The Signs of the Times


August 14, 1893

Sanctification Through the Truth


“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.... Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” ST August 14, 1893, par. 1

Among many who have claimed to accept the precious light of truth, there is a perverted idea of what constitutes Christian character. They have not performed the words of Christ, and instead of advancing, following on to know the Lord, they have been retrograding, backsliding. Christ represents the truth as a treasure that is hid in the field, for which, if men would possess it, they must search diligently. In the field of revelation are hid the unsearchable riches of Christ. As yet we have only come in possession of the most accessible treasures, and yet many have settled down, feeling that they are rich and increased in goods, and in need of nothing. Every part of the field of revelation is to be diligently explored, and searched with persevering effort, in order that precious jewels of truth may reward the diligent seeker, and may be restored to their proper framework in the plan of redemption. Let the shaft sink deep into the mines of truth. If you come to the searching of the Scriptures with contrition of soul, with a humble, teachable spirit, rich and precious treasures will reward your search. ST August 14, 1893, par. 2

The Lord sends his ministers to hold forth the word of life, to preach, not “vain philosophy” and “science falsely so called,” but the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Paul gives his dying charge in the following words: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” In this charge every minister has his work laid out before him, and this he can do through the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus gave to his disciples: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” ST August 14, 1893, par. 3

In the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is made prominent. What a vast theme is this for contemplation and encouragement! What treasures of truth did he add to the knowledge of his disciples in his instruction concerning the Holy Spirit, the Comforter! He dwelt upon this theme in order to console his disciples in the great trial they were soon to experience, that they might be cheered in their great disappointment. He said: “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ST August 14, 1893, par. 4

The world's Redeemer sought to bring to the hearts of the sorrowing disciples the strongest solace. But from a large field of subjects, he chose the theme of the Holy Spirit, which was to inspire and comfort their hearts. And yet, though Christ made much of this theme concerning the Holy Spirit, how little is it dwelt upon in the churches! The name and presence of the Holy Spirit are almost ignored, yet the divine influence is essential in the work of perfecting the Christian character. Some are not at peace, not at rest; they are in a state of constant fretfulness, and permit impulse and passion to rule their hearts. They know not what it means to experience peace and rest in Christ. They are as a ship without anchor, driven with the wind and tossed. But those whose minds are controlled by the Holy Spirit walk in humility and meekness; for they work in Christ's lines, and will be kept in perfect peace, while those who are not controlled by the Holy Spirit are like the restless sea. ST August 14, 1893, par. 5

The Lord has given us a divine directory by which we may know his will. Those who are self centered, self-sufficient, do not feel their need of searching the Bible, and they are greatly disturbed if others do not have the same defective ideas, and see with the same distorted vision that they do. But he who is guided by the Holy Spirit has cast his anchor within the veil wherein Jesus has entered for us. He searches the Scriptures with eager earnestness, and seeks for light and knowledge to guide him amid the perplexities and perils which at every step compass his path. Those who are restless, complaining, murmuring, read the Bible for the purpose of vindicating their own course of action, and they ignore or pervert the counsels of God. He who has peace has placed his will on the side of God's will, and longs to follow the divine guidance, while he who is full of unrest is constantly struggling to sustain himself, and make it appear that he is right, and is sustained by what he estimates as wisdom. But he is controlled by caprice and by the changing passions of a soul not abiding in Christ. To the sincere, contrite heart, truth is truth; and if it is allowed, it will sanctify the soul and transform the character into the divine image. To the other, truth is a theory, and is not brought into the practical life. Those who realize what is the character of the work that they must do in order to represent Christ, will walk softly and tremblingly before God, looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. They dare not trust themselves, they dare not kindle a fire of their own, and walk in sparks of their own kindling, for the Lord has said that all such shall lie down in sorrow. The Lord has intrusted to his people the treasures of sacred truth, and in no case will they be excusable if they present the truth in their own unsanctified spirit, or use the truth as a scourge by which to afflict others. ST August 14, 1893, par. 6