Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 10, 1902

The Promise of the Spirit

Mrs. E. G. White

Just before leaving the disciples, Christ gave them the promise, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not; neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Had men been consulted in regard to their choice of the blessing to be bestowed, they would have asked for some inferior good. But the Lord took the matter into his own hands, and promised his Spirit,—a blessing which, when received, satisfies every need.

Christ had an infinite variety of subjects from which to choose in his teaching, but the one upon which he dwelt most largely was the endowment of his Holy Spirit. What great things he predicted for the church because of this endowment! Yet what subject is less dwelt upon today? what promise less fulfilled? Prophecies are dwelt upon, doctrines are expounded, but the promise of the Spirit, the fulfillment of which is necessary for the success of God's work, is incidentally touched upon, and that is all. Other blessings and privileges have been set before the church but the thought entertained regarding the promise of the Spirit is that it is not for the church now, that at some time in the future the church will receive this gift. But this promise belongs to us now as surely as it belonged to the disciples.

God's people seem to be incapable of comprehending and appropriating this promise. They seem to think that only the scantiest showers of grace are to fall on the thirsty soul. They act as if they must rely on their own efforts for salvation, and as a result they have little strength for the work of overcoming. They have little light to give to the souls dying in the darkness of error. Church members have long been content with little of the blessing of God. They have not felt the need of reaching for the exalted privileges provided for them at infinite cost. Their spirituality is feeble, their experience dwarfed and crippled; and therefore they are disqualified for the work of the Lord. They are unable to present in the power of the Spirit the great and glorious truths of God's Word.

It is not because of any restriction on God's part that the riches of his grace do not flow to men. His gift is godlike. He gave with a liberality that men do not appreciate because they do not love to receive. If all were willing to receive, all would be filled with the Spirit. By resting content with small blessings, we disqualify ourselves for receiving the Spirit in its unlimited fullness. We are too easily satisfied with a ripple on the surface, when it is our privilege to expect the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Expecting little, we receive little.

How Do You Treat Christ's Representatives?

The necessity of the Holy Spirit's working should be realized by all. Unless this Spirit is accepted and cherished as the representative of Christ, whose work it is to renew and sanctify the entire being, the momentous truths that have been intrusted to human beings will lose their power on the mind. It is not enough for us to have a knowledge of the truth. We are to walk and work in love, conforming our will to the will of God. Of those who do this the Lord declares, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” God is the mighty, all-powerful agency in this work of transformation. By his Holy Spirit he writes his law in the heart.

Thus divine relationship is renewed between God and man. “‘I will be to them a God,’” he says, “‘and they shall be to me a people.’ There is no attribute of my nature that I will not freely give in order that man may reveal my image.” When we allow God to work his will in us, we shall harbor no sin. In the refining furnace all dross will be consumed.

When the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost, it was like a rushing, mighty wind. It was given in no stinted measure; for it filled all the place where the disciples were sitting. So will it be given to us when our hearts are prepared to receive it.

Let every church member kneel before God, and pray earnestly for the impartation of the Spirit. Cry, “Lord, increase my faith. Make me to understand thy word; for the entrance of thy word giveth light. Refresh me by thy presence. Fill my heart with thy Spirit that I may love my brethren as Christ loves me.”

God will bless those who thus prepare themselves for his service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit, because they have received Christ by faith. The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means that sin is taken away, and that the vacuum is filled with the Spirit. It means that the mind is divinely illumined, that the heart is emptied of self, and filled with the presence of Christ. When this work is done for church members, the church will be a living, working church.

We are to seek most earnestly to be of one mind, of one purpose. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, and nothing less can bring us to this place. Let us by self-renunciation prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit that a great work may be done for us, so that we can say, not, “See what I am doing,” but, “Behold the goodness and love of God!”

A Spirit-Filled Church

After Christ's ascension, the disciples were gathered together in one place to make humble supplication to God. And after ten days of heart searching and self-examination, the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit, as though God desired to show his people that it was his prerogative to bless them with the choicest of heaven's blessings. What was the result?—Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit flashed right and left. Newly edged with power, it pierced even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the kingdom of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth his praises. Believers, reconverted, born again, were a living power for God. A new song was put in their mouths, even praise to the Most High. Controlled by the Spirit, they saw Christ in their brethren. One interest prevailed. One subject of emulation swallowed up all others,—to be like Christ, to do the works of Christ. The earnest zeal felt was expressed by loving helpfulness, by kindly words and unselfish deeds. All strove to see who could do the most for the enlargement of Christ's kingdom. “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.”

