That which we have seen and heard - We deliver nothing by hearsay, nothing by tradition, nothing from conjecture; we have had the fullest certainty of all that we write and preach.
That ye also may have fellowship with us - That ye may be preserved from all false doctrine, and have a real participation with us apostles of the grace, peace, love, and life of God, which communion we have with God the Father, who hath loved us, and given his Son Jesus Christ to redeem us; and with his Son Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the life of the world and through whom, being God manifested in the flesh, we have union with God, are made partakers of the Divine nature and dwell in God, and God in us.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you - We announce it, or make it known unto you - referring either to what he purposes to say in this Epistle, or more probably embracing all that he had written respecting him, and supposing that his Gospel was in their hands. He means to call their attention to all the testimony which he had borne on the subject, in order to counteract the errors which began to prevail.
That ye may have fellowship with us - With us the apostles; with us who actually saw him, and conversed with him. That is, he wished that they might have the same belief, and the same hope, and the same joy which he himself had, arising from the fact that the Son of God had become incarnate, and had appeared among people. To “have fellowship,” means to have anything in common with others; to partake of it; to share it with them, (see the notes at Acts 2:42); and the idea here is, that the apostle wished that they might share with him all the peace and happiness which resulted from the fact that the Son of God had appeared in human form in behalf of men. The object of the apostle in what he wrote was, that they might have the same views of the Saviour which he had, and partake of the same hope and joy. This is the true notion of fellowship in religion.
And truly our fellowship is with the Father - With God the Father. That is, there was something in common with him and God; something of which he and God partook together, or which they shared. This cannot, of course, mean that his nature was the same as that of God, or that in all things he shared with God, or that in anything he was equal with God; but it means that he partook, in some respects, of the feelings, the views, the aims, the joys which God has. There was a union in feeling, and affection, and desire, and plan, and this was to him a source of joy. He had an attachment to the same things, loved the same truth, desired the same objects, and was engaged in the same work; and the consciousness of this, and the joy which attended it, was what was meant by fellowship. Compare the 1 Corinthians 10:16 note; 2 Corinthians 12:14 note. The fellowship which Christians have with God relates to the following points:
(1) Attachment to the same truths, and the same objects; love for the same principles, and the same beings.
(2) the same kind of happiness, though not in the same degree. The happiness of God is found in holiness, truth, purity, justice, mercy, benevolence. The happiness of the Christian is of the same kind that God has; the same kind that angels have; the same kind that he will himself have in heaven - for the joy of heaven is only that which the Christian has now, expanded to the utmost capacity of the soul, and freed from all that now interferes with it, and prolonged to eternity.
(3) Employment, or cooperation with God. There is a sphere in which God works alone, and in which we can have no cooperation, no fellowship with him. In the work of creation; in upholding all things; in the government of the universe; in the transmission of light from world to world; in the return of the seasons, the rising and setting of the sun, the storms, the tides, the flight of the comet, we can have no joint agency, no cooperation with him. There God works alone. But there is also a large sphere in which he admits us graciously to a cooperation with him, and in which, unless we work, his agency will not be put forth. This is seen when the farmer sows his grain; when the surgeon binds up a wound; when we take the medicine which God has appointed as a means of restoration to health. So in the moral world. In our efforts to save our own souls and the souls of others, God graciously works with us; and unless we work, the object is not accomplished. This cooperation is referred to in such passages as these: “We are laborers together ( συνεργοί sunergoi) with God,” 1 Corinthians 3:9. “The Lord working with them,” Mark 16:20. “We then as workers together with him,” 2 Corinthians 6:1. “That we might be fellow-helpers to the truth,” 3 John 1:8. In all such cases, while the efficiency is of God - alike in exciting us to effort, and in crowning the effort with success - it is still true that if our efforts were not put forth, the work would not be done. In this department God would not work by himself alone; he would not secure the result by miracle.
(4) we have fellowship with God by direct communion with him, in prayer, in meditation, and in the ordinances of religion. Of this all true Christians are sensible, and this constitutes no small part of their special joy. The nature of this, and the happiness resulting from it, is much of the same nature as the communion of friend with friend - of one mind with another kindred mind - that to which we owe no small part of our happiness in this world.
