Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Hit «Prev. Pub.   Next Pub.» Forward»

Ms 56, 1905

Ms 56, 1905

Talk/Lessons From the First Epistle of John

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 16, 1905

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 07/13/1905, 07/20/1905. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

(Talk given by Mrs. E. G. White at the General Conference, May 16, 1905.)

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” [1 John 1:1-3.]

There are those who are always seeking for something new. If they understood aright, they would realize that the newness that they need is that which comes from a daily growth in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let us keep firm and unshaken our faith in the message that God has given us for these last days. The world is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. Christ declared that this would be the sign of the end—men would be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day of the coming of the Son of man. His words mean far more than we have yet seen. Do not the events that have taken place show this?

And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” [Verse 3.] All through the Scriptures, the Father and the Son are spoken of as two distinct personages. You will hear men endeavoring to make the Son of God a nonentity. He and the Father are one, but they are two personages. Wrong sentiments regarding this are coming in, and we shall all have to meet them.

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” [Verse 4.] If we would apply the precious truth of God to our own individual cases, we would find such blessing, such consolation, that we would be ashamed to murmur and complain. Some have educated their tongues to utter complaints, and they lose many precious blessings that come with the exercise of patience.

“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” [Verse 5.] “God is light.” How are His disciples to declare it? Not with their lips merely, but in their lives. They themselves are to be “the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men,” Christ said, “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.]

“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” [1 John 1:6.] Every church member is to walk worthily of the high calling to which he has been chosen, having gained a living experience in the things of God. There is no need for us always to be babies in religious things. We are to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ.

“If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [Verses 7, 8.]

We may pray for sanctification, but whether or not we get it depends on whether we walk in the light, reflecting light to those around us. My brethren and sisters, the salvation of your souls depends upon the course that you pursue. If you fail of gaining eternal life, it will be because you have failed to keep the commandments of God. From the Word of God there shines light sufficient to guide us along every step of the way to heaven, and those who lose the way will be without excuse.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” [Verses 9, 10.]

In this world we are exposed to the temptations of the enemy, and because we do not depend on God as we should, we are continually sinning. There are those who, when they make mistakes, stand out in stubbornness, saying that they have not sinned, and refusing to confess. Those who say, “I never confess,” will never see the kingdom of heaven unless they do confess. Read the prayer of confession that Daniel offered. He was called a man greatly beloved of God, and yet he confessed that he as well as the people had sinned.

Those who make no acknowledgment of sin, those who refuse to confess because they think it would hurt their position and influence, will never be cleansed from unrighteousness unless they make a decided change in their attitude. We need the spirit of confession right here in this meeting. It would be surprising if none of those present had anything to confess. Brethren and sisters, will you not take the stumbling blocks out of the way, and clear the King’s highway, that he may enter in among us? Then we shall see the salvation of God, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:1, 2.] “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.] When we thus unite with Christ, we are gaining an experience that will be of more value to us than gold or silver or precious stones.

“And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” [1 John 2:3-6.]

We are to lift the cross, and follow the steps of Christ. Those who lift the cross will find that as they do this, the cross will lift them, giving them fortitude and courage, and pointing them to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” [Verses 7, 8.]

We can have something fresh to think of all the time. We have held communion with God as we have tried to understand the high privilege of being one with Christ. I am so thankful for the Word of God. I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice. We have no need to be led astray. We have no need to seek for something new and strange from the lips of human beings. We have a science that is above all human science. Many will grasp false science, teaching it as truth. But we need not be led astray. God wants us to cherish the truth in the simplicity in which we have received it from Christ. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” [Verses 9-11.]

We are not to watch for an opportunity to find fault if a brother does not speak exactly as we wish him to speak. Perhaps God does not want him to speak as you want him to. His words may cut you to the quick, but even then you are not at liberty to find fault. The talent of speech was given to us that we might speak, not words of faultfinding, but words of counsel, words of encouragement, words of reproof. Because we are not to find fault, this does not mean that we are to pass by things that are wrong, without saying a word. If you see one doing wrong, go right to him, and tell him his fault in the way outlined in the Scriptures. In the meekness of Christ, tell him the truth, and you may save his soul from death. But if you gloss over mistakes, leaving those who have made them to think they have done nothing wrong, you must share in the punishment, because you were unfaithful to your trust.

