Ellen G. White Writings

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General Conference Daily Bulletin, vol. 5

February 6, 1893

VOL. 5. - BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - NO. 6

THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE. - NO. 9. ELDER S. N. HASKELL

I CLOSED yesterday with a quotation from Deuteronomy showing that there was in the gospel physical power. There is in the gospel everything that is for our good. I wish to say a few words more, returning to this, about this faith that appropriates the blessing in his word. Sometimes we make very hard work of believing the word. We feel as though we must do something in order to believe. But if we will come like children at the feet of Christ, and take his word as his voice, he will teach us. Faith will be inspired in the heart and mind; it will be given to us by the Spirit of God. We cannot explain how it will be, but it will be so. We receive from the word what we expect is in the word. If I do not think it is in the word, and am going to read it simply to find out whether it is there or not, very likely I will never get it. God never makes any apology for speaking to the human race. When the prophets spake it was “Thus saith the Lord.”

I understand the children of Israel did not stop to realize that there was not a feeble one in all their ranks, neither did they realize that God was sustaining them physically as he was. When they had their eyes upon the Lord and were following that cloud, seeing nothing but that cloud, the Lord took care of everything else, and he led them. It was precisely the same when the Saviour met the disciples upon the water and bade Peter come to him. Peter did not stop to think about anything but the command to come. He did not stop to see whether he had faith or not. He saw nothing but Christ before him, and walked upon the water. Had it been in the air he would have gone just as well. It was simply the attitude of Peter towards the Saviour. He saw the word of the Saviour and he saw nothing else, and he could walk just as well on the water as he could on the ground. But when he turned to see the waves, and to see that he was doing something remarkable, he began to go down at once. It requires a training of the mind that we can only receive by the Spirit of God, to lead us to take the word. Faith is simply believing, and you have it. It is simply taking the word of God as though spoken directly to us, and then we have that which is contained in the word.

I want to give two or three ideas that I have on the health question. One text came to my mind yesterday morning but I did not quote it for I feared it might awaken controversy in some minds. I do not want you to take anything I present on my testimony, but simply look at the word itself and see if it is there. If you do not find it there, I shall not quarrel with any one. I simply say what appears to me to be there to encourage you to read the Bible and get the light that God would give you. The apostle Paul says:-

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” Philippians 1:20-24.

Did the apostle have any privilege of choosing whether he should die or live? I think he had. It seems to me from the Scripture that there is that power in the gospel, that if the soul is thoroughly consecrated to God and has something to do, he has it somewhat in his power to say whether he shall die or whether he shall live. There is power in the gospel to keep him living in the work of God. If he will trust God and rely upon him, and seek to live to his glory, there is not power enough among all the evil angels cast out of heaven to get that man into the grave. He will live anyhow, if the Lord has work for him to do. But if a man folds his hands and says he is going to die, it is a good deal like a man who makes up his mind that he will surely be overcome by the enemy. Such a man will not get the victory. There is everything in asserting our liberty in the Lord. We have to contend with the devil, but it is Christ that fights the battle. We are only to throw ourselves on the testimony of God and he sustains us.

It has been supposed by some that if we believe God it does not make much difference about this health question; that God will take care of us anyhow, and we need do nothing to preserve our health. That cannot be true. It is just as necessary that we co-operate with God for the preservation of our health as it is to co-operate with him in obeying his truth. The laws that govern our being are the laws of God, and they are all in the gospel. Now I want to read from the Bible that a man does not deny his faith when he resorts to rational remedies. Read in 2 Kings 20:1-7, how the Lord healed Hezekiah. Was it necessary, after God had said that he would recover the third day, to put on that lump of figs? Was not that denying his faith? No sir. Figs are a good thing for a boil. You try it any time and it will bring a boil to a head. It is not denying our faith, but the contrary, to do those things which are in harmony with the laws of life when God tells us to live. It is in harmony with the laws of life to use rational remedies. I do not mean drugs; but I have faith in rational remedies. Says one, Did he have faith in the figs, or faith in God? It was faith in God through the figs. The Lord told him what to do, and he did it believing that it would be a blessing and it was a blessing.

I do not believe the Lord wants unbelieving physicians to doctor his people at all. He wants those who will apply remedies in his fear and in harmony with the principles revealed in the Bible, and then it will be a blessing to the sick. It is all in the gospel - every word of it. I have great faith in a physician who believes in God, but I would not risk my life in the hands of one who does not. Says one, what would you do if you were off by yourself and were sick? I would believe God. We had such an experience as that on the East Coast of Africa a few years ago. Brother Magan was sick, and we prayed for him: and he got better. I was sick, having gone over toward the interior. I got up in the morning with a fever and could not dress myself. I could not take treatment and I began to think the matter over, - what I was there for, and of the goodness of God. And as soon as I began to think of the goodness of God the Spirit of God came down upon me and it broke me all to pieces so I had to get down and cry; and when I broke all to pieces my fever was gone. I say these things to show that faith in God is not narrow. [Voice: Should not a man follow his convictions? Yes; always. Follow the light you have.]

The Saviour met people right where they were. Hardly two came to the Saviour in just the same way. One man felt that he must come and get right down before him, and have the Saviour look at him. The Centurion did not want Christ to come to his house to heal the sick, but asked him to speak only the word. In another place, a man was let down through a roof. Don’t you suppose it was the Saviour that inspired that man to come to him? Yes. And his Spirit followed him all the way? Yes. And when he got there and the house was crowded then the Holy Spirit inspired those men to let him down through the roof. I tell you, brethren, the Lord’s faith in us to encourage us to come to him, is such that it takes every man just where he is and just as he is. All do not have to follow the same line. He comes and instructs and leads those persons who will be led by him. I am thankful the Lord lays down that truth in his word. He meets every one just where he is. In the Scripture God heals the sick, whether directly by faith, or without any outward demonstration, or by means in harmony with the laws of life. In the gospel are the laws that govern our health and that govern us morally, spiritually, and physically. God would have us believe that these things are in the gospel, and when we believe they are there, and take the word as giving instruction to us, we will find and experience these very blessings.

The Saviour resorted to many different ways of healing the sick, and in many of these we could not say it was because their faith led them that way. He healed them by his power through various ways, such as putting clay upon their eyes and washing, even when they did not believe on him till after they were healed. Take the blind man whose eyes the Saviour anointed with clay and told him to go and wash. When the man was questioned by the Jews he could only say that he believed the man who did it was a good man. Afterwards he met Christ, and Christ asked him if he believed in the Son of God. He answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” And when the Lord revealed himself he fell right down and worshipped him. Why was it that the Lord healed people in all these different ways, if it was not that some principle was involved in it, that pertained to us? I told you the other day, and you believe it, that every act of Christ contained salvation. There are lessons for us in every act of our Lord Jesus Christ, and if we will let him teach us, he will give us the lessons.

Another thought: when we receive this word we receive Jesus Christ. We take him when we take the word. Christ identifies himself with us for our need. We read in “Testimony No. 32“:-

“Let us remember that Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows the wants of each of his creatures, and reads the hidden, unspoken grief of every heart. If one of the little ones for whom he died is injured, he sees it, and calls the offender to account. Jesus is the good shepherd. He cares for his feeble, sickly, wandering sheep. He knows them all by name. The distress of every sheep and every lamb of his flock touches his heart of sympathizing love, and the cry for aid reaches his ear.... . He was the Creator of all things, sustaining worlds by his infinite power. Angels were ready to do him homage and to obey his will. Yet he could listen to the prattle of an infant, and accept its lisping praise. He took little children in his arms, and pressed them to his heart of love. They felt perfectly at home in his presence, and reluctant to leave his arms. He did not look upon the disappointments and woes of the race as a mere trifle; but his heart was ever touched by the sufferings of those he came to save.”