In the twelve disciples the leaven of truth was hidden by the Great Teacher. These disciples were to be the instruments in God's hands for revealing truth to the world. Divine power was given them; for a risen Saviour breathed on them, saying, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Imbued with this Spirit, they went forth to witness for the truth. And so God desires his servants to go forth today with the message he has given them. But till they receive the Holy Spirit, they cannot bear this message with power. Till they receive the Spirit, they cannot realize what God can do through them.

The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done.

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for his fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us,—the perfection of his character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, “It is finished.”

June 10, 1902

Without Spot or Wrinkle

Mrs. E. G. White

Order is heaven's first law, and the Lord desires his people to give in their homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly courts. Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity. Truth does not make men and women coarse or rough or untidy. It raises all who accept it to a high level. Under Christ's influence, a work of constant refinement goes on.

Special direction was given to the armies of Israel that everything in and around their tents should be clean and orderly, lest the angel of the Lord, passing through the encampment, should see their uncleanness. Would the Lord be particular to notice these things?—He would; for the fact is stated, lest in seeing their uncleanness, he could not go forward with their armies to battle.

He who was so particular that the children of Israel should cherish habits of cleanliness, will not sanction any impurity in the homes of his people today. God looks with disfavor on uncleanness of any kind. How can we invite him into our homes unless all is neat and clean and pure?

Believers should be taught that even though they may be poor, they need not be uncleanly or untidy in their persons or in their homes. Help must be given in this line to those who seem to have no sense of the meaning and importance of cleanliness. They are to be taught that those who are to represent the high and holy God must keep their souls pure and clean, and that this purity must extend to their dress, and to everything in the home, so that the ministering angels will have evidence that the truth has wrought a change in the life, purifying the soul and refining the tastes. Those who, after receiving the truth, make no change in word or deportment, in dress or surroundings, are living to themselves, not to Christ. They have not been created anew in Christ Jesus, unto purification and holiness.

Some are very untidy in person. They need to be guided by the Holy Spirit to prepare for a pure and holy heaven. God declared that when the children of Israel came to the mount, to hear the proclamation of the law, they were to come with clean bodies and clean clothes. Today his people are to honor him by habits of scrupulous neatness and purity.

Christians will be judged by the fruit they bear. The true child of God will be neat and clean. While we are to guard against needless adornment and display, we are in no case to be careless and indifferent in regard to outward appearance. All about our persons and our homes is to be neat and attractive. The youth are to be taught the importance of presenting an appearance above criticism, an appearance that honors God and the truth.

The mother's dress should be simple, but neat and tasty. The mother who wears torn, untidy clothes, who thinks any dress good enough for home wear, no matter how soiled or dilapidated it may be, gives her children an example that encourages them in untidiness. And more than this, she loses her influence over them. They cannot help seeing the difference between her appearance and the appearance of those who dress neatly; and their respect for her is weakened. Mothers, make yourselves attractive, not by wearing elaborately trimmed garments, but by wearing those that are neat and well fitting. Let your appearance teach a lesson of neatness. You cannot afford to lose the respect of your children.

From their infancy, children should be taught lessons of purity. Mothers cannot too early begin to fill the minds of their children with pure, holy thoughts. And one way of doing this is to keep everything about them clean and pure. Mothers, if you desire your children's thoughts to be pure, let their surroundings be pure. Let their sleeping rooms be scrupulously neat and clean. Teach them to care for their clothing. Each child should have a place of his own for his clothes. Few parents are so poor that they cannot afford to provide for this purpose a large box, which may be fitted with shelves and tastefully covered.

To teach children habits of order will take some time each day; but this time is not lost. In the future, the mother will be more than repaid for her efforts in this direction.

See that the children have a daily bath, followed by friction till their bodies are aglow. Tell them that God does not like to see his children with unclean bodies and ragged garments. Then go further, and speak of inward purity. Let it be your constant effort to uplift and ennoble your children.

We are living in the last days. Soon Christ is coming for his people, to take them to the mansions he is preparing for them. But nothing that defiles can enter those mansions. Heaven is pure and holy, and those who pass through the gates of the city of God must here be clothed with inward and outward purity. They must be without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” The charge to us is, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, ... and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

June 10, 1902

Help the Relief Fund

The work being done with “Christ's Object Lessons” is a good beginning to the work the Lord desires to see carried forward by his people, because it calls for sacrifices and gifts, and old and young can engage. The Lord's plan has opened the way for all to do something. This is a work that is to be a blessing to all who engage in it. The more you do of this work, the less weary and the less perplexed you will be. As you go forth to sell the book the Lord has declared should be sold, you will realize that to you is spoken the benediction, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you.”

E. G. White.

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