Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

November 12, 1889

The Disciples of Christ Are One in Him

[Sermon at Basel, Switzerland, February 22, 1887.]

By Mrs. E. G. White

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi 3:16, 17.

God has given this precious promise to those who speak often one to another, to those that fear the Lord and that think upon his name. The Lord has a book open before him, and as his children gather together to worship him, as they speak one to another to magnify his name, their testimonies are recorded in the imperishable records.

We are not to bring complaints and murmuring into our testimony in the social meeting, but we are to talk of the blessed hope, to reflect as much light as possible upon the meeting. The Lord of heaven has represented himself as looking on with interest as the names and testimonies of those who fear and love him are written in his book of remembrance. Those who engage in this order of service, who speak often one to another, are to be gathered in the day when the Lord shall make up his jewels; are to be spared as a man spareth his son that serveth him.

Some of the choicest of Heaven's blessings are poured out upon his people when they are assembled together. It was on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were gathered together, and were confessing their sins and offering up petitions to God, that the blessing of God fell upon them in a most wonderful manner. Says the apostle, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.... And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” An immense multitude assembled together on the day of Pentecost, and the blessing of God rested upon them all; for they were to carry the light which God had let shine upon them from heaven, to all parts of the earth. The very same Spirit, the very same God that flashed that light upon the people in the early days of Christianity, will pour out his light and truth upon our assemblies when we seek God as earnestly and perseveringly.

The light that God has given me I have tried to impart to you through an interpreter, and I have evidence that your hearts have been open to receive the truth that God has sent to you. Before I came to Europe, the situation and condition of different nationalities were presented before me. I was shown that of necessity there must be a different mold given to the spirit and the workings of these different peoples, or there would be developed in each nationality a selfish disposition to build up a separate interest. The very first work that God would have us do is to seek to unite the interests of the brethren of different nationalities, that there may be a blending together of sympathies and forces in the work. Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and prayed to the Father in behalf of his church. He said, “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 know that thou hast sent me.”

In speaking of plans proposed for the progress of the work in these foreign countries, many have said, “You cannot labor here as you do in America. You must approach the people of different nationalities in a way to meet their peculiar prejudices and opinions.” Are these peculiarities fine gold, or are they dross that God would have consumed? The word of God reveals the fact to us that there must be a united phalanx against the enemy. The French have their peculiarities, and the English have theirs, and the Germans theirs; but God has made it manifest that all nations must have the mold of Christ if they would enter the kingdom of heaven.

Says the apostle James, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” And Paul says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

There is one God, one faith, one baptism. There is one Lord Jesus, who must abide in the soul of every one of these brethren. When the brethren of one nationality separate themselves from the brethren of another nationality, to build up a separate interest, they are doing that which God never designed should be done. The very same truth which sanctifies my heart will sanctify the hearts of brethren of other nations. The fact that my brethren and sisters are obliged to talk another language is no reason that their characters should not be fashioned according to the one true Pattern, Christ Jesus. In order to be fitted for heaven they need the same discipline that I need. It is because our foreign brethren have thought the work must be carried on to suit the peculiarities and prejudices of the people that the cause of present truth has not advanced as it should have advanced during these years.

Some have thought that you must labor for the Germans in a different way from the way in which you work for the French or English; but the Germans need to learn at the foot of the cross the same lessons that the French must learn there. We have but one Saviour, and but one cross of Calvary. We have but one school in which to learn the lesson of humility. Christ has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It is at the cross of Calvary that we all must meet, and learn meekness and lowliness of heart.

My French brethren have many lessons to learn from the great Teacher. Christ says to them, “Take my yoke upon you, lift my burdens.” Christ says to the Germans, “Come unto me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” He says to the English, “Take my yoke, bear my burden, learn of me, and ye shall find rest.” The yoke of Christ never galls the neck of the wearer. It is the yoke of our own manufacture that is heavy and unendurable. It is when you are not willing to bear the yoke with Christ that you find the burden grievous.

As you learn the lesson of meekness, as you become one with Christ as he is one with the Father, you will draw together. The brethren of different nationalities will have but one interest and hope and work. You will not feel that because the French have habits of thought and action to which you are not accustomed, you must divorce your interests from theirs. The Germans will not feel that because they have some good ideas and customs, they can never learn of others. Every follower of Christ must come to the foot of the cross. I must not say to my French brother, “You stand on that side of the cross, because that is your place,” and to my German brother, “You stand on that side, and I will stand on this side because I am English.” We must seek for unity and harmony. We should seek for the deep movings of the Spirit of God, that the sweet spirit of Christ may blend heart with heart. When we reach this union, God will let his rich blessing rest upon us as he let it rest upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, and then we shall be able to go forth to proclaim the message of love and mercy to all nations. We must all drink at the same fountain; for Christ has said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” If we all partake of the same nourishment, we shall all have the same testimony to bear. I cannot see that the experience of our German brethren differs from the experience of our French or English brethren. And why should there be a difference in the experience of the children of God?

The idea that there must be a difference in the manner of presenting and carrying forward the work in different nations, must be dispelled from our minds. There must be no separate interest. Distinctions must be broken down, that we may all meet together as brethren of the same household. And this unity must exist before the foreign work will have the strength that it is possible for it to have.

Our work is to elevate one another as brethren. We are to feel a Christian interest for one another and for every one,—for Germans, French, Italians, English, Scandinavians,—for souls of all nationalities. All who name the name of Christ are to be one in him. Then do not divide the body, but seek to worship God together as brethren. If there is a brother of another nationality in your meeting, take especial interest in him, and invite him to take part in the service. If there is no one who can interpret the stranger's words, this need not deter him from taking part, for God understands all languages, and he will write his testimony and his name in the book of his remembrance. The spirit he manifests will make its impression upon hearts, although the words he utters cannot be comprehended.

Brethren and sisters, we must have less of self and more of Jesus. We must lie lower at the foot of the cross, and the more humble our views of self, the more exalted will be our views of Jesus and heaven. We need the power of the living God. We need to become living channels of light. It is not education or intellectual ability that will bring souls into the light of truth. The power to move souls will be found when you practice the lessons that you have learned in the school of Christ. Self must be hid in Jesus. God has rich blessings to bestow upon our German brethren, for the truth is to be opened more fully before them. He has rich blessings for the French brethren, and for all who are seeking to follow in the steps of the Master. And the lessons we learn of Christ must be repeated to others. There will be power in the testimony that is given in simplicity, and Christ has said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

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