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}

​The Brazen Serpent 


Here is another case Christ presented before Nicodemus – the serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness – and declared, “Even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). And if He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Verse 15). Now just look at that brazen serpent. The children of Israel had not realized that God had been keeping them by His angels sent to be their help and their protection. The people had not been destroyed by the serpents in their long travels through the wilderness. They had been an ungrateful people. FW 69.1

We are just so. We do not realize the thousand dangers that our heavenly Father has kept us from. We do not realize the great blessing that He has bestowed upon us in giving us food and raiment, in preserving our lives by sending the guardian angels to watch over us. Every day we should be thankful for this. We ought to have gratitude stirring in our hearts and come to God with a gratitude offering every day. We ought to gather around the family altar every day and praise Him for His watchcare over us. The children of Israel had lost sight that God was protecting them from the venomous beasts. But when He withdrew His hand their sting was upon them. FW 69.2

What then? Why, Christ Himself told Moses to set up a pole and make a brazen serpent and put it upon that pole and to raise it in the sight of the Israelites, that everyone who looked upon it might live. They had no great work to do. They were to look because God said it should be. FW 69.3

Now, suppose that they had stopped to reason it out and said, “Why, it cannot be that by looking at that brazen serpent we will be healed! There is no life in it!” But the look of faith did heal them just as God had told them it would. Those who looked lived. Those who stopped to argue and explain it, died. FW 69.4

What are we to do? Look and live. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). The reason? That those who behold Him “should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). FW 69.5

What kind of faith is that? Is it to believe simply, or is it a faith of admission? There are many here who have that kind of faith. You believe that Jesus was the Son of God; but do you have a personal faith in regard to your own salvation? Do you believe that Jesus is your Saviour? that He died on Calvary’s cross to redeem you? that He has offered you the gift of everlasting life if you believe on Him? FW 70.1

Consecration

​God’s promise is, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. SC 43.1

The whole heart must be yielded to God, or the change can never be wrought in us by which we are to be restored to His likeness. By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;” “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan, “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him. SC 43.2

The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness. SC 43.3

The government of God is not, as Satan would make it appear, founded upon a blind submission, an unreasoning control. It appeals to the intellect and the conscience. “Come now, and let us reason together” is the Creator’s invitation to the beings He has made. Isaiah 1:18. God does not force the will of His creatures. He cannot accept an homage that is not willingly and intelligently given. A mere forced submission would prevent all real development of mind or character; it would make man a mere automaton. Such is not the purpose of the Creator. He desires that man, the crowning work of His creative power, shall reach the highest possible development. He sets before us the height of blessing to which He desires to bring us through His grace. He invites us to give ourselves to Him, that He may work His will in us. It remains for us to choose whether we will be set free from the bondage of sin, to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God. SC 43.4

In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him. Hence the Saviour says, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33. Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up. Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. But these slavish bands must be broken. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s children unless we are such entirely. SC 44.1

​Will You Open the Door? December 12

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20. OHC 352.1

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” Will we let Him in? He would not have us stand at this time, amid the perils of the last days, in our own finite strength…. It is our privilege to walk in the sunshine of His presence, and to weave into the characters we are forming the golden threads of cheerfulness, gratitude, forbearance, and love. We may thus show the power of divine grace, and reflect light from Heaven amid all the frets and irritations that come to us day by day…. Then why do we go stumbling along without light? OHC 352.2

Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world’s care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond. OHC 352.3

Many have so much rubbish piled up at the door of the heart that they cannot admit Jesus. Some have difficulties between themselves and their brethren to remove; others have evil tempers, pride, covetousness; with others, love of the world bars the entrance. All this must be taken away, before they can open the door and welcome the Saviour in. OHC 352.4

How precious is the promise, “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Oh, the love, the wondrous love of God! After all our lukewarmness and sins He says, Return unto Me, and I will return unto thee, and will heal all thy backslidings. OHC 352.5

Our work is to open the door of the heart and let Jesus come in. He is knocking for entrance…. Will you open the door? Jesus is standing at the door of your heart. Let Him in, the heavenly Guest. OHC 352.6

How can we know if God accepts our worship?

​ 

 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6-7.

