​The Work of the Spirit Likened to Rain


“He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.” In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. [See Zechariah 10:1; Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23, 28.] LDE 183.1

As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. LDE 183.2

The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506 (1897). LDE 183.3

Advertisements

Israel Desired the Fleshpots of Egypt


When the God of Israel brought His people out of Egypt, He withheld flesh meats from them in a great measure, but gave them bread from heaven and water from the flinty rock. With this they were not satisfied. They loathed the food given them and wished themselves back in Egypt, where they could sit by the fleshpots. They preferred to endure slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of flesh. God granted their desire, giving them flesh, and leaving them to eat till their gluttony produced a plague, from which many of them died. CH 111.1

Example after example might be cited to show the effects of yielding to appetite. It seemed a small matter to our first parents to transgress the command of God in that one act, – the eating from a tree that was so beautiful to the sight and so pleasant to the taste, – but it broke their allegiance to God and opened the gates to a flood of guilt and woe that has deluged the world. CH 111.2

BLJ To Be Like Jesus by Ellen G White.

Jesus Kept the Sabbath by Doing Good

Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” Luke 6:9, NKJV. BLJ 152.1
It is no violation of the Sabbath to perform works of necessity, as ministering to the sick or aged, and relieving distress. Such works are in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. Our great Exemplar was ever active upon the Sabbath, when the necessities of the sick and suffering came before Him. The Pharisees, because of this, accused Him of Sabbathbreaking, as do many ministers today who are in opposition to the law of God. But we say, Let God be true, and every man a liar who dares make this charge against the Savior. BLJ 152.2
Jesus answered the accusation of the Jews thus, “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” He had already declared to them that He had kept His Father’s commandments. When He was accused of Sabbathbreaking in the matter of healing the withered hand, He turned upon His accusers with the question “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” In summing up His answer to the questioning of the Pharisees He said, “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” Here Christ justified His work as in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. – The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1878. BLJ 152.3
Those who hold that Christ abolished the law teach that He broke the Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same. Thus they are really taking the same ground as did the caviling Jews. In this they contradict the testimony of Christ Himself, who declared, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). BLJ 152.4
Neither the Savior nor His followers broke the law of the Sabbath. Christ was a living representative of the law. No violation of its holy precepts was found in His life. BLJ 152.5
Looking upon a nation of witnesses who were seeking occasion to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, “Which of you convicteth me of sin?” (John 8:46, RV)…. BLJ 152.6
“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath,” Jesus said. The institutions that God has established are for the benefit of humankind…. The law of Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath forms a part, God gave to His people as a blessing. “The Lord commanded us,” said Moses, “to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive” (Deuteronomy 6:24). – The Desire of Ages, 287, 288. BLJ 152.7

The Dead.

​KJV Psalms 115:17 

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.


Popular theology represents the righteous dead as in heaven, entered into bliss and praising God with an immortal tongue; but Hezekiah could see no such glorious prospect in death. With his words agrees the testimony of the psalmist: “In death there is no remembrance of Thee: in the grave who shall give Thee thanks?” “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalm 6:5; 115:17.{GC 546.1}

​Probation Will End Suddenly, Unexpectedly


When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided…. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. – Testimonies for the Church 2:191 (1868). LDE 229.4

When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly – at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us. – The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:989 (1906). LDE 230.1

When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven…. LDE 230.2

Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in, and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure – loving life, and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. “So,” says the Saviour, “shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:39). Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man’s destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy’s offer to guilty men…. LDE 230.3

While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments – it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27). – The Great Controversy, 490, 491 (1911). LDE 230.4

​Effect on Appreciation of Truth

58. You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make those earnest, self – sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His word requires and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality. – Testimonies for the Church 2:66, 1868 CD 47.1

59. Even if you are strict in the quality of your food, do you glorify God in your bodies and spirits which are His, by partaking of such a quantity of food? Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon. They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realize the value of the atonement, and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man. It is impossible for such to appreciate the great, the precious, and the exceedingly rich reward that is in reserve for the faithful overcomers. The animal part of our nature should never be left to govern the moral and intellectual. – Testimonies for the Church 2:364, 1870 CD 47.2

60. Some are indulging lustful appetite, which wars against the soul, and is a constant hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They constantly bear an accusing conscience, and if straight truths are talked, they are prepared to be offended. They are self – condemned, and feel that subjects have been purposely selected to touch their case. They feel grieved and injured, and withdraw themselves from the assemblies of the saints. They forsake the assembling of themselves together, for then their consciences are not so disturbed. They soon lose their interest in the meetings and their love for the truth, and, unless they entirely reform, will go back and take their position with the rebel host, who stand under the black banner of Satan. If these will crucify fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they will get out of the way, where the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge lustful appetite, and thus cherish their idols, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all, they must be wounded…. CD 47.3

The use of unnatural stimulants is destructive to health and has a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal things. Those who cherish these idols cannot rightly value the salvation which Christ has wrought out for them by a life of self – denial, continual suffering and reproach, and by finally yielding His own sinless life to save perishing man from death. – Testimonies for the Church 1:548, 549, 1867 CD 48.1

61. Butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. – Testimonies for the Church 2:486, 1870 CD 48.2 – CD 48.2