If we desire to see the King in His beauty, we must behave worthily. We must outgrow our childishness. When provocation comes, let us be silent. There are times when silence is eloquence. We are to reveal the patience and kindness and forbearance that will make us worthy to be called sons and daughters of God. We are to trust and believe Him and rely upon Him. We are to follow in Christ’s steps. “If any man will come after Me,” He says, “Let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] “So shall he be My disciple.” [See John 15:8.] It may be a heavy cross to keep silent when you ought to. It may be a painful discipline; but let me assure you that silence does much more to overcome evil than a storm of angry words.

Here in this world we are to learn what we must be in order to have a place in the heavenly courts. We are to learn the lessons that Christ desires to teach us, that we may be prepared to be taken to the higher school in the courts above, where the Saviour will lead us by the river of life, explaining to us many things that here we could not comprehend, and teaching us of the mysteries of God. There we shall see the glory of God as we have never seen it here. We get but a glimpse of the glory now because we do not follow on to know the Lord.

John writes, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” [Revelation 22:1, 2.]

Talk it, pray it, sing it, and remember that you must eat of the leaves of the tree of life here in this world, if you would know the healing power of the grace of God. When words are spoken that temp you to feel provoked, ask the Lord Jesus to give you a taste of the healing brought by the tree of life. Get your mind on some subject of eternal interest, and it will be easy for you to keep still when you ought to keep still and to speak when you ought to speak.

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:12, 13.] Are you not glad, young men, that this word of encouragement has been spoken to you? Oh, what a grand work is this—to overcome the folly and wickedness that prevails in our world. Young men, God will watch over you, and will give you strength, if you will put on every piece of the armor and be ready to resist the tempter when he seeks to lead you astray. We are striving for heaven, for a life that measures with the life of God. Keep your eyes fixed on the author and finisher of our faith.

“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [Verse 14.]

“Because ye are strong.” [Verse 14.] Do not spend your time reading magazines and novels. Read your Bible. You have many temptations to meet and overcome. You have a great truth to proclaim. Only by a constant study of the Word of God can you gain the strength needed for this work. Put novel-reading out of your lives. You have none too much time in which to gain an understanding of what saith the Scriptures. The Lord wants the young men in His cause to stand where they are worthy of being trusted with sacred responsibilities.

Do not encourage any appetite for stimulants. Eat only plain, simple, wholesome food, and thank God constantly for the principles of health reform. In all things be true and upright, and you will gain precious victories.

Remember that you cannot overcome the wicked one unless you have on every piece of the armor. Do not be turned away from the truth by supposition or sophistry. If you once allow Satan to tamper with your mind, you will find that it is not an easy matter to break away from him. But if you confess your sins before God, and take hold of Him power, sophistry will have no power over you.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” [Verse 15.] There is a great work before us. There are cities to be warned. If you go forth into the work accompanied by the grace of God, success will attend your efforts. The power of heaven will be with you. The righteousness of Christ will go before you, and the glory of God will be your rearward. Let us thank God that provision has been [made] for every emergency. We can take hold of Christ’s righteousness, pleading with Him to cleanse us from all iniquity.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” [Verses 16, 17.] He has carried on a faithful warfare against the enemy. He has built himself up in “the most holy faith.” [Jude 20.]

“Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” [1 John 2:18, 19.]

Brethren and sisters, at all hazards we must hold fast to the truth. I am so glad that it is not yet too late for wrongs to be righted. I am so grateful for all the precious promises given us, that we may have courage and hope, and that we may stand firm on the platform of eternal truth.

There is one thing that I want to ask those assembled at this conference to do: pray earnestly for the blessing of the Lord. I am glad to know that you are having early morning meetings. These meetings are of the highest value. Every time you come together at one of these meetings, lay your hearts open before God, and do not be afraid that your experience will be spoiled if you make confession. Take the stumbling blocks out of the way. May God give us light that will clear away everything which would prevent us from having that love for one another which we should have.

I want you to pray that God will give me strength; for I have received instruction from the Lord, and I want to give it to you. And pray also for yourselves. We want to see the glory of God at this meeting. May He help you to press to the light.

«Back «Hit «Prev. Pub.   Next Pub.» Forward»