The Review and Herald

1597/1902

April 22, 1909

A Perfected Church

EGW

Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 1

When God gave his Son to the world, he made it possible for men and women to be perfect by the use of every capability of their beings to the glory of God. In Christ he gave to them the riches of his grace, and a knowledge of his will. As they would empty themselves of self, and learn to walk in humility, leaning on God for guidance, men would be enabled to fulfil God's high purpose for them. RH April 22, 1909, par. 2

A Lesson From the Baptist's Teaching

The message given to John the Baptist for the people of his day is one that every believer might study to advantage. “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. RH April 22, 1909, par. 3

“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. RH April 22, 1909, par. 4

“And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. RH April 22, 1909, par. 5

“Then came also the publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. RH April 22, 1909, par. 6

“And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 7

The work of reformation here brought to view by John, the purging of heart and mind and soul, is one that is needed by many who today profess to have the faith of Christ. Wrong practises that have been indulged in need to be put away; the crooked paths need to be made straight, and the rough places smooth. The mountains and hills of self-esteem and pride need to be brought low. There is need of bringing forth “fruits meet for repentance.” When this work is done in the experience of God's believing people, “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 8

“Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Christ said. “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; and a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 9

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 10

The fact that our names are on the church books will not secure for us an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. God asks, Have you used your opportunities for service and for the development of Christian character? Have you traded faithfully with your Lord's goods? Knowing the will of God concerning you, how have you obeyed that will? Have you sought to benefit and bless those who needed help and encouragement? There are many souls who would be brought to a higher standard of character if they could be taught to appreciate the work of purifying and refining and sanctification that should go forward daily in their lives. If they could be brought to sense the worth of souls for whom Christ has died, they would realize how perilous is the condition of him who does nothing to help in the work of salvation. RH April 22, 1909, par. 11

There is no human being in the world but bears fruit of some kind, either good or evil; and Christ has made it possible for every soul to bear most precious fruit. Obedience to the requirements of God, submission to the will of Christ, will yield in the life the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The inhabitants of this world are dear to God's family. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Father permitted his only Son to suffer the penalty of sin; he gave the richest gift that heaven could bestow, that men and women might return from their rebellion to his law, and accept into their hearts and lives the principles of heaven. If men would acknowledge the Gift, and accept his sacrifice, their transgressions would be pardoned, and the grace of God would be imparted to them to help them to yield in their lives the precious fruits of holiness. RH April 22, 1909, par. 12

“Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.” We have a representation to make to the world of pure principles, holy ambitions, noble aspirations, that will distinguish us from all other people, making us a separate nation, a peculiar people. RH April 22, 1909, par. 13

In the night season I seemed to be repeating these words to the people: There is need of close examination of self. We have no time now to spend in self-indulgence. If we are connected with God, we shall humble our hearts before him, and be very zealous in the perfecting of Christian characters. We have a grand and solemn work to do, for the world is to be enlightened in regard to the times in which we live; and it will be enlightened when a straight testimony is borne. RH April 22, 1909, par. 14

The church is yet militant in a world that is apparently in midnight darkness, and growing worse and worse. While the requirements of a plain “Thus saith the Lord” remain unheeded by the worldly element in the church, the voices of God's faithful servants are to be strengthened to give the solemn message of warning. The works that should characterize the church militant and the works of the church that has had the light of truth for this time, do not correspond. The Lord calls upon church-members to clothe themselves with the beautiful garments of Christ's righteousness. Praise and prayer and thanksgiving should now be heard coming daily from converted hearts and lips. RH April 22, 1909, par. 15

God needs men and women who will work in the simplicity of Christ to bring the knowledge of truth before those who need its converting power. The message of Christ's righteousness must be proclaimed from one end of the earth to the other. Our people are to be aroused to prepare the way of the Lord. The third angel's message—the last message of mercy to a perishing world—is so sacred, so glorious. Let the truth go forth as a lamp that burneth. Mysteries into which angels desired to look, which prophets and kings and righteous men desired to know, the church of God is to make known. RH April 22, 1909, par. 16

Christ's wonderful sacrifice for the world testifies to the fact that man may be rescued from iniquity. If he will break with Satan and confess his sin, there is hope for him. Man, sinful, blinded, wretched, may repent and be converted, and day by day be forming a character like the character of Christ. Human beings may be reclaimed, regenerated, and may learn to live before the world precious, Christlike lives. RH April 22, 1909, par. 17

God has “made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of the times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” RH April 22, 1909, par. 18