Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 182

lost. The true spirit of devotion is shown in the surrender of self in willing service to God and man.

Continuing His answer to the disciples of John, Jesus spoke a parable: “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.” Matthew 9:16, RSV. An attempt to blend the tradition and superstition of the Pharisees with the devotion of John would only make more evident the breach between them.

Nor could the principles of Christ's teaching be united with the forms of Pharisaism. Christ was to make more distinct the separation between the old and the new. “Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17, RSV. Skin bottles used as vessels to contain new wine, after a time became dry and brittle, and were then worthless to serve the same purpose again. The Jewish leaders were fixed in a rut of ceremonies and traditions. Their hearts had become like dried-up wine skins. Satisfied with a legal religion, it was impossible for them to become the depositaries of living truth. They did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul could find no place for union with the religion of the Pharisees, made up of ceremonies and the injunctions of men. To unite the teachings of Jesus with the established religion would be vain. The vital truth of God, like wine, would burst the old decaying bottles of the Pharisaical tradition.

New Bottles for New Wine

The Saviour turned away from the Pharisees to find others who would receive the message of heaven. In untutored fishermen, in the publican at the market place, in the woman of Samaria, in the common people who heard Him gladly, He found His new bottles for the new wine. Those souls who gladly receive the light

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