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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 5, 1901

    A Very Present Help


    January 15, 1901 [date typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 524; TDG 23. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    God desires His people to remember the message given to the church at Ephesus: “These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” [Revelation 2:1-7.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 1

    “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:12-14.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 2

    John was commanded to write this wonderful message for us. Why has it not more influence in our lives? Why are we satisfied with a low standard, when such wonderful incentives are presented to lead us to reach the standard of perfection? Is not the reward held out sufficiently attractive to lead us to heed every word of God?16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 3

    If those who enter the service of God would strive earnestly to increase in fervency and genuine love, what a powerful and convincing evidence in favor of the truth would be given to the world. Hearts would be knit together. The believers would search the Scriptures daily, as did the noble Bereans. Their faith would rest upon a sure foundation, even the tried stone, which sustains the whole structure of Christianity. Founded upon truth, their convictions would not be shaken by storm or tempest. They would not depend on feeling, knowing that feelings are changeable. Their faith would lay hold of eternal unchangeable truth.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 4

    When God gave Christ to our world, He endowed human beings with imperishable riches. John writes of Christ, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks. And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to his feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp, twoedged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” [Revelation 1:12-20.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 5

    This is the One who says to us today, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37.] Then cling to the mighty One. Do not, I beseech you, dishonor your Redeemer by turning from Him to seek help from human beings. Help those who are weak in faith by showing firm confidence in God. Do not encourage these souls to lean on any human prop. Do not insult the Saviour by turning from His promises, from the fullness of His love and assurance, to human resources. Trace not a word of doubt in the One who loves you, whose you are by creation and by redemption. Go not for help to those who are just as dependent as you. Christ has declared, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] Christians, is not this promise of value? Had there been a surer way of finding rest, would not the Lord have pointed it out to His weary, fainting children? But He has told us of no way in which to find rest except by wearing His yoke. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, “and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” And the dear Saviour adds, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Verses 29, 30.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 6

    I wish to say to my friends here and in foreign countries, Do not waste time and money by writing to your friends for something with which to satisfy your soul-hunger. Christ says, “I am the bread of life.” [John 6:35.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 7

    Read the record of how the Saviour fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes. He took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to His disciples, bidding them distribute it among the people. The food taken from the hands of the Saviour was given to the people till all were satisfied. Then the command was given, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” [Verse 12.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 8

    Jesus placed the provision in the hands of His disciples to give to those who had become faint with hunger. This merciful provision for temporal need helped to fasten in the minds of the people the gracious words of truth which He had spoken.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 9

    This miracle contains lessons of deep import, which, though they lie beneath the surface, will be discerned and appreciated by those who have cultivated their perceptive faculties. This miracle is an object lesson for us. Thus God would teach us how to work. We are to receive from Him, not to hoard up for self-glorification, but to impart to others. And as we give to others, let us not suppose that we are to receive the glory. All the glory is to be given to the great Master worker. The disciples were not to receive glory for the miracle. They were only instruments used by the Lord to feed the people.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 10

    By this miracle Christ would teach us the truth of the words, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] He is the source of all power, the Giver of all temporal and spiritual blessings. He employs human beings as co-workers, giving them a part to act with Him as His helping hand. By the work of the disciples He illustrated the work His disciples are to do in all ages. They are to receive from Him the precious truth that they may give it to those who are fainting by the wayside. And as they empty their hands in giving to the hungry, Christ gives them more to impart.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 11

    In this miracle Christ has shown how medical missionary work is to be bound up with the ministry of the Word. His disciples are to take the bread of life and the water of salvation, and give it to those who are longing for spiritual help. And as there is need, they are to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Thus they do double service for the Master. The beauty and utility of the work we do for God consists in its symmetry and harmony and in its all-round adaptability and efficiency.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 12

    After this miracle the people who had been fed desired to make Jesus king, but sending the multitude away, and bidding His disciples take the boat and go across the lake, He went up into the mountain to pray. During the night a storm arose, and while the disciples were trying in vain to manage the tempest-tossed boat, Jesus appeared, walking through the darkness upon the white-capped billows.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 13

    “The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto the disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone, ... they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [John 6:22, 24-29.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 14

    “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” [Verses 30, 31.] Christ understood that the people sought Him because they wished Him to provide for them that which would sustain physical life, and He said to them, “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” [Verses 32-35.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 15

    Some of those who had been fed by the miraculous power of God failed entirely to learn the lesson He desired to teach. Let us not fall into this error. Christ desires us to realize that the meat which perishes is of very little value when compared with that which endures to everlasting life.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 16

    All are invited to partake of the bread of life. It is for our present and eternal happiness to accept this invitation. When we are in need of help, let us go directly to the One who says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 2:2.] He knows just how to assist poor, trembling souls. Do not turn from the loving, compassionate Redeemer to human friends, who though they give you the best they have, may lead you into harm. Take all your troubles to Jesus. Cast your helpless soul upon Him who will not only take your burdens, but will receive you and strengthen and comfort you. He is the great Healer of all maladies. Then why do you not trust Him?16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 17

    The Lord desires His children to act well their part, <and be> at peace with one another through Christ, the peace-giver. When Christ abides in the heart, the powers of the <whole body work in unity [and]> harmony. The <whole individual person’s> reason and the affections, knowing how to act their parts, labor together unitedly. Like a king upon his throne, reason rules the working machinery.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 18

    It may be that much work needs to be done in your character building, that you are a rough stone which must be squared and polished before it is fit to fill a place in God’s temple. You need not be surprised if with hammer and chisel God cuts away your defects of character, until you are prepared to fill the place He has ready for you. No human being can accomplish this work. Only by God can it be done. And be assured that He will not strike one useless blow. His every blow is struck in love, for your eternal good and happiness. He knows your infirmities, and works to restore, not to destroy.16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 19

    Why do we turn from divine wisdom to human wisdom? God sees the dishonor we do Him. He knows that in humanity we shall find no solace for our woe, and He pities us because we are so needy, yet so unwilling to make Him our confidant, our burden-bearer. He sees human beings slighting the love and mercy provided for them, and He says sadly, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 20

    Our distrust is an insult to the One who has done so much for us. He will never neglect those who come to Him. Of the poor, fainting soul, tired of looking to humanity only to be betrayed and forgotten, Christ says, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 21

    Christ desires to say of His people as He said of Israel of old, “Thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty; for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God.” [Ezekiel 16:14.]16LtMs, Ms 5, 1901, par. 22

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