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1 Peter 2:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye also, as lively stones - Λιθοι ζωντες· Living stones; each being instinct with the principle of life, which proceeds from him who is the foundation, called above λιθον ζωντα, a living stone.

The metaphor in this and the following verse is as bold as it is singular; and commentators and critics have found it difficult to hit on any principle of explanation. In all metaphors there is something in the natural image that is illustrative of some chief moral property in the thing to be represented. But what analogy is there between the stones of a building and a multitude of human beings? We shall soon see. The Church of Christ, it is true, is represented under the figure of a house, or rather household; and as a household or family must have a place of residence, hence, by a metonymy, the house itself, or material building, is put for the household or family which occupies it, the container being put for the contained. This point will receive the fullest illustration if we have recourse to the Hebrew: in this language, בית beith signifies both a house and a family; בן ben a son; בת bath a daughter; and אבן eben a stone. Of all these nouns, בנה banah, he built, is, I believe, the common root. Now as בית beith, a house, is built of אבנים abanim, stones, hence בנה banah, he built, is a proper radix for both stones and building; and as בית beith, a family or household ( Psalm 68:6;) is constituted or made up of בנים banim, sons, and בנות banoth daughters, hence the same root בנה banah, he built, is common to all; for sons and daughters build up or constitute a family, as stones do a building. Here, then, is the ground of the metaphor: the spiritual house is the holy or Christian family or household, this family or household is composed of the sons and daughters of God Almighty; and hence the propriety of living stones, because this is the living house or spiritual family. As a building rests upon a foundation, and this foundation is its support; so a family or household rests on the father, who is properly considered the foundation or support of the building. But as every father is mortal and transitory, none can be called a living stone, foundation, or support, but He who liveth for ever, and has life independent; so none but Jesus, who hath life in himself, i.e. independently, and who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, can be a permanent foundation or support to the whole spiritual house. And as all the stones - sons and daughters, that constitute the spiritual building are made partakers of the life of Christ, consequently, they may with great propriety be called living stones, that is, sons and daughters of God, who live by Christ Jesus, because he lives in them. Now, following the metaphor; these various living stones become one grand temple, in which God is worshipped, and in which he manifests himself as he did in the temple of old. Every stone - son and daughter, being a spiritual sacrificer or priest, they all offer up praise and thanksgiving to God through Christ; and such sacrifices, being offered up in the name and through the merit of his Son, are all acceptable in his sight.

This is the true metaphor, and which has not, as far as I know, ever been properly traced out. To talk of "stones being said to be alive as long as they are not cut out of the quarry, but continue to partake of that nourishment which circulates from vein to vein," is as unsatisfactory as it is unphilosophical; the other is the true metaphor, and explains every thing.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye also, as lively stones - Greek, “living stones.” The word should have been so rendered. The word lively with us now has a different meaning from living, and denotes “active, quick, sprightly.” The Greek word is the same as that used in the previous verse, and rendered living. The meaning is, that the materials of which the temple here referred to was composed, were living materials throughout. The foundation is a living foundation, and all the superstructure is compassed of living materials. The purpose of the apostle here is to compare the church to a beautiful temple - such as the temple in Jerusalem, and to show that it is complete in all its parts, as that was. It has within itself what corresponds with everything that was valuable in that. It is a beautiful structure like that; and as in that there was a priesthood, and there were real and acceptable sacrifices offered, so it is in the Christian church.

The Jews prided themselves much on their temple. It was a most costly and splendid edifice. It was the place where God was worshipped, and where he was supposed to dwell. It had an imposing service, and there was acceptable worship rendered there. As a new dispensation was introduced; as the tendency of the Christian system was to draw off the worshippers from that temple, and to teach them that God could be worshipped as acceptably elsewhere as at Jerusalem, John 4:21-23 as Christianity did not inculcate the necessity of rearing splendid temples for the worship of God; and as in fact the temple at Jerusalem was about to be destroyed forever, it was important to show that in the Christian church there might be found all that was truly beautiful and valuable in the temple at Jerusalem; that it had what corresponded to what was in fact most precious there, and that there was still a most magnificent and beautiful temple on the earth.

Hence, the sacred writers labor to show that all was found in the church that had made the temple at Jerusalem so glorious, and that the great design contemplated by the erection of that splendid edifice - the maintenance of the worship of God - was now accomplished in a more glorious manner than even in the services of that house. For there was a temple, made up of living materials, which was still the special dwelling-place of God on the earth. In that I temple there was a holy priesthood - for every Christian was a priest. In that temple there were sacrifices offered, as acceptable to God as in the former - for they were spiritual sacrifices, offered continually. These thoughts were often dwelt upon by the apostle Paul, and are here illustrated by Peter, evidently with the same design, to impart consolation to those who had never been permitted to worship at the temple in Jerusalem, and to comfort those Jews, now converted to Christianity, who saw that that splendid and glorious edifice was about to be destroyed. The special abode of God on the earth was now removed from that temple to the Christian church. The first aspect in which this is illustrated here is, that the temple of God was made up of “living stones;” that is, that the materials were not inanimate stones but endued with life, and so much more valuable than those employed in the temple at Jerusalem, as the soul is more precious than any materials of stone. There were living beings which composed that temple, constituting a more beautiful structure, and a more appropriate dwelling-place for God, than any edifice could be made of stone, however costly or valuable.

