The great Teacher held in His hand the entire map of truth, but He did not disclose it all to His disciples. He opened to them those subjects only which were essential to their advancement in the path to heaven. There were many things in regard to which His wisdom kept Him silent.
As Christ withheld many things from His disciples, knowing that then it would be impossible for them to comprehend, so today He withholds many things from us, knowing the limited capacity of our understanding.
We are to work as Christ worked. We are to move carefully. We are not to pour forth ideas that contradict the light which God has given, neither are we to follow methods that are opposed to His will. Let us tread in Christ’s footsteps. As we follow Him, we may know that we are walking in the pathway of life.
No one is to take part in the solemn ordinance of baptism without giving the subject careful, prayerful thought. The candidates and especially the youth, are to be carefully instructed in regard to the obligations they assume in taking this step. They pledge themselves to devote their lives to God’s service; and the three great Powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge themselves to cooperate with them, to work in and through them. As they accept Christ as their Saviour, they receive power to become the sons of God.
As men and women thus enter into covenant relation with God, they take the name of Christian. From henceforth they are to live the life of Christ. They have been buried with Him, and with Him raised to newness of life, and they are to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Let the people of God remember that they will gain strength only by trusting in Him, not by signing human agreements to obtain worldly standing and influence. God’s word to us is, “Cease ye from man, who is finite and erring, and whose influence is often cast on the wrong side. Link up with Christ, the Author and Finisher of your faith.”
Every particle of your strength and influence, every moment of your time, belongs to God. Look not to man as your leader, but to God, the living God. He will put His Spirit upon all who serve Him with whole-hearted devotion. Every part of the being belongs to Him; He has bought it with the life of His Son.
The power of God has been placed at the disposal of the church. There is power for every one who holds the beginning of his confidence firm unto the end. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.” It is by complying with Christ’s invitation, “Come unto Me,” by wearing gladly His yoke of restraint, that we find rest. Thus haughty self-sufficiency is expelled, and the meekness and lowliness of Christ find a place in the daily life. When a man gives himself to God, Christ controls every part and fiber of the being, making that man a power for good.
No human plans or arrangements can cure the church of its coldness and hardness of heart. In the pride of worldly wisdom and worldly ambition to be first, may be found the reason that the work of the gospel, notwithstanding its boundless resources, meets with so little success, comparatively. Our Saviour rejoiced in spirit and offered thanks to God as He thought of how the value of truth, though hidden from the wise and prudent, is revealed to babes—those who realize their weakness and feel their dependence on Him.
God declares that He will spue out of His mouth those who exalt themselves, extolling their own wisdom. They have not in their characters the fragrance of Christ’s character. So well-satisfied are they that they would bind men up with agreements as a remedy for all the evils that exist.
Those who are but babes in Christ will exert a far stronger influence for good than those who, filled with self-sufficiency, refuse to receive the light and knowledge that God offers them, saying, “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” But the words and works of these self-exalted ones are disgusting to the self-denying Redeemer. The One who knows all things says to them, “I will not hear thy prayers, neither will I commend thy service.” [Revelation 3:15-19, quoted].
Fearful perils are before those who bear responsibilities in the cause of God—perils the thought of which make me tremble. But the word comes, “My hand is upon the wheel, and I will not allow men to control My work for these last days. My hand is turning the wheel, and My providence will continue to work out the divine plans, irrespective of human inventions. Man’s plans will be overthrown, and the Lord God of heaven will reveal His glory. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will work out Heaven’s law. These three great Powers have pledged themselves to bring to nought the inventions of idolatrous human minds. They have put the infinite treasures of heaven at the command of God’s struggling people. As the wheel is turned by a divine hand, the philosophy of the wisest men who are working contrary to My purposes will become intricate and confused.”
Let us remember that the coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. What a wonderful thought it is that the great controversy is nearing its end. In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great Powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness, who will not bind yokes on the necks of their fellow beings, but will break every yoke of human invention.
The Lord speaks, saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, 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.” This is His promise. Will we comply with the conditions?
When Christ was on this earth, He sought in vain for something with which to compare His kingdom. “Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God,” He said, “and with what comparison shall I compare it?” He who is the Wisdom of God seemed to hesitate, embarrassed. There was nothing in earthly governments which He could use as a means of comparison. Society contained no fitting symbol of His church.
The kingdom of Christ does not and cannot bear any resemblance to the kingdoms of the world. In the kingdom of Christ there is no instrument of coercion. In it force has no place. The gospel of Him who gave His life for the life of the world is a gospel of peace. It is the Saviour’s grace, His love, His tender compassion, that breaks every barrier down. The gospel is a power of itself, above all and encompassing all. It is a divine, immutable principle, as well-spring fed by the stream that flows from the throne of God.
“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,” Christ declared. And to His disciples He gave the commission: [Matthew 28:18-20, quoted]. [Mark 16:17, 18, 15, 20; Luke 24:44-53, quoted.]
The commission given to the disciples is given to us. The power promised to them is promised also to us. But have we fulfilled the commission? Have we placed ourselves where God can give us the power that He gave the disciples—power that enabled them to preach the gospel so mightily that thousands were converted in a day? How can we expect the approval of Heaven while we leave our fellow beings unwarned? Our people in the home field have not felt as they should the responsibility of working for their neighbors. They have not prayerfully taken up the work lying before them. Earnest, sanctified, evangelical work has not been done for those in America who are unenlightened. In this field there are many unworked cities, many places that should be made centers of truth. Bible truth is to be brought before many people, and is to be efficacious in preparing a people to stand in the day of the Lord.1White, Ellen Gould. “Christ’s Method of Imparting Truth.” 1902. MS 1531, Manuscript Releases. Ellen G. White Estate, Silver Spring, MD. Web.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||White, Ellen Gould. “Christ’s Method of Imparting Truth.” 1902. MS 1531, Manuscript Releases. Ellen G. White Estate, Silver Spring, MD. Web.|