(5) the Christian will have fellowship with his God and Saviour in the triumphs of the latter day, when the scenes of the judgment shall occur, and when the Redeemer shall appear, that he may be admired and adored by assembled worlds. Compare the notes at 2 Thessalonians 1:10. See also Matthew 19:28; Revelation 3:21.
And with his Son Jesus Christ - That is, in like manner there is much which we have in common with the Saviour - in character, in feeling, in desire, in spirit, in plan. There is a union with him in these things - and the consciousness of this gives peace and joy.
(There is a real union between Christ and his people, which lies at the foundation of this fellowship. Without this union there can be no communion. But a “union with Christ in these things, i. e., in character and feeling, etc.” is nothing more than the union which subsists between any chief and his followers; and why the apostle Paul, or others after him, should reckon this a great mystery, is not easily comprehended. Ephesians 5:32; Colossians 1:27. For a full view of the subject, see the author‘s notes, with the supplementary note at Romans 8:10.)
The apostle teaches that while we should manifest Christian courtesy we are authorized to deal in plain terms with sin and sinners; that this is not inconsistent with true charity. “Whosoever committeth sin,” he writes, “transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” AA 555.1
As a witness for Christ, John entered into no controversy, no wearisome contention. He declared what he knew, what he had seen and heard. He had been intimately associated with Christ, had listened to His teachings, had witnessed His mighty miracles. Few could see the beauties of Christ's character as John saw them. For him the darkness had passed away; on him the true light was shining. His testimony in regard to the Saviour's life and death was clear and forcible. Out of the abundance of a heart overflowing with love for the Saviour he spoke; and no power could stay his words. AA 555.2
“That which was from the beginning,” he declared, “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” AA 555.3Read in context »
More than half a century had passed since the organization of the Christian church. During that time the gospel message had been constantly opposed. Its enemies had never relaxed their efforts, and had at last succeeded in enlisting the power of the Roman emperor against the Christians. AA 568.1
In the terrible persecution that followed, the apostle John did much to confirm and strengthen the faith of the believers. He bore a testimony which his adversaries could not controvert and which helped his brethren to meet with courage and loyalty the trials that came upon them. When the faith of the Christians would seem to waver under the fierce opposition they were forced to meet, the old, tried servant of Jesus would repeat with power and eloquence the story of the crucified and risen Saviour. He steadfastly maintained his faith, and from his lips came ever the same glad message: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” 1 John 1:1-3. AA 568.2Read in context »
Both home and foreign missions should be conducted in connection with the ministry of the word. The medical missionary work is not to be carried forward as something apart from the work of the gospel ministry. The Lord's people are to be one. There is to be no separation in His work. Time and means are being absorbed in a work which is carried forward too earnestly in one direction. The Lord has not appointed this. He sent out His twelve apostles and afterward the Seventy to preach the word to the people, and He gave them power to heal the sick and to cast out devils in His name. The two lines of work must not be separated. Satan will invent every possible scheme to separate those whom God is seeking to make one. We must not be misled by his devices. The medical missionary work is to be connected with the third angel's message as the hand is connected with the body; and the education of students in medical missionary lines is not complete unless they are trained to work in connection with the church and the ministry. CH 557.1
There are in the ministry men of faith and experience, men who can say: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” 1 John 1:1-3. These men are to instruct others.... CH 557.2
The medical missionary work is not to take men from the ministry, but to place them in the field. Wherever camp meetings are held, young men who have received an education in medical missionary lines should feel it their duty to act a part. They should be encouraged to speak, not only on these special lines, but also upon the points of present truth, giving the reasons why we are Seventh-day Adventists. These young men, given an opportunity to work with older ministers, will receive much help and blessing.... CH 557.3Read in context »
The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. Not one sermon from His lips had ever fallen upon their ears. They could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. John, the beloved disciple, wrote: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” 1 John 1:1-3. As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing. DA 340.1
Though the people of Gergesa had not received Jesus, He did not leave them to the darkness they had chosen. When they bade Him depart from them, they had not heard His words. They were ignorant of that which they were rejecting. Therefore He again sent the light to them, and by those to whom they would not refuse to listen. DA 340.2
