The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
January 15, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued.)

That which leads its subjects to enclose themselves in walls, excluding themselves from their , and not doing the good they might, cannot be the . The world is no better for their living in it, because they shed no in . These live for themselves, and bring no to , for they hide away from man as though ashamed of the light which they claim to have.

The “” will not be spoken to this class. is our example. He sought for men wherever he could find them; in private houses, in the public streets, in the , or by the lake side, that he might let shine upon those who in the of , needed it so much.

The should as Christ labored. They may look to him in expecting that he will help them. We cannot trust him too much. We cannot place too high an estimate upon his and to save to the uttermost all who come unto him. who are trying to teach others the way to life are not all acquainted with the way themselves. They have not received from Jesus, the light of the world, beams of light to shine forth to others in good works. They are not willing to give up their will and their plans and be led by the divine hand, and thus connect with the Lord of light that they may not walk in darkness. Many will not deny self and lift the cross and follow where Jesus leads. He has said “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”

When the soul is illuminated by God’s Spirit, the whole character is elevated, the mental conceptions are enlarged, and the affections no longer centering upon self, shine forth in good works to others, attracting them to the beauty and brightness of Christ’s glory.

The dear Saviour loved his disciples. His own heart was grieved and wounded at the disappointment they would experience in the near future, for he knew his steps were already leading in the path to Calvary. He sought opportunities to speak with them alone, without the jealous eyes of the Pharisees upon them. He would tell them plainly in regard to the trials which they must endure for his name’s sake. Their physical and moral courage was to endure a severe test and he would prepare them for the ordeal. His lessons to them were at a time of a positive and exacting character. He could make his discourses terribly impressive. He said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” He would have them understand that unless they were guarded, outward forms and a round of ceremonies would take the place of the inner work of the grace of God upon the heart. It was not the sticklers of the law that would be justified, but the doer of the will of our Father which is in Heaven. 

He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; for what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Those teachers who ignore works and would teach that all you have to do is to believe in Christ, are rebuked by the Saviour of the world. Faith is made perfect by works. The cry will come to us from the servers of Mammon: You are too exacting; we cannot be saved by works. Was Christ exacting? He placed the salvation of man, not upon his believing, not upon his profession, but upon his faith made perfect by his works. Doing, and not saying merely, was required of the followers of Christ. Principle is always exacting. Our country claims of fathers and mothers, their sons, the brothers, the husbands, to be given up, to leave their homes for the field of carnage and bloodshed. They must go and face peril, endure privation and hunger, weariness and loneliness; they must make long marches, footsore and weary, through heat of summer and through winter’s cold; they run the risk of life. They are compelled to follow the commander. Sometimes they are not even allowed time to eat. And all this severe experience is in consequence of sin. There is an enemy to meet, an enemy to be resisted; enemies of our country will destroy her peace and bring disaster and ruin, unless driven back and repulsed. Conquer or die is the motto.

Thus it is with the Christian warfare. We have an enemy which we must meet, who is vigilant; who is not off his guard one moment. The claims of our country are not higher than the claims of God. If hardships are borne and trials endured by our soldiers fighting in behalf of the country to obtain the mastery and bring into obedience the rebellious, how much more willing should the soldiers of Christ endure privation, self denial, and any taxation for Christ’s sake. The captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering that he might bring many sons and daughters to the Lord. We are standing under the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ. We are to meet Satan and his host. We must conquer in the name of Jesus or be conquered. Armed with the mind of Christ we shall be more than overcomers. As faithful soldiers of the cross we are not to fight against principalities and powers, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. There is no rest in this war, no release. Obedience and faith must characterize us as Christ’s servants. Our Redeemer unfolded before his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the chief priests and elders, and be killed and be raised again from the dead the third day. He was already standing under the shadow of the cross. He fully comprehended the great work he came to do, and he would have his disciples understand the greatness of this work, and the responsibilities which would rest upon them in the performance of their duty in carrying forward his work when he should leave them. The grandeur and glory of the future life is in the thoughts and feelings which exercise the minds of the disciples while they are listening to the words spoken by the great Teacher. If ministers of Christ, who attempt to teach the truth to others, would look constantly to Jesus as to a tried friend, believing in him that he will relieve their necessities and that they will have his sympathy and support, they would find the blessedness and joy that can come only from the Light of the world.

This light, shining upon man, quickens the paralyzed capacities, kindles to a flame the spiritual life. It is the work of Christ to enlighten, to lift up man, darkened and degraded, because the slave of sin, and make him a fit companion of the holy angels in the highest Heavens. He calls men to carry forward his work, not by the words of eloquence and oratory alone, but in letting their light shine forth to others in good works. The love which was exhibited by Christ for fallen man, is the golden chain which binds the believing heart in union with the heart of Christ. Christians connected with him, answer to his claims of willing service to love and labor for the souls for whom he died.

Prayer, earnest, humble prayer, offered in faith amid the hours of darkness and gloom, brings light from Heaven to the soul. Peace comes to every heart for every prayer offered in faith. The soul is lifted above the clouds of darkness and error, conflicts and passion. Light, precious light, flashes from the throne of God, and is fitting up feeble man to become God’s messengers in shedding light to the world. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy and love exhibited, are the lights which shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness which comes of selfishness and unrestrained passion of the natural heart, into which the light of life has never shone.

At each large gathering of the people, the disciples of Christ anticipated that the time had come for him to commence his reign as Prince upon the throne of David.

As they witnessed his power from day to day in works no other man had ever done or ever could do, they kept hope active in their hearts that he would one day surprise them with an open avowal of his kingly authority. They did not fully renounce the idea that his earthly kingdom would be established, the Roman yoke be broken from their necks, and they enjoy with him great honor and glory. This sermon upon the mount disappointed their expectations of earthly glory. Upon this occasion Christ more clearly revealed the character of his kingdom and the principles which should govern it given in the beatitudes. Matt. 5. In this discourse was embodied the principles of the moral law, laying down at once the whole sum and substance of the plan of true religion in specifying the kind of characters which would be essential for the subjects of his kingdom.

He that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God, while many who have a form of godliness and not the power, may be content to speak the truth in a spirit of contention, engaging in controversy, talking long and loud in a bitter spirit. Such reflect no light, while the servant of God who has kindled his taper from the divine altar and is obeying the truth, is a living, walking, working representative of the power of the truth upon the heart. He is a living epistle known and read of all men. Such a life is the light of the world; of such Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren. He will say of them as of Nathanael “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” 

Those who obey the commandments of God are here represented by Christ as the fit subjects of his kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, who feel that all their hopes of Heaven and happiness depend wholly upon the merit of Christ, that there is no merit or worthiness in them. Happy are they that mourn their own unlikeness to Christ, mourn their own sinfulness and grieve over the sins of their neighbors.

These are represented by the prophet of God as the sighing and crying ones because of the abominations done in the land. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful and the pure in heart, and happy are the peace-makers. Blessed are they who shall suffer persecution, because they cherish and exemplify in their life these heavenly attributes, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus prayed! The majesty of Heaven prayed! He wept in behalf of man. Prayer, faithful, earnest prayer will move the arm that moves the world. The minister of Christ must pray if he would have the refreshing from the presence of God. The church must pray much if they would walk in the light, as he is in the light.                                    Mrs. E. G. White

Jenny @ 7:21 pm

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