That is our Saviour, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. But how do we receive Jesus Christ? In the tenth of Romans we see the kind of righteousness the Jews were trying to get - their own righteousness. We cannot get Christ’s righteousness unless we lose that which we think so commendable in ourselves. But “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” In verses 6-9 the apostle quotes from Deuteronomy, with comments of his own. Let us place his quotations side by side with the verses from which he quoted:-

Deuteronomy 30:11-14.

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it afar off.

It is not in heaven, that thou shouldst say, who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it?

Neither is it beyond the sea that thou shouldst say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it?

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayst do it.

Romans 10:6-9.

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart who shall ascend into heaven? (that is to bring Christ down from above:)

Or who shall descend into the deep? (that is to bring Christ up again from the dead:)

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thine heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Moses said “this commandment.” Paul says it means Christ. Then if I take the commandments into my heart, whom do I take? Christ. What, if I go back to the old law? Yes. Then when I take a word of that Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and take it as God’s voice to me, I take Jesus Christ to my soul.

Then when that blind man took Christ’s word, he took Christ, and yet he did not know Christ. Light sufficient to condemn a man is certainly sufficient to justify him, if that light is accepted and cherished. But the trouble is, men will not cherish the light, but reject it.

What is it then, to confess the Lord Jesus Christ? (Deuteronomy 30:14; Romans 10:8, 9.) If we take the word in the heart we confess it. If we believe it as Christ and take it as Christ, we have Christ. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:10-13. Then every one that comes can be saved. We can be saved to-day - this very moment, if we take the light that God has given us. Says one, How much shall I take? Just what comes to your heart this morning. I will go farther than that; I will say, if you can see there is salvation in Jesus Christ, you are near the kingdom of God. If you can see the principles contained in that word, and know Christ, and if you can discern that there is something there more than anywhere else in this world, then you are close to the kingdom of God; and if you can take it into the heart, you are in the kingdom of God.

CHRIST’S OWNERSHIP. - NO. 3. ELDER R. A. UNDERWOOD

ELDER JONES said in his first Bible lesson in this institute that he supposed that we had come here to hear things we had never thought of before, and to learn things that we had never heard before.

This is not strange, when God says, “If any man think that he knoweth anything he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:2.

So, brethren, do not reject what you hear because you do not fully understand it. Angels have been searching into the mysteries of God in the plan of salvation, for ages, and they do not fully understand the deep things of God as yet. 1 Peter 1:12. I believe what God says, upon the authority of his word, no matter if I cannot reason it all out.

The question has been asked since our last lesson on this topic, “Who upheld the universe while Christ was in the grave?” I answer it was the “word” of Christ’s power. “He commanded and it stood fast.” Elder Haskell has been speaking of the life and power there is in the word of Christ. I fear that we do not all take in what that means. Let us read again what the apostle says of the power of that word: “Upholding (notice this statement is in the present perfect tense) all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” “U-p-h-o-l-d-i-n-g” how long? There is no limit to this expression. Take a parallel text, “He that b-e-l-i-e-v-e-t-h,” (how long? This text does not provide for any let go of faith) and is baptized shall be saved.” He that thus believeth is as certain of heaven as though he were there. There is life and power in the word of Christ. We have not realized the power there was in this blessed Bible. When we believe that this “word” lives and has power to uphold a universe even though its author was lying in the grave, then its power and life will work in us mightily.

We now inquire, By what are we to be constantly led to a recognition of the fact that all we are and have is the Lord’s, and not our own?

In answering this we must recognize the fact that the plan of salvation was so devised, that man could become united with Christ in teaching fallen humanity how Christ had become man’s Redeemer. Redemption becomes a LIVING OBJECT LESSON - not only to man, but to all the unfallen worlds - of certain fundamental principles that must be recognized by all created intelligences. Of this the prophet speaks, “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go.” Isaiah 48:17. Man showed himself unprepared to appreciate the glorious gift the Lord bestowed upon him when he gave to Adam life, and made him possessor of the earth, clothed with everything that was “pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Genesis 2:9. It is impossible for man in his present condition to grasp the glories of such a home. There was not one thing in all the earth to mar the joy and happiness of man, so long as he should comply with the principles of righteousness.

The Lord thus continues in Isaiah 48:18, “O that thou hadst harkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” But alas! man and his home passed into the hands of his conqueror. Luke 4:6.

In the redemption of man Christ proposes to teach him a lesson of eternal “profit”; hence Christ does not immediately restore to man his lost possessions. The “lost” “purchased” “possession,” to the praise of Christ, can be occupied now for a time only as belonging to its Redeemer.

Christ presents a practical living reminder of man’s selling himself for nought, and a test of his loyalty to the one that has redeemed him, by making it obligatory upon man to return to Christ.

ONE TENTH OF ALL HIS INCOME

From an article in the REVIEW of Sept. 10, 1889, on the tithing subject, by Mrs. E. G. White, I read these words on this point:-

“The tithing system did not originate with the Hebrews. From the earliest times the Lord claimed a tithe as his, and this claim was recognized, and honored. Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God. Jacob, when at Bethel, an exile and wanderer, promised the Lord, ‘Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ As the Israelites were about to be established as a nation, the law of tithing was re-affirmed, as one of the divinely ordained statutes upon obedience to which their prosperity depended.”

Then follows the statement of the object of the tithing system in these words: “The system of tithes and offerings was intended to impress the minds of men with a great truth, That God is the source of every blessing to his creatures, and that to him man’s gratitude is due for the good gifts of his providence.

Thus the people were constantly reminded that God was the True Proprietor of their fields, their flocks and herds; that he sent them sunshine and rain for their seed-time and harvest and that every thing they possessed was of his creation, “and he hath made them stewards of his goods.” Again in the REVIEW of Dec. 17th, 1889, I read from the same author, “The Lord has not left the disposal of his goods to you, to be given or withheld as your inclination may dictate. He has placed the matter beyond all question, and there has been great neglect on the part of many of God’s professed people to fulfill the requirements of his word in regard to tithing.” You will notice that the basis upon which the tithing system rests is Christ’s ownership, and not the support of the ministry, as its prime object.

In the tithing system we find the same principles involved that were disregarded by our first parents, in taking the property Christ withheld from them in Eden. There are principles involved that must be recognized as the overshadowing purpose of God in demanding the tithe. While we as a people have endorsed the tithing system as a means of support to the ministry, we have not recognized the principles upon which it rests, and its true object has been largely lost upon our lives.

Of the Lord’s requirement we read: “All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy unto

the Lord.... And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30-32. Some suppose that this plan of tithing belonged only to the Levitical priesthood and that none but those living in that age were under obligations to pay tithes.

But as already stated, the tithing system was instituted primarily as a test upon man whether he would recognize Christ as the true proprietor of his fields, flocks, and herds and everything man possesses;” secondly, it is a constant reminder that Christ is the Redeemer of man and his lost home. And thirdly, it is designed to impress man with the truth, that the great commission to preach the gospel to all the world is from Christ, and not from men; hence, Christ does not leave the support of his ambassadors to a cold and heartless world, but provides for their support, as the following scriptures show.

