The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
February 7, 1878 Light.
Filed under: EG White Articles

had said to the : “This is your , that has come into the ; and men choose rather than light.” In every , the majority have rejected the light that has shone forth to illuminate the darkness of . According to the and with which men, in spite of , oppose the truth, is the intensity of their hatred of those who cherish it. In proportion to the given will be the condemnation of those who reject it. Said Jesus:–

“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had ; but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that me hateth my also. If I had not done among them the which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” The friends of will ever be by a time-serving generation. They will be termed enthusiasts and by the enemies of reform. The of , condemning sin, and admonishing to are not palatable to the wrong-doer. Every of should have the spirit of a , being ready to any and everything rather than forfeit the favor of God.    

The was the embodiment of ; and for this very reason he was hated. His righteousness stood forth in such marked contrast with that of the that he was a continual reproach to them. Jesus said to his : “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their , They hated me without a cause. But when is come, whom I will send unto you from , even the , which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

Many in this age may say that if they had lived when Christ was upon they would not have insulted and him, but would have gladly accepted of his . Yet those very persons doubt the power of the , and hesitate to believe his truth. The evidences that is have increased with every successive generation, and yet millions refuse to believe on him, and accept the relief he offers their guilty souls. Jesus comes to those who are groaning under affliction, and offers to bear their grief, but they turn from him and hug their cankering cares to their hearts. He comes to those who are disappointed, whose hopes of this world have been crushed, and promises to give them peace and happiness if they will put their trust in him; but they shut their hearts against his sympathy and refuse to be comforted. Sad indeed will be the fate of those who reject the Redeemer notwithstanding the accumulated evidence in his favor.
The sin of was very great; but those in our day who have before them the history of Christ upon earth, and his rejection by the Jews sin in a far greater degree. They have the testimony of the followers of Jesus through the period of nearly two thousand years. They have far greater light than had the Jews. All other errors are trifling compared with the sin of rejecting Christ. To turn from him is to reject infinite truth, love and righteousness, and to close the door of the heart to all heavenly illumination, and to welcome darkness and despair. To accept him is light, peace and joy.
                                                                  E. G. W.
Jenny @ 11:49 am
Filed under: EG White Articles

LAKE, JUNE 26, 1877.


Our Saviour, frequently, when he was giving his lessons of instruction to his disciples, took them without inclosed walls and led them by the lake- side and in the groves; and here he gave them illustrations by the objects in nature; and with these he bound up the sacred lessons of instruction which were to be immortalized in their minds. As they would look upon the shrubs and the flowers, the rocks and barren soil, the mountains and hills, the sower and the reaper; and as they would look upon the flowers in glowing beauty around them, the lessons of instruction given by their divine Lord were repeated to them. When we look upon these lofty trees and upon the lake and the boats that are going out and coming in upon the water we can remember that Christ beckoned for a fisherman’s boat, and he entered into Simon’s, and asked him to thrust out a little from the land. He there gave important lessons which were to be immortalized and handed down to us; and which were to reach unto the end of the world. As we view the lake today, and the boats upon the waters, these lessons which Christ gave are repeated to us.

Said the Saviour of the world: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Who gave to the beautiful flowers their delicate tints and their varied colors? Was it not that God which has given us everything that is lovely and beautiful in our world? Our heavenly Father who has surrounded us with everything that is glorious in nature is a God of love. He is a lover of the beautiful. He says: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed, with his costly robes of gold and silver, in garments which could bear comparison to these flowers of loveliness in their natural simplicity. Solomon is seated upon a throne of ivory, its basement is of gold, the steps are of gold flanked with six golden lions. Everything surrounding him is attractive. All his eye rests upon is magnificent. His eye rests upon expansive gardens, stretching away in the distance, beautiful and adorned with trees and shrubs to resemble the loveliness of paradise. The most rare and expensive birds of the richest plumage have been transported from every clime, and with their varying notes and bright songs, are flitting from bough to bough, while youths, the most lovely, clad in gold and silver dress, are seeking to amuse and divert the mind of the greatest monarch that ever sat upon an earthly throne. Many envied the popularity and abundant glory of Solomon, thinking that of all men he must be the most happy. But amid all that glory of artificial display the man envied is the one to be most pitied. His countenance is dark with despair. All the splendor about him is but to him mockery of the distress and anguish of his thoughts as he reviews his misspent life in seeking for happiness through indulgence and selfish gratification of every desire. He wails out his disappointment in these words: “All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” We may learn the lesson in the sad life of Solomon that riches and high intellectual attainments will not be sufficient for a happy life. Learning, and ability, and outward display without the sanctifying power of true godliness, will not bring contentment, peace, and happiness.

