“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to
behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of
the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
(1 Timothy 3:15)
By Mrs. E. G. White
"He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." From the day when Solomon was entrusted with the work of building the temple, to the time of its completion, his avowed purpose was to build "a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel." This purpose was fully recognized before assembled Israel during the dedication of the temple. In his prayer he acknowledged that Jehovah had said, "My name shall be there."
One of the most touching portions of Solomon's dedicatory prayer is his plea for the strangers that would come "out of a far country for thy name's sake; for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched-out arm." In behalf of every stranger that would "come and pray toward this house," Solomon pleaded with the Lord: "Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name."
At the close of the services, Solomon exhorted Israel to be faithful and true to God, in order that "all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else."
The temple of Jehovah was a marvel of richness and glory, unequaled by any work of human art. A greater than Solomon was the designer of this building; the wisdom and glory of God stood there revealed. Those who were unacquainted with the source of Solomon's wisdom naturally admired and praised the human agent; but the king disclaimed any honor for the conception and the erection of so magnificent a structure.
The queen of Sheba, at the close of her visit to Jerusalem, was constrained by what she had seen and learned, not to extol Solomon, but to exclaim: "Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice." This is the impression that God designed should be made upon all peoples. And when "all the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart," the king continued for a time reverently to direct them to the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Ruler of the universe, the All-Wise. The name of Jehovah was honored, and his holy temple was regarded with reverence.
Had Solomon remained humble, had he continued to turn the attention of men from himself to the One who had endowed him with wisdom and riches and honor, what a history might have been his! But the unerring pen of inspiration, while it records his virtues, also bears faithful witness to his downfall. Raised to a pinnacle of greatness, and surrounded with the gifts of fortune, Solomon became dizzy, lost his balance, and fell. Constantly extolled by men of the world for his unsurpassed wisdom, he at length was unable to withstand the flattery. The gift of heaven, the wisdom which was entrusted to him by God, and which should ever have been used to glorify the Giver, filled Solomon with pride. He forgot that man, in humility, must reveal constant reverence for God.
Like the tabernacle, the temple had been built in accordance with specifications divinely given. And it was through the Lord's blessing that the people were enabled to give and prepare the necessary material. All the temple services were divinely instituted. And yet the honor was diverted from God, and given to Solomon. He finally allowed men to speak of him as the one most worthy of praise for the matchless splendor of the building that had been planned and erected for the honor of "the name of the Lord God of Israel."
Thus it was that the temple of Jehovah came to be known throughout the nations as "Solomon's temple." The human agent had taken to himself the glory that belonged to "the One higher than the highest." Even to this day the temple of which Solomon had declared to the Lord, "This house which I have builded is called by thy name," is oftenest spoken of, not as the temple of Jehovah, but as "Solomon's temple."
The course followed by Daniel, to whom God gave "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom," is in striking contrast with the course followed by Solomon during the latter years of his reign. In Daniel's life, the desire to glorify God was the most powerful of all motives. He realized that when standing in the presence of men of influence, a failure to acknowledge God as the source of his wisdom would have made him an unfaithful steward. And his constant recognition of the God of heaven before kings, princes, and statesmen, detracted not one iota from his influence. King Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Daniel so often honored the name of God, was finally thoroughly converted, and learned to "praise and extol and honor the King of heaven." And to the close of his career Daniel honored God.
In connection with every line of God's work in the earth today, the Name that is above every other name is to be honored. The gospel ministry, the publishing work, the medical missionary work, the educational work,--all are of heavenly origin. Not one of these lines of service has been originated or perfected by any human being. God has given the wisdom that has made possible the rapid development of every department of his cause. Let no man take unto himself the glory that belongs to God alone. Let no line of work, no institution, bear a name that would divert honor from God to any man or any set of men. Let us remember that the beautiful temple which was erected for the honor of "the name of the Lord God of Israel," came to be known, through the apostasy of the builder, as "Solomon's temple."
Said the great apostle Paul: "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." Let every worker understand that as he strives to advance the glory of God in our world, whether he stands before Christians or infidels, peasants or princes, he is to make God first, and last, and best in everything. Man can not show greater weakness than by allowing men to ascribe to him the honor for gifts that are heaven-bestowed. God must stand the highest. The worldly wisdom of the greatest men is foolishness with him. The true Christian will exalt the name of the Lord. No ambitious motive will chill his love for God; steadily, perseveringly will he cause honor to redound to his Heavenly Father.