THE GOSPEL AND ITS MINISTRY

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

In connection with the above scripture we read the following:-

“Go your ways; behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” Luke 10:3, 7.

In considering the commission of Christ to men, to preach the gospel, we should not overlook the fact that the commission to preach the glad news of salvation in him does not originate here, or that this commission represents some new gospel to fallen mankind unknown before, but that it is the same gospel that the prophets of old and all the servants of God were commissioned to preach since the fall of man. “To him (Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43. When men undertake to preach something different from this, they do not preach the gospel of Christ. No matter in what age they live. “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.

Yes, this gospel reaches back to the fall of man (Genesis 3:15), and Christ has been preached from the beginning of the glad tidings of great joy to this earth as the Redeemer of men, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8.

Then, since the gospel has been preached from the fall of man, Christ has had his ordained messengers to proclaim the good news of salvation through faith in Christ from the foundation of the world. And as human nature has been the same, and his need of salvation the same, therefore the gospel has ever been the same in all ages of the past, and ever will be the same to the end of time.

The work of the gospel minister has ever been such as to demand his whole time and energies to be given to his work as an ambassador of Christ. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” 1 Timothy 4:15, 16.

An ambassador is a minister of first rank employed by a government to represent it and manage its interests at the court or the seat of some foreign power. Such minister, or ambassador, looks to the appointing power that sends him, for his support. In fact this principle is recognized so clearly everywhere that should a person, corporation, or nation appoint, or employ, individuals to do any given work and not provide for a just compensation for their labor, such individuals, corporation, or nation would be condemned as committing a moral wrong against society and the individuals so used. If such a course would be morally wrong for man, it would be morally wrong for Christ, for he is our righteousness and perfect pattern. 1 Peter 2:21, 22. Hence it would be morally wrong for Christ to set apart men to preach his gospel and leave them and their families to the mercy and charities of a cold, indifferent world. No; Christ could not do this; but in harmony with every principle of right dealing he must provide for the support of the laborers he sends forth into the great harvest field of souls.

Touching upon this principle, the apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 9:7-10, says: “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man, or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written.” These questions answer themselves. Who ever heard of a nation sending an army to fight an enemy and not providing for its wants? Is Christ less righteous than a wicked, cruel nation? - O, no! Does God see that the poor ox that labors is cared for? - Yes; and will he not see that his faithful ministers are supported? The answer

is that he certainly will, and in a manner that will bring honor to Christ and test man’s character.

Some have thought that they paid the ministers when they paid their tithe. In this they are greatly mistaken; for Christ commissions and sends forth his laborers. He also pays them through his own agents from the tithes and offerings devoted to that purpose by himself. Notice the language - “And behold I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up a heave-offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe.” Numbers 18:21, 26. “And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn, the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.” Nehemiah 13:10-12.

The apostle Paul, speaking of this plan, says: “For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all.... And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law.... And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that He liveth.” Hebrews 7:1-8.

Many who seek to evade the claim of God to the one-tenth say that “the tithing system was a part of the Jewish ritual, being a part of the ceremonial law, and hence was done away at the cross.” This position is not sustained by the Scriptures. We have already seen that there are certain underlying principles upon which the tithing system rests, that are no more applicable in one age than another.

The last scripture quotation referred to Abraham paying tithes as recorded in Genesis 14:18-20. This was more than four hundred years prior to the existence of the Levitical priesthood, yet Abraham paid tithes. The record makes no statement to show that tithing originated here. On the contrary, the inference is unavoidable that this was a requirement well understood at the time. Abraham had the gospel preached to him (Galatians 3:8, 9), and he believed it, therefore God makes the record of him: “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:5. The tithing system being one of the things that was embraced in the “charge,” or commandments of God, it was a most natural occurrence in Abraham’s life when he met the priest of the most high God, that he should give him a tenth of all.

We have already learned by many scriptures that man owns nothing at all whatever, that all he has in his possession is placed there by Christ to be used as “another man’s,” and that a strict account of man’s stewardship will be required when he is dispossessed of his Lord’s money. 1 Corinthians 4:2; Matthew 25:14-30.

THE TITHE IN THE CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION

“If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:11-14.

The apostle here refers unmistakably to the manner in which the Levitical priesthood were supported for their service in ministering in holy things. Says God, “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Numbers 18:21. When the apostle therefore says that “they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple,” he has special reference to the tithe. This was their source of support. He continues: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Webster defines “even” and “so” “in an equal or precisely similar manner; precisely the same; exactly; likewise,” etc. The word “ordain” he defines, “To appoint; to decree,” etc. Cruden says the word means “to command, or enjoin; to appoint, or designed to a certain end or use,” etc.

With these definitions before us, let us read verses 13, 14 of 1 Corinthians 9, supplying the definitions for these terms: “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? ...In precisely similar manner hath the Lord appointed, decreed, and enjoined that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” This is in harmony with the words of Christ in Matthew 23:23: “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

The Pharisees were very particular to pay tithe on the smallest herbs of the garden, yet, while so scrupulous and exact in this, they were not carrying out the same principle in their deal with their fellow-men. So Christ sharply rebukes their inconsistent course, while at the same time he enjoins the obligation to pay the tithe even in the smallest matters. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” They had left judgment, mercy, etc., undone. While the Saviour says, these ye ought to have done, he also says that they “ought” to pay tithes.

Ought is a very significant word. Mr. Webster, in his definition of it, places should and ought as synonyms. “Both words imply obligation, but ought is the stronger. Should denotes an obligation of propriety, expediency, etc.; ought denotes an obligation of duty. We should be neat in our person; we should avoid giving offense. We ought to speak the truth; we ought to obey the laws.” We see that ought signifies moral obligation, hence in the text our Saviour says, we are under moral obligations to pay tithes upon all our income, even to the smallest herbs. The principles upon which the moral obligation rests for all to pay the tithes have already been briefly stated. They are so clear that none need to be in doubt on this question.

Some seek to hide behind the language of the apostle in the text above quoted: “We have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.”

The apostle Paul in this one case did not use this power. He thought it better to “suffer rather than to urge the brethren to pay their tithes for his support. Those who object to paying tithes refer to this case in Paul’s experience as the apostolic example which we should follow. But those using this argument fail to give the whole experience of the apostle in this matter with the Corinthian church. His second letter to the Corinthians is one of reproof and warning. The apostle also makes a humble confession to them upon this point, but first refers them to the principles upon which the tithing system rests, and the failure of our first parents to regard this principle, namely, the right and priority of ownership, in these forcible words:-

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so [”in the same manner, degree, or in the same way,” Webster] your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.... Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely (or gratuitously)? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.” “For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-8; 12:13.

It will be noticed that the apostle, in his confession, calls their attention to Eve’s disregard of God’s right to withhold from man any portion of his goods; also that there is but one Jesus, one gospel, one plan of salvation, and, as we have already seen, Christ has had his ambassadors from the earliest periods as the heralds of the gospel, for “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Hence, the tithing system rests on moral principles involved (1) in Christ’s ownership; (2) in man’s spiritual good; and (3) in the support of Christ’s ministers of the cross in all gospel ages. So the tithing system was not originated for the prime object of support to the ministry, but, back of this and above this, there are certain moral obligations which man must recognize, namely, Christ, the Redeemer of man and his lost possessions.

