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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 12, 1902

    Remember Therefore from Whence Thou Art


    February 3, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 111. +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.

    “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent.” [Revelation 2:5.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 1

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” [Ephesians 1:3-6.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 2

    We do not appreciate the encouraging words written by Paul to the church at Ephesus. In this epistle he presented before them the privileges, the hope, and the confidence that are given to man by and through his powerful Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. Let us study and accept the lessons taught in this Scripture. As we read, let us believe every word.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 3

    “In whom (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” [Verses 7-23.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 4

    God has a purpose for each one. “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:4-10.] In these words Christ shows us what we may become in striving to fulfil God’s purpose for us.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 5

    “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Verses 18-22.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 6

    “David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance.” [Acts 2:25-28.] Do not these words show us the blessings to be gained by exercising faith in Christ?17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 7

    “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad.” [Verse 26.] This is to be our experience. Why are we so depressed? Why are so many in constant fear lest they shall not be placed first, lest they shall not receive due recognition and praise? Why is there so much strife for the supremacy? Why are there so many evil surmisings? Does not this explain why some Christians have so little to say in regard to their hope and joy in the Lord? Can those who have such an experience say, “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved”? [Verse 25.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 8

    To him who questions his brother’s motives because he does not follow the same plans that he does, the Lord says, “What is that to thee? follow thou Me.” [John 21:22.] Cease complaining and finding fault, my dear brethren and sisters. Drive the darkness from your souls by stepping into the sunshine of Christ’s love. Banish the selfishness that causes evil thinking and evil speaking. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Let Him be your power and your confidence, your strength and your hope. If you keep the Lord always before you, you will not give way to feelings of suspicion and distrust. When the light of His face shines into your heart, your life is all light in the Lord.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 9

    “Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance.” [Acts 2:28.] To the humble, contrite soul the Lord makes known the ways of life and peace and joy. Christ is always before the face of those in whose hearts truth is enthroned. “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad.” [Verse 26.] The tongue is so glad that it sings the praises of the Lord. It is never heard exalting self or disparaging others.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 10

    “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] Then light takes the place of shadow. The life is filled with joy and peace. Those who have this experience reveal faith and hope and courage in the daily life. They magnify the power of the love of God—a love even stronger, deeper, and more constraining than the love of a mother for her child. “A new heart will I give you.” Will you accept it?17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 11

    Speech is a precious talent given us by the Master to be used in blessing our fellow beings. Thus we honor Him. But we dishonor Him when we use this talent to talk of our discouragements and magnify our trials. We need stronger faith, more perfect trust. How changed would be our experience if the time we spend in repining were spent in beholding Jesus! Then would our words be profitable. Then should we offer God thanksgiving instead of complaint. We should have no inclination to talk about our trials, so filled would our minds be with the thought of our many blessings.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 12

    “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” [Ephesians 3:14-21.] Shall we not study the wonderful promises contained in these words? Shall we not appreciate our privileges? Shall we not put far from us all self-love, all desire for the supremacy?17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 13

    I am more pained than I can express as I see the spirit cherished by some in positions of trust. Some are unwilling to give their brethren hearty co-operation, fearing that they themselves will be overshadowed. This spirit is permitted to enter the councils held for the advancement of the work of God. In laying plans, men forget that God will not endorse any action that savors of selfishness.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 14

    It is in the desire to be first that our difficulties have their source. And till this spirit is banished from our work, difficulties will continue to annoy and hinder us. The Spirit of God is grieved.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 15

    “Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance.” [Acts 2:28.] Those who offer acceptable service to God must understand their part of the work and must do it in patience and hope. They must work unselfishly, remembering the needs of their fellow workers, and doing all in their power to help them.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 16

    God has told us, plainly and decidedly, that all the power of management is not to be placed in one man. To every man has been given a special work. Let each one attend to this work, allowing his brother to attend to his. And every laborer is to unite in Christian fellowship with his fellow laborer. His greatest desire is to be the uplifting of humanity and the honor of God.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 17

    How are we to labor in order that our work may receive the endorsement of God? Hear the words of Paul: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ... And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God; unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-13.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 18

    “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” [Verse 11.] All these different gifts are to be used in the service of God. No man is to think that he is in himself a complete whole. This is not God’s plan. The different gifts He has given His different servants are needed to make completeness in His work. God’s workers are to be noble, large-hearted, broad in their plans, quick to recognize God’s gift in another, even if he may not in all things think as they think. All narrowness, all envy, is to be kept out of the plans laid for the advancement of God’s work.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 19

    “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him (not outside of Him) in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” [Verses 14-16, 29.] This is the Bible test of true conversion. “And grieve not the Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Verses 30-32.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 20