In causing the destruction of the swine, it was Satan's purpose to turn the people away from the Saviour, and prevent the preaching of the gospel in that region. But this very occurrence roused the whole country as nothing else could have done, and directed attention to Christ. Though the Saviour Himself departed, the men whom He had healed remained as witnesses to His power. Those who had been mediums of the prince of darkness became channels of light, messengers of the Son of God. Men marveled as they listened to the wondrous news. A door was opened to the gospel throughout that region. When Jesus returned to Decapolis, the people flocked about Him, and for three days, not merely the inhabitants of one town, but thousands from all the surrounding region, heard the message of salvation. Even the power of demons is under the control of our Saviour, and the working of evil is overruled for good. DA 340.3Read in context »
“I have had precious opportunities to obtain an experience. I have had an experience in the first, second, and third angels’ messages. The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth's history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God, and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order. LS 429.1
“I have acted a part in this solemn work. Nearly all my Christian experience is interwoven with it. There are those now living who have an experience similar to my own. They have recognized the truth unfolding for this time; they have kept in step with the great Leader, the Captain of the Lord's host. In the proclamation of the messages, every specification of prophecy has been fulfilled. Those who were privileged to act a part in proclaiming these messages have gained an experience which is of the highest value to them; and now when we are amid the perils of these last days, when voices will be heard on every side saying, `Here is Christ,’ `Here is truth’; while the burden of many is to unsettle the foundation of our faith which has led us from the churches and from the world to stand as a peculiar people in the world, like John our testimony will be borne: LS 429.2
“`That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us.’ LS 429.3Read in context »
Thus through faith they come to know God by an experimental knowledge. They have proved for themselves the reality of His word, the truth of His promises. They have tasted, and they know that the Lord is good. MH 461.1
The beloved John had a knowledge gained through his own experience. He could testify: MH 461.2
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3. MH 461.3
So everyone may be able, through his own experience, to “set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33, A.R.V. He can bear witness to that which he himself has seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ. He can testify: MH 461.4
“I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. Every want was supplied, the hunger of my soul was satisfied; the Bible is to me the revelation of Christ. I believe in Jesus because He is to me a divine Saviour. I believe the Bible because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.” MH 461.5
He who has gained a knowledge of God and His word through personal experience is prepared to engage in the study of natural science. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. Before the entrance of sin, Adam and Eve in Eden were surrounded with a clear and beautiful light, the light of God. This light illuminated everything which they approached. There was nothing to obscure their perception of the character or the works of God. But when they yielded to the tempter, the light departed from them. In losing the garments of holiness, they lost the light that had illuminated nature. No longer could they read it aright. They could not discern the character of God in His works. So today man cannot of himself read aright the teaching of nature. Unless guided by divine wisdom, he exalts nature and the laws of nature above nature's God. This is why mere human ideas in regard to science so often contradict the teaching of God's word. But for those who receive the light of the life of Christ, nature is again illuminated. In the light shining from the cross, we can rightly interpret nature's teaching. MH 461.6Read in context »
Those who undertake this training of young workers are doing noble service. The Lord Himself co-operates with their efforts. And the young men to whom the word of consecration has been spoken, whose privilege it is to be brought into close association with earnest, godly workers, should make the most of their opportunity. God has honored them by choosing them for His service and by placing them where they can gain greater fitness for it, and they should be humble, faithful, obedient, and willing to sacrifice. If they submit to God's discipline, carrying out His directions and choosing His servants as their counselors, they will develop into righteous, high-principled, steadfast men, whom God can entrust with responsibilities. PK 223.1
As the gospel is proclaimed in its purity, men will be called from the plow and from the common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulty will be removed and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward and still onward the work will advance until the whole earth shall have been warned, and then shall the end come. PK 223.2Read in context »
Others were present whom we highly esteem, tried friends of the cause, whom we have known many years. We saw their countenances light up with fresh assurance as they listened to the presentation of the truth which has kept their hearts warm all these years. These brethren and sisters have an accurate, personal knowledge of events that occurred a score or more years ago. Some of them have witnessed remarkable manifestations of the power of God in times of our greatest trial and need, when our numbers were few, when opposition was strong, and unreasonable objections had to be met. While things that occurred a week ago may be forgotten, these scenes of thrilling interest still live in the memory. RY 17.1