COUNCIL MEETING. - NO. 7

CITY MISSIONS, THE TRAINING OF WORKERS, ETC

ELDER OLSEN occupied the time of the council meeting Monday afternoon, devoting his attention to the work of city missions, the training of mission workers, etc. The subject of city missions, both as connected with the Bible, and medical missionary work, should receive much careful attention. There is a very great demand for consecrated, intelligent workers for these particular lines of effort. It is a matter of serious regret that after several years experience in this direction, there have been developed so few who are competent to take the charge of city missions, or even to engage successfully in city mission work. It is true that we have encountered many difficulties in this branch, and the same is true of other branches, yet in this, Satan has exerted himself to the utmost, to destroy. Not a stone has been left unturned. His temptations have been great, and blessed is the one who has stood firmly for the truth. How important that everyone laboring in these lines should by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ fortify his weak points, and be strong for the duties to be performed. And all who expect to labor in this capacity should do likewise. In this connection Elder Olsen read an unpublished testimony received recently from Sister White, relative to city missions, which is herewith given entire:-

“Missions are essential as the foundation of missionary effort in our cities; but unless those standing at the head of these missions make strenuous efforts to guard every post, so that Satan shall not control, losses will be sustained.

“Young men and women should receive a training and an education in these lines that will qualify them to work for the Master. But if they do not possess solidity of character, and a spirit of consecration, all efforts to fit themselves for the work will prove a failure. None should be connected with the mission who do not give evidence that they possess these essential qualifications. The same is true of the older workers. Unless they have the truth sanctifying soul, body, and spirit, they will not do the right kind of work; they cannot exert a saving influence in the canvassing field, or in any other branch of the cause.

“Without a high sense of propriety, sobriety, the sacredness of the truth, and the exalted character of the work, how can men in any way represent Christ? How can they be a savor of life unto life?

“The Lord has many precious souls in our large cities, who should be reached by the special truths for this time. But the course pursued by young men and young women connected with the mission is frivolous, degrading the work, and demoralizing the mission. Such defective characters separate God from the mission-rooms. It does not require weeks or months to read the character of many of the workers. Their conduct is an offense to God. There are wrongs existing in society which Christians will not practice, but abhor. Let those who are frivolous and carnally minded be placed in our missions, and their influence tends to lower everything connected with the mission.

“There should be connected with the mission married persons who will conduct themselves with the strictest propriety. But the danger is not alone from youth, but from married men and women; workers must build up the walls of modesty and virtue about themselves, so that women will not allure men, and men will not allure women, from strict propriety. ‘Abstain from even the very appearance of evil.’

“Lovesick sentimentalism prevails. Married men receive attention from married or unmarried women; women also appear to be charmed, and lose reason and spiritual discernment, and good common sense; they do the very things that the word of God condemns, the very things that the testimony of the Spirit of God condemns. Warnings and reproofs are before them in clear lines, yet they go over the same path that others have travelled before them. It is like an infatuating game at which they are playing. Satan leads them on to ruin themselves, to imperil the cause of God, to crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. There is no safety for any man, young or old, unless he feels the necessity of seeking counsel of God at every step. Those only who maintain a close communion with God will learn to place his estimate upon men, to reverence the pure, the good, the humble the meek. The heart must be garrisoned as was that of Joseph. Then temptations to depart from integrity will be met with decision: “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” The strongest temptation is no excuse for sin. No matter how severe the pressure brought to bear upon you, sin is your own act. The seat of the difficulty is the unrenewed heart.

“A man who claims to have believed present truth for years and is counted worthy by his brethren to fill positions of trust, in missions or in our institutions, may become careless when a change of circumstances brings him into temptations, and in his time he may tempt others. His case is sad indeed, for he reveals the workings of a corrupt heart, a want of that principle which every Christian should possess. When one who is entrusted with great responsibilities betrays his sacred trust and gives himself into the hands of Satan as an instrument of unrighteousness to sow the seeds of evil, corrupting the hearts and minds of others, he is a traitor of the worst type. From one such tainted, polluted mind the youth often receive the first impure thoughts that lead to a life of shame and defilement.

“If men placed at the head of a mission have not firmness of principle that will preserve them from every vestige of commonness, and unbecoming familiarity with young girls and women, after the light which has been so plainly given, let them be discharged without a second trial. There is a depravity of the soul which leads to these careless habits and practices, and which will far overbalance all the good such persons can do. We are living in an age of moral debasement; the world is as a second Sodom. Those who look for the coming of the Son of man, those who know that they are right upon the borders of the eternal world, should set an example in harmony with their faith. Those who do not maintain purity and holiness are not accepted of God. The true children of God have deep-rooted principles which will not be moved by temptations, because Christ is abiding in their hearts by faith.

“A second trial would be of no avail to those whose moral sense is so perverted that they cannot see their danger. If after they have long held the truth, its sanctifying power has not established the character in piety, virtue and purity, let them be disconnected with the missions without delay; for through these Satan will insinuate the same lax sentiments in the minds of those who ought to have an example of virtue and moral dignity. Anything that approaches lovesick sentimentalism, any intimation of commonness, should be decidedly rebuked. One who is guilty of encouraging this improper familiarity should not only be relieved of responsibilities which he was unworthy to bear, but should be placed under censure of the church, and that censure should remain upon him, until he give evidence in spirit and deportment, that he sees his sinfulness and heart corruption, and repents, like any other guilty sinner, and is converted. Then God for Christ’s sake will heal him of his transgression.

“Even though the men and women at the head of our missions are in character as pure as fine gold, they need constant connection with God in order to keep themselves pure and to know how to manage the youth discreetly, so that all shall keep their thoughts untainted, uncorrupted. Let the lessons be of an elevated, ennobling character, that the mind may be filled with pure and noble thoughts. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (God) is pure.” As God is pure in his sphere, so man is to be pure in his. And he will be pure if Christ is formed within, the hope of glory; for he will imitate Christ’s life and reflect his character.

“When a Conference selects young men and women, and aids them in obtaining an education for the canvassing field or any other branch of the work, there should be an understanding as to what they propose to do, - whether they design to engage in courtship and marriage, or to labor for the advancement of the cause of truth. It is no use to spend time and money in the education of workers who will fall in love before they complete this education, and who cannot resist the first temptation in the form of an invitation to marriage. In most cases the labor spent on such persons is wholly lost. When they enter the marriage relation, their usefulness in the work of God is at an end. They increase their family, they are dwarfed and crippled in every way, and cannot use the knowledge they have obtained.

“Before persons are admitted to our mission training schools, let there be a written agreement that after receiving their education

they will give themselves to the work for a specified time. This is the only way that our missions can be made what they should be. Let those who connect themselves with the missions be straightforward, and take hold of the work in a business-like manner. Those who are controlled by a sense of duty, who daily seek wisdom and help from God, will act intelligently, not from selfish motives, but from the love of Christ and the truth. Such will not hesitate to give themselves unreservedly, soul, body, and spirit, to the work. They will study, work, and pray for its advancement. I repeat, do not enter into a marriage engagement, unless there are good and sufficient reasons for this step, - unless the work of God can be better advanced thereby. For Christ’s sake deny inclination, lift the cross, and do the work for which you are educating yourselves.