You have your youthful strength, your strong, ardent, impetuous temperaments which if guided aright will make you men and women of influence. If you bring your talents early as a consecrated offering to God he will accept you. If connected with the source of all purity, nobility and holiness, your lives will represent the spotless purity of this lily, diffusing a fragrance grateful and pleasant to all with whom you associate.

Dear youth, cultivate natural simplicity. Consider and learn from the flowers of the field the lesson Christ has sought to impress upon your mind and heart. You may devote the golden hours of your probation in studying your outward appearance. You may neglect the most essential work of your life in failing to secure the inward adorning, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price. You may devote time, money and much thought to outward display, and after all your anxious care, you will not bear comparison to one of these flowers for attractive loveliness in their natural simplicity.

Here is the pure and lovely lily growing among the filth of ponds and lakes, striking down its curiously channeled stem, and gathering to itself only those properties that shall develop into this pure, fragrant lily. Every one admires this emblem of purity. Your lives, dear students, may resemble this lily.

As Christ offered his prayer to his Father he uttered these words. “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world but keep them from the evil.” The world is a land of emptiness: It is a world good and beautiful of itself but man has become so sensual and depraved so embittered against God that the earth itself groans under the weight of accumulated guilt, you must cultivate firm principle in the midst of surrounding infidelity, hypocrisy, pride, and profligacy. You must be Bible students and carry Bible rules into your every day life. In no case allow knavery deception and dishonesty to beguile you from your simplicity. Be it your constant study how you will best attain and cherish that which God values, the ornament of purity and meekness, that the world will be better for your having lived in it. Like the pure lily you need faith’s penetrating root descending beneath the outward things which do appear to gather spiritual strength to invigorate and give purity and goodness to the life. The study of the Bible, the hours of secret communion with God, meditation upon heavenly themes will develop into purity of character resembling the spotless lily. The life of God in the soul is Christ in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life. This springing up into life will refresh all who connect with you. If your character is such that God can approve, it will be a complete Christian character filled with grace that is not assumed, but that has a natural growth. If your affections are obedient unto Christ your motives pure, there will be in your life, in your every day deportment, lessons of instruction to all around you. You will be living epistles known and read of all men. Your connection with God will lift you above every thing that has a debasing tendency, your pure and uncorrupted life will be ever pointing your school-mates and old associates upward to God and heaven saying to them you must seek peace and purity and happiness from above. Jesus is the source of your comfort strength and fortitude, amid vexation, trials and grievous temptations. The leaves of some trees and flowers seem naturally to gather dust which adheres to them, and mars their color and beauty. This is the case with many youths they do not see the necessity of vigilant watchfulness and earnest prayer to keep themselves pure, and their Christian character is always dingy. They need to wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Young men and young women while you are attending school you may be gathering to yourselves only those things which shall tend to the perfection of character, or you may gather to yourselves the habits, customs and practices of the world; love the things which they love, which shall have a corrupting influence upon the life and character, and you will forfeit your right to eternal life. Which shall it be? Our heavenly Father, the Giver of life, would draw us from the artificial to the natural simplicities. “Consider,” says Christ, “the lilies of the field, how they grow;” and again he says, “If God so clothed the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If our heavenly Father has taken such special care for that which has to be cut down and cast into the oven, then how much greater is his care, his love and his attention for those who are formed in his image!

