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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1506—Stay Away From Political Strife; The Fruit of True Conversion

    (Written December 14, 1897, from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W.)

    When your letter came to me on the subject of gold and silver, a political question, I knew that I could not help you by any words that I might say. Your self-confidence would be very strong, and any words I might offer would be as seed sown upon the rock. The Lord did not want you to employ your God-given time, and set your talents to work, in wrong channels. Your work has not set you in that line at all. Neither you nor any of your brethren had any work to do in arguing or writing or taking any part whatever in politics. God was dishonored by all who acted any part in politics.21MR 20.1

    God has chosen a people who are to proclaim the third angel's message to the world. They are to be a separate and peculiar people in this world of churches who are transgressing His commandments. We have a special work to do to prepare the people for the greatest event the world has ever seen. The books of Daniel and Revelation are of great consequence to us, and should be studied with great earnestness. [Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 15, quoted.]21MR 20.2

    The Lord would have His people a separate and peculiar people, bearing the sign and seal of the Sabbath, in preserving the memorial, the seventh day, upon which the Lord rested after His work of creation. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” [Genesis 2:3]. He gave the Sabbath to man as a day of rest, when His people might assemble to worship Him and come in close relationship with God. All heaven is interested in the worship of God's people.21MR 20.3

    When man is created anew in Christ Jesus, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. God has, through His own power, united in man the human and the divine. He clothes humanity with the robe of Christ's righteousness. Man is enabled to discern the Saviour, and by beholding he is changed into the likeness of His character. He recognizes the words of Christ, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” He who discerns Christ is a partaker of His Spirit and His righteousness. He has the inward assurance that Christ is abiding in the soul-temple.21MR 20.4

    The redemption of men draws them away from political strife to rest and peace and quietude in God. All who contemplate this will indeed have the mind of Christ, will be clothed with the garments of Christ's righteousness. And all who are thus blessed will, with ardor, cry, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”21MR 20.5

    Here was presented to the human mind spiritual and glorious light. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth.” What nearness to God we may experience! What views of heaven we may obtain! But that which is of the greatest importance to all who live their life to God is for them to understand their daily service for Jesus Christ, in representing His character in meekness and lowliness of heart, and in being good and doing good.21MR 21.1

    Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The soul that has been misled by wrong influences and has become a partaker of sin through association with others to do contrary to the mind and character of God, need not despair. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” [Hebrews 7:26]. Christ is not only priest and intercessor for our sins, but the offering. He offered Himself once for all.21MR 21.2

    The conversation of those who are converted to God will not be the same as before their conversion. The words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians are, “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” [Philippians 1:27].21MR 21.3

    “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: 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, many grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” [Ephesians 4:11-15].21MR 21.4

    This is the service we are to render to God. Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up into 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. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind” [verses 16, 17].21MR 21.5

    This chapter is full of instruction. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, 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].21MR 22.1

    This is the fruit of true conversion. I ask you, my dear brother and sister, to count the cost. Christ requires that you give soul, body, and spirit to Him. He shed His blood on Calvary's cross to make this possible. Make an honest reckoning. Put into one scale Jesus, which means life, truth, and heaven, and into the other put every attraction the world may offer. Into the one put the loss of your soul, and in the other a life that measures with the life of God. Weigh them well; weigh for the present time and for eternity. While you are thus engaged, Christ speaks. What does He say? “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37]. What will your answer be?21MR 22.2

    You may have the witness of the Spirit that your ways please God. This is obtained by believing in the Word of God, by appropriating that Word to your own soul. This is eating of the bread of life, and this will bring eternal life. Compare scripture with scripture. Study the representation of the life of a true Christian as delineated in the Word of God.21MR 22.3

    The law of God is the great standard of righteousness. This the apostle declares is holy, just, and good. David says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Christ says, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”21MR 22.4

    “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” [John 14:21]. This is most assuredly the witness of the Spirit. “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments [from the heart], ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love” [John 15:8-10].21MR 22.5

    Those who are obedient to the will of God will not have a hard and miserable time in this life. Hear again the words of Christ: “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” [verse 11]. This is the witness which it is the privilege of all to have—the joy of Christ in the soul through appropriating the Word of God, eating it as the bread of life, believing the Word, and bringing the requirements of Christ into the practical life. There is full assurance of hope in believing every word of Christ, believing in Him, being united to Him by living faith. When this is his experience, the human being is no longer under the law, for the law no longer condemns his course of action.21MR 23.1

    The Word of God gives the description of a true Christian, which corresponds with the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart and life. The children of God know at once they have the evidence in their own hearts that they are born of God. He that “will come after me,” says Christ, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” [Mark 8:34]. It means depth and breadth of experience to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Self-denial and self-sacrifice will always be found in the path that leads through the strait gate to the broad meadows of the Lord's pastures.21MR 23.2

    To them that believe, Christ is precious. His Spirit moving upon the mind and heart of the believer is in perfect agreement with that which is written in the Word. The Spirit and the Word agree perfectly. Thus the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are born of God.21MR 23.3

