“He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return
from iniquity. If they obey and serve [him], they shall spend their days in
prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall
perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge”
Notice the promise of spending our days in prosperity, and our years in pleasures are given by our accepting of the condition given. In other words, the condition of receiving days in prosperity and years in pleasures is based on having ears to hear, to return from iniquity by obeying The Commands given by The Word of GOD that we might not perish. Yet many of our brothers and sisters are been led to disregard The Commands of GOD’S Word to lose the promise given of GOD in HIS Word. In the time of Christ’s ministry, many, who knew not The Truth of GOD’S Word were being led by their leaders to reject the receiving of Christ as The Son of GOD. Today many are being fed like sheep, to reject The Counsel given of GOD by The receiving of HIS Word.
GOD did not send HIS Word in the form of flesh to condemn man in his sin, but to reveal The Law of Life in His Life, as a set Standard, that He might lead us by example to repent from sin and return back to HIS Law of Life in The Covenant of HIS Word. For it is written of HIS Word through David, who said, “…they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, [and] he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted” (Psalms 107:13-17).
Because of sin, the nature of man is like the sheep that graze in the field and wanders away from the fold, where wolves take advantage of the sheep. But this takes place not only in the world, but also in the church by men, who are still of the world. It is for this reason that GOD has given to the church HIS Word of Counsel that HIS Word might be The One Shepherd, Who Guides men back into the one fold.
“In dealing with erring church members, God's people are carefully to follow the instruction given by the Saviour in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. Human beings are Christ's property, purchased by Him at an infinite price, bound to Him by the love that He and His Father have manifested for them. How careful, then, we should be in our dealing with one another! Men have no right to surmise evil in regard to their fellow men. Church members have no right to follow their own impulses and inclinations in dealing with fellow members who have erred. They should not even express their prejudices regarding the erring, for thus they place in other minds the leaven of evil. Reports unfavorable to a brother or sister in the church are communicated from one to another of the church members. Mistakes are made and injustice is done because of an unwillingness on the part of someone to follow the directions given by the Lord Jesus.
"If thy brother shall trespass against thee," Christ declared, "go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone." Matthew 18:15. Do not tell others of the wrong. One person is told, then another, and still another; and continually the report grows, and the evil increases, till the whole church is made to suffer. Settle the matter "between thee and him alone." This is God's plan. "Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbor hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another." Proverbs 25:8, 9. Do not suffer sin upon your brother; but do not expose him, and thus increase the difficulty, making the reproof seem like a revenge. Correct him in the way outlined in the word of God.
“Do not suffer resentment to ripen into malice. Do not allow the wound to fester and break out in poisoned words, which taint the minds of those who hear. Do not allow bitter thoughts to continue to fill your mind and his. Go to your brother, and in humility and sincerity talk with him about the matter.
“Whatever the character of the offense, this does not change the plan that God has made for the settlement of misunderstandings and personal injuries. Speaking alone and in the spirit of Christ to the one who is in fault will often remove the difficulty. Go to the erring one, with a heart filled with Christ's love and sympathy, and seek to adjust the matter. Reason with him calmly and quietly. Let no angry words escape your lips. Speak in a way that will appeal to his better judgment. Remember the words: "He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:20.
“Take to your brother the remedy that will cure the disease of disaffection. Do your part to help him. For the sake of the peace and unity of the church, feel it a privilege as well as a duty to do this. If he will hear you, you have gained him as a friend.
All heaven is interested in the interview between the one who has been injured and the one who is in error. As the erring one accepts the reproof offered in the love of Christ, and acknowledges his wrong, asking forgiveness from God and from his brother, the sunshine of heaven fills his heart. The controversy is ended; friendship and confidence are restored. The oil of love removes the soreness caused by the wrong. The Spirit of God binds heart to heart, and there is music in heaven over the union brought about.
“As those thus united in Christian fellowship offer prayer to God and pledge themselves to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God, great blessing comes to them. If they have wronged others they continue the work of repentance, confession, and restitution, fully set to do good to one another. This is the fulfilling of the law of Christ.
“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." Matthew 18:16. Take with you those who are spiritually minded, and talk with the one in error in regard to the wrong. He may yield to the united appeals of his brethren. As he sees their agreement in the matter, his mind may be enlightened.
“And if he shall neglect to hear them," what then shall be done? Shall a few persons in a board meeting take upon themselves the responsibility of disfellowshiping the erring one? "If he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church." Verse 17. Let the church take action in regard to its members.