“Many of the marriages contracted in these last days prove to be a mistake. The parties make no advancement in spiritual things; their growth and usefulness ended with their marriage. There are men and women throughout the country who would have been accepted as laborers together with God if Satan had not laid his snares to entangle their minds and hearts in courtship and marriage. Did the Lord urge them to obtain the advantages of our schools and missions, that they might sink everything in courtship and marriage, binding themselves by a human band for a lifetime? By accepting the work of rearing children in these last days of uncertainty and peril, many place themselves in a position where they cannot labor either in the canvassing field or in any other branch of the cause of God, and some lose all interest to do this. They are content with a common, low level, and assimilate to the position they have chosen. The bewitching power of Satan’s deceptions wrought within the human heart its evil work. Instead of candidly considering the time in which we live, and the work they might do in leading others to the truth, they reason from a selfish standpoint, and follow the impulse of their own unconsecrated hearts. “The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” The natural appetites and passions become a controlling power, and the result is that spiritual growth ceases; the soul is, as it were, paralyzed.

“Let none who dedicate themselves to the work of God be discouraged at the outlook, but let them strive to be faithful in the work committed to them. Live wholly for God; put your life, your energies, your soul, into your work, not knowing which shall prosper, this, or that. Go forth to your canvassing work, or other lines of labor, knowing that there is a witness, an angel, by your side. If you are careless and inattentive, reckless of your words, reckless in spirit, your character is thus portrayed by the recording angel. As the polished plate of the artist produces your features, so will the books of records reflect your words, your works, your character. If you cease to do evil, if you learn to do well, through the grace given for you, the golden harvest of infinite blessedness is growing, and as a laborer together with God you are preparing to be a reaper. Yield not to indolence, give not up to discouragement, be not weary in well doing, for you will reap, if you faint not.

“Let every soul bear in mind the words of Jesus, ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ We are wholly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for fitness to do the Master’s work; we must rely upon him for Christian fortitude, perseverance and grace. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Your words, your character, your conduct, your spirit, reveal the character of the tree, for these are the fruits you bear. The sinful nature is to be kept under the control of the Spirit of God. The transforming grace of Christ will bring the will into harmony with the will of Christ. The more closely we are brought into unity with Christ, the more clearly we shall discern the defects of our character. It is marvelous how deceptive is the human heart, how easily self-deluded, how easily led into sin. Be jealous of yourself, never become puffed up, never flatter yourself or accept flattering from any man or woman. When persons attempt to flatter you, tell them they are giving voice to the temptations of Satan.

“‘He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ Every one is sowing some kind of seed, the fruit of which will be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. Young men and women, what kind of a harvest are you preparing to garner? Are you sowing unto eternal life, or unto wretchedness and corruption? On the decision of this momentous question depends your happiness or misery for eternity.”

Quite extended remarks were made on that portion of the testimony relative to securing an “understanding” with those entering upon a training for mission work, the necessity for a “written agreement,” etc. It was stated that excellent results had already followed the effort that had been made in this direction, and that about the only difficulty so far developed was that the time usually stated in the agreement was too short. The speaker expressed great satisfaction in seeing the sentiment beginning to prevail favoring the stability of the workers.

TRAVELS IN SOUTH AMERICA. ELDER L. C. CHADWICK

THE first hour of the evening was occupied by Elder L. C. Chadwick in relating what came under his observation in the American-Spanish countries, during his recent missionary journeyings.

Nearly all of South America, the speaker said, is Roman Catholic. In all that vast field our people have but three men carrying our publications to sell. These are all the laborers we have there at present, of any description. In Mexico, there is barely more than a handful of English-speaking people.

In San Luis Potosi, Brother Chadwick said he visited a school which was under the direction of the Methodists. They had but eleven students, but these were bright active Spaniards. In this city of San Luis Potosi he met a young boy, who accosted him, desiring that he should read a letter for him (the boy was in the audience and was called forward where he could be seen). The story of how this boy learned a little English and also how he became a Protestant, was a very interesting one.

The speaker said, in the course of his remarks concerning the boy’s accepting the truth, that one word only in the Spanish is used to express both “Saturday” and “Sabbath. This word is Sabado, while the word Domingo is used to express the word Sunday. It is therefore hard to make people see how that Sunday can be Sabbath.

His next visit was to the island of Cuba. There he visited, in Havana, the mission school of a Mr.

Cova. All the pupils are drawn together from Catholic families, and are induced to attend by also giving them the privilege of attending the week-day schools. If they are not present at the mission, they cannot attend the week-day school, without paying tuition. In this way Mr. Cova has drawn together over 200 pupils.

The Catholics in those countries, many of them, are desirous of being released from their bondage to the priests, which is terrible. One instance was related of what the speaker saw: Men and women, with hands tied behind them, walking on their bleeding knees long distances to certain places of prayer, designated by the priests.

Central America has 3,000,000 of people who are under Roman Catholic rule and superstition, and need the light of the gospel.

All of South America except a small part of the interior is also under the Catholic rule. At Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Brazil, the harbor scenery is grand and picturesque. The finest woods grow in the interior, but in these the climate is very unhealthful, and so very little Protestant work has been done in Brazil.

In the Argentine Republic a visit was made to the point where some German Russian brethren had colonized. In their little mud huts some of the best meetings ever attended, were enjoyed. So anxious were they for the truth that the room would be filled full of people, sitting on the mud floor, and looking wistfully at the speaker. Although the preaching had to be done in the Spanish language, these Germans seemed to catch the inspiration of the word, and rejoiced in the truth. The canvassing business in that country thrives well.

Little is known at home here of the workings of Catholicism in those countries. Here it puts on a fair exterior, but there, where it is supreme, the results are terrible to behold. They do not allow their subjects to be educated, lest their influence over them shall wane, and finally be lost. To those who are studying the Spanish language the speaker said, Do not be discouraged. Let others also learn the language and prepare to work in these destitute fields. There are 45,000,000 Spanish-speaking people in the Western Hemisphere, and we have only sent three canvassers to labor among them.

THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE - NO. 8. ELDER A. T. JONES

THE evidences have been given to us showing over and over that we stand in the very presence of the events that bring the end of the world. Over and over evidences have been presented from the Bible and the direct statements of the Lord, in testimony, that now is the time when we must have the power by which alone the message may be given to the world, to save such as will be saved from the ruin that comes from the events that are about us. Brethren, the dangers that threaten us as to the end of the world, persecutions, and those things from without, are, and always are, very little compared with the dangers that hang over each individual in his own individual experience. [Voices in the audience - “That is so.”]

The greatest danger that there is about this congregation and with our people everywhere, is that they will not see the things which concern them individually, but will look more at the things that are without. They will look more at the things that are without, and at the evidences of those things, than they will to see that their own hearts are right with God. They will look more at these things as a sort of theory, than they will to have a living Christ within, in order that all those things may be living realities without, and that we may be prepared to meet them in the fear of God and the salvation of God. That is the greatest danger, as I said, that there is with this congregation who are here, and we may spread the congregation to take in every professed Sabbath-keeper in the world.

And now we have come, in the study of this subject, to the study of that part of it that comes right down to you and me as individuals, - the things that you and I need to do, and the things that we need from God; to look at these things, and act upon them, in view of the salvation of God that is concerned in these things to you and me. To me, from what I know, and what I know that I know - to me this lesson and the next one are the most fearful of all that I have been brought to yet. I have not chosen them, and I dread them; but, brethren, as Brother Prescott brought before us the other night, it is no use to slight anything; it is no use for us to tamper with these things; it is no use for us to view these things lightly; it is no use for us to walk these days with our eyes shut; and not knowing what our situation is. It is no use for us to have our expectations raised by the truth of God, as it does raise men’s expectations, and we be expecting things to come, and yet difficulties in our own hearts and lives prevent those things doing us a particle of good when they do come. It is no use for us to do that, is it?

