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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1959
(Vol. 136, #?)
I fully believe that the end of all things is at hand, and every power that God has given us should be employed in the very wisest and highest service to God. The Lord has brought out a people from the world to fit them not only for a pure and holy heaven but to prepare them through the wisdom He shall give them to be colaborers with God in preparing a people to stand in the day of God.
Great light has been given upon health reform, but it is essential for all to treat this subject with candor and to advocate it with wisdom. In our experience we have seen many who have not presented health reform in a manner to make the best impression upon those whom they wish would receive their views. The Bible is full of wise counsel, and even the eating and drinking receive proper attention. The highest privilege that man can enjoy is to be a partaker of the divine nature, and faith that binds us in strong relationship to God will so fashion and mold mind and conduct that we become one with Christ. No one should through intemperate appetite so indulge his taste as to weaken any of the fine works of the human machinery and thus impair the mind or the body. Man is the Lord's purchased possession.
If we are partakers of the divine nature, we will live in communion with our Creator and value all of God's work which led David to exclaim, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14. We will not consider the organs of the body our own property, as if we had created them. All the faculties God has given to the human body are to be appreciated. "Ye are not your own," "for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
We are not to treat unwisely one faculty of mind, soul, or body. We cannot abuse any of the delicate organs of the human body without having to pay the penalty because of transgression of nature's laws. Bible religion brought into practical life insures the highest culture of the intellect.
Temperance is exalted to a high level in the Word of God. Obeying His Word, we can rise higher and still higher. The danger of intemperance is specified. The advantage to be gained by temperance is laid open before us all through the Scriptures. The voice of God is addressing us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48.
The example of Daniel is presented for us to study carefully and learn the lessons that God has for us to learn in this example given us in sacred history.
We wish to present temperance and health reform from a Bible standpoint, and to be very cautious not to go to extremes in abruptly advocating health reform. Let us be careful not to graft into health reform one false shoot according to our own peculiar overstrained ideas and weave into it our own strong traits of character making these as the voice of God, and passing judgment on all who do not see as we do. It takes time to educate away from wrong habits.
Questions are coming in from brethren and sisters making inquiries in regard to health reform. Statements are made that some are taking the light in the testimonies upon health reform and making it a test. They select statements made in regard to some articles of diet that are presented as objectionable--statements written in warning and instruction to certain individuals who were entering or had entered on an evil path. They dwell on these things and make them as strong as possible, weaving their own peculiar, objectionable traits of character in with these statements, and carry them with great force, thus making them a test and driving them where they do only harm.
The meekness and lowliness of Christ is wanting. Moderation and caution are greatly needed, but they have not these desirable traits of character. They need the mold of God upon them. And such persons may take health reform and do great harm with it in prejudicing minds so that ears will be closed to the truth.
Health reform, wisely treated, will prove an entering wedge where the truth may follow with marked success. But to present health reform unwisely, making that subject the burden of the message, has served to create prejudice with unbelievers and to bar the way to the truth, leaving the impression that we are extremists. Now the Lord would have us wise and understanding as to what is His will. We must not give occasion for us to be regarded as extremists. This will place us and the truth God has given us to bear to the people at a great disadvantage. Through weaving in unconsecrated self, that which we are ever to present as a blessing becomes a stumbling block.
We see those who will select from the testimonies the strongest expressions and, without bringing in or making any account of the circumstances under which the cautions and warnings are given, make them of force in every case. Thus they produce unhealthy impressions upon the minds of the people. There are always those who are ready to grasp anything of a character which they can use to rein up people to a close, severe test, and who will work elements of their own characters into the reforms. This, at the very outset, raises the combativeness of the very ones they might help if they dealt carefully, bearing a healthful influence which would carry the people with them. They will go at the work, making a raid upon the people. Picking out some things in the testimonies, they drive them upon every one, and disgust rather than win souls. They make divisions when they might and should make peace.
I have been shown the danger of families that are of an excitable temperament, the animal predominating. Their children should not be allowed to make eggs their diet, for this kind of food--eggs and animal flesh--feeds and inflames the animal passions. This makes it very difficult for them to overcome the temptation to indulge in the sinful practice of self-abuse which in this age is almost universally practiced. This practice weakens the physical, mental, and moral powers and bars the way to everlasting life.
Some families were shown me as in a deplorable condition. Because of this debasing sin, they are where the truth of God can not find access to heart or mind. This practice leads to deception, to falsehood, to licentious practices, and to the corrupting and polluting of other minds, even of very young children. The habit once formed is more difficult to overcome than the appetite for liquor or for tobacco.
