​Christ’s Adherence to Principle, March 11

Living by Principle Not Inclination 

In the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:7, 8 ML 74.1

The life of Christ was distinguished from the generality of children. His strength of moral character and His firmness ever led Him to be true to His sense of duty and to adhere to the principles of right, from which no motive, however powerful, could move Him. Money or pleasure, applause or censure, could not purchase or flatter Him to consent to a wrong action. He was strong to resist temptation, wise to discover evil, and firm to abide faithful to His convictions. ML 74.2

The wicked and unprincipled would flatter and portray the pleasures of sinful indulgences, but His strength of principle was strong to resist the suggestions of Satan. His penetration had been cultivated, that He could discern the voice of the tempter. He would not swerve from duty to obtain the favor of any. He would not sell His principles for human praise or to avoid reproach and the envy and hatred of those who were enemies of righteousness and true goodness. ML 74.3

He took pleasure in discharging His obligations to His parents and to society, without yielding His principles or being contaminated with the impure influence surrounding Him at Nazareth. ML 74.4

Never did Christ deviate from loyalty to the principles of God’s law. Never did He do anything contrary to the will of His Father. ML 74.5

Jesus does not, after giving us general directions, leave us to guess the way amid bypaths and dangerous passes. He leads us in a straight path, and while we follow Him our footsteps will not slide. ML 74.6

Each soul must live in hourly communion with Christ; for he says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” His principles are to be our principles; for these principles are the everlasting truth, proclaimed in righteousness, goodness, mercy, and love. ML 74.7

His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. ML 74.8

​Submit to God’s Training Process


Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness …; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:17, 18, NKJV. BLJ 73.1

There are some who desire to be a ruling power, and who need the sanctification of submission. God brings about a change in their lives, and perhaps places before them duties that they would not choose. If they are willing to be guided by Him, He will give them grace and strength to perform the objectionable duties in a spirit of submission and helpfulness. They are being qualified to fill places where their disciplined abilities will make them of the greatest service. BLJ 73.2

God trains some by bringing to them disappointment and apparent failure. It is His purpose that they shall learn to master difficulty. He inspires them with a determination to make every apparent failure prove a success. BLJ 73.3

Often men and women pray and weep because of the perplexities and obstacles that confront them. But if they will hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end, He will make their way clear. Success will come to them as they struggle against apparently insurmountable difficulties; and with success will come the greatest joy. BLJ 73.4

Many are ignorant of how to work for God, not because they need to be ignorant, but because they are not willing to submit to His training process. Moab is spoken of as a failure because, the Word declares, he “hath been at ease from his youth, … and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, … therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed” (Jeremiah 48:11)…. BLJ 73.5

The Christian is to be prepared for the doing of a work that reveals kindness, forbearance, longsuffering, gentleness, patience. The cultivation of these precious gifts is to come into the discipline – life of Christians, that when called to service by the Master, they may be ready to exercise the energies of heart and mind in helping and blessing those who are ready to die [those who need salvation]. – Manuscript Releases 8:423, 424. BLJ 73.6

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