The Review and Herald

650/1902

1893

January 3, 1893

“Let Both Grow Together”

EGW

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” RH January 3, 1893, par. 1

The Lord does not leave the work of judging to finite man; for unless the Holy Spirit sanctifies the soul, man cannot be a cautious, safe judge. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the Lord gave special directions to warn his disciples against uprooting those from the church who they supposed were spurious Christians. He had said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” This lesson has been strangely neglected by those who profess to be doers of the words of Christ; for if a brother erred, and did not meet their ideas, they manifested hard-heartedness, a cold, critical spirit, and rashly followed their impulses, and turned the offender adrift. RH January 3, 1893, par. 2

The Lord sums up the whole duty of man in the following words: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” RH January 3, 1893, par. 3

There are many who are treated as tares and hopeless subjects, whom Christ is drawing to himself. Men judge from the outward appearance, and think they discern the true measurement of a man's character; but they make many blunders in their judgments. They put a high estimate upon a man whose appearance is as an angel of light, when in thought and heart he is corrupt and unworthy. On another whose appearance is not so favorable, they pass criticism, make him an offender for a word, and would separate him from the church because of his supposed defective character, when it may be that He who reads the heart, sees true moral worth in the man. Human judgment does not decide any case; for the Lord's thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are his ways our ways. He whom we would separate from the church as altogether unworthy, is the object of the Lord's solicitude and love. All heaven is engaged in doing the appointed work of drawing souls to God, and the Lord has said concerning his word, “It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” RH January 3, 1893, par. 4

Then since the Lord is working through his own divine agency upon the hearts of those whom we would term hopeless subjects, let not man be officious, let him stand out of the way of God's work; for his word that goeth forth from his mouth, will accomplish its appointed work, and prosper in the thing whereunto it is sent. Let not man set himself up as judge of his brethren; for God “hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.... For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” RH January 3, 1893, par. 5

Jesus clothed his divinity with humanity in order that he might reach humanity. The apostle says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.... For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Jesus is the only one that has ever walked in the flesh who is able to judge righteously. Looking at outward acts, men may condemn and root up that which they think to be tares; but they may greatly mistake. Both ministers and laymen should be Bible students, and understand how to act in regard to the erring. They are not to move rashly, to be actuated by prejudices or partiality, to be ready with an unfeeling heart, to uproot one and tear down another; for this is most solemn work. In criticising and condemning their brethren, the accusers wound and bruise the souls for whom Christ has died. Christ has purchased them with his own precious blood; and although men, judging from outward appearances, pronounce sentence against them, their judgment in the courts of heaven is more favorable than that of their accusers. Before any of you speak against your brethren, or act decidedly to cut them off from church fellowship, follow the injunction of the apostle: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” RH January 3, 1893, par. 6

Let those who would dispose of their brethren, look well to the character of their own thoughts, their motives, their impulses, purposes, and deeds. Compare your experience with the law of God, and see whether you are an example in character, in conversation, in purity. Said Christ, “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified.” Before condemning others, let us ask ourselves, “Am I an example to my brethren in bearing fruit unto holiness? Do the fruits of the Spirit,—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, appear in my life? Have I that charity which suffereth long, and is kind; that thinketh no evil? Do I reveal the fact to others that I am in the faith?” If upon careful, prayerful examination of ourselves, we discover that we are not able to bear the test of human investigation, then how shall we endure the test of the eyes of God, if we set ourselves up as judges of others? RH January 3, 1893, par. 7

Before judging others, our first work is to watch and pray, to institute a warfare against the evils of our own hearts through the grace of Christ. We are to stand under the shadow of the cross of Calvary, humbling our hearts, confessing our sins, and entreating the Lord to pardon our defects of character, and strengthen our love for our brethren. If we neglect this heart searching in the light of divine truth, self-love will blind our eyes, and we shall have a much better opinion of ourselves than God has of us. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And it is written, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” RH January 3, 1893, par. 8

The reason is plain why Christ has said, “Judge not;” for it is natural for man to exalt his own goodness, to shun a candid examination of his own heart, and depreciate others. If we looked upon things in the right light, we should see that we need mercy from Christ every moment, and should render the same to our brethren. Jesus has not placed man upon the judgment-seat; for he knew human nature too well to give man the power to judge and condemn others. He knew that in their fallible judgment, they would root up some as tares, who were worthy of their sympathy and confidence, and would pass by others who deserved to be dealt with in a decided manner. When there are cases in the church which need to be dealt with decidedly, let the rule of the Bible be carried out. If the influence of erring members has an influence that corrupts others, they should be disfellowshiped; and heaven will ratify the action. It is the work of the enemy to sow tares among the wheat; and there will be men found in the church whose influence, as far as we can discern from outward appearance, is no blessing to the church. But even in cases of this character we are to move cautiously; for Christ and heavenly agencies are at work to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. RH January 3, 1893, par. 9

While Christ is at work to preserve a pure church in the earth, Satan ever seeks to counteract his agency and work. Spurious Christians are found in the church of God; for we find men, while professing the name of Christ, more firmly united to Satan than they are united with pure and holy influences. They gather darkness and unbelief from Satan, and they communicate it to the church. They profess to have the power of discernment, and discover spots and stains in the character of their brethren, and are not slow to communicate their suspicions to other members of the church. They distribute the leaven of distrust, of malice and accusation. And as a result, alienation and estrangement come in between brethren. All these false accusers, though their names are on the church records, are under the control of Satan, and work as his agents to weaken and confuse the church, and divide the brethren of Christ on earth. When this has been accomplished, Satan exults over the divided state of the church, and points the world to the professed followers of Christ, thus bringing the name of Christ into dishonor before the world, and intrenching men in their unbelief and rebellion against God. RH January 3, 1893, par. 10

(Concluded next week.)