Whatever may be said of the later stages of their life-history, their earlier experience in this work has left traces which can never be erased. We cannot afford to let these aged sentinels drop out of sight. To many, by pen and voice, they have spoken precious words of truth; and they should still be encouraged to do all they can with their influence, their counsel, and their experience in the cause of God. More youthful workers are taking their place in active service, and this is right; but let these younger men keep a warm place in their hearts, and room in their councils, for those whose heads have grown gray in the service of Christ. We want to see these men keep on the armor, and press the battle to the gates. We want to see them share with younger soldiers the triumphs of the final victory. It will be joy indeed to see them, when the conflict is ended, crowned and honored among the victorious ones.—The Review and Herald, October 28, 1884. RY 17.2Read in context »
The wonderful success which attended the preaching of the gospel by the apostles and their fellow laborers increased the hatred of the enemies of Christ. They made every effort to hinder its progress, and finally succeeded in enlisting the power of the Roman emperor against the Christians. A terrible persecution ensued, in which many of the followers of Christ were put to death. The apostle John was now an aged man, but with great zeal and success he continued to preach the doctrine of Christ. He had a testimony of power, which his adversaries could not controvert, and which greatly encouraged his brethren. SL 70.1
When the faith of the Christians would seem to waver under the fierce opposition they were forced to meet, the apostle would repeat, with great dignity, power, and eloquence, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ...that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3). SL 70.2
The bitterest hatred was kindled against John for his unwavering fidelity to the cause of Christ. He was the last survivor of the disciples who are intimately connected with Jesus, and his enemies decided that his testimony must be silenced. If this could be accomplished, they thought the doctrine of Christ would not spread; and if treated with severity, it might soon die out of the world. John was accordingly summoned to Rome to be tried for his faith. His doctrines were misstated. False witnesses accused him as a seditious person, publicly teaching theories which would subvert the nation. SL 70.3Read in context »
It is with feelings of satisfaction and of gratitude to God that we see Elder [G. I.] Butler again in active service. His gray hairs testify that he understands what trials are. We welcome him into our ranks once more, and regard him as one of our most valuable laborers. 2SM 226.1
May the Lord help the brethren who have borne their testimony in the early days of the message, to be wise in regard to the preservation of their physical, mental, and spiritual powers. I have been instructed by the Lord to say that He has endowed you with the power of reason, and He desires you to understand the laws that affect the health of the being, and to resolve to obey them. These laws are God's laws. He desires every pioneer worker to stand in his lot and place, that he may do his part in saving the people from being swept downward to destruction by the mighty current of evil—of physical, mental, and spiritual declension. My brethren, He desires you to keep your armor on to the very close of the conflict. Do not be imprudent; do not overwork. Take periods of rest. 2SM 226.2
The church militant is not the church triumphant. The Lord desires His tried servants, as long as they live, to advocate temperance reform. Unfurl the temperance banner. Teach the people to practice strict temperance in all things, and to be champions in favor of obedience to physical laws. Stand firmly for God's truth. Exalt before the people the banner bearing the inscription, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).... 2SM 226.3
A few of the old standard-bearers are still living. I am intensely desirous that our brethren and sisters shall respect and honor these pioneers. We present them before you as men who know what trials are. I am instructed to say, Let every believer respect the men who acted a prominent part during the early days of the message, and who have borne trials and hardships and many privations. These men have grown gray in service. Not long hence they will receive their reward.... 2SM 226.4Read in context »
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:1-3). 2SM 388.1
I testify the things which I have seen, the things which I have heard, the things which my hands have handled of the Word of life. And this testimony I know to be of the Father and the Son. We have seen and do testify that the power of the Holy Ghost has accompanied the presentation of the truth, warning with pen and voice, and giving the messages in their order. To deny this work would be to deny the Holy Ghost, and would place us in that company who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. 2SM 388.2
The enemy will set everything in operation to uproot the confidence of the believers in the pillars of our faith in the messages of the past, which have placed us upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, and which have established and given character to the work. The Lord God of Israel has led out His people, unfolding to them truth of heavenly origin. His voice has been heard, and is still heard, saying, “Go forward from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from glory to glory.” The work is strengthening and broadening, for the Lord God of Israel is the defense of His people. 2SM 388.3