I say again that the lessons to which I have come, and which will have to be given - that is settled - are to me the most fearful, in the realities of the things which they tell, the situation in which they place us, of any that I have had anything to do with yet in my personal teaching. Then I can say again,

I dread it; I dread it because of some of the consequences that I fear it will have, because of its not being received as it should be, - with the heart and mind subdued before God, asking him alone whether these things are so. Some things may not be pleasant for all to hear, as they are not pleasant for me to relate. They apply so personally to us as individuals. But, brethren, where we stand, and in the situation in which we stand, and in the fear of God, it has to be done.

And as it shall be done, I ask you, now to start with, do not place me up here as one who is separated from you, and above you, and as talking down to you, and excluding myself from the things that may be presented. I am with you in all these things. I, with you, just as certainly, and just as much, need to be prepared to receive what God has to give us, as anybody else on earth. So I beg of you not to separate me from you in this matter. And if you see faults that you have committed, I shall see faults that I have committed, and please do not blame me if things are brought forth that expose faults that you have committed; please do not blame me as though I were judging you, or finding fault with you. I shall simply state facts, and you who have a part in these things will each one know that it is a fact for himself; as when it concerns me and myself in these things, I shall know that it concerns me as a fact. What I want, brethren, is simply to seek God with you, with all the heart, [Congregation - “Amen.”] and to have everything out of the way, that God may give us what he has for us.

I shall not try, and you need not expect me to try, to go very fast, because I shall be willing to go just as slow as it may be, that we may consider all these things carefully. It will take these lessons to present what is in my mind, to be presented. So let us simply study these things together.

I will begin with the thought where we stopped last night. The thought was before us that the time has come when God has promised to give the early and the latter rain. The time has come when we are to ask for it and to expect it. And we may keep in mind the lesson and the testimony that Brother Prescott brought before us the other night, on the same subject.

I read to-night that passage that I referred to last night, but did not have the book here. It is in “The Ministry of Peter and Conversion of Saul,” page 9. After telling about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the day of Pentecost, and the results in the conversion of souls, etc., it says:-

“This testimony in regard to the establishment of the Christian church is given us, not only as an important portion of sacred history, but also as a lesson. All who profess the name of Christ should be waiting, watching, and praying with one heart. All differences should be put away, and unity and tender love one for another pervade the whole. Then our prayers may go up together to our Heavenly Father with strong, earnest faith. Then we may wait with patience and hope for the fulfillment of the promise.”

When does that “then” come in? - When we are waiting, watching, and praying with one heart, and all differences put away, unity and tender love one for another pervading the whole.

Therefore, brethren, if there are any differences at all between you and any of the people on this earth, - whether they are at this institute or not, - it is time for you and me to get them out of the way. If the person is not here, so that you can go to him and talk it over, you write to him and tell him all about it, and tell him your position, and what you are doing. You have no responsibility any further for him, whether he receives it or not. You have acted in the fear of God in what he tells you to do. [Question from some one in the audience - “Do you mean people of the world, everybody?”] Yes, I say everybody, because if there are sins between me and people that are outside, they know it, and those differences will hinder our approach to them when we go with the message, though God should even give to us his Holy Spirit in the outpouring of the latter rain. Any difference, any enmity, anything of that kind that is between me and anybody of the world don’t you see that will hinder me from approaching him with the message?

If we have cheated people, and have not been honest in our deal with the people, and have not been honest in our transactions before the world, why for our soul’s sake, brethren, let us straighten up. And here in Battle Creek, perhaps there are people that have things of that kind to do toward the people of this city, - I mean our own people, toward the people of this city. Our meetings are going on in this city for the people of this city; and it was told us here in the institute that it is expected that when the blessing of God would come upon this meeting, it was to be taken to the people of this city, and they are to share with us in this thing. Then I would say to the Seventh-day Adventists in this city, Straighten up where there are crooked things, for your own souls’ sake; and for the sake of souls whom God wants to save in this city, straighten up. If you have been cheating people, go and confess it to them, and give back what you stole. If in your business transactions you have not been straight, if you have got anything in a grasping way, undo the wickedness. Stand straight in the sight of God.

Here is the word to us:-

“All differences should be put away, and unity and tender love one for another pervade the whole.”

That is what the disciples were doing when they sought the Lord those ten days. They put away all differences. Now don’t you suppose that in those ten days that the other disciples who were so envious of James and John when they went and asked, by their mother, the Saviour to let them sit one on one side and the other on the other side of him in the kingdom of God; and the rest of the disciples did not like it, - don’t you suppose they put away all that thing, and confessed it, and talked it over, with one another, and saw, themselves, how mean it all was?

The Saviour took that little child and said, Whosoever will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven shall become as this little child, and shall become the servant of all. These things they were putting away; those differences, and those envyings for fear that one would be greater in the kingdom of God than some of the other disciples, were all put away. And we have the word here that those things are amongst us; ambition for place, jealousy of position, and envy of situation; those things are amongst us. Now the time has come to put them away; now the time has come for each one to find how low he can get at the feet of Christ, and not how high in the Conference, or in the estimation of men, or how high in the Conference Committee, or General Conference Committee. That is not the question at all.

“All differences should be put away, and unity and tender love one for another pervade the whole.”

As this pertains particularly to us, as brethren and sisters in the church, it becomes us if we know of any difference between us and any body in this world, to get it out of the way. No difference what it costs; that has nothing to do with it. It can not cost our life if we do it: it will cost our life if we do not do it; that is settled. And when that is done, “then our prayers may go up together to our heavenly Father with strong, earnest faith.” Yes, sir; when you know that you are clear in the sight of God, so far as anything is possible for you to get out of the way between you and your brethren, and everything confessed to God that he has shown, and we hold ourselves before him as the erring, helpless, undone sinners that we are, and see our need of what he has to give, THEN there are all his promises, and they are for us, and we know that they are our promises; THEN we can depend upon them, and “THEN our prayers may go up together to our heavenly Father with strong, earnest faith. THEN we may wait with patience and hope the fulfillment of the promise.”

That is what there is now to do. When that thing is done, when all those differences are put away, and unity prevails, and each one is seeking unity of heart and mind, then God has promised, that we shall see eye to eye. The time has come; let us do it.

Again I read on page 9:-

“The answer may come with sudden velocity and overpowering might: or it may be delayed for days and weeks, and our faith receive a trial. But God knows how and when to answer our prayer. It is our part of the work to put ourselves in connection with the divine channel. God is responsible for his part of the work.”

Just as the thought came before us last night; when the channel is open, and our prayers are ascending as they are described, then the channel is open, and when the Spirit of God is poured out, it will reach to the full length of the channel that is open.

“It is our part of the work to put ourselves in connection with the divine channel. God is responsible for his part of the work. He is faithful who hath promised. The great and important matter with us is to be of one heart and mind, putting aside all envy and malice, and, as humble supplicants to watch and wait. Jesus, our Representative and Head, is ready to do for us what he did for the praying, watching ones on the day of Pentecost.”