“But if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." Verse 17. If he will not heed the voice of the church, if he refuses all the efforts made to reclaim him, upon the church rests the responsibility of separating him from fellowship. His name should then be stricken from the books.
“No church officer should advise, no committee should recommend, nor should any church vote, that the name of a wrongdoer shall be removed from the church books, until the instruction given by Christ has been faithfully followed. When this instruction has been followed, the church has cleared herself before God. The evil must then be made to appear as it is, and must be removed, that it may not become more and more widespread. The health and purity of the church must be preserved, that she may stand before God unsullied, clad in the robes of Christ's righteousness. (Testimonies for The Church, Volume 7, Page 260 - 262)
Notice that The Counsel given by The Word of GOD through His servant, is given to restore a member that has repented in the settlement of misunderstandings and personal injuries. But what about a church that has led the whole body of believers to depart from The Faith that was ones delivered unto the saints. If the church has been faithful to her calling in following The Counsel of The Word of The LORD, to work to restore one, who has been led to depart from The Faith, who then is it that leads the church to repent and return from her departure from The Faith?
In The Counsel of The Word of GOD, which is given to elders of the church through Paul, he was directed to write, and say, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house. For this [man] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some [man]; but he that built all things [is] God. And Moses verily [was] faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways” (Hebrews 3:1-10).
Notice that Christ Jesus is That Man, Who is faithful to The Father, WHO appointed Him over all HIS House. He is counted worthy of more Glory than Moses, who was a servant in His House. For He is The Holy One, Who has built The House--The Tabernacle for His dwelling, according to Zechariah 6:12, 13. By His Own Strong and Out Stretched Arm, He has illustrated The Sanctuary of His dwelling among the called out ones from Egypt, to be their God, and they were to be His people--the Tabernacle of His dwelling, which we are, if on condition we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
In The New Testament time, Christ Jesus asked His disciples an important question, saying to them, "...Whom do men say I the Son of man am?" (Matthew 16:13), and more importantly, Who did they believe Him to be? And Peter made a confession of his faith, and said to Him, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-19).
Notice that the gates of hell are constantly trying to prevail against the church of The Living GOD. But if The Spirit of Christ is reigning in the heart, then His Spirit will prevail against the gates through which the works of the adversary seeks to work. If we as the members of Christ hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end, then He, Who has been victorious in His defeating the adversary in his work of darkness and death, He will prevail in the hearts of those, who hold fast to their faith in Him, to restore them back to GOD.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1). "We are threads in the great web of humanity, and, as such, related with each other. Our life leaves upon the minds of others impressions which will be transferred even into eternity. Angels take note of our works, of our words, of the spirit which actuates us. Those who desire to reform others must begin the reformation in their own hearts, and show that they have acquired kindliness and humility of heart in the school of Christ. Those who have charge of others must learn first to master themselves, to refrain from blunt expressions and exaggerated censure. There are cutting words which are indulged in, which may offend, hurt, and leave upon a soul a scar which will remain. There are sharp words that fall as sparks upon an inflammable temper. There are biting words that bite like vipers.
"Intimate connections between imperfect, defective characters may often, as a result, do great harm to both persons, for Satan has more influence upon their minds than the Spirit of Jesus. They do not consider each other under a true and impartial light, but under the most unfavorable light possible. By trying to correct evil in a hasty, cross spirit, two evils will be created instead of correcting one. Mutual support is essential. It is the fruit of the Spirit which grows upon the Christian tree.
"A radical conversion must take place as regards the manner in which the various minds are to be dealt with. If every apparent injustice is considered as an affront; if amends for every slight injury are required with a spirit different from the spirit of Christ; if harsh language is used; if for difficulties small or great a spirit of impatience is manifested which stirs up and irritates, there will soon be a state of things worse than if nothing had been done to correct the evil. If such dispositions are entertained by believers; if everyone feels free to utter hasty words, we shall have miserable hearts, miserable families, and in the church, discord and dissension.
"But there is a Christlike way of settling all these things. The presence of Christ's love in the heart will lead to love the very ones who are astray and who are in the wrong. . . . "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom" (James 3:13).--Manuscript 24, Feb. 14, 1887. "Testimony for the Workers of the Publishing House at Basel." (The Upward Look, Page 59)
“Church’s Responsibility—“ God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins.”—3T 269. “If there were no church discipline and government, the church would go to fragments; it could not hold together as a body.” (Testimonies for The Church, Volume 3, Page 428)
Unsanctified opinions leads to wrong sentiments.