Those who have a hold of the truth theoretically, with their finger tips as it were, who have not brought its principles into the inner sanctuary of the soul, but have kept the vital truth in the outer court, will see nothing sacred in the past history of this people which has made them what they are, and has established them as earnest, determined, missionary workers in the world. 2SM 388.4Read in context »
As the knowledge of the truth is received, let it be imparted to those who are in darkness, without God and without hope in the world. In such labor there is a variety of minds to deal with, and God will greatly bless His servants as they look to Him for wisdom. The Holy Spirit will come to all who are begging for the bread of life to give to their neighbors. 6T 90.1
Instead of holding institutes to fit ministers for their work, let these ministers be given work to do in places where camp meetings have been held. After being fed with the bread of life by a miracle of God's mercy, let them work to feed others. 6T 90.2
The large amount of means required for ministerial institutes would have brought far greater returns had it been expended in maintaining the ministers in actual labor in missionary fields. 6T 90.3
There are in the ministry men of faith and prayer, men who can say: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” 1 John 1:1-3. These men are to instruct others. Let workers be trained by actual labor in connection with experienced men. 6T 90.4Read in context »
Thus through faith they will come to know God by an experimental knowledge. They have proved for themselves the reality of His word, the truth of His promises. They have tasted, and they know that the Lord is good. 8T 321.1
The beloved John had a knowledge gained through his own experience. He could testify: 8T 321.2
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3. 8T 321.3
So everyone may be able, through his own experience, to “set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33, A. R. V. He can bear witness to that which he himself has seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ. He can testify: 8T 321.4
“I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. Every want was supplied, the hunger of my soul was satisfied; the Bible is to me the revelation of Christ. I believe in Jesus because He is to me a divine Saviour. I believe the Bible because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.” 8T 321.5Read in context »
At half past two o'clock P.M. I spoke to a full house [at Adams Center, N.Y.].... We were gratified to meet the aged servants of God on this occasion. We have been acquainted from the rise of the third angel's message with Elder [Frederick] Wheeler, who is now nearing eighty years. We have been acquainted with Elders [H. H.] Wilcox and [Chas. O.] Taylor for the last forty years. Age is telling on these old standard-bearers, as well as upon me. If we are faithful to the end the Lord will give us a crown of life that fadeth not away. 2SM 223.1
The aged standard-bearers are far from being useless and laid aside. They have a part to act in the work similar to that of John. They can say, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:1-7). 2SM 223.2
This was the spirit and life of the message that John bore to all in his old age, when he was nearly one hundred years old. The standard-bearers are holding fast their banners. They are not loosening their hands on the banner of truth until they lay off the armor. One by one the old warriors’ voices become silent. Their place is vacant. We see them no more, but they being dead yet speak, for their works do follow them. Let us treat very tenderly the few aged pilgrims remaining, esteeming them highly for their works’ sake. As their powers are becoming worn and enfeebled, what they do say is of value. As precious testimony let their words be treasured. Let not the young men and the new workers discard or in any respect show indifference to the men of hoary hairs, but let them rise up and call them blessed. They should consider that they have themselves entered into these men's labors. We wish that there was much more of the love of Christ in the hearts of our believers for those who were first in the proclamation of the message.—Manuscript 33, 1890. 2SM 223.3Read in context »
It is through faith in Jesus Christ that the truth is accepted in the heart, and the human agent is purified and cleansed.... He has an abiding principle in the soul, that enables him to overcome temptation. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” God has power to keep the soul that is in Christ who is under temptation.... 7BC 951.1
A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian.... Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of men, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as “whited sepulchres” full of corruption and dead men's bones. But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement (Letter 13, 1893). 7BC 951.2
4 (Romans 3:20; see EGW on Galatians 3:24-26; Ephesians 2:14-16). Only Definition of Sin—“Sin is the transgression of the law.” This is the only definition of sin. Without the law there can be no transgression. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The standard of righteousness is exceeding broad, prohibiting every evil thing (Manuscript 27, 1899). 7BC 951.3
4, 5. What Is the Justice of God?—The transgression of God's law in a single instance, in the smallest particular, is sin. And the nonexecution of the penalty of that sin would be a crime in the divine administration. God is a judge, the avenger of justice, which is the habitation and foundation of His throne. He cannot dispense with His law, He cannot do away with its smallest item in order to meet and pardon sin. The rectitude and justice and moral excellence of the law must be maintained and vindicated before the heavenly universe and the worlds unfallen. 7BC 951.4
What is the justice of God? It is the holiness of God in relation to sin. Christ bore the sins of the world in man's behalf that the sinner might have another trial, with all the divine opportunities and advantages which God has provided in man's behalf (Manuscript 145, 1897). 7BC 951.5
