The Seal Of God And The Mark Of The Beast. Part 1 |

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Never Dishonor God by Violating Righteous Principles, June 29

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners. Proverbs 1:19, NKJV. BLJ 192.1
To every person is given his or her work. Each has a place in the eternal plan of heaven. It is the duty of fathers and mothers to overcome their own lawlessness, their untidy habits. Truth is clean and pure and of great value and needs to be brought into the character building. Those who have the truth, the love of the truth in their hearts, will make any and every sacrifice that this truth may have the first place in everything…. BLJ 192.2
There are those in our churches who have much to say in regard to Christianity, but in whose presence we should always be guarded, for they dismiss the Word of God from their business transactions. When there is buying and selling to be done, God is not by their side. The enemy is on the ground, and he takes possession of them. Christian brotherhood and love is laid a sacrifice on the altar of greed. God, heaven, the precepts of Jehovah, His oft-repeated injunctions, are obliterated from the soul. They know not what it means to practice the principles laid down in the Word of God. They sell their souls for unlawful gain. So thick is the veil which blinds their eyes that they can see only the fraudulent gain. So hard is the incrustation that envelops the heart that it feels not the love and tenderness and pity of Christ for their fellow beings. The holiness and truth of God are shut out from their souls. BLJ 192.3
Will the people of God frown down all this corrupting influence? Will they give their hearts to God? Will they deal mercifully with their fellow mortals? Will Seventh-day Adventists bear in mind that they cannot swerve from truth in their dealings with their fellow beings, that they cannot violate justice or let go their integrity without forsaking God? Anything that dishonors Him will never benefit you. People who expect to prosper by violating the eternal principles of righteousness are laying up for themselves a harvest they will not care to reap. They place themselves in the enemy’s ranks and bring degradation upon themselves. Although for a time they may seem to prosper, they can never help to compose the family of God.—Sermons and Talks 2:133, 134. BLJ 192.4

In Planning, Consider the Unending Future, June 28

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8, NKJV. BLJ 191.1
The accounts of every business, the details of every transaction, pass the scrutiny of unseen auditors, agents of Him who never compromises with injustice, never overlooks evil, never palliates wrong…. BLJ 191.2
Against all evildoers God’s law utters condemnation. They may disregard that voice, they may seek to drown its warning, but in vain. It follows them. It makes itself heard. It destroys their peace. If unheeded, it pursues them to the grave. It bears witness against them at the judgment. A quenchless fire, it consumes at last soul and body. BLJ 191.3
“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37). BLJ 191.4
This is a question that demands consideration by every parent, every teacher, every student—by every human being, young or old. No scheme of business or plan of life can be sound or complete that embraces only the brief years of this present life and makes no provision for the unending future. Let the youth be taught to take eternity into their reckoning. Let them be taught to choose the principles and seek the possessions that are enduring—to lay up for themselves that “treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth” (Luke 12:33)…. BLJ 191.5
All who do this are making the best possible preparation for life in this world. No man or woman can lay up treasure in heaven without finding life on earth thereby enriched and ennobled. BLJ 191.6
“Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).—Education, 144, 145. BLJ 191.7

Invest to Glorify God, Not Self, June 26

Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3, NKJV. BLJ 189.1
I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify the owners and builders…. Those to whom these buildings belonged were not asking themselves: “How can we best glorify God?” The Lord was not in their thoughts. BLJ 189.2
I thought: “Oh, that those who are thus investing their means could see their course as God sees it! They are piling up magnificent buildings, but how foolish in the sight of the Ruler of the universe is their planning and devising. They are not studying with all the powers of heart and mind how they may glorify God. They have lost sight of this, the first duty of human beings.” BLJ 189.3
As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self and provoking the envy of their neighbors. Much of the money that they thus invested had been obtained through exaction, through grinding down the poor. They forgot that in heaven an account of every business transaction is kept; every unjust deal, every fraudulent act, is there recorded. The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men and women will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah…. BLJ 189.4
There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men and women would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.—Testimonies for the Church 9:12, 13. BLJ 189.5

Show Divine Love by Being Merciful, June 24

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. Psalm 103:17, 18, NKJV. BLJ 187.1
Mercy is an attribute that the human agent may share with God. As did Christ, so one may lay hold on the divine arm and be in communication with divine power. To us has been given a service of mercy to perform for our fellow human beings. In performing this service, we are laboring together with God. We do well, then, to be merciful, even as our Father in heaven is merciful. BLJ 187.2
“I will have mercy,” God says, “and not sacrifice.” Mercy is kind, pitiful. Mercy and the love of God purify the soul, beautify the heart, and cleanse the life from selfishness. Mercy is a manifestation of divine love, and is shown by those who, identified with God, serve Him by reflecting the light of heaven upon the pathway of their fellow creatures. BLJ 187.3
The condition of many persons calls for the exercise of genuine mercy. Christians, in their dealing with one another, are to be controlled by principles of mercy and love. They are to improve every opportunity for helping fellow beings in distress. The duty of every Christian is plainly outlined in the words: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” These are the principles that we shall do well to cherish. BLJ 187.4
Let those who desire to perfect a Christlike character ever keep in view the cross on which Christ died a cruel death in order to redeem humankind. Let them ever cherish the same merciful spirit that led the Savior to make an infinite sacrifice for our redemption.—The Signs of the Times, May 21, 1902. BLJ 187.5