In her letter to a fellow brother in the church, Ellen G. White expressed that her nephew urged his unsanctified opinions in a persistent manner, which causes her much sorrow of heart, because he had plans of his own to carry out at the Review and Herald office. Ellen White wrote and said, “There have been presented before me scenes that often occurred in the Review and Herald office when F. B. had some plan that he desired to carry out. He would determinedly stand up and with a loud voice continue to talk until he had fully presented his ambitious plans before his brethren; and I am sorry to say that very often these plans were adopted. He did more than any other one man in the office to bring in wrong sentiments and carry out his own plans. These plans, when afterward brought to bear upon himself, he did not find so agreeable. I feel sad when I think of the record he must meet of impetuous action and the surrender of those principles that his uncle James White and I have ever striven to maintain. F. B. has excellent talent, and had he walked humbly with his God, the Lord would have used him to His name's glory.”
Ellen G. White wrote of Christ Jesus in her letter and said, “In the Saviour's life is given us a pattern of the character we are to attain. He met the severest temptations of an obstinate foe, and in spite of powerful and sorcerous delusions, made His path plain. The simplicity of the work of the Messiah gave unmistakable evidence of His mission. He swept away the errors that existed in the religious world with a confidence and tact that could not be gainsaid. He would have truth stand out clear and free from every error with which Satan would try to enshroud it. He presented heaven-born principles so clearly before the minds of the people, that the way to heaven was made clear and plain, and he who missed the way had no excuse. (Paulson Collection, Page 120.2)
In our world today, there have been errors that have crept into almost all the churches, even within the Advent church. And this error has gone undetected by our leaders over the years, to the point of being accepted as part of the fabric of The Truth that was once delivered to the saints. But as it was in the establishment of the early Christian church, it is said that, “To the forerunner of Christ was given the message, "Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The work of the herald of Christ was a continuous effort to destroy the popular delusion concerning the coming Messiah, and to show that repentance and forsaking of sin are necessary preparations for the coming kingdom. This work constituted the preparation for the establishment of the true church. (Paulson Collection, Page 120.3)
Notice that Christ Jesus worked to sweep away the errors that existed in the religious world. He would work to have The Truth stand out clear and free from every error with which Satan would try to enshroud it. He presented heaven-born principles so clearly before the minds of the people, that the way to heaven was made clear and plain, and he who missed the way had no excuse. We are not called to repentance, and yet remain in sin. No, not at all; we are called to repent and forsake our sin to prepare for Christ Second Coming. But if the enemy has enshrouded The Truth, to cause the whole world to accept sorcerous delusions that have gone undetected for many years, and to be accepted as Truth, then are the people, as a body, not held responsible for the sins existing and remaining in the church to have a departure from The Faith, which was once delivered to the saints?
It is recorded that, “On coming to the temple at the opening of His ministry, Christ repaired to the temple, and found His Father's house desecrated by worldly traffic. He drove out from the temple courts the buyers and the sellers, and the priests and rulers. He "poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables, and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise." The money taken by the dealers for the sacrificial offerings was robbery of the people; and they had made the house of God a den of thieves, and with a stern rebuke Christ exposed their extortionate traffic.” (Paulson Collection, Page 120.4)
Notice that we have already established The Truth that The House, Which Christ came to build for His dwelling is the building of His people, whom He and The Father by HIS Love has purchased by Christ Jesus at an infinite price. Christ Jesus is One with The Father in the work of cleansing His church from the traffic of the popular delusions of the world that have entered the church. Would the leaders of today follow the same path that was followed in the first coming of Christ Jesus? Would they see themselves, as the correctors of the people, when they have also allowed errors to go undetected, and to enter into the church?
Ellen White wrote and said, “…I have had presented distinctly before me the past, present, and future of those who have thus departed from the faith. I was instructed to write out the truth as it was revealed to me, and point by point give it to the people. I have done this, and still there is much to present that the truth may be made simple and plain. The work God has given me to do is to stand firmly and intelligently for that which I know to be truth. That which I have given to the people was given in the purpose of God, to strengthen the believers, that they might not be led away by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. (Paulson Collection, Page 121.1-2)
She wrote of the men in Battle Creek that they were, “taking their position against the warnings of the Spirit of God…” She wrote that they, “…have received message after message, but with some there has been no change.” (Paulson Collection, Page 121.5)
What were the messages that she give to them, to confront the seducing spirits and doctrines of devils? Ellen White wrote and said, “There is much more that I wish to write to our people, but what I shall write will only be a confirmation of the messages given in the past. I shall be called once more to give the light to those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and moving in strange paths. But the Lord has shown me that all that can be given to these souls is but a repetition and confirmation of the truths that have already been placed impressively before them. Not one principle of the truths we have held in the past can be denied.” (Paulson Collection, Page 121.4) Notice that she made it clear that, “Not one principle of the truths we have held in the past can be denied.”
