“Beware Of Man-Made Tests” 05/19

Beware … of evil workers…. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:2, 3.

There are those who need in their hearts the touch of the divine Spirit. Then the message for this time will be their burden. They will not search for human tests, for something new and strange. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time.

The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time…. The time is coming when all those who worship God will be distinguished by this sign. They will be known as the servants of God, by this mark of their allegiance to Heaven. But all man-made tests will divert the mind from the great and important doctrines that constitute the present truth.

It is the desire and plan of Satan to bring in among us those who will go to great extremes—people of narrow minds, who are critical and sharp, and very tenacious in holding their own conceptions of what the truth means. They will be exacting, and will seek to enforce rigorous duties, and go to great lengths in matters of minor importance, while they neglect the weightier matters of the law—judgment and mercy and the love of God. Through the work of a few of this class of persons, the whole body of Sabbathkeepers will be designated as bigoted … and fanatical….

God has a special work for the men of experience to do. They are to guard the cause of God. They are to see that the work of God is not committed to men who feel it their privilege to move out on their own independent judgment, to preach whatever they please, and to be responsible to no one for their instructions or work. Let this spirit of self-sufficiency once rule in our midst, and there will be no harmony of action, no unity of spirit, no safety for the work, and no healthful growth in the cause….Christ prayed that His followers might be one as He and the Father were one. Those who desire to see this prayer answered, should seek to discourage the slightest tendency to division, and try to keep the spirit of unity and love among brethren.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“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

“Motivated By Love” 04/03

And this commandment we have from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 John 4:21.

Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother…. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance….

Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good….

The glory of heaven is in lifting up the fallen, comforting the distressed…. No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste is recognized by God…. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It lifts out of Satan’s circle the poor souls who have been deluded by his deceptions. It places them within reach of the throne of God, the throne encircled by the rainbow of promise….

Christ is seeking to uplift all who will be lifted to companionship with Himself, that we may be one with Him as He is one with the Father. He permits us to come in contact with suffering and calamity in order to call us out of our selfishness; He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character—compassion, tenderness, and love….

“If thou wilt keep my charge,” the Lord declares, “I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by”—even among the angels that surround His throne. (Zechariah 3:7.) By cooperating with heavenly beings in their work on earth, we are preparing for their companionship in heaven.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“The Only True Standard Of Character”

Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye? Matthew 7:3.

Even the sentence, “Thou that judgest does the same things,” does not reach the magnitude of his sin who presumes to criticize and condemn his brother. Jesus said, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

His words describe one who is swift to discern a defect in others. When he thinks he has detected a flaw in the character of the life he is exceedingly zealous in trying to point it out; but Jesus declares that the very trait of character developed in doing this un-Christlike work is, in comparison with the fault criticized, as a beam in proportion to a mote. It is one’s own lack of the spirit of forbearance and love that leads him to make a world of an atom. Those who have never experienced the contrition of an entire surrender to Christ do not in their life make manifest the softening influence of the Saviour’s love. They misrepresent the gentle, courteous spirit of the gospel and wound precious souls, for whom Christ died….

Christ is the only true standard of character, and he who sets himself up as a standard for others is putting himself in the place of Christ. And since the Father “hath committed all judgment unto the Son” whoever presumes to judge the motives of others is again usurping the prerogative of the Son of God. These would-be judges and critics are placing themselves on the side of antichrist, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The sin that leads to the most unhappy results is the cold, critical, unforgiving spirit that characterizes Pharisaism. When the religious experience is devoid of love, Jesus is not there; the sunshine of His presence is not there…. There may be a wonderful keenness of perception to discover the defects of others; but to everyone who indulges this spirit, Jesus says, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 125, 126).

Not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self-dignity, and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother, have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart…. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. The revelation of Christ in your own character will have a transforming power upon all with whom you come in contact. Let Christ be daily made manifest in you, and He will reveal through you the creative energy of His word—a gentle, persuasive, yet mighty influence to re-create other souls in the beauty of the Lord our God (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 128, 129).

From “Lift Him Up”, by Ellen White, pg. 335

“Do Not Judge”

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Matthew 7:1, 2, NKJV.

I understand how the enemy is working, and I wish to say to every soul, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” There are times when we have to take a decided stand, but in magnifying the Lord be sure that you do not condemn and make charges against others. It would cause all the powers of hell to rejoice if our people were to become divided.

The way has been preparing for contention and division. Some are in great danger of drifting into infidelity. Now let your study be to save these imperiled souls. I have sorrow, great sorrow, of heart, that they do not understand their bearings….

There is one thing you can do. You can see that you yourselves are in a condition of repentance. Your hearts need to be converted. The end is near; the time is short. Plead with God; clear the King’s highway; and lift up the trailing standard on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” As you advance step by step, proclaim, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Moses declared, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Sure this great nation is a wise and understanding people…. Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons and thy son’s sons” (Deuteronomy 4:5-9) (Letter 30, 1906).

And the Saviour has plainly said, “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged”…. Who can stand before God and plead a faultless character, a blameless life? And how, then, dare any criticize and condemn their brethren? Those who themselves can hope for salvation only through the merits of Christ, who must seek forgiveness by virtue of His blood, are under the strongest obligation to exercise love, pity, and forgiveness toward their fellow sinners….

While you condemn others, the Lord condemns you…. May the Lord move upon the hearts of the individual members of the church, until His transforming grace shall be revealed in life and character. Then when you assemble together it will not be to criticize one another, but to talk of Jesus and His love (The Review and Herald, November 30, 1886).

From “Lift Him Up”, by Ellen White, pg. 334