A spiritual house - A spiritual temple, not made of perishable materials, like that at Jerusalem net composed of matter, as that was, but made up of redeemed souls - a temple more appropriate to be the residence of one who is a pure spirit. Compare the Ephesians 2:19-22 notes, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 notes.

An holy priesthood - In the temple at Jerusalem, the priesthood appointed to minister there, and to offer sacrifices, constituted an essential part of the arrangement. It was important, therefore, to show that this was not overlooked in the spiritual temple that God was raising. Accordingly, the apostle says that this is amply provided for, by constituting “the whole body of Christians” to be in fact a priesthood. Everyone is engaged in offering acceptable sacrifice to God. The business is not entrusted to a particular class to be known as priests; there is not a particular portion to whom the name is to be especially given; but every Christian is in fact a priest, and is engaged in offering an acceptable sacrifice to God. See Romans 1:6; “And hath made us: kings and priests unto God.” The Great High Priest in this service is the Lord Jesus Christ, (see the Epistle to the Hebrews, passim) but besides him there is no one who sustains this office, except as it is borne by all the Christian members.

There are ministers, elders, pastors, evangelists in the church; but there is no one who is a priest, except in the general sense that all are priests - because the great sacrifice has been offered, and there is no expiation now to be made. The name priest, therefore should never be conferred on a minister of the gospel. It is never so given in the New Testament, and there was a reason why it should not be. The proper idea of a priest is one who offers sacrifice; but the ministers of the New Testament have no sacrifices to offer - the one great and perfect oblation for the sins of the world having been made by the Redeemer on the cross. To him, and him alone, under the New Testament dispensation, should the name priest be given, as it is uniformly in the New Testament, except in the general sense in which it is given to all Christians. In the Roman Catholic communion it is consistent to give the name “priest” to a minister of the gospel, but it is wrong to do it.

It is consistent, because they claim that a true sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ is offered in the mass. It is wrong, because that doctrine is wholly contrary to the New Testament, and is derogatory to the one perfect Oblation which has been once made for the sins of the world, and in conferring upon just one class of people a degree of importance and of power to which they have no claim, and which is so liable to abuse. But in a Protestant church it is neither consistent nor right to give the name “priest” to a minister of religion. The only sense in which the term can now be used in the Christian church is a sense in which it is applicable to all Christians alike - that they “offer the sacrifice of prayer and praise.”

To offer up spiritual sacrifices - Not bloody offerings, the blood of lambs and bullocks, but those which are the offerings of the heart - the sacrifices of prayer and praise. Since there is a priest, there is also involved the notion of a sacrifice; but that which is offered is such as all Christians offer to God, proceeding from the heart, and breathed forth from the lips, and in a holy life. It is called sacrifice, not because it makes an explation for sin, but because it is of the nature of worship. Compare the notes at Hebrews 13:15; Hebrews 10:14.

Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ - Compare the notes at Romans 12:1. Through the merits of the great sacrifice made by the Redeemer on the cross. Our prayers and praises are in themselves so imperfect, and proceed from such polluted lips and hearts, that they can be acceptable only through him as our intercessor before the throne of God. Compare the notes at Hebrews 9:24-25; Hebrews 10:19-22.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 287-90

The Lord has permitted misfortunes to come to men, poverty to press upon them, adversity to try them, that He may thus test those whom He has placed in more favored circumstances; and if those to whom He has entrusted His goods are faithful, He declares them to be worthy to walk with Him in white, to become kings and priests unto God. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” TM 287.1

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evilspeakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” TM 287.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 413

Centuries before the Saviour's advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel's salvation. The psalmist had sung of “the Rock of my strength.” Isaiah had written, “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, “If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:3-5, R. V. DA 413.1

“Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “Upon this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail. DA 413.2

How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown. DA 413.3

For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved. DA 413.4

Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church's faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the whole body of believers. He said, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” DA 413.5

“The keys of the kingdom of heaven” are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His, and are here included. These words have power to open and to shut heaven. They declare the conditions upon which men are received or rejected. Thus the work of those who preach God's word is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Theirs is a mission weighted with eternal results. DA 413.6

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 599-600

In Isaiah's prophecy, Christ is declared to be both a sure foundation and a stone of stumbling. The apostle Peter, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, clearly shows to whom Christ is a foundation stone, and to whom a rock of offense: DA 599.1