Young men and young women you may make any thing of yourselves that you please. You may attain to excellence and perfection of character; you may go through this world without being stained and blackened with the sins that taint and corrupt it; and when you are brought in contact with the evil of this world, you may escape them if you choose. Christ will be to you a special help in every time of need. But in order for you to develop characters which Heaven shall approve; it is necessary that you connect with God. Will you consider these lilies which I hold in my hand, emblem of purity and loveliness? Here in this flower is an expression of the love of God. Satan is never at rest; he is an interested spectator of all your actions. He will present before the inexperienced youth, things which on the surface appear attractive, to allure them from their integrity, and corrupt their morals. Christ’s voice is heard saying to them, Consider the lilies of the field, learn from them the value of natural simplicity. God speaks to you through his created works. Will you listen to his voice? Will you become acquainted with God in nature?

We can discern his love to us in giving us all these things in nature. We can see it in the lovely flowers in the valleys and on the surface of the lake. Anywhere, everywhere, we may read expressions of God’s love in the opening buds and blooming flowers. As God has given us these things of beauty and purity how much more will he delight to give us an eternal inheritance. He wants you to come into that position where he may grant you the gift of immortality. He has given you the gift of his Son, the greatest gift that Heaven could bestow; and now if you connect with God, if you connect with heaven, you may, in the name and strength of Jesus develop symmetrical characters; characters that are spotless as the pure lily that opens its blossom on the bosom of the lake. I invite you to take hold of heaven’s blessings and then you can have a right hold upon the earth. I invite you to look up through nature to nature’s God. Let these things teach you the love of God, and the care that he has for those formed in his image.
                          (Concluded next week.)

Jenny @ 6:44 pm
January 24, 1878 Last Talk with the Disciples
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

     Mount Olivet had been our Saviour’s favorite resort for retirement and prayer after his day’s work of teaching was done. At the foot of the mount was the garden named Gethsemane, and to this he now made his way. It was night, but the moon was shining brightly and revealed to Jesus a flourishing grapevine. He uses this as a symbol of his union with his followers:–

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” As the Father had life in himself so had the Son. The branches of a vine detached from its parent stalk, withers and dies, is lifeless and fruitless. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away.” The Jewish nation was a fruitless branch, and was therefore to be separated from the living vine, which was Christ Jesus, and the Gentiles were to be engrafted upon the stalk to become a living branch, partaker of the life that nourished the true vine. The branch was to be pruned and purged that it might be more fruitful.

Jesus in view of his removal from his disciples is filled with anguish; yet he knows that this separation will cause them to be more firmly connected with the living vine, and yield a rich harvest of fruit. He exhorts them: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.” When the sinner has repented of his sins, and is united to Christ, as the branch is engrafted on the vine, a deep and earnest love pervades his being which death cannot quench. The nature of the man is changed and he is a partaker of the divine nature. He loves the things which Christ loves, and hates that which He hates. His desires are in harmony with the will of God. He treasures up the words of Christ, and they abide in him. The life-giving principle of the Saviour is communicated to the Christian. Just so the little rod, leafless, and apparently lifeless is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, drinks life and strength from it till it becomes a flourishing branch of the parent stalk. 

The condition of this union is plainly specified: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” The commandments of the Father are the commandments of the Son. In this union with Christ, finite man, dependent and worthless, is exalted by a connection with the Infinite, even as the engrafted branch draws nourishment from the vine which results in the production of fruit. The follower of Christ derives from him wisdom, strength and righteousness. Without Christ he cannot be reconciled to God, whose law he has transgressed. Without Christ he is unable to subdue a single sin or overcome the smallest temptation. The soul united to Christ as the branch to the vine is accepted of God through the merits of his Son, and becomes an object of the Father’s special care. Christ says, “I am the true vine, my Father is the husbandman.” Man, by his union to the Infinite One through Jesus Christ, will be fruitful of good works. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” Jesus continues:– 

