tempest. So the Christian is to be “rooted and grounded” in the truth, that he may stand firm against the temptations of the enemy. He must have a continual renewal of strength, and he must hold firmly to Bible truth. Fables of every kind will be brought in to seduce the believer from his allegiance to God, but he is to look up, believe in God, and stand firmly rooted and grounded in the truth. RH August 31, 1905, par. 6

Keep a firm hold upon the Lord Jesus, and never let go. Have firm convictions as to what you believe. Let the truths of God's Word lead you to devote heart, mind, soul, and strength to the doing of his will. Lay hold resolutely upon a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” Let your only argument be. “It is written.” Thus we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. That faith has not lost any of its sacred, holy character, however objectionable its opposers may think it to be. RH August 31, 1905, par. 7

Those who follow their own mind and walk in their own way will form crooked characters. Vain doctrines and subtle sentiments will be introduced with plausible presentations, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Are church-members building upon the Rock? The storm is coming, the storm that will try every man's faith, of what sort it is. Believers must now be firmly rooted in Christ, or else they will be led astray by some phase of error. Let your faith be substantiated by the Word of God. Grasp firmly the living testimony of truth. Have faith in Christ as a personal Saviour. He has been and ever will be our Rock of Ages. The testimony of the Spirit of God is true. Change not your faith for any phase of doctrine, however pleasing it may appear, that will seduce the soul. RH August 31, 1905, par. 8

The fallacies of Satan are now being multiplied, and those who swerve from the path of truth will lose their bearings. Having nothing to which to anchor, they will drift from one delusion to another, blown about by the winds of strange doctrines. Satan has come down with great power. Many will be deceived by his miracles. Those who accept his science will be among those to whom Christ addresses the words: RH August 31, 1905, par. 9

“These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” RH August 31, 1905, par. 10

I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality, which denies the personality of God and of Christ. RH August 31, 1905, par. 11

Of the Saviour, John says: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.... But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” RH August 31, 1905, par. 12

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was manifest in the flesh. What was his work in this world?—To put away sin by the sacrifice of himself on the cross of Calvary. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. By his prayers and strong supplications, he overcame. In his human nature, he perfected a character after the divine similitude. By a life of perfect obedience to every requirement of God, he procured redemption for all who will be obedient. The divine nature is imparted to those who receive and acknowledge him as their Saviour. They become partakers of the divine nature, overcoming the assaults of Satan and escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. Christ energizes by his Spirit those who seek him with the whole heart. RH August 31, 1905, par. 13

Those who truly receive Christ are given power to become the sons of God. As they look to Jesus, they catch the divine rays of light, and are attracted by the loveliness and purity and goodness of the Saviour. They seek to copy his pleasantness, rather than the harsh violence manifested by those who disregard the laws of God. And as they keep before them the fear of God, and walk as obedient children, others will mark their Christlikeness of character, and will be drawn to the Saviour by the revelation of their love, their justice, and their mercy. Yet some will refuse to come to the Saviour, choosing darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. RH August 31, 1905, par. 14

Christ and his righteousness,—let this be our platform, the very life of our faith. That which he taught, we are to teach. His commission to his followers is: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;” “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH August 31, 1905, par. 15