In the messages given among the people before the first coming of Christ, there was a messenger giving the warning message to “Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The people sought an answer, as to what they were to repent from. Ellen White made a note in directing us to study Isaiah chapter fifty-eight, to learn the will of GOD. For when Christ Jesus shall come again at His second coming, it would be a surprise to many, who are unprepared, because they knew not the condition of their hearts to seek repentance, to be ready at His coming.
With the seducing spirits and doctrines of devils that were creping in, and have been seeking a permanent fixture within the minds of the members of the church at large, The Counsel given by The Word of GOD through His servants is to, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Ellen G. White wrote and said, "Nothing is more treacherous than the deceitfulness of sin. It is the god of this world that deludes, and blinds, and leads to destruction. Satan does not enter with his array of temptations at once. He disguises these temptations with a semblance of good. . . . Beguiled souls take one step, then are prepared for the next. . . . Oh, how Satan watches to see his bait taken so readily, and to see souls walking in the very path he has prepared! . . .
"There is a necessity for close self-examination, and to closely investigate in the light of God's word, Am I sound, or am I rotten, at heart? Am I renewed in Christ, or am I still carnal at heart, with an outside, new dress put on? Rein yourself up to the tribunal of God, and see as in the light of God if there is any secret sin, any iniquity, any idol you have not sacrificed. Pray . . . as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan's devices; that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, and vain spirit. . . .
"One of the sins that constitute one of the signs of the last days, is that professed Christians are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Deal truly with your own souls. Search carefully. How few, after a faithful examination, can look up to Heaven and say, ". . . I am not a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God." How few can say, "I am dead to the world, . . . and when He who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with Him in glory."
"The love and grace of God! Oh precious grace! more valuable than fine gold. It elevates and ennobles the spirit beyond all other principles. It sets the heart and affections upon Heaven. While those around us may be engaged in worldly vanity, pleasure-seeking, and folly, the conversation is in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour; the soul is reaching out after God for pardon and peace, for righteousness and true holiness. Converse with God and contemplation of things above transform the soul into the likeness of Christ." (Maranatha, Page 49)
Notice that the enemy does not present his deception openly, to be recognized as a deception. No, he will package his deception in that which will appear to be good, or to be beneficial. And if the unsuspecting target does not detect the error, that target will receive the bait, to receive that error, which leads to the next step in rejecting The Truth. We read above that Christ is a son over his own house, “whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6). Notice that there is a condition to the church remaining The House of Christ dwelling, which is based on holding fast, or keeping and not giving up The Truth of The Faith, which was delivered unto the saints. Paul made this clear in his question, when he said, “…Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5). That word “reprobate” means to be castaway, or, rejected. Yet, many of the leaders, or the under-shepherds that are leading Christ's flock are leading them not to His one fold by following The Truth, but by leading His members to reject The Chief Shepherd, Who is The Corner Stone of the true church.
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:11-13).
"As fire reveals the difference between gold, silver, and precious stones, and wood, hay, and stubble, so the day of judgment will test characters, showing the difference between characters formed after Christ's likeness and characters formed after the likeness of the selfish heart. All selfishness, all false religion, will then appear as it is. The worthless material will be consumed; but the gold of true, simple, humble faith will never lose its value. It can never be consumed; for it is imperishable.
"Anyone can be just what he chooses to be. Character is not obtained by receiving an education. Character is not obtained by amassing wealth or by gaining worldly honor. Character is not obtained by having others fight the battle of life for us. It must be sought, worked for, fought for; and it requires a purpose, a will, a determination. To form a character which God will approve, requires persevering effort. It will take a continual resisting of the powers of darkness to . . . have our names retained in the book of life. Is it not worth more to have our names registered in that book, have them immortalized among the heavenly angels, than to have them sounded in praise throughout the whole earth?
"In the probationary time granted us here we are each building a structure that is to have the inspection of the Judge of all the earth. This work is the molding of our characters. Every act of our lives is a stone in that building, every faculty is a worker, every blow that is struck is for good or for evil. The words of inspiration warn us to take heed how we build, to see that our foundation is sure. If we build upon the solid rock, pure, noble, upright deeds, the structure will go up beautiful and symmetrical, a fit temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (In Heavenly Places, Page 47)
Notice why it will take a continual resisting of the powers of darkness to have our names retained in the book of life. It is because the adversary, “…he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear” (Revelation 13:6-9). Notice that he was overcoming the saints by his deception, to reject The Commandments of GOD and The Testimony of Jesus Christ, Who lived His Life among men, as an Example to set a Standard for all to follow. Yet, almost all the churches have discarded The Standard in their belief that it was done away. That Covenant of Life in The Law and The Testimony is The Gift GOD has given to those, who will keep HIS Word of Life. And to reject one precept in GOD’S Law, it is the same as coming up one link to short in the connection to heaven, to be with GOD and HIS Son.