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” The joy of the Christian is not found in transgression of the law of God, but in obedience of all its precepts. None are in slavery and bondage to the law but those who transgress it. Obedience produces love to God and man–the two great principles of the law of God. This obedience and this love brings fullness of joy to the disciples of Jesus. He still impresses upon them the importance of carrying forward the work which he has begun, and bearing fruit to the glory of God.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” The Saviour instructed his disciples not to expect the commendation of the world. The world hated the Majesty of Heaven before it hated his followers. Those who are of the same spirit with the world enjoy its smiles and approbation; but the humble disciples of Christ will suffer opposition. But this opposition met by the Christian will be of the highest value to him if it drives him to Jesus for sympathy and comfort. Such opposition will develop staunch elements of character and virtues that shine brightest in adversity. Faith, patience and Heavenly-mindedness, with confidence in God are the perfect fruit that blossoms and matures in the shadow of adversity.

Christ the Master was hated and persecuted, and his followers should expect no better portion in this life. In these days the churches that profess the name of Jesus, yet are built up with lifeless forms, and full of popular sins and error, escape the condemnation of the world. But a people that unite to condemn sin, repress iniquity, cherish the truth of Christ and obey the commandments of God must endure the rebuffs and persecutions of the world. 

“Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” The Saviour instructed his disciples to look for the opposition of the world. He declared that they should be brought before kings and rulers for his name’s sake; and whosoever might destroy the lives of the disciples would be so far deceived by the adversary as to think they were doing God service. Every indignity and cruelty which the ingenuity of man and the zeal of Satan could devise would be visited upon the followers of Christ. But, in all these trials, they were to remember that their Master and Guide had endured like reproach and contumely, and were to press on in his footsteps, keeping the prize of eternal life in view, and striving to win more souls to Christ.

Jesus wished to impress upon his disciples the importance of their position, as those who had accompanied him in his travels, beholding his wonderful works and hearing his words of wisdom. Said he to them: “And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” These faithful witnesses of Christ were to execute their mission with a wisdom and energy equal to the importance of the truth to which they were to testify. The history of those men and the evidence which they were to record were to be the study of men through all ages. Tremendous results were to be realized from the words of Jesus to his few humble disciples.

They were the chosen repositories of the truth of God. They were witnesses of the Father’s acknowledgment of Jesus as the Son of God. At the baptism of Christ they had heard the voice of the Father proclaiming: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” On the mount of transfiguration they had beheld the excellent glory clothing the Saviour with the brightness of the sun. They had seen the Heavenly messengers conversing with the Saviour, and heard again the voice of God declare: “This is my beloved Son, hear him.” In the temple, only a few hours before, they had again heard the Father exalt and glorify his Son. That which these favored disciples had seen and felt and heard in regard to the Redeemer they were commissioned to testify for the benefit of humanity through all time. And, by living faith, men must lay hold of Christ through the evidence of these chosen witnesses of his divinity, and power unto salvation.

Jesus carefully opened before his disciples the events which would transpire after his death, forewarning them that when persecution should overtake them they might not become discouraged and apostatize from their faith to avert suffering and dishonor. Said he: “I have many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now.” What tenderness and sympathy these words express! He forbore to crowd their minds with truths that were difficult for them to comprehend. He led them gently on to understand the great subjects with which he wished to entrust them, and which they were to deliver to the world.

Jesus also refrained from wounding their feelings as much as possible. He could have, in a more definite manner, informed them concerning the Jewish service–that sacrificial offerings were no longer accepted by God, and that the light of God’s presence no longer blessed the temple. But they were not yet strong enough to hear these things. A fearful test awaited them in the crucifixion of their Lord; and Jesus gently prepared their minds for this event, and for his absence from them. After his resurrection he would more clearly reveal to them his mission to the world and his approaching ascension to his Father. They would then be better able to understand and appreciate these great and solemn facts. 

Jesus plainly stated to the disciples that he had left the presence of his Father to come unto the world; that he was about to leave the world and return to the presence of his Father. The disciples thereupon expressed their faith that Jesus had indeed come from God. The Saviour then assured them that the time was approaching when they would be scattered each one seeking his own safety, and their Master would be left alone; yet not alone, for his Father would not forsake his Son. Jesus warned his followers of the future that they might be in some measure prepared for the events that awaited them. He encouraged them to look to him and trust in him when the opposition of the world like a dark storm met them in the accomplishment of their mission. He fortified their minds with hope, and reliance in his example: Be of good cheer I have overcome the world.