Here is another thought that is worthy of our deep consideration:-

“Jesus is as willing to impart courage and grace to his followers to-day as he was to the disciples of the early church. None should rashly invite an opportunity to battle with the principalities and powers of darkness.”

We need to go into that thing carefully, with deliberation. We need to be sure, and not go into that contest until we know God is with us, with the power and grace of God to give courage and strength to meet those powers with which we are to deal. This contest that is before us is no light thing.

“When God bids them engage in the conflict it will be time enough; he will then give the weak and hesitating, boldness and utterance beyond their hope or expectation.”

So what the Lord wants us to do is to seek him, and then when he sends us, we go with his power and grace only. On page 11 I read:-

“The disciples and apostles of Christ had a deep sense of their own inefficiency, and with humiliation and prayer they joined their weakness to his strength, their ignorance to his wisdom, their unworthiness to his righteousness, their poverty to his inexhaustible wealth. Thus strengthened and equipped, they hesitated not in the service of their Master.”

What an equipment that is, though! Think of that equipment! Strength, wisdom, righteousness, wealth! Those are the very things that we need in the face of the things that are against us: for we can not make any calculations upon any power of earth, nor reputation that men will give, nor upon any wealth that this world might furnish, or any considerations of it, or of life. So here are almost the very things enumerated that we considered in a previous lesson.

But how was it that they obtained strength? - By acknowledging their weakness, confessing their weakness. How did they get wisdom? - By confessing their ignorance. How did they get righteousness? - By confessing their unworthiness. How did they get wealth, inexhaustible wealth? - By confessing their poverty.

Now then that is the situation in which we are to be: inefficient, ignorant, poor, unworthy, and blind. Is not that just what the Laodicean message tells us - that we are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and do not know it? Some one was reading that the other day, and he touched upon that word “blindness,” and immediately my mind ran to the ninth chapter of John and the last verse. All turn to that, if you will. John 9:41. It is at the end of the account of that man’s healing from the blindness, and restoration of sight to the man that had been born blind. What does that verse say?

“Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

When Jesus tells you and me we are blind, the thing for us to do is to say: “Lord, we are blind.” He told those folks they were blind, and they were blind; but they said it was not so. It was so. If they had confessed their blindness they would have seen God in that man’s healing from his blindness. Well, then, brethren, the thing for us to do is to come square up to that Laodicean message, and say that every word he says is so. When he says you and I are wretched, tell him, “It is so, I am wretched; miserable, it is so, I am miserable; poor, it is so; I am poor, a perfect beggar, I shall never be anything else in the world; blind, I am blind, and shall never be anything else; naked, that is so; and I do not know it; that is so, too. I do not know it at all, as I ought to know it.” And then I will say to him every day and every hour, “Lord, that is all so; but, oh, instead of my wretchedness, give me thine own satisfaction; instead of my misery, give me thine own comfort; instead of my poverty, supply all thine own riches; instead of my blindness, be thou my sight; instead of my nakedness, oh do thou clothe me with thine own righteousness; and what I know not, Lord, teach thou me.” (Congregation: “Amen.”)

Brethren, when we come with one heart and one mind to that place, we shall have no difficulty at all in repenting. It will not be difficult to repent, and there will be no lack of repentance. That next verse will be fulfilled: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

The difficulty about our not being able to repent is that we have not confessed that what the Lord has told us is the truth. When I know that I am wretched then I know that I need something that will satisfy me, and I know that nothing but the Lord can give that, and I depend upon nothing but him to give it; and if I have not him, why it is only wretchedness. Any moment that I have not him it is only wretchedness; and any moment that I have not his comfort it is only misery; any moment that I have not absolute dependence upon his unsearchable riches - the unsearchable riches of Christ - I am utterly poor, a complete beggar; and every moment that I do not see and confess that I am blind, and have him as my sight, I am in sin; he says so.

Now you say you see; therefore your sin remaineth. And every moment that I do not see my nakedness and depend only and absolutely upon him and his righteousness to clothe me, why so certainly I am ruined, utterly ruined, and every moment that I begin to say, “Now I know so much,” no, I do not know that at all. Well, then, the thing that I am to do, is to say, “Lord, I do not know it; I depend upon thee to teach me everything, even to teach me that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and that I need all these things. And when I tell him all that, he will give all I need. He will do it. That is our situation.

Here is a passage in Volume I, of the regular edition of the Testimonies for the Church 1:353, which brings before us a wonderful thing:-

“At the transfiguration Jesus was glorified by his Father. We hear him say, ‘Now is the Son of man glorified and God is glorified in him.’ Thus before his betrayal and crucifixion he was strengthened for his dreadful sufferings. As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ they will grow up into Christ and will partake largely of his spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel.”

What is the loud cry for? To strengthen us for the time of trouble. Where are we? [Congregation - “In the loud cry.”] Has the loud cry begun? [Congregation - “Yes.”] What has it begun for? To do a work for us, to enable us to stand in the time of trouble.

Now a little further in regard to that demand for unity. This that is before us; this call for the loud cry - the latter rain; it is this that strengthens us for the time of trouble. And it has already begun. There is the word. This is the one important thing, - to be of one heart and mind.

Now, from this testimony that has not yet been published, I will read a few passages:-

“It is sin in some form that brings variance and disunion. The affections need transforming a personal experience of the renewing power of Christ must be obtained. ‘In whom we have

redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.’ The apostle, speaking to Christian believers, called by God’s grace, says: ‘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.’ Here are conditions plainly stated. If we walk in the light as he is in the light, the sure result will follow; we shall have fellowship one with another. All jealousies, and envyings, and evil surmisings will be put away. We shall live as in the sight of a holy God.”

That is, we shall live now, to-day, each day, we shall live as in the sight of the holy God, because our prayers are going up to him to bring his presence by the outpouring of his Holy Spirit. And can we go carelessly on in this slip-shod way, knowing that there are envyings and jealousies and evil surmisings?

“It has become altogether too common to indulge our hereditary tendencies and natural inclinations, even in our religious life. These can never bring peace and love into the soul; for they always lead us away from God, away from his light. ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ When differences arise among brethren as to the understanding of any point of truth, there is one Bible rule to follow. In the spirit of meekness and love for God and one another, let brethren come together, and after earnest prayer, with sincere desire to know God’s will, study the Bible with the spirit of a little child, to see how closely they can draw together, and not sacrifice anything but their selfish dignity. They should regard themselves as in the presence of the whole universe of God, who are watching with intense interest as brother tries to see eye to eye with brother, to understand the words of Christ, that they may be doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

What is the universe of God doing, brethren? - They are watching to see you and me be brethren - they want to see us be brethren, - that is what they are doing. They are watching to see you be brethren in the church - be brethren and sisters indeed. They are watching to see us see eye to eye. Now, brethren, let us not let them watch in vain.

“When you recall the prayer of Christ, that his disciples may be one as he was one with the Father, can you not see how intently all heaven is beholding the spirit you manifest toward one another? Are those who claim to be saved by the righteousness of Christ, seeking with all their entrusted capabilities to answer the Saviour’s prayer? Will they grieve the Holy Spirit of God by indulging their own unconsecrated feelings, struggling for supremacy, and standing as far apart as possible? ...The solemn, important hours intervening between us and the judgment are not to be employed in warfare with believers.”

