Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

February 7, 1900

“That They All May Be One”

Strength in Christian Unity—Each a Part of the Whole—Life and Love the Tie that Binds—The Sure Guide—The Need of the Spirit

Christian unity is a mighty agency. It tells in a powerful manner that those who possess it are children of God. It has an irresistible influence upon the world, showing that man in his humanity may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to be one with our fellow-men and with Christ, and in Christ one with God. Then of us can be spoken the words, “Ye are complete in Him.”

In the plan of redemption a place is allotted to every soul. To each man is given his work. No one can be a member of Christ's body and yet be inactive. Different lines of work are committed to different men, according to their several ability. The work of God's people may and will be varied, but one Spirit is the mover in it all. All the work done for the Master is to be connected with the great whole. The workers are to labor together in concert, each one controlled by divine power, putting forth undivided effort to draw those around them to Christ. All must move like parts of well-adjusted machinery, each part dependent on the other part, yet standing distinct in action. And each one is to take the place assigned him and do the work appointed him. God calls upon the members of His church to receive the Holy Spirit, to come together in unity and brotherly sympathy, to bind their interests together in love.

A False Union Versus the True

Strange, eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven. Everything in our world is in agitation. Events are changing to bring about the day of God, which hasteth greatly. The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Under one head, the papal power, it has united to oppose God in the person of His faithful witnesses. This union is cemented by the great apostate. All jealousy, evil surmising, and evil speaking are of him, and tend to produce discord and disunion. Then shall God's people be at variance with one another? Shall they not be cemented together by the Holy Spirit, each worker filled with love and sympathy for his fellow-worker, each filling his appointment with faithful effort, seeking earnestly to prepare the way of the Lord? In the general discord there should be one place where harmony and unity should exist because the Bible is the guide. When the principles of God's Word are followed, it becomes a bright light shining in a dark place. All who build on this Rock can be sure that their house will stand amid the tempest.

The sword of the Spirit, which cuts both ways, is to be in the hands of God's servants. His inspiration is to be upon them, leading them All to Speak as the Voice of One.

The Holy Spirit will work with the consecrated human instrument; for this is God's purpose. God has opened a door between heaven and earth, which no power can close. He calls upon every human being to be pure, holy, sanctified, in order that the work for this time may be accomplished. When God's people place themselves in proper relation to Him and to one another, there will be a full impartation of the Holy Spirit for the harmonious combination of the whole body.

Weakness of Disunion

Nothing so manifestly weakens a church as disunion and strife. Nothing so wars against Christ and the truth as this spirit. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

As long as we are in this world we must be linked with one another. Humanity is interlaced and interwoven with humanity. As Christians we are members of one another. The Lord has made us thus, and when disappointments come, we are not to think the worse of one another. We are individual members of the general body. In helplessness and disappointment we are fighting the battles of life, and the Lord designs us, as His sons and daughters, whom He calls His friends, to help one another. This is to be a part of our practical Christian work. Who is my neighbor? Read and understand. It is

The Very One Who Needs Help the Most

Thy brother, sick in spirit, needs thee as thou once needed him. He needs the experience of one who has been as weak as himself, one who can sympathize with him and help him. The very knowledge of our own weakness helps us to help another in his weakness. Let it not be that the sympathetic chords, which should be quick to vibrate at the least touch, shall be as cold as steel, frozen as it were, and unable to help where help is needed. There is a work to be done in human hearts to make them keen and true and sensitive to another's needs.

We can be united with one another only as we are united with Christ. He declared, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” Christ must be uplifted. His name is all-powerful. Many who have dwelt much upon doctrinal subjects, but who have not learned of Christ, have been found unable to control themselves. They need the Holy Spirit's power. We should seek to understand what it means to be in complete union with Christ, who is the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. Our life should be bound up with His life. We should draw constantly from Him, partaking of the living bread which came down from heaven, drinking from a fountain ever fresh, ever giving forth its abundant treasure. When this is in truth the experience of the Christian, there is seen in his life a freshness, a simplicity, a humility, a meekness and lowliness of heart, that show all with whom he associates that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him.

Christ Is the Only True Center

When He draws us to Himself, we are hidden with Him in God, and we show to the world that God loves us as He loves His Son. God imparts His Spirit to us. Truth, with its divine power and influence, takes possession of us, making of believers one harmonious whole, of which Christ is seen to be the soul. Every element is working in right lines. Every worker who fills his appointed place is helping to uplift the cross of Calvary.

This is the unity God requires in His service. When God's chosen people are of one mind, barriers of selfishness will disappear as by magic, and many, many more souls will be converted because of the unity which exists among believers. There is one body and one spirit. Those who have been building territorial lines of distinction, barriers of color and caste, might better take these down much faster than they put them up.

He in whose heart Christ abides recognizes Christ abiding in the heart of his brother. Christ never wars against Christ. Christ never exerts an influence against Christ. Christians are to do their work, whatever it may be, in the unity of the Spirit, for the perfecting of the whole body. The church is to be purified, refined, ennobled. The members are to cast from their hearts the idols which have hindered their advancement in spirituality. By the influence of the Spirit, the most discordant may be brought into harmony. Unselfishness is to bind God's people together with firm, tender bonds. There is a vast power in the church when the energies of the members are under the control of the Spirit, gathering good from every source, educating, training, and disciplining self. Thus is presented to God a powerful organization, through which He can work for the conversion of sinners. Thus heaven and earth are connected, and all the divine agencies co-operate with human instrumentalities.

Mrs. E. G. White

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