“The Meaning Of Conversion” 08/17

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again….

A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling.

So it is with the religion of many. When the warp and woof of character will not stand the test of trial, the material of which it is composed is worthless. The efforts made to patch the old with a new piece do not better the condition of things; for the old, flimsy material breaks away from the new, leaving the rent much larger than before. Patching will not do. The only way is to discard the old garment altogether, and procure one entirely new.

Christ’s plan is the only safe one. He declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” … The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart.

Jesus gave His life … for us, and shall we not give Him our best affections, our holiest aspirations, our fullest service?

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

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“Prejudice On The Increase” 05/14

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:13, 14.

He who is closely connected with Christ is lifted above the prejudice of color or caste. His faith takes hold of eternal realities. The divine Author of truth is to be uplifted. Our hearts are to be filled with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The work of the good Samaritan is the example that we are to follow.

It will be impossible to adjust all matters regarding the color question in accordance with the Lord’s order until those who believe the truth are so closely united with Christ that they are one with Him. Both the white and the colored members of our churches need to be converted. There are some of both classes who are unreasonable, and when the color question is agitated, they manifest unsanctified, unconverted traits of character. Quarrelsome elements are easily aroused in those who, because they have never learned to wear the yoke of Christ, are opinionated and obstinate. In such, self clamors with an unsanctified determination for the supremacy.

As time advances, and race prejudices increase, it will become almost impossible, in many places, for white workers to labor for the colored people. Sometimes the white people who are not in sympathy with our work will unite with colored people to oppose it, claiming that our teaching is an effort to break up churches and bring in trouble over the Sabbath question. White ministers and colored ministers will make false statements, arousing in the minds of the people such a feeling of antagonism that they will be ready to destroy and to kill.

The powers of hell are working with all their ingenuity to prevent the proclamation of the last message of mercy among the colored people. Satan is working to make it most difficult for the gospel minister and teacher to ignore the prejudice that exists between the white and the colored people.

Let us follow the course of wisdom. Let us do nothing that will unnecessarily arouse opposition—nothing that will hinder the proclamation of the gospel message.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Searching Questions” 02/11

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. Psalm 24:3, 4.

A soul united with Christ … will war against all transgression and every approach of sin. He becomes every day more like a bright and shining light, and more victorious. He goes on from strength to strength, not from weakness to weakness.

Let no one deceive his own soul in this matter. If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil-speaking, lying, deception, slandering, you have not Christ abiding in your heart…. You must have a Christian character that will stand….

There must be thorough conversions among those who claim to believe the truth, or they will fall in the day of trial. God’s people must reach a high standard. They must be a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation—zealous of good works. Christ has not died for you that you may possess the passions, tastes, and habits of men of the world….

No man enters the portals of glory but he who sets his heart thitherward. Then let the questions come home, Do you mind earthly things? Are your thoughts pure? Are you breathing the atmosphere of heaven? Do you carry with you the miasma of pollution? … Are you earnest and devoted, serving God with purity and in the beauty of holiness? Ask sincerely, Am I a child of God, or am I not? …

We need a thorough reformation in all our churches. The converting power of God must come into the church…. Put not off the day of preparation. Slumber not in a state of unpreparedness, having no oil in your vessels with your lamps…. Let not the question remain in perilous uncertainty. Ask yourselves earnestly, Am I among the saved, or the unsaved? Shall I stand, or shall I not stand? He only that hath clean hands and a pure heart shall stand in that day.

It is the privilege of every son of God to be a true Christian moment by moment; then he has all heaven enlisted on his side.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“God’s Judgments In The Land” 01/17

Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. Luke 21:26.

O that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost given to idolatry! …

Not long ago a very impressive scene passed before me. I saw an immense ball of fire falling among some beautiful mansions, causing their instant destruction. I heard someone say, “We knew that the judgments of God were coming upon the earth, but we did not know that they would come so soon.” Others said, “You knew? Why then did you not tell us? We did not know.” On every side I heard such words spoken….

Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes. As never before we need to press together, serving Him who has prepared His throne in the heavens and whose kingdom ruleth over all. God has not forsaken His people, and our strength lies in not forsaking Him.

The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment….

Last Friday morning, just before I awoke, a very impressive scene was presented before me. I seemed to awake from sleep but was not in my home. From the windows I could behold a terrible conflagration. Great balls of fire were falling upon houses, and from these balls fiery arrows were flying in every direction. It was impossible to check the fires that were kindled, and many places were being destroyed. The terror of the people was indescribable.

Strictly will the cities of the nations be dealt with, and yet they will not be visited in the extreme of God’s indignation, because some souls will yet break away from the delusions of the enemy, and will repent and be converted, while the mass will be treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Karen The Lightbearer: The Rescue” Part Nine

Sloppy Joe finally awoke. He saw that he was bleeding and was surprised that he was still alive after what just happened to him. He then turned to look at his comrades. They were still alive too.

“Praise His Majesty!” Sloppy Joe whispered.

Concord turned to him and smiled. “Sloppy! It’s good to see that you are still alive!” he exclaimed in joy.

“How are you feeling?” Honest asked.