Brethren, what have we to do to backbite and war against one another? The devil is making war against our brethren. Let us leave that for him. Let us love our brethren; let us stand by our brethren. When a Seventh-day Adventist, even, attacks one of our brethren, let us defend him. Let us defend him in the fear of God. My brother’s reputation is important to me, because if one will attack my brother’s reputation to me, he will attack mine to my brother. If I listen to tales and all these things about my brethren, then why should not other people listen to them about me? No, sir, brethren, we have a care for the reputation of our brethren. Let us stand by our brethren one with another. We have a right to rebuke this tale-bearing that comes to you and me and wants to tell this, that, or the other, about the brethren. We have a right to rebuke it as the spirit of Satan, that it is. “The solemn, important hours,” - important what? Days or years? - No sir. “The solemn, important hours.” The days are gone. We are in hours; and it will not be long, if we have not even now reached the time, when the hours will be gone and the minutes will begin to drop.

“The solemn, important hours intervening between us and the judgment are not to be employed in warfare with believers; this is Satan’s work; he began it in heaven, and he has with unabated energy kept it up ever since his fall. ‘But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ Let there not be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. The time has come when the cry of the faithful watchman is to be heard, calling to his fellow-watchman, ‘What of the night?’ to be answered, ‘The morning cometh, and also the night.’”

The answer is not to be, “I do not know what of the night.” The answer is not to be, “Well, I think you are going too far ahead;” “I think you are going too fast;” “I think you are extreme.” That is not to be the answer. When the call is, “Watchman, what of the night?” the only answer that God will accept is, “The morning cometh, and also the night;” then let us get ready for it.

“Would it not be well for us individually to examine closely our own position before God in the light of his holy word, and see our own special peril?”

Not see how good we are, not see how much better we are than our brethren, but “see our own special peril.” What is my peril? That is enough for me to see, to watch for my own deviltry, and not watch for other people’s.

“God does not separate from his people, but his people separate themselves from God by their own course of action. And I know of no sins greater in the sight of God than those of cherishing jealousy and hatred toward brethren, and turning the weapons of warfare against them.”

How could there be any greater sins? Is not that Satan’s own action?

“I point my brethren to Calvary. I ask you, What is the price of man? It is the only begotten Son of the infinite God. It is the price of all the heavenly treasures.”

That is the price of man. Then can you and I set lightly by, one whom God prizes like that? One for whom God has given all the treasures of the universe. Can I set him lightly by, and set him at naught and count him as of little worth? - No, sir; he is worth all that God paid for him. That is what God paid for you. Am I going to count you little, and mean, and cheap? No, sir, I ask grace

from God to enable me to count you worth all he paid for you. And I am not going to have Seventh-day Adventists, even, belittling you in my estimation; I am not going to do it. No, sir, I am not. How can I, if I love Christ who paid the price? Brethren, what is wanted is the love of Christ in our hearts, and then we will love all whom he loves as he loved them at the first.

“Evil is ever warring against good. And since we know that the conflict with the prince of darkness is constant, and must be severe, let us be united in the warfare.”

Yes sir, I need the support of every one whom Christ has bought. I need it in the warfare; I need it to be successful in the warfare. I need it. And, brethren, I pledge myself before God, that by his grace you shall have my support in your warfare. If you are overcome, I will lift you up. If you fail, I will say, “Be of good courage, brother.” If you fall, I will say “There is lifting up.” Brethren, what God wants, is for us to love one another as he has loved us, and we shall love one another as he has loved us; when we have him - his love in our hearts - we cannot do any thing else, and we wouldn’t if we could.

“Cease to war against those of your own faith. Let no one help Satan in his work. We have all that we can do in another direction.”

Brethren, let us stand together to-day, for it is God’s work that he wants to do with us.

“A passive piety will not answer for this time; let the passiveness be manifested where it is needed, in patience, kindness, and forbearance. But we must bear a decided message of warning to the world. The Prince of Peace thus proclaimed his work, ‘I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.’ Evil must be assailed; falsehood and error must be made to appear in their true character; sin must be denounced; and the testimony of every believer in the truth must be as one. All your little differences which arouse the combative spirit among brethren, are devices of Satan to divert minds from the great and fearful issue before us.”

Shall we allow Satan to cheat us? Brethren, you know that in the things of this world it is bad to be cheated; but when a man cheats you in the meanest little infinitesimal way, you feel worse about it than if he had done it in any other way, don’t you? [Audience - “Yes.”] Now Satan stirs up these little differences that have not a particle of merit or principle in them, if they were carried out to their extreme. And yet he will get our eyes on these things, and make a great commotion in the church, and by that turns our minds off from these fearful issues that are hanging over our heads. Now, it is bad enough to be cheated at all, but when we allow ourselves to be cheated in such a mean, little, insignificant way as that, it is worse. Then let us quit.

“The true peace will come among God’s people when through united zeal and earnest prayer the false peace, that exists to a large degree, is disturbed.... Those who are under the influence of the spirit of God will not be fanatical, but calm, steadfast, free from extravagance. But let all who have had the light of truth shining clear and distinct upon their pathway, be careful how they cry, Peace and safety. Be careful how you make the first move to suppress the messages of truth. Be careful what influence you exert at this time. Those who profess to believe the special truths for this time need to be converted and sanctified by the truth. As Christians we are made depositories of sacred truth, and we are not to keep the truth in the outer court, but bring it into the sanctuary of the soul. Then the church will possess divine vitality throughout. The weak shall be as David, and David as the angel of the Lord.”

Then let us confess our weakness and find out as quickly as possible that we are weak. “The weak shall be as David,” and their weakness is united to Christ’s strength.

“One question will be all absorbing, - Who shall approach the nearest to the likeness of Christ?”

That is the one thing, not who shall be greatest in the Conference, or who shall be greatest in the church, or who shall have this or that position in the church, or the Conference Committee. That is not it. But, “Who shall approach the nearest to the likeness of Christ?”

“Who shall do most to win souls to righteousness? When this is the ambition of believers, contention is at an end; the prayer of Christ is answered.”

Brethren, that is where we are.

“When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church, ‘The whole multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.’ The Spirit of Christ made them one. This is the fruit of abiding in Christ. But if dissension, envy, jealousy, and strife are the fruit we bear, it is not possible that we are abiding in Christ.”

Then that passage that I have read a time or two:-

“Jesus longs to bestow the heavenly endowment in large measure upon his people.... How great and widespread must be the power of the prince of evil which can be subdued only by the mighty power of the Spirit. Disloyalty to God, transgression in every form, has spread over our world. Those who would preserve their allegiance to God, who are active in his service, become the mark of every shaft and weapon of hell.”

That brings us right to the lessons we have had the previous evenings, - that we cannot stand at all if we have not Christ.

“If those who have had great light have not corresponding faith and obedience, they soon become leavened with the prevailing apostasy; another spirit controls them. While they have been exalted to heaven in point of opportunities and privileges, they are in a worse condition than the most zealous advocates of error.”

“Those who have had great light,” if they “have not corresponding faith and obedience,” “are in a worse condition than the most zealous advocates of error.” That is you and I. Judgment begins at the house of God. When those messengers went

through the city to smite and slay utterly, he was counseled to begin at the ancient men before the house (Ezekiel 9:5-7); and if we are in a worse position “than the most zealous advocates of error,” then the judgment must begin with us.

“There are many who have thus been preparing themselves for moral inefficiency in the great crisis.”

We will stop right here with this lesson and take it up just there at the next lesson; as the time has expired.

REVIEW AND HERALD EXTRA

DAILY BULLETIN OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE.

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