Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

November 23, 1891

The Comforter

By Mrs. E. G. White

“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” The divine Spirit that the world's Redeemer promised to send, is the presence and power of God. He will not leave his people in the world destitute of his grace, to be buffeted by the enemy of God, and harassed by the oppression of the world; but he will come to them. The world cannot see the truth; they know not the Father or the Son, but it is only because they do not desire to know God, they do not wish to look upon Jesus, to see his goodness, his love, his heavenly attractions. Jesus is inviting all men to accept him; and wherever the heart is open to receive him, he will come in, gladdening the soul with the light and joy of his presence.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own [the Jewish nation], and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by [or through] Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.” The world will be pleased that they are no more to have their feelings disturbed by the solemn warnings and forcible truths that he set before them in symbols and parables; for whenever they looked at the things of nature, the objects with which he illustrated his instructions, the lessons he had taught them, were brought to mind. Christ held the key to all the treasures of wisdom, and he could diffuse knowledge as no other one could. He was indeed more than a teacher come from God; he was the only-begotten Son of the Father, the one sent into the world to save those who should believe on him.

How terrible a thing it is to reject the Saviour! how perilous to neglect the great salvation! Christ would fill the world with his redeeming power, he would scatter abundantly the imperishable seeds of truth in all hearts, if the world was only prepared to receive them. Kings and nobles marveled at the gracious words that proceeded from his lips. Many of the priests and rulers were convinced that he was the promised Messiah, but they dared not acknowledge him for fear of being thrust out of the synagogue. They could not consent to join themselves to Jesus and his disciples, and be in the minority.

Christ saw that that which prevented the truth from reaching many hearts was their misconception of the nature and claims of the law. They neglected to cultivate spirituality. They did not know the Lord whom they professed to serve and obey. They did not discern the relation of Jesus to the Father, neither did they know by experience the paternal character of God, or understand that his law requires us to love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. If they would have emptied the soul of selfishness, pride, and self-love, and humbled their hearts to be instructed by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, they would have recognized the grace of God in the gift of Jesus to our world to save those who were ready to perish.

It was difficult to make any permanent impression upon the minds of even the disciples in regard to the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom. If they had only comprehended this, they would have received his teachings as a precious treasure. The necessity of prayer, of repentance, and of having a forgiving spirit toward one another, was often urged. The necessity of confessing faults, of walking in humility, was faithfully presented to the disciples of Christ. But because of the blindness of their minds and the hardness of their hearts, many of his lessons seemed almost lost upon them. But now, as he is about to leave them, he promises to send the Holy Spirit to bring to their remembrance all things that he had said unto them. And lest they should sink down in discouragement, as they look at the warfare in which they are to engage, he promises the Holy Spirit to enlighten and renew them, and purify the soul from all defilement.

After declaring that the world should see him no more, Jesus added, “But ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.” He referred to his living after his resurrection. He would not leave them comfortless; he revealed himself to them after his resurrection, that they might not look upon him as dead, lying in Joseph's new tomb, but as a living Saviour, one who could lay down his life and take it again. “Because I live, ye shall live also.” “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.... Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” He died, that whosoever would believe on him might have life eternal; for “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” “Because I live, ye shall live also;” for I will bring you from your graves; for this power is given unto me.

“At that day ye shall know,” without a dimming veil to obstruct your view, “that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” How many read this promise, so rich, so glorious, and yet do not grasp its preciousness! Jesus virtually says to all such, “Your faith is feeble; you do not discern my oneness with the Father; neither do you comprehend the fact that I am identified with all who believe in me, that they are one with me, their interest is my interest, my interest and work is theirs.” The perfect oneness of Christ with his obedient believing children is the same as that which exists between the Father and the Son.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Here is the word plain and decided: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” For every sacrifice we make in Christ's service, he has given us his word as a guarantee that he will reward us, but not as though he was in any way indebted to us; for the most solemn obligations rest upon us to devote to God all our powers, they belong to him as our Maker, yet the returns made to man for obedience are a hundred-fold in this life, and in the world to come, life everlasting.

The Lord knows our weakness. He valued man, even though finite, and incapable of any good in and of himself; and for this reason he sent Jesus. Every struggle of the human mind against sin, every effort to conform to the law of God, is Christ working through his appointed agencies upon the human will; and if the will is submitted to God, we shall not transgress the holy principles of his law. Every power we have is the Lord's, and men are laid under tribute to him, whether they obey or disobey his requirements. God will surely require the past. “For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Those who work the works of God, which can be done only by accepting Christ as our only hope, will, through the rich promises made, be sharers in the recompense awarded to the just.

Oh, if we only knew and could comprehend what Jesus is to us, what an amount of needless worry would be forever laid aside! Unbelief would be swept away. Then the Lord Jesus could unfold to us the value of the human soul. Then would every voice be heard, as was the voice of John, “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” Wonderful statement! Let the souls who have been undecided and hesitating, trust in God, and no longer cherish doubt and unbelief; for they have the assurance that Christ identifies his interest with ours. Take courage, only believe, and do not give up the struggle.

True as the love of a mother to her child, is the love of Jesus to us. It abides unchangeable as himself. The dear Saviour does not fail, neither is he discouraged; and if we are one with him, our faith will be of the same enduring nature. We shall cling to Jesus with unyielding faith, surrendering our will and way to his, binding up our hearts with his great heart of love. We shall live as he lives, work as he works, and because we depend on him as our helper, we shall not fail or be discouraged in the great work of saving our own souls or the souls of others. Oh, what love, what matchless love! He will not fail or be discouraged in watching over our interests, in summoning us to arise to a nobler, purer life. We must draw nearer to the throne of God, where we may breathe the atmosphere of heaven, and through the mercy of God be permitted to glorify Him who is the One “altogether lovely,” the “Chiefest among ten thousand.”

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