“I’m feeling fine,” Sloppy Joe answered. Then he noticed the dimness in his eyes. “Honest, what happened to your eyes?”

Honest tried to keep his voice steady so he wouldn’t cry again. “I lost my sight from the beating the people gave me. I’m now blind.” he said sadly.

“Oh, no!” Sloppy Joe whispered.

Honest heard him and said, “Don’t worry, Sloppy. Things will work out. When we are rescued I will receive help for my condition.”

Sloppy Joe wondered if they would really be rescued. How many more times can they endure the beatings? He felt so weak that he wondered if the next beating would kill him. His body couldn’t take anymore.

Death is no big deal. If I die I will wake up and see the King in His glory in the clouds. He was greatly encouraged by this hope and he knew that he would have fought a good fight if his life should end. Then he thought of Concord and Honest. Would they die too or would they somehow get out of this trial with their lives? Only the Good King knew what the outcome would be for them. And He would work out what was best.

The door began to open and Sloppy Joe braced himself for the worst.

Concord turned to Honest and said, “They’re coming for us again, dear brother. Be brave.”

Honest trembled and nodded. As the footsteps of the crowd got closer to them he called out the Name of the Good King, “Help us, Lord Jesus!” he cried.

A hand touched the blind man’s face. Fearing that he was going to get beaten again he whimpered, “Please no!”

The hand gently stroked his face. “Don’t be afraid. You won’t be harmed anymore.”

Honest recognized the voice as the leader of the crowd. Was he really not going to hurt them anymore or was he tricking them? “Y-You won’t?” he asked.

The leader answered him by wiping his bruised and bloodied face with a damp cloth. As he tended to Honest’s wounds he commanded the two tough looking men to release Sloppy Joe and Concord from their bonds. They gladly obeyed him. When he was done cleaning Honest’s face he untied him himself from his chair.

“Quick! Let’s get them to the nearest hospital!” said the leader to the crowd.

Sloppy Joe looked at the crowd. It was a lot smaller now and the people now had love and concern on their expressions instead of hatred. He then looked at the leader. He was no longer wearing his black bandanna and his face showed deep compassion. Though his face was swollen, Sloppy Joe tried to smile at this change he was witnessing. The Good King had reached out to these folks and it was wonderful that they had opened themselves to Him.

The crowd helped Sloppy Joe, Concord, and Honest to their feet and slowly walked them out of the room. Trust stayed close to his brothers and the two Lightbearers stayed close to their dear friend. The brothers were happy to be reunited with their younger brother again. They loved each other so much that it was hard for them to be separated.

When they were out of the building the leader helped the three injured Believers in his car. When they were inside and buckled up he then drove them quickly to a hospital. Karen, Eddy, and Trust followed the car by foot since they knew where the hospital was on their way to the TV station.

*******

In the hospital the doctors and nurses took care of Sloppy Joe, Concord, and Honest’s wounds. They also gave them water to drink because they were dehydrated during their captivity.

The reformed crowd visited them and asked for their forgiveness for the ways that they had treated them. The Believers willingly forgave them.

“We’re just happy that you have accepted the Good King and now have eternal life in His Name.” Sloppy Joe said to them. “What brought such a miracle to take place?”

“Please tell us,” said Honest.

The leader spoke up. “We would still be what we were if it weren’t for the two Lightbearers who came to us. Their prayers had freed me from my bondage to a demon that had control over me. The Good King’s power is more than the power of darkness.”

Karen and Eddy then stepped forward.

Sloppy Joe and Concord looked at them in amazement. They saw the likeness of the Good King shining through them. Poor Honest couldn’t see but he felt the presence of his King. The motel owner remembered the first time he saw the young Believers glowing like this. The brightness was so powerful that it chased the Forces Of Evil away, protecting him and his friends in the basement of his motel.*

“The Light of the Good King’s Truth has saved me once again,” he said to Karen and Eddy. “I’m so glad to have Lightbearers as my friends.”

The teenage girl and little man smiled.

Sloppy Joe then looked up at the ceiling and said, “Thank you, Your Majesty for saving each one of us.”

Trust then entered the hospital. After saying hi to Sloppy Joe and Concord he went over to Honest and gently held his hand. “Brother?” he said.

Honest recognized his voice. “Hello, Trust. How are you doing?”

“Fine,” he answered. “I have wonderful news dear brother.”

“What is it?” Honest asked him.

“The crowd who have captured you but are now Believers are going to pitch in and help you get your eyes fixed so you can see again.”

Honest felt doubtful. “Is it possible for a blind man to regain his sight?”

“I and my friends have spoken to one of the doctors and he said that they have surgery that can cure blindness. I think you should do it. It’s worth a try.”

Honest was uncomfortable with the idea of having surgery. Maybe being unable to see wasn’t so bad after all. He could get used to it, though he would miss seeing the faces of his brothers. How great it would be to be able to see again! If only it could be done without surgery. However, if this was something that the Good King had set up for him he wanted to take advantage of it.

“Okay, I’ll give it a try.” he said.

“Would you like me to tell the doctor?” Trust asked.

“Yes, and tell him that I’m ready for it anytime.”

To Be Continued.

*  See “Karen The Lightbearer: The Game”