These evils, so prevalent, led me to make the statements that I have made. The special reproofs were presented in warning to others; thus they come before other families than the very individuals corrected and reproved. But let the testimonies speak for themselves. Let not individuals gather up the very strongest statements, given for individuals and families, and drive these things because they want to use the whip and to have something to drive. Let these active, determined temperaments take the Word of God and the testimonies, which present the necessity of forbearance and love and perfect unity, and labor zealously and perseveringly. With their own hearts softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, with their own spirits humble and full of the milk of human kindness, they will not create prejudice, neither will they cause dissension and weaken the churches.
The question whether we shall eat butter, meat, or cheese is not to be presented to any one as a test, but we are to educate and to show the evils of the things that are objectionable. Those who gather up these things and drive them upon others do not know what work they are doing. The Word of God has given tests to His people. The keeping of God's holy law, the Sabbath, is a test, a sign between God and His people throughout their generations forever. Forever this is the burden of the third angel's message--the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences. We cannot place on the same ground, meat, eggs, butter, cheese and such articles placed upon the table. These are not to be borne in front, as the burden of our work. The former--tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, wine, and all spirituous liquors--are not to be taken moderately, but discarded. The poisonous narcotics are not to be treated in the same way as the subject of eggs, butter, and cheese. In the beginning animal food was not designed to be the diet of man. We have every evidence that the flesh of dead animals is dangerous because of disease that is fast becoming universal, because of the curse resting more heavily in consequence of the habits and crimes of man. We are to present the truth. We are to be guarded how to use reason and select those articles of food that will make the very best blood and keep the blood in an unfevered condition.--Manuscript 5, 1881.
(Vol. 136, #?)
Let the seeker for truth who accepts Let the seeker for truth who accepts the Bible as the inspired word of God, lay aside every previous idea, and take that word in its simplicity. He should renounce every sinful practice, and enter the Holy of Holies with heart softened and subdued, ready to listen to what God says. Do not carry your creed to the Bible, and read the Scriptures in the light of that creed. If you find that your opinions are opposed to a plain "Thus saith the Lord," or to any command or prohibition He has given, give heed to the Word of God rather than to the sayings of men. Let every controversy or dispute be settled by "It is written."
The mistake made by the Roman Catholic is that he reads the Bible in the light of the priests and rulers of the church, the early fathers, or other Catholic expositors. Laying aside all creeds or articles prescribed by any church, we are to read the Bible as the word of God to us. The Light of the world will enable us to distinguish between truth and antagonistic errors.
Let the heart be softened and subdued by the spirit of prayer before the Bible is read. Truth will triumph when the spirit of truth cooperates with the humble Bible student. How precious the thought that the Author of truth still lives and reigns. Ask Him to impress your minds with the truth. Your searching of the Scriptures will then be profitable. Christ is the great Teacher of His followers, and He will not leave you to walk in darkness.
The Bible is its own interpreter. With beautiful simplicity, one portion connects itself with the truth of another portion, until the whole Bible is blended in one harmonious whole. Light flashes forth from one text to illuminate some portion of the Word that has seemed more obscure.
Those who with humility of heart search the Scriptures, with a sincere desire to know and obey the truth will not be left to walk in darkness. Jesus says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The whole Bible is a revelation of Christ. But you may read the Scriptures from morning till night, and unless you humbly submit your will to the will of God, you cannot receive a saving knowledge of the gospel. As you see the truth plainly stated, lay aside every false position, however dear it may be to the selfish heart. Some will take a text, wrest it from its true bearing, and force it into service to sustain some preconceived opinion. By linking together isolated passages of Scripture, they may deceive others. But what appears to be Bible proof for their position is no proof whatever; for the scriptures are not used in their true setting. In this way error is often magnified, and truth diminished.
Those who thus wrest the scriptures to sustain error, greatly dishonor God, and in the day of judgment, they will be held responsible for the disobedience of those who through their sophistries have been led to disregard the divine law.
Those who desire to know the truth concerning the Sabbath of the Lord are not left to the guidance of uncertain suppositions. But let them not depend upon the teachings of the fathers, or any other human agency, but upon the words spoken by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The Bible is the inspired word of God. In it are to be found the laws of heaven. And from the Bible alone can we learn the truth regarding the Sabbath. God's word is plain. The fourth commandment is definite and explicit, and reveals the divine origin of the Sabbath. And further, the Lord said to Moses:
"Speak thou . . . unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" (Ex. 31:13-17).
May the Lord help us to seek Him with the whole heart, that we may find Him. He will not be trifled with. Those who, though having opportunity to find the true path, presumptuously depart from it will some day when too late, realize their terrible mistake. Eternal life is for those only who continue to obey God. For them Christ has purchased salvation. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
When Jesus told His followers to search the Scriptures, He referred to the Old Testament Scriptures; for the New Testament was still unwritten. The Bible is made up of many parts--history, biography, song and praise, prayer, and prophecy. But all is inspired of God, and "is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." In the term "scripture" is included the whole treasure house of revelation and knowledge, in whatever form it is given.