"It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." When we are faithful in making God known, our impulses will be under divine supervision, and we shall make steady growth, spiritually and intellectually. It is Christ's power alone that can give success to the human agent. God has given every man talents, that his name may be exalted; not that man may be lauded and praised, honored and glorified, while the Giver is forgotten. Let those around you see that you give God the glory. Let self be crucified; let God appear.
Jesus, our divine Master, ever exalted the name of his Heavenly Father. He taught his disciples to pray, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." And they were not to forget to acknowledge, "Thine is the glory." So careful was the great Healer to direct attention from himself to the source of his power, that the wondering multitude, "when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see," glorified not Him; "they glorified the God of Israel." In his wonderful prayer offered just before the crucifixion, he declared: "I have glorified thee on the earth." "Glorify thy Son," he pleaded, "that thy Son also may glorify thee." "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
"Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord."
"I will praise the name of God, . . . and will magnify him with thanksgiving." "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power."
"I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name forevermore." "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together." (The Review and Herald, January 11, 1906 par. 1-17)
Notice that Solomon was a man like any other man, in whom The LORD worked by HIS Word to build for HIMSELF a Tabernacle, a House, to reveal HIS Name in all the earth. But the house that was made with hands to give Glory to GOD, WHO by HIS Word designed the building, to bring Glory to GOD; it became known, not as GOD’S Tabernacle, or The Tabernacle of The LORD God of Israel, but by the Name “Solomon’s Temple”. GOD’S Glory by HIS Word of Promise was eclipsed by the blessings that He gave to bring Glory unto HIS Holy NAME.
Today GOD is still working by HIS Word to bring Glory to HIS NAME through those, who receive HIS Word, to minister to HIS people all around the world, to guide HIS people, according to HIS Word to restore their connection with HIM. Yet, many make a name for themselves by eclipsing GOD’S Glory, in HIS Word, by not pointing HIS people to follow The Will of GOD, as revealed in HIS Word. Many are following their own way, to worship their god, on their day of worship, which leads HIS people to doubt, and trust not in GOD, or HIS Word, but to go contrary to HIS Will by HIS Word.
Before leaving to return to The Father in Heaven, Christ Jesus had revealed to His disciples His plans. After reestablishing The Connection between GOD and man; to test for a live connection, or an open connection between heaven and earth, between GOD and man, He presented a question to them that can only be answered by HIM, WHO knows the answer. The answer would be given to those, who have established the connection with The Father, WHO sent Him. Jesus said to His disciples, “…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, 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 16:13-19).
Notice that Christ Jesus has declared that He will build His church. He did not say that He would build His churches. Christ Jesus only has One Bride, not many wives. Yet, when He returns for His Bride, which one of the many churches in this world will He choose, as His Bride? To His disciples, Christ Jesus revealed another Key, to help Him to know, which one of the many churches in the world, is His Bride. Rather asking a question to them, this time, Judas (not Judas Iscariot); said unto Him, “…Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, 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. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you. But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:22-26).
Before giving this Key to Judas, Jesus said unto them that, “…I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17). The Same Key Connection that enabled Peter to receive The Answer to the question that Jesus presented, to test for His True Church, That Same Key given to His disciples distinguished His church from all the false churches that are in the world. For he that knows Jesus to be The Son of The Living GOD, he will also know The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive. For he, who loves The Word of GOD, and will keep HIS Word, he will be as one, who longs for The Word, whom he loves. And Christ Jesus and The Father will love him, and He and His Father will come unto him, and make their abode with him.
As one, who loved GOD’S Word, Paul testified of Him and said, “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 longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-4). Notice that the unity of The Spirit in the bond of Peace is given by The Spirit of GOD to make us One, not only in The Spirit, but in The Spirit and Truth.
When Jesus asked His disciples the question, saying “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The replied answer was varied by many views, which were not in the unity of the Spirit of Truth, because there were many varying views, which could not be unified on error. But when Jesus asked His disciples the question, “…whom say ye that I am?”, Peter, as the spokesman for the group, he said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. The answer that Peter gave in response to the question, Jesus had revealed to them that it was not from flesh and blood. The Spirit of Truth is given of GOD, to teach us, not just some things, but all things, and to bring all things to our remembrance, whatsoever Jesus has revealed unto those, who Love GOD’S Word. But men, who do not love GOD’S Word, they will have varying views to confuse those, who know not The Truth.