Be Compassionate When Poverty Is Unavoidable, June 23

Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards reproof will be honored. Proverbs 13:18, NKJV. BLJ 186.1
In the parable [Matthew 18:32] the Lord summoned the unmerciful debtor, and “said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me; shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.” “So likewise,” said Jesus, “shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” Those who refuse to forgive are thereby casting away their own hope of pardon. BLJ 186.2
But the teaching of this parable should not be misapplied. God’s forgiveness toward us lessens in no wise our duty to obey Him. So the spirit of forgiveness toward our fellow beings does not lessen the claim of just obligation. In the prayer which Christ taught His disciples He said, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). BLJ 186.3
By this He did not mean that in order to be forgiven our sins we must not require our just dues from our debtors. If they cannot pay, even though this may be the result of unwise management, they are not to be cast into prison, oppressed, or even treated harshly; but the parable does not teach us to encourage indolence. The Word of God declares that “anyone unwilling to work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10, NRSV). BLJ 186.4
The Lord does not require the hardworking man or woman to support others in idleness. With many there is a waste of time, a lack of effort, which brings to poverty and want. If these faults are not corrected by those who indulge them, all that might be done in their behalf would be like putting treasure into a bag with holes. Yet there is an unavoidable poverty, and we are to manifest tenderness and compassion toward those who are unfortunate. We should treat others just as we ourselves, in like circumstances, would wish to be treated.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 247, 248. BLJ 186.5

Imitate Christ, Not the World, June 22

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV. BLJ 185.1
I saw that God’s people are in great peril; many are dwellers upon the earth; their interest and affections are centered in the world. Their example is not right. The world is deceived by the course pursued by many who profess great and noble truths. Our responsibility is in accordance with the light given, the graces and gifts bestowed. On the workers whose talents, whose means, whose opportunities and abilities, are greatest rests the heaviest responsibility…. BLJ 185.2
Brother A was presented before me to represent a class who are in a similar position. They have never been indifferent to the smallest worldly advantage. By diligent business tact and successful investments, by trading, not on pounds, but on pence and farthings, they have accumulated property. But in doing this they have educated faculties inconsistent with the development of Christian character. Their lives in no way represent Christ; for they love the world and its gain better than they love God or the truth. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” BLJ 185.3
All the abilities which men and women possess belong to God. Worldly conformity and attachments are emphatically forbidden in His Word. When the power of the transforming grace of God is felt upon the heart, it will send a person, hitherto worldly, into every pathway of beneficence. Those who have in their hearts a determination to lay up treasure in the world will “fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil [the foundation of all avarice and worldliness]: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” … BLJ 185.4
Jesus has opened to everyone a way by which wisdom, grace, and power may be obtained. He is our example in all things, and nothing should divert the mind from the main object in life, which is to have Christ in the soul, melting and subduing the heart. When this is the case, every member of the church, every professor of the truth, will be Christlike in character, in words, in actions.—Testimonies for the Church 5:277, 278. BLJ 185.5

Reveal Love While Doing God’s Business, June 21

Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1, NKJV. BLJ 184.1
I appeal to my brothers and sisters in faith, and urge them to cultivate tenderness of heart. Whatever may be your calling or position, if you cherish selfishness and covetousness, the displeasure of the Lord will be upon you. Do not make the work and cause of God an excuse for dealing closely and selfishly with anyone, even if transacting business that has to do with His work. God will accept nothing in the line of gain that is brought into His treasury through selfish transactions. BLJ 184.2
Every act in connection with His work is to bear divine inspection. Every sharp transaction, every attempt to take advantage of persons who are under pressure of circumstances, every plan to purchase their land or property for a sum beneath its value, will not be acceptable to God, even though the money gained is made an offering to His cause. The price of the blood of the only-begotten Son of God has been paid for every human being, and it is necessary to deal honestly, to deal with equity with every person, in order to carry out the principles of the law of God…. BLJ 184.3
If a brother or sister who has labored disinterestedly for the cause of God becomes enfeebled in body and is unable to work, let him or her not be dismissed and be obliged to get along the best way they can. Give them wages sufficient to support themselves, for remember they belong to God’s family, and that you are all brothers and sisters…. BLJ 184.4
We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. This command is not that we shall simply love those who think and believe exactly as we think and believe. Christ illustrated the meaning of the commandment by the parable of the good Samaritan. But how strangely these precious words are neglected, and how frequently people oppress their fellow human beings, and lift up their souls unto vanity.—The Review and Herald, December 18, 1894. BLJ 184.5