Let no one seek to limit the circulation of the Scriptures. God speaks through various channels, and the sacred truths are to be sought as the miner seeks for gold. God has promised that He will guide all who desire to be taught into all truth.
The Bible is the greatest educational book in the world, and should be used in every school. Whatever their previous education or conceptions, to many minds the simple reading of God's Word will bring conviction, and even though in many cases the Word may be misapplied and misinterpreted, yet in after years, many because of what they can remember of its teachings may be able to distinguish between truth and error. Let us not be numbered with those who seek to limit the circulation of the Scriptures.--Undated Manuscript 142.
If you read the Bible carefully, you will see what reformation is needed in yourself in order for you to be a faithful shepherd of the flock of Christ. Compare scripture with scripture, and then open your own heart. Gain light yourself and then from an experimental knowledge, you can set before the people of God what constitutes Christian character. The power of the Holy Spirit will accompany your words if your own life is a representation of the truth which sanctifies the character; for you will then be a living epistle known and read of all men. . . .
The natural man always remains the same. He is what hereditary tendencies, nationality, education, and circumstances have made him. But when the natural man is changed by the grace of Christ, then the transformation is seen in the new man, the new heart, new purposes, new impulses. The word of Christ is received which is spirit and life; then we eat the flesh, and drink the blood of the Son of God. Then there is fruit in the heart, fruit in the lips, fruit in the character. Some bearing thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred fold.--Letter 13, 1888.
All who engage in this work as colaborers with Christ must not only be willing to preach the truth, but to practice it. Of the professedly learned and pious people of His day Christ said, "Ye are both ignorant of the scriptures and of the power of God. Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men." He longed to fill the whole nation with the spirit of His mission of love, that they might unite with Him in the work of saving the world. The Holy Spirit would now come to our workers if they would earnestly seek for it. There will be no change made in the divine economy in order to bring around marked changes in the religious world. Men and women must arise to the emergency; they must receive the golden oil, the divine communication in rich blessings. This will enable them to arise and shine, because their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them.
Those who claim to believe the Word of God, and yet cherish their own hereditary and cultivated traits of character, are the greatest stumbling blocks we shall meet as we present the grand, holy truths for this time.
Those who believe present truth are to practice the truth, live the truth. They are to study the Word and eat the Word, which means eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. They are to bring that Word, which is spirit and life, into their daily, practical life. It is the bread from heaven, and it will give life to the world. Power will be given to every man and woman who will eat of the bread that came down from heaven. Oh, cannot we take this in? Cannot we comprehend it? Why is our imagination so dull? "This is the will of him that sent me," said Christ, "that every one [how comprehensive, how far-reaching] that seeth the Son, and believeth on him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." If this, the life of Christ, be in us, what may we not accomplish in His name? "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
Christian culture will follow the labors of every soul who will practice the truth conscientiously under all circumstances. But there is altogether too much skimming over the surface. There is a mine of precious ore, hitherto only in the possession of a very few. A careful and thorough digging will put us in possession of untold resources, represented as the golden oil, emptied from the two olive trees, into the golden pipes, and from them into the golden bowls, to pour forth and enrich others.
We are in great need of large-hearted, level-headed men, who are true Christians, and who will show that they are feeding upon the Word of God, at home and abroad. Those of our faith and not of our faith will take knowledge of these men that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. They will see that they are yoked up with Christ, and are drawing with Him, that they are apt scholars learning of Him His meekness and lowliness of heart. These will not complain of the yoke of Christ or murmur when lifting His burdens. They will march cheerfully forward, singing, yes, making melody to God in their hearts. The yoke of Christ is easy, and His burden is light.
Oh, it makes every difference with those who study the Scriptures as to what and how they shall understand the Word, whether they eat it or not. The Word of God, if eaten, will give spiritual sinew and muscle. Those who eat and digest this Word will practice it. Their eyes, anointed with the heavenly eye salve will see other lessons in the Holy Word than those seen by readers whose hearts are not cleansed, refined, and elevated. Under the working of the Holy Spirit the conscience will recognize a pure, high standard of righteousness that puts to shame the low, cheap ideas of the surface reader, whose mind is corrupted with sin. They see that the doers of the Word alone are justified before God. Those who hear and fail to do are in no wise better, morally or spiritually, for hearing. Those who will deny self, and make any and every sacrifice for Christ's sake will be able to teach because their precept and example harmonize.--Letter 34, 1896.
(Vol. 136, #?)
Those who work for Christ are to be pure, upright, and trustworthy, and they are also to be tender-hearted, compassionate, and courteous. There is a charm in the intercourse of those who are truly courteous. Kind words, pleasant looks, a courteous demeanor, are of inestimable value. Uncourteous Christians, by their neglect of others, show that they are not in union with Christ. It is impossible to be in union with Christ and yet be uncourteous.