Paul testified of The Truth, Who was revealed to him and said, “[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. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 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 4:5-13).
Notice that in the same way that Solomon received The Gift of The Spirit of Wisdom from GOD, likewise Christ Jesus gave gifts unto men, to build up and edify The Tabernacle of His body--The Church. His body is not divided up in many different religious groups. For Paul raised the question saying, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12, 13)
Notice that Paul was addressing the problem of eclipsing The Glory of Christ, which is being done even unto this day. For Paul has made it clear that there is one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling. There is One Lord and one faith, not many beliefs of faith. There is only one baptism, which is a symbol of Christ Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, which was done once and for all, who are made One with Him in the body of His death, which we die daily, to be born anew to be raised and be One in Spirit, Who is with The One God and Father of all, WHO is above all, and through all, and in us all.
And because we all are to come into 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 fullness of Christ, Paul is saying that the unity of the faith is given, “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 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” (Ephesians 4:14-17).
Notice his Paul has shared these things with the church at Corinth that all, who follow the One faith might not walk, as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, for we do not hear of any record of a church of Paul, or a church of any of the disciples. After Jesus appointed His Gifts to His disciples, Matthew testified of Him and said, “…Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world...” (Matthew 28:18-20).
In his letter to Timothy, Paul said to him, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:15, 16).
And the disciples, who received The Gifts of GOD, John testified and said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:3-10).
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philppians 4:6, 7). The world's Redeemer sought to bring to the hearts of the sorrowing disciples the strongest solace. But from a large field of subjects, He chose the theme of the Holy Spirit, which was to inspire and comfort their hearts. And yet, though Christ made much of this theme concerning the Holy Spirit, how little is it dwelt upon in the churches! The name and presence of the Holy Spirit are almost ignored, yet the divine influence is essential in the work of perfecting the Christian character.
Some are not at peace, not at rest; they are in a state of constant fretfulness, and permit impulse and passion to rule their hearts. They know not what it means to experience peace and rest in Christ. They are as a ship without anchor, driven with the wind and tossed. But those whose minds are controlled by the Holy Spirit walk in humility and meekness; for they work in Christ's lines, and will be kept in perfect peace, while those who are not controlled by the Holy Spirit are like the restless sea.
The Lord has given us a divine directory by which we may know His will. Those who are self-centered, self-sufficient, do not feel their need of searching the Bible, and they are greatly disturbed if others do not have the same defective ideas, and see with the same distorted vision that they do. But he who is guided by the Holy Spirit has cast his anchor within the veil wherein Jesus has entered for us. He searches the Scriptures with eager earnestness, and seeks for light and knowledge to guide him amid the perplexities and perils which at every step compass his path. Those who are restless, complaining, murmuring, read the Bible for the purpose of vindicating their own course of action, and they ignore or pervert the counsels of God. He who has peace has placed his will on the side of God's will, and longs to follow the divine guidance.--Signs of the Times, Aug. 14, 1893. (Ye Shall Receive Power, Page 73)
The Lord Jesus has sent His servants into all the world, to co-labor with Him in building up His Kingdom, and He has promised to return to His House, His Tabernacle, which we are, to be founded upon “The Pillar and Ground of The Truth”, to present and teach all nations to observe, and to keep the Words that He has taught us through His disciples, who received The Spirit of Truth, Whom The World cannot receive, because it sees Him not, but all, who received GOD Word of Truth, they will know Him, because He dwells in them to give them His Power to be One with Him in His House. For Paul wrote and said, “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…” (Hebrews 3:1-8).
In John’s testimony of Christ Jesus, he said of Him that, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:10-14). Notice that by receiving Him, He gives all, who receives Him to become sons of GOD. Which means that He dwells within us.
For He said in His prayer to The Father “…for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”. (John 17:19-24)
Notice that in His prayer for His church, Christ Jesus has revealed that He has sanctify Himself, that we, who have received Him might be sanctified in us through our receiving of The Truth. And His work of sanctification is a work of purification, which purifies all, who will dwell in Him, and He in them. This is His Work of Atonement, where we become One with Him, by partaking of His divine nature to become children of GOD.
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