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18). "That which should cause us the deepest joy is the fact that God forgives sin. If we take Him at His word and forsake our sins, He is ready and willing to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will give us a pure heart and the abiding presence of His Spirit, for Jesus lives to intercede for us. But . . . spiritual things are spiritually discerned. It is a living, active, abiding faith that discerns the will of God, that appropriates the promises, and profits by the truths of His word. It is not because we are righteous, but because we are dependent, faulty, erring, and helpless ourselves, that we must rely upon Christ's righteousness, and not upon our own.
"When you receive the words of Christ as if they were addressed to you personally, when each applies the truth to himself as if he were the only sinner on the face of the earth for whom Christ died, you will learn to claim by faith the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. . . . Many feel that their faults of character make it impossible for them to meet the standard that Christ has erected, but all that such ones have to do is to humble themselves at every step under the mighty hand of God. Christ does not estimate the man by the amount of work he does, but by the spirit in which the work is performed.
"When He sees men lifting the burdens, trying to carry them in lowliness of mind, with distrust of self and with reliance upon Him, He adds to their work His perfection and sufficiency, and it is accepted of the Father. We are accepted in the Beloved. The sinner's defects are covered by the perfection and fullness of the Lord our Righteousness. Those who with sincere will, with contrite heart, are putting forth humble efforts to live up to the requirements of God, are looked upon by the Father with pitying, tender love; He regards such as obedient children, and the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto them." (In Heavenly Places, Page 23)
As Christ Jesus is The Appointed Heir over the dwelling of His Own House, which we are, He is faithful to work The Father’s Will to prepare our hearts for that day of receiving all, who will receive His Spirit within them. The question then to our hearts is this; Are we willing to work with Him to make us complete and perfect in Him, or do we want to continue to work with the enemy against Him?
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). "The Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear and be prepared to die in the Lord or to be translated to heaven. . . . God will accept nothing but purity and holiness; one spot, one wrinkle, one defect in the character, will forever debar them from heaven, with all its glories and treasures.
"Most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength they might obtain were they as ambitious, zealous, and persevering to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the paltry, perishable things of this life. The masses professing to be Christians have been satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs. They have no disposition to make it their object to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; hence godliness is a hidden mystery to them, they cannot understand it. They know not Christ by experimental knowledge.
"Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength, grace, and glory have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, cease their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness; and He bids them live and not die. In Him they may flourish. Their branches will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in Him, they can draw sap and nourishment from Him, be imbued with His Spirit, walk even as He walked, overcome as He overcame, and be exalted to His own right hand. (Maranatha, Page 53)
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). "Many do not move in the confidence of a living assurance that Christ is pleading before the Father as our Intercessor. Christ has identified Himself with our necessities, and is able to supply every peculiar need of our weakness. During His life on this earth He took the attitude of a suppliant, an earnest petitioner, seeking at the hand of the Father a fresh supply of strength, that He might be invigorated and refreshed and come forth with words of encouragement and lessons of consolation to impart to human beings. His words are to brace every soul for duty and strengthen every soul for trial.
"As Christ in His humanity sought strength from His Father, that He might be enabled to endure trial and temptation, so are we to do. We are to follow the example of the sinless Son of God. Daily we need help and grace and power from the Source of all power. We are to cast our helpless souls upon the One who is ready to help us in every time of need. Too often we forget the Lord. Self gives way to impulse, and we lose the victories that we should gain.
"If we are overcome let us not delay to repent, and to accept the pardon that will place us on vantage ground. If we repent and believe, the cleansing power from God will be ours. His saving grace is freely offered. His pardon is given to all who will receive it. . . . God will always accept confession if the evil that has been done is repented of. Our heavenly Father makes the declaration, "As I live, . . . I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked should turn from his way and live" (Eze. 33:11). Over every sinner that repents the angels of God rejoice with songs of joy. Not one sinner need be lost. Full and free is the gift of saving grace. . . . We are living in the day of preparation. We must obtain a full supply of grace from the divine storehouse. The Lord has made provision for every day's demand." (In Heavenly Places, Page 50)
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