What Christ was in His life on this earth, that every Christian should be. He is our example, not only in His spotless purity but in His patience, gentleness, and winsomeness of disposition. He was a firm as a rock where truth and duty were concerned, but He was invariably kind and courteous. His life was a perfect illustration of true courtesy. He had ever a kind look and a word of comfort for the needy and oppressed.
His presence brought a purer atmosphere into the home, and His life was as leaven working amid the elements of society. Harmless and undefiled, He walked among the thoughtless, the rude, the uncourteous; amid the unjust publicans, the unrighteous Samaritans, the heathen soldiers, the rough peasants, and the mixed multitude. He spoke a word of sympathy here, and a word there, as He saw men weary, and compelled to bear heavy burdens. He shared their burdens, and repeated to them the lessons He had learned from nature of the love, the kindness, the goodness of God.
He sought to inspire with hope the most rough and unpromising, setting before them the assurance that they might become blameless and harmless, attaining such a character as would make them manifest as children of God.
Though He was a Jew, Christ mingled with the Samaritans, setting at naught the Pharisaic customs of His nation. In face of their prejudices, He accepted the hospitality of this despised people. He slept under their roofs, ate with them at their tables, partaking of the food prepared and served by their hands--and taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmost kindness and courtesy.
Jesus sat as an honored guest at the table of the publicans, by His sympathy and social kindliness showing that He recognized the dignity of humanity; and men longed to become worthy of His confidence. Upon their thirsty souls His words fell with blessed, life-giving power. New impulses were awakened, and the possibility of a new life opened to these outcasts of society.
The love of Christ mellows the heart and smooths all roughness from the disposition. Let us learn from Him how to combine a high sense of purity and integrity with sunniness of temperament. A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the gospel that can be produced.
The conduct of some professing Christians is so lacking in kindness and courtesy that their good is evil spoken of. Their sincerity may not be doubted, their uprightness may not be questioned. But sincerity and uprightness will not atone for a lack of kindness and courtesy. Such ones need to realize that the plan of redemption is a plan of mercy, set in operation to soften whatever is hard and rugged in human nature. They need to cultivate that rare Christian courtesy which makes men kind and considerate to all. The Christian is to be sympathetic as well as true, pitiful and courteous as well as upright and honest.
Men of the world study to be courteous, to make themselves as pleasing as possible. They study to render their address and manners such that they will have the greatest influence over those with whom they associate. They use their knowledge and abilities as skillfully as possible in order to gain this object. "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
As you go through life, you will meet with those whose lot is far from easy. Toil and deprivation, with no hope for better things in the future, make their burden very heavy. And when pain and sickness is added, the burden is almost greater than they can bear. Careworn and oppressed, they know not where to turn for relief. When you meet with such ones, put your whole heart into the work of helping them. It is not God's purpose that His children shall shut themselves up to themselves. Remember that for them as well as for you Christ died. In your dealing with them, be pitiful and courteous. This will open the way for you to help them, to win their confidence, to inspire them with hope and courage.
The apostle exhorts us, "As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." The grace of Christ changes the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. It controls the temper and the voice. Its outworking is seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words and unselfish actions. An angel-presence is in the home. The life breathes forth a sweet perfume, which as holy incense ascends to God. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and longsuffering. The expression of the countenance is changed. The peace of heaven is revealed. There is seen a habitual gentleness, a more
than human love. Humanity becomes a partaker of divinity. Christ is honored by perfection of character. As these changes are perfected, angels break forth in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude.
We should accustom ourselves to speak in pleasant tones; to use pure, correct language, and words that are kind and courteous. Kind words are as dew and gentle showers to the soul. The scripture says of Christ that grace was poured into His lips, that He might "know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary." And the Lord bids us, "Let your speech be alway with grace," "that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Some with whom you are brought in contact will be rough and uncourteous, but because of this, do not be less courteous yourself. He who wishes to preserve his own self-respect must be careful not to wound needlessly the self-respect of others. This rule should be sacredly observed toward the dullest, the most blundering. What God intends to do with these apparently unpromising ones, you do not know. He has in the past accepted persons no more promising or attractive to do a great work for Him. His spirit, moving upon the heart, has aroused every faculty to vigorous action. The Lord saw in those rough, unhewn stones precious material that would stand the test of storm and heat and pressure. God sees not as man sees. He does not judge from appearances, but He searches the heart, and judges righteously.
Let us be self-forgetful, ever on the watch to cheer others, to lighten their burdens by acts of tender kindness and deeds of unselfish love. These thoughtful courtesies, beginning in the home, and extending far beyond the home circle, go far to make up the sum of life's happiness, and the neglect of them constitutes no small share of life's wretchedness.--Manuscript 69, 1902.