Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 12, 1894

Profession Without Practice Valueless

By Mrs. E. G. White

“Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they swear falsely. O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.... Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? ... Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”

“And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them.... Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.... Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.... Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.” but “ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.”

Man is not to presume to put aside God's great moral standard and erect a standard according to his own finite judgment. It is because men are measuring themselves among themselves and living according to their own standard that iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. Contempt is shown to the law of God, and because of this many presume to transgress, and even those who have had the light of truth are wavering in their allegiance to the law of God. Will the current of evil that is setting so strongly toward perdition sweep them away? or will they, with courage and fidelity, stem the tide and maintain loyalty to God amid the prevailing evil? Will they not with zeal and pure-hearted devotion say, “I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity”? The Lord has plainly stated what kind of devotion is acceptable unto him. He says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Those who profess to serve God are to do the work of relieving the oppressed. They are to bear the fruit of the good tree. Those who are truly Christ's will not bring oppression in the home or in the church. Parents who are following the Lord will diligently teach their children the statutes and commandments of God; but they will not do it in such a way that the service of God will become repulsive to their children. Where parents love God with all their hearts, the truth as it is in Jesus will be practiced and taught in the home. Fretfulness and impatience will be avoided, because they shut away the light of the Sun of righteousness from the soul. Those who manifest impatience, who are faultfinders, exacters, and accusers will have to be converted and become as little children, or they will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Many evils exist in the church, and they blind the eye and benumb the spiritual senses. The conscience becomes deadened, and does not discern the abhorrent character of sin. We are closely to examine ourselves. Paul says: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” We should plead with God for spiritual eyesight, that we may discern our mistakes and understand our defection of character. If we have been critical and condemnatory, full of faultfinding, talking doubt and darkness, we have a work of repentance and reformation to do. We are to walk in the light, speaking words that will bring peace and happiness. Jesus is to abide in the soul. And where he is, instead of gloom, murmuring, and repining, there will be fragrance of character.

Every word that reflects darkness upon others is recorded as cruel in the books of heaven. It depresses souls and aids Satan in his work. When you feel that you must utter words of darkness and discontent, remember that silence is golden, and put a guard at the door of your lips. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

It is time for us to practice the truth we claim to believe. It is time for us to lie as clay in the hands of the potter, that we may be made vessels unto honor. Our former habits, which are termed “lusts in our ignorance,” must pass away, and grace and truth must make us peaceable, kind, and courteous, in thought, word, and action. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Hereditary and cultivated tendencies are no longer to control us, but we are to be under the control of Christ. “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

The grace of God is to work a transformation in our life, and all our professions of faith, all our forms of devotion, are valueless unless this work of transformation of character is wrought. We are to become like Him who is meek and lowly in heart. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

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