    These are words that every Christian should receive and obey. Brethren and sisters, will you take heed to them? Let me assure you that the power of God will never be revealed through you until you live the Christ life. Many who claim to be Christians are not converted. This is the reason that not more of God’s saving grace is seen in the daily life. To be an influence for good, conversion must be a living reality every day, every hour—a witness to the power of Christ to subdue self.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 21

    “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies, fulfil ye My joy, that ye may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. ... Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” [Philippians 2:1-8, 12-14.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 22

    “Who is a wise man, and endued with wisdom among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” [James 3:13.] Such a man keeps the windows of his soul opened heavenward. His life is filled with the sunshine of Christ’s righteousness.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 23

    Read the words that were spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost. Bearing witness of Christ, he concluded by saying: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” [Acts 2:36.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 24

    “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” [Verses 37-42.] Read the whole chapter. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” [Verses 46, 47.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 25

    After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. Not only in words, but in deeds, they revealed the love Christ had commanded them to reveal. By holy words and actions they strove to awaken this love in other hearts.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 26

    The believers were to cherish the love that had filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment, “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” [John 13:34.] So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfil His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 27

    But the early Christians began to look for mistakes and defects in others. Looking at mistakes, encouraging suspicion and doubt, giving way to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and of the great love He had expressed for sinners. They became more strict with regard to outward ceremonies, more rigid in their criticisms, more particular about the theory of the faith. They forgot the lesson of love that Christ had enjoined. And saddest of all, they were not conscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives. They walked in darkness, the love of God shut out of their hearts.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 28

    Because the early Church lost their first love, the word of the Lord came to them in a message of reproof: “Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus write; 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.” [Revelation 2:1-5.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 29

    Those mentioned in this Scripture as losing their first love were not ranked with open sinners. They had the truth; they were established in the doctrine; they were firm to condemn and resist evil. Yet God declared, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Verse 4.] They were losing their realization of the greatness of the love God had shown for fallen human beings. Sacred things were not distinguished from the common. They did not talk as they once did of the love of Christ and of the infinite sacrifice He had made to redeem the race.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 30

    Let every one prayerfully consider the exhortation, “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.” [Verse 5.] This is the repentance that God calls for at this time. “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.” [Verse 7.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 31

    It has been Satan’s studied plan to bring a worldly, money-making spirit into our institutions. Especially has he sought to remove from the Review and Herald office the principles upon which that office was established. If my testimony has ever been applicable, it is applicable now to that publishing house. A spirit of striving for the supremacy has actuated the workers. They have shown a selfish, ungodly zeal for making money. Their greed for gain has led them to grasp for the highest possible wages. Those who have acted thus have had a deteriorating influence on all connected with the institution.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 32

    God calls for pure, thoroughly consecrated men to manage the work of the Review and Herald office. He has no use for men who in their business transactions betray Christ into the hands of His enemies. Such men are a stigma to His cause, a reproach to the truth that they misrepresent. Unless they repent, and work in a Christlike manner, God has no place for them in His service; for they bring in selfishness and every evil work.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 33

    The Lord desires to have in the office of publication a volunteer company of workers of clear discernment who will see the need of repentance. The old-time spirit of self-sacrifice must be revived. The office needs men who will see that a new order of things must be brought in—men who will cleanse the office, as Christ cleansed the temple-courts, of greedy, selfish buyers and sellers.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 34

    The question may arise, What shall we do? Shall we sell our buildings (which never ought to have been brought into existence)? Not yet. Repent, and be converted. Let every one begin to revive the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. If men refuse to work for reduced wages, but insist upon receiving wages that they never should have received, they need to do a thorough work of repentance because of their selfish, grasping spirit. If they persistently refuse to maintain the principles of self-sacrifice upon which the office was established, let them be separated from the work.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 35

    Shall we dispose of the publishing establishment? Wait to see what God desires you to do. But if the publishing plant were to become much smaller, it would be far better than to try to make it live by following the selfish methods and plans that have called forth the words of Christ, “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.” [Verse 5.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 36

    There is much more to be revealed in regard to this matter. If men will not respond to God’s call to repentance, if they will not make it their first work to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice, there is no need for them in any of our institutions. For those who refuse to deny self, there is no hope. By their course of action they show that they have no realization of what the first love means. Such men do not have the light of Christ shining in the heart. Unless they repent, they will never receive the overcomer’s reward.17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 37

    When men in the publishing house learn what it means to regain the first love, they will repent the part they have acted in encouraging a spirit of selfishness by demanding high wages. The Lord is doing His work on the earth. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith unto the end, conforming ourselves to the Great Pattern and continuing our labor of love for Him. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: “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.” [Verse 5.]17LtMs, Ms 12, 1902, par. 38

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