Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), Page 938

nigh to you, He lifts up for you a standard against the enemy. Let us take courage; for the enemy cannot pass this standard (Manuscript 92, 1901).

(Ch. 1:8; Matthew 6:24.) Essential Work for the Sinner Defined—The Lord says, “Draw nigh to God.” How? By secret, earnest examination of your own heart, by childlike, heartfelt, humble dependence upon God, making known all your weakness to Jesus, and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.

But let us read the remainder of the lesson given for our instruction, that we may more fully comprehend what it means to draw nigh to God. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” The work that is essential to be done by the sinner is here clearly defined. It is a work not agreeable to the inclination of the human heart; but unless it is done the soul is not in a condition to appreciate the purity and perfection of the character of Christ, and in no condition either to understand the offensiveness of sin. The exhortation is given, “Purify your hearts, ye double minded.” While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God. They are double minded, making an attempt to serve God and mammon at the same time; but the world's Redeemer has declared, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). By trying to serve two masters, they are unstable in all their ways, and cannot be depended upon. To all appearances they are serving God, while at the same time in heart they are yielding to the temptation of Satan and cherishing sin. They may speak words that are smoother than oil, yet their hearts are full of deception and deceit in all their practices. Professing to be righteous, yet they have a heart that is desperately wicked.

Of what profit is it to say pleasant things, to deplore the work of Satan, and yet at the same time to enter into the fulfillment of all his devices? This is being double minded (Letter 13, 1893).

8, 9 (Matthew 5:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10). The Sorrow of True Repentance—“Be afflicted, and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy into heaviness.” It is right to be cheerful, and even joyful. It is right to cultivate cheerfulness of spirit through sanctification of the truth; but it is not right to indulge in foolish jesting and joking, in lightness and trifling, in words of criticism and condemnation of others.

Those who observe such persons who make a profession of religion, know that they are deceived. They know that the hands of such professors need to be cleansed, their hearts need to be purified. They need to experience genuine repentance for sin. What have they to mourn over? They should mourn over their inclination to sin, over the danger they are in from inward corruption and from outward temptation. They should be afraid because they have so feeble a sense of the sinfulness of sin, and so little idea of what constitutes sin (Letter 13, 1893).

10 (1 Peter 5:6). Humility Before Pardon—God grants no pardon to him whose penitence produces no humility (Manuscript 11, 1888).

Chapter 5

14-16. Miracles and Natural Remedies—God's miracles do not always bear the outward semblance of miracles. Often they are brought about in a way which looks like the natural course of events. When we pray for the sick, we also work for them. We answer our own prayers by using the remedies within our reach. Water, wisely applied, is a most powerful remedy. As it is used intelligently, favorable results are seen. God has given us intelligence, and He desires us to make the most of His health-giving blessings. We ask that God will give bread to the hungry; we are then to act as His helping hand in relieving hunger. We are to use every blessing God has placed within our reach for the deliverance of those in danger.

Natural means, used in accordance with God's will, bring about supernatural results. We ask for a miracle, and the Lord directs the mind to some simple remedy. We ask to be kept from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, that is stalking with such power through the world; we are then to cooperate with God, observing the laws of health and life. Having done

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