This should be the Christian’s consolation. Christ, as man’s representative, has overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. So by the Saviour’s help may the children of men overcome all the powers of evil. Jesus was about to be separated from his little band of followers. He had but a little time in which to comfort and instruct them, and his farewell counsel was rich in sympathy and truth. Exceeding precious to his disciples were these last moments passed in the presence of their beloved Master. Like a consecrated high priest, Jesus now poured forth the burden of his soul to his Father in such a petition for his church as the angels had never before heard. This prayer was deep and full, broad as the earth, and reaching highest heaven. He presented his humanity before the throne of God. With his human arm he encircled the children of Adam in a firm embrace, and with his strong divine arm he grasped the throne of the Infinite, that he might unite earth to heaven, and finite man with the Infinite God.

Jenny @ 2:35 am
January 17, 1878 Christ’s Promises to the Disciples
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

     The hearts of the disciples were troubled at the words of their Master who had said that all his faithful followers would be offended because of him that same night. In their affection and care for their Saviour it seemed to them a hard saying. Peter especially was grieved that Jesus should not accept his assurance of fidelity under all circumstances. But the Saviour knew the test that awaited his little flock, so soon to be left without a shepherd. He knew the agony that awaited him in the garden, that on the morrow he was to pass through the mockeries of a trial in the judgment hall, to be followed by his crucifixion. He knew that no sleep would refresh his weary frame until he closed his eyes in death.

But his loving heart was drawn out in sympathy for his disciples who were to endure a fearful trial in his betrayal and death upon the cross. The grief of the Son of God was not for himself but that his disciples were to be left without his presence to comfort and strengthen them. It had been impossible for them to comprehend the terrible scenes they were now entering upon, and their very ignorance of what was before them, notwithstanding his statements in regard to the future, moved the Saviour’s compassionate heart. He read the peculiar character of each disciple, knowing who were in greatest danger of being overcome by temptation. But this knowledge did not bring one word of harshness or rebuke from his lips; their very weakness bound his companions to his heart in bonds of sympathy and love. His great anxiety was to shield his followers from suffering and from the abandonment of unbelief. He addressed them in these words:– 

“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” Doubting, questioning Thomas feels called upon to express his discouragement and unbelief: “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” Jesus mildly and patiently instructed his doubting disciples in the way of life:–

“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” Jesus would have him understand that the Father had been revealed in the Son–in his teachings that reflected the wisdom of Heaven, and in his works that showed the power of Omnipotence. 

Philip perceiving but dimly the meaning of his Lord said to him, “Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us.” Philip, and also the other disciples were filled with apprehension and doubt, and they desired that Jesus should give them a last convincing proof of his divinity by showing them the Father. Christ appeared in the disguise of humanity as a servant. But those who were partakers of his divine nature had eyes to perceive his divinity, the glory of which had upon special occasions, flashed through his human disguise, revealing indeed the Father. Sad indeed was it that one of his disciples who had been his companion, and witnessed his mighty works, had so failed to discern the character of his Saviour as to ask him for another sign. Jesus looked upon him with mild reproach:– 

“Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me or else believe me for the very work’s sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

All that men were able to witness of God had been revealed to them in Christ, and had their spiritual perception been what it should have been they would have discerned in him the Father. Jesus, now about to remove his powerful presence from his disciples, promised that they should do greater works even than he had done. He was soon to stand by his Father’s side as the Advocate of men, to plead in their behalf, and he promised to do whatsoever they should ask in his name, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Precious promise to the needy and sorrowful. When the Spirit was afterward poured out upon the disciples wonderful results followed through the gifts which Christ had just promised them. He continued: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me. Because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”

Jesus had been the teacher and counselor of his disciples, their pitying friend. Now, when about to leave them, he assured them that he would in no case forsake them, but would be clothed with power, and would become their Friend and Advocate in the presence of the Father, to present any petition they might offer in the name of his Son. He promised them a comforter when his personal presence was taken from them. The disciples did not comprehend at the time, the full meaning of their Master’s words; but afterward, in their religious experience, they cherished the precious promise and presented their petitions to the Father in the name of Jesus.