8 (see EGW on Genesis 6:3). Simple Godliness Not Shallowness—John bears testimony of Christ, the giver of the Word, saying, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” In the simplest language John sets before us true practical godliness. This simplicity does not show shallowness, but depth. John is speaking to real men and women, and the Holy Spirit directed him to write in such a way that they would be brought in contact with a real, living God. He shows us what God is doing, and what man must do to meet God's requirements. John does not present the truth hesitatingly, but in a decided manner. He speaks positively [1 John 1:1-7 quoted] (The Signs of the Times, January 11, 1899). 7BC 951.6Read in context »
To the aged pioneer laborers who have been connected with the work of the third angel's message almost from its beginning, whose experiences in it dates nearly from the passing of the time in 1844, the Lord says: “Your help is needed. Do not take upon yourselves loads that others who are younger can carry. It is your duty to be careful in your habits of life. You are to be wise in the use of your physical, mental, and spiritual strength. You who have passed through so many and such varied experiences are to do all that it is possible for you to do to preserve your powers, that you may labor for the Lord as long as He permits you to stand in your lot and place to help to advance His work.” 7T 286.1
With John, these burden bearers can say: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.... This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:1-7. 7T 286.2
The cause needs the help of the old hands, the aged workers, who have had years of experience in the cause of God; who have watched the development and the progress of the message in its various lines; who have seen many go into fanaticism, cherishing the delusion of false theories, resisting all the efforts made to let the light of truth reveal the superstitions that were coming in to confuse minds and to make of none effect the message which in these last days must be given in its purity to God's remnant people. 7T 286.3Read in context »
Your fellowship is with the Father and with the Son, and you grow into the knowledge of the divine perfection. You grow in reverence, you gain confidence in communion with God. Looking steadfastly to Jesus, you grow in faith, and learning to distrust self, you appreciate the words of Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5.... OHC 216.5Read in context »
We cannot afford to deprive our home mission of the influence of middle-aged and aged ministers to send them into distant fields, to engage in a work for which they are not qualified, and to which no amount of training will enable them to adapt themselves. The men thus sent out leave vacancies which inexperienced laborers cannot supply.—The Review and Herald, July 17, 1883. RY 39.1Read in context »
Justification and Sanctification Accomplished Through Faith—1890—When through repentance and faith we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Lord pardons our sins, and remits the penalty prescribed for the transgression of the law. The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son. 3SM 191.2Read in context »
The sum and substance of the whole matter of Christian grace and experience is contained in believing on Christ, in knowing God and His Son whom He hath sent. But here is where many fail, for they lack faith in God. Instead of desiring to be brought into fellowship with Christ in His self-denial and humiliation, they are ever seeking for the supremacy of self.... O if we did but appreciate the love of God, how our hearts would be expanded, our limited sympathies would be enlarged, and break away from the icy barriers of selfishness, and our comprehension would be deeper than it now is.... TMK 104.2
It is because we do not know God, we do not have faith in Christ, that we are not deeply impressed with the humiliation He endured in our behalf, that His abasement does not lead us to the humbling of self, to the exalting of Jesus.... O if you loved Him as He has loved you, you would not shun an experience in the dark chapters of the suffering of the Son of God! TMK 104.3
In order to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings, we must behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. When we contemplate the humiliation of Christ, beholding His self-denial and self-sacrifice, we are filled with amazement at the manifestation of divine love for guilty man. When for Christ's sake we are called to pass through trials that are of a humiliating nature, if we have the mind of Christ we shall suffer them with meekness, not resenting injury, or resisting evil. We shall manifest the spirit that dwelt in Christ.... We are to understand what the sacrifice, the labors, and the sufferings of Christ are, in order that we may cooperate with Him in working out the great scheme of redemption.12 TMK 104.4
The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God's purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess.13 TMK 104.5Read in context »
The Lord has set before me matters which are of urgent importance for the present time, and which reach into the future. The words have been spoken in a charge to me, “Write in a book the things which thou hast seen and heard, and let it go to all people; for the time is at hand when past history will be repeated.” I have been aroused at one, two, or three o'clock in the morning, with some point forcibly impressed upon my mind, as if spoken by the voice of God. I was shown that many of our own people were asleep in their sins, and although they claimed to be Christians, they would perish unless they were converted. 3SM 113.5Read in context »