    The man who finds in his heart no resemblance to the great moral standard of righteousness, the Word of God, has no Christ to confess. His language, his thoughts, are not in harmony with the Spirit of Christ. His profession of faith is a counterfeit one. Do you ever find cream rising on water? The soul must have the vivifying influences of the breath of life from Christ in order to reveal in his conversation that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Men never gather grapes from thistles. The words of a Christian will be in accordance with his enjoyment of Christ. Those who are perpetually talking doubts and demanding additional evidence to banish their cloud of unbelief do not build on the Word. Their faith rests on haphazard circumstances; it is founded in feeling. But feeling, be it ever so pleasing, is not faith. God's Word is the foundation upon which our hopes of heaven must be built.21MR 23.4

    It is a great misfortune to be a chronic doubter, keeping the eye and thoughts on self. While you are beholding self, while this is the theme of thought and conversation, you cannot expect to be conformed to the image of Christ. Self is not your saviour. You have no redeeming qualities in yourself. “I” is a very leaky boat for your faith to embark in. Just as surely as you trust yourself in it, it will founder. The lifeboat, to the lifeboat! This is your only safety. Jesus is the Captain of the lifeboat, and He has never lost a passenger.21MR 23.5

    Discouraged doubters, how can you expect to find your heart glowing with the love of Christ; how can you expect His joy to remain in you and your joy to be full, while you are meditating and feeding upon your own imperfect characters? Says Christ, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” [John 14:23]. Do you believe Christ tells the truth? If you do, talk faith, talk hope, talk courage.21MR 24.1

    What shall we say to you who are periodically doubters and grumblers? Indigestion is a trial, but do not make it worse by quarrelling with circumstances. Get your Bibles and hymnbooks, and read and sing and pray, and go to work to help some poor soul who is in bodily suffering or despondency of soul. Pray in faith for the Lord to help both him and you. Do not, as you try to recover, put on a dismal, mourning attitude as though prison walls enclose you and shut out every ray of sunlight. Pray short, easy prayers full of words of promise, and you will find yourselves out of the darkness into the light.21MR 24.2

    It is your duty to war against oppressive thoughts and melancholy feelings, just as much as it is your duty to pray. It is your duty to counterwork the agencies of the enemy, to place a firm hold upon the bridle of your tongue as well as your thoughts. Of all the times in your life when you need a supply of grace, it is when the sensitive, inflamed digestive organs are at work and you are worried and tired out. You may look surprised at this, but it is a species of swearing to be constantly irritated and irritating others by your fault-finding and gloomy reflections. These fits of indigestion are trying, but hold fast to the bridle, that you shall not swear to those who are your best friends or to those who are your enemies.21MR 24.3

    It is your duty, poor, afflicted soul, to come to the great Healer. He is as much afflicted by your afflictions today as when He was upon the earth. He sympathized with all human woe. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” He says. Then come to your Saviour who can heal all your sicknesses and all your diseases. He conquered death. He is the risen Saviour, the Lord of life. Will you come just as you are, and pray in faith to be healed of all manner of diseases, of all maladies which afflict the soul and the body? Center your faith so deeply and securely in Jesus Christ that no circumstance of any kind will jostle your faith. Let your life be hid with Christ in God.21MR 24.4

    Do not waste your thoughts in dwelling upon the defective characters of others. This will not cure your defects of character. By dwelling upon the wrongs of others, you will be changed into the same image. Whenever you are tempted to talk of others’ follies, or blame them for injuries they have done to you, consider that they have wounded the heart of Christ in the person of His saints. Then take your Bible, and open it before God, and plead with Him for the healing balm of His peace.21MR 25.1

    The Lord would have us represent Christ, and show to the world His attractive character. We may have joy in the Lord if we will keep His commandments. If we indeed have our citizenship above, and a title to an immortal inheritance, an eternal substance, then let us have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every spiritual defilement.21MR 25.2

    If our citizenship is above, what right have we to be engaging in political strife? We are not called to any such service. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18]. What more could we ask? We shall be members of the royal family, children of a heavenly King, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance. We shall have the crown of life that fadeth not away.21MR 25.3

    We are heaven bound. Then why should we not show the attractive part of our faith? Why should we go as a crippled band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the journey to our Father's house? Just before He left, He said to His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [John 14:27]. “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” [verses 1-3].21MR 25.4

    Praise the Lord; praise Him; for He is our Saviour, and liveth to make intercession for us. [2 Timothy 1:7-10, quoted].21MR 25.5

    From this time believe that the Lord can do all things, that He can make you a consistent Christian who wears the beauty of His heavenly character in the home life. A loving, lovable Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth. Love your Saviour. Have your heart saturated with the holy oil that is emptied from the two olive trees (Zechariah 4:11-14). We want that oil emptied from the olive trees into our hearts every day. Then our tongues will speak forth the praise of our God. Looking unto Jesus, catching the light of His countenance, the light of His righteousness, we can turn deformity and sullenness and our many words of speech, into sound words, and our deformity of character will be removed.21MR 25.6

    “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” [Philippians 4:8].21MR 26.1

    “My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn man away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” [Malachi 2:5-7].—Letter 11, 1897.21MR 26.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    May 10, 1990.

    Entire Letter.