Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

March 11, 1890

Christ Prayed for Unity Among His Disciples

By Mrs. E. G. White RH March 11, 1890

There are precious words in the prayer of Christ for his disciples. He said, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” RH March 11, 1890, par. 1

The unity, the harmony, that should exist among the disciples of Christ, is described in these words: “That they may be one, as we are.” But how many there are who draw off, and seem to think that they have learned all they need to learn. Brethren, where is your burden for these? Have you been to them to invite them to come and seek God, and hear the word that has been precious to you? Are you enjoying light, and still willing to let others remain in darkness? We want all our brethren to have the same blessing that we have. Those who choose to stand on the outskirts of the camp, cannot know what is going on in the inner circle. They must come right into the inner courts, for as a people we must be united in faith and purpose. Jesus has prayed that his disciples all might be one—“As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” It is through this unity that we are to convince the world of the mission of Christ, and bear our divine credentials to the world. “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” This is what we want. This is what we are waiting for,—more of the glory of Christ to lighten our pathway, that we may go forth with that glory shining in our countenances, that we may make an impression upon those with whom we shall come in contact. RH March 11, 1890, par. 2

“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Can we comprehend the meaning of these words? can we take it in? Can we measure this love? The thought that God loves us as he loves his Son should bring us in gratitude and praise to him. Provision has been made whereby God can love us as he loves his Son, and it is through our oneness with Christ and with each other. We must each come to the fountain and drink for ourselves. A thousand around us may take of the stream of salvation, but we shall not be refreshed unless we drink of the healing stream ourselves. We must see the beauty, the light of God's word for ourselves, and kindle our taper at the divine altar, that we may go to the world, holding forth the word of life as a bright, shining lamp. Those who do not come to God's word for light for themselves, will have no light to diffuse to others. RH March 11, 1890, par. 3

How precious are these words! “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Christ wills that we should behold his glory. Where?—In the kingdom of heaven. He wills that we should be one with him. What a thought! How willing it makes me to make any and every sacrifice for his sake! He is my love, my righteousness, my comfort, my crown of rejoicing, and he wills that we should behold his glory. If we follow him in his humiliation, in his self-sacrifice, in trial and test, we shall behold him as he is, we shall see his glory; and if we see his glory, we shall be made partakers of it. RH March 11, 1890, par. 4

He says: “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.” O how little we know of him! He says the world has not known the Father. God forbid that any of those who carry the truth should be destitute of a knowledge of God! O may Christ be able to say of us, “But these have known thee!” RH March 11, 1890, par. 5

“And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” This is also our work—to reveal the Father, to declare his name. We have been hearing his voice more distinctly in the message that has been going for the last two years, declaring unto us the Father's name—“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” RH March 11, 1890, par. 6

O that we might gather up our forces of faith, and plant our feet on the rock Christ Jesus! You should believe that he will keep you from falling. The reason why you do not have more faith in the promises of God, is that your minds are separated from God, and the enemy meant it should be so. He has cast his shadow between us and our Saviour, that we may not discern what Christ is to us, or what he may be. The enemy does not desire us to understand what a comfort we shall find in Christ. We have only just begun to get a little glimmering of what faith is; for it is hard for those who have been absorbed in looking at dark pictures of unbelief, to see anything else save darkness. May God help us to gather up the jewels of his promises, and deck memory's hall with the gems of his word. We should be armed with the promises of God. Our souls should be barricaded with them. When Satan comes in with his darkness, and seeks to fill my soul with gloom, I repeat some precious promise of God. When our work grows hard because of the unbelief we have to meet in the hearts of the people, where faith should flourish, I repeat over and over, “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” As I do this, the light of the glory of God fills my soul. I will not look at the darkness. RH March 11, 1890, par. 7

We must lift up the Man of Calvary; and may every one of you learn to exalt Christ before you leave this meeting,—before you go out to labor for others. May new chapters of experience open before you in regard to the confidence you may have in God. The Saviour asks, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Satan has cast his dark shadow between you and your God; he has enshrouded the people in gross darkness. But you must have light from the throne of God; you must be rooted and grounded in the truth, so that when you come into the presence of those who cherish error, you may not be darkened by their influence, and be shaken away from the precious light. RH March 11, 1890, par. 8

Paul admonished Timothy, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” This is what we are to do. We are on missionary soil, and we should pray that God may stir up the minds of those who do not seem to feel their need of anything more than they now possess, that they may seek for light from the throne of God. We should not be found quibbling, and putting up hooks on which to hang our doubts in regard to the light which God sends us. When a point of doctrine that you do not understand comes to your attention, go to God on your knees, that you may understand what is truth, and not be found, as were the Jews, fighting against God. Light came to them, but they loved darkness rather than light. When warning men to beware, to accept nothing unless it is truth, we should also warn them not to imperil their souls by rejecting messages of light, but to press out the darkness by earnest study of the word of God. Greater caution should be exercised by all, lest we reject that which is truth. We need a living experience. In faith we are only like little children learning to walk. As a child takes its first steps, it often totters and falls; but it gets up again, and finally learns that it can walk alone. We must learn how to believe in God. We are not to look at our feelings, but to know God by living faith. Look at the centurion who came to Christ for an example of genuine faith. He came to Christ beseeching him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. RH March 11, 1890, par. 9

What kind of power did this centurion think was vested in Jesus? He knew it was the power of God. He said, “I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth.” The centurion saw with the eye of faith that the angels of God were all around Jesus, and that his word would commission an angel to go to the sufferer. He knew that his word would enter the chamber, and that his servant would be healed. And how Christ commended this man's faith! He exclaimed, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” RH March 11, 1890, par. 10

There are many outside our people who are in the favor of God, because they have lived up to all the light that God has given them. For nearly two years we have been urging the people to come up and accept the light and the truth concerning the righteousness of Christ, and they do not know whether to come and take hold of this precious truth or not. They are bound about with their own ideas. They do not let the Saviour in. I have done what I could to present the matter. I can speak to the ear, but I cannot speak to the heart. Shall we not arise, and get out of this position of unbelief? Shall we not bruise Satan under our feet? I beseech of you, Come up where the living waters flow. RH March 11, 1890, par. 11

Yesterday morning I arose with an agony upon my soul, and I could only say, “Lord, thou knowest all about it. My heart is burdened, and thou knowest that I cannot bear this load. I must have more help than I yet have had. Thou knowest that when I see men taking positions contrary to thy word, I am crushed under the load, and I can do nothing without thy help.” It seemed that as I prayed a wave of light fell about me, and a voice said, “I will be with thee to strengthen thee.” Since then I have been resting in Jesus. I can hide in him. I am not going to carry this load any longer. I shall lay it down at the feet of my Redeemer. RH March 11, 1890, par. 12

Brethren, shall we not all of us leave our loads there? and when we leave this meeting, may it be with the truth burning in our souls like fire shut up in our bones. You will meet with those who will say, “You are too much excited over this matter. You are too much in earnest. You should not be reaching for the righteousness of Christ, and making so much of that. You should preach the law.” As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. Our eyes must be anointed with eye-salve. We must draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to us, if we come in his own appointed way. O that you may go forth as the disciples did after the day of Pentecost, and then your testimony will have a living ring, and souls will be converted to God. RH March 11, 1890, par. 13

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