By the first angel, men are called upon to “fear God, and give glory to Him” and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law. Says the wise man: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. Without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” 1 John 5:3; Proverbs 28:9. GC 436.1

The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator and that to Him all other beings owe their existence. And wherever, in the Bible, His claim to reverence and worship, above the gods of the heathen, is presented, there is cited the evidence of His creative power. “All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.” Psalm 96:5. “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things.” “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it: … I am the Lord; and there is none else.” Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18. Says the psalmist: “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Psalm 100:3; 95:6. And the holy beings who worship God in heaven state, as the reason why their homage is due to Him: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things.” Revelation 4:11. GC 436.2

In Revelation 14, men are called upon to worship the Creator; and the prophecy brings to view a class that, as the result of the threefold message, are keeping the commandments of God. One of these commandments points directly to God as the Creator. The fourth precept declares: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: … for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:10, 11. Concerning the Sabbath, the Lord says, further, that it is “a sign, … that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. And the reason given is: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17. GC 437.1

“The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God” – because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. “The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.” – J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God, “Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” It follows that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment. GC 437.2

​No Taproot? 


Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58. OHC 332.1

In order to be firmly anchored, there must be something firm to hold us; and nothing will avail until Christ takes possession of the soul…. Many who now appear strong, and talk in vindication of the truth, are not rooted and grounded. They have no tap – root; and when the storms of opposition and persecution come, they are like a tree uprooted by the blast. OHC 332.2

We shall be attacked on every point; we shall be tried to the utmost. We do not want to hold our faith simply because it was handed down to us by our fathers, Such a faith will not stand the terrible test that is before us. We want to know why we are Seventh – day Adventists – what real reason we have for coming out from the world as a separate and distinct people…. OHC 332.3

When men are willing to become intelligent in regard to the cause of God because they have invested faith and means in it, God will help them to understand, and they will be steadfast in the faith; but when they have merely a theory, a shallow faith they cannot explain, a sudden temptation will cause them to drift away with the current bearing toward the world…. OHC 332.4

Our minds must be prepared to stand every test, and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within. We must know why we believe as we do, why we are on the Lord’s side. The truth must keep watch in our hearts, ready to sound an alarm, and summon us to action against every foe. The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. OHC 332.5

​No Power can Separate from Christ, November 10


​No Power can Separate from Christ, November 10

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35. OHC 320.1

How precious in time of need is the assurance of union with Jesus! … We can say. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation?” – No, for this makes us feel that Christ alone is our refuge, and we flee to Him for shelter. “Or distress?” – No, for He is our consolation. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: who comforteth us in all our tribulation….” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. OHC 320.2

“Or persecution?” – No; “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10…. “Or famine?” – No, for we have God’s promise,… “In famine he shall redeem thee from death.” Job 5:20. “… In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 37:19. In fleeing unto Jesus we shall be fully satisfied. “Or nakedness?” – Hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Revelation 3:18…. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” Revelation 3:5…. OHC 320.3

“Or peril?” – No; Paul knew by experience what it was to be in peril…. “In perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” 2 Corinthians 11:26. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Corinthians 12:9…. “Or sword?” … The sword cannot kill the soul, for the life is hid with Christ in God. OHC 320.4

Well may we ask with Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of God?” And answer, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39. OHC 320.5

Desire of Ages Chapter 50: Among Snares

​The woman had stood before Jesus, cowering with fear. His words, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone,” had come to her as a death sentence. She dared not lift her eyes to the Saviour’s face, but silently awaited her doom. In astonishment she saw her accusers depart speechless and confounded; then those words of hope fell upon her ear, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Her heart was melted, and she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, sobbing out her grateful love, and with bitter tears confessing her sins. DA 462.1

This was to her the beginning of a new life, a life of purity and peace, devoted to the service of God. In the uplifting of this fallen soul, Jesus performed a greater miracle than in healing the most grievous physical disease; He cured the spiritual malady which is unto death everlasting. This penitent woman became one of His most steadfast followers. With self – sacrificing love and devotion she repaid His forgiving mercy. DA 462.2

In His act of pardoning this woman and encouraging her to live a better life, the character of Jesus shines forth in the beauty of perfect righteousness. While He does not palliate sin, nor lessen the sense of guilt, He seeks not to condemn, but to save. The world had for this erring woman only contempt and scorn; but Jesus speaks words of comfort and hope. The Sinless One pities the weakness of the sinner, and reaches to her a helping hand. While the hypocritical Pharisees denounce, Jesus bids her, “Go, and sin no more.” DA 462.3

It is not Christ’s follower that, with averted eyes, turns from the erring, leaving them unhindered to pursue their downward course. Those who are forward in accusing others, and zealous in bringing them to justice, are often in their own lives more guilty than they. Men hate the sinner, while they love the sin. Christ hates the sin, but loves the sinner. This will be the spirit of all who follow Him. Christian love is slow to censure, quick to discern penitence, ready to forgive, to encourage, to set the wanderer in the path of holiness, and to stay his feet therein. DA 462.4