That promise given by Jesus to his disciples was for the benefit of all who should comply with the conditions of Christ to the end of time. God is omnipotent, and man may be strong to accomplish his purpose while he has the promise of divine help in every emergency. God’s power is hidden from the unbelieving; his ways and purposes are not understood by them. “The world knoweth him not.” But mighty victories are gained through the prayers of the obedient children of God, presented in the name of Jesus. The secret of the success of the people of God is connection with him in prayer, and humble obedience of his requirements. Jesus urged upon his disciples the necessity of obeying the commandments he had given them if they would abide in his love. The comfort promised to his followers was on this condition.

God’s blessing was never withheld from his obedient people. The wrath of God was brought upon the Jews by their disobedience of his law. Many persons contrast the freedom found in Christ with what they regard as the severe requirements of the law of God. Their words and example say to the world, Christ is so lenient and forgiving that we need not be particular to keep to the strict letter of the law. They slide away from their allegiance in a loose reckless manner, doing the works of Satan, while professing to love the Lord. Yet Jesus positively declared in his last conversation with his disciples, that those who love him will keep his commandments. In the Old Testament entire obedience is required in order to secure blessings, and entire obedience is also required in the New Testament as the conditions of receiving the approval of God. Obedience of the divine requirements is the demonstration of our faith, and the test of our love and discipleship. Professing theories, and observing forms will not answer the requirements of God. The vital principle of love is kept active through obedience. “Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

All through his ministry Jesus impressed upon his followers the necessity of obeying the law, and his own life was a demonstration of its principles, and now, as his time of agony and trial approaches, his mind, instead of dwelling upon himself, turns to his disciples, and he seeks to impress upon them the lesson of obedience. The Savior when about to leave his disciples promises to manifest himself to those who love him and keep his commandments: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

“Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?”

The Savior patiently explains his former words: “If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Here is the mystery of godliness: Christ revealed by his Spirit to those who love him. When he should pass from the world he would be unknown by those who love the world and obey not the requirements of God. But the highest form of truth was presented to the disciples in the fact that the Savior would be discovered by those who love and walk in the light, while he is hidden from those who do not accept the light. Every step in the life of faith and consecration is additional knowledge of the world’s Redeemer. Though no longer personally with his disciples, Jesus takes the hand of the faithful and becomes their Guide through all the dangers and trials of life’s journey. Jesus continued:–

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” The Savior encouraged his disciples with the assurance that when he was no longer with them his Spirit would refresh their memories, so that the words which he had spoken to them would be imprinted on their hearts, to be afterward given to all nations, tongues and kindred on earth. The Savior settled his peace upon his disciples as a legacy, and exhorted them not to be overwhelmed with anguish, for they should enjoy that peace which is a mystery to the world.

He led their minds from the great loss they would soon sustain, to the advantages they would gain by his leaving them. He told them that the Father was greater than himself, that he would stand by the Father’s side as the friend of his followers, to speak in their behalf. He is acquainted with human nature and the tendencies of the human heart, and promises to unite his petition with theirs, that the comforter, the spirit of truth might abide with them and shine forth in their lives and works, winning many to Christ. This promise has been the comfort and stay of millions who have since followed Jesus in humble obedience.

Through the strength of Jesus men may be made strong; through his love they may become lovely in character. He would have his followers understand that they cannot go to the people of the world for sympathy and comfort in their religious difficulties and trials; because the spirit of the truth is not discerned by them.

Our Savior had one more work to do in evidence of his own complete obedience to the Father. It was to die for the world. Said he: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” His hour was fast approaching; and he with his disciples passed on his way to Gethsemane. Many times had he traveled these paths on messages of love and mercy; and he had lately passed that way in triumph hailed by the glad acclamations of thousands as Him that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Jenny @ 3:31 pm