“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” 1 Peter 2:3-8. DA 599.2

To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation. DA 599.3

Upon this living stone, Jews and Gentiles alike may build. This is the only foundation upon which we may securely build. It is broad enough for all, and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world. And by connection with Christ, the living stone, all who build upon this foundation become living stones. Many persons are by their own endeavors hewn, polished, and beautified; but they cannot become “living stones,” because they are not connected with Christ. Without this connection, no man can be saved. Without the life of Christ in us, we cannot withstand the storms of temptation. Our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation. Multitudes are today building upon foundations that have not been tested. When the rain falls, and the tempest rages, and the floods come, their house will fall, because it is not founded upon the eternal Rock, the chief cornerstone Christ Jesus. DA 599.4

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 595-99

Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God. Their work was not easy. The opening labors of the Christian church were attended by hardship and bitter grief. In their work the disciples constantly encountered privation, calumny, and persecution; but they counted not their lives dear unto themselves and rejoiced that they were called to suffer for Christ. Irresolution, indecision, weakness of purpose, found no place in their efforts. They were willing to spend and be spent. The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience, and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ. With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant. AA 595.1

Upon the foundation that Christ Himself had laid, the apostles built the church of God. In the Scriptures the figure of the erection of a temple is frequently used to illustrate the building of the church. Zechariah refers to Christ as the Branch that should build the temple of the Lord. He speaks of the Gentiles as helping in the work: “They that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord;” and Isaiah declares, “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.” Zechariah 6:12, 15; Isaiah 60:10. AA 595.2

Writing of the building of this temple, Peter says, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5. AA 595.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 458-9

It is best for every soul to closely investigate what mental food is served up for him to eat. When those come to you who live to talk, and who are all armed and equipped to say, “Report, and we will report it,” stop and think if the conversation will give spiritual help, spiritual efficiency, that in spiritual communication you may eat of the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.” These words express much. We are not to be tattlers, or gossipers, or talebearers; we are not to bear false witness. We are forbidden by God to engage in trifling, foolish conversation, in jesting, joking, or speaking any idle words. We must give an account of what we say to God. We will be brought into judgment for our hasty words, that do no good to the speaker or to the hearer. Then let us all speak words that will tend to edification. Remember that you are of value with God. Allow no cheap, foolish talk or wrong principles to compose your Christian experience. FE 458.1

“Chosen of God and precious.” Consider, every one who names the name of Christ, have you tasted that the Lord is gracious? Has this become a part of your actual experience, represented in John six as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God? As newborn babes, are you learning to desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby? Have you at any time in your life been truly converted? Have you been born again? If you have not, then it is time for you to obtain the experience that Christ told one of the chief rulers that he must have. “Ye must be born again,” He said. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” That is, he cannot discern the requirements essential to having a part in that spiritual kingdom. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” If you open your mind to the entrance of God's word, with a determination to practice that word, light will come; for the word gives understanding to the simple. FE 458.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 273.1

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house ... acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4, 5. RC 273.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1116

(Romans 3:31.) Christ, Not the Law, Crucified—The law of the ten commandments lives and will live through the eternal ages. The need for the service of sacrifices and offerings ceased when type met antitype in the death of Christ. In Him the shadow reached the substance. The Lamb of God was the complete and perfect offering. 6BC 1116.1

The law of God will maintain its exalted character as long as the throne of Jehovah endures. This law is the expression of God's character.... Types and shadows, offerings and sacrifices had no virtue after Christ's death on the cross; but God's law was not crucified with Christ. Had it been, Satan would have gained all that he attempted to gain in heaven. For this attempt he was expelled from the heavenly courts. He fell, taking with him the angels he had deceived. And today he is deceiving human beings in regard to the law of God (Manuscript 167, 1898). 6BC 1116.2

(1 John 3:4.) An Infamous Lie of Satan—God did not make the infinite sacrifice of giving His only-begotten Son to our world, to secure for man the privilege of breaking the commandments of God in this life and in the future eternal life. This is an infamous lie originated by Satan, which must be made to appear in its false, deceitful character. This law that Satan so much desires to have regarded null and void, is the great moral standard of righteousness. Any violation of it is an act of transgression against God, and will be visited with the penalty of the divine law. To all the inhabitants of the world who make void the law of Jehovah, and continue to live in transgression, death must surely come (Manuscript 72, 1901). 6BC 1116.3

18 (chs. 1:6; 3:12; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 9:14). The Merits of Christ's Name—We have access to God through the merits of the name of Christ, and God invites us to bring to Him our trials and temptations; for He understands them all. He would not have us pour out our woes to human ears. Through the blood of Christ we may come to the throne of grace, and find grace to help in time of need. We may come with assurance, saying, “My acceptance is in the Beloved.” “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” As an earthly parent encourages his child to come to him at all times, so the Lord encourages us to lay before Him our wants and perplexities, our gratitude and love. Every promise is sure. Jesus is our Surety and Mediator, and has placed at our command every resource, that we may have a perfect character. The blood of Christ in ever-abiding efficacy is our only hope; for through His merits alone we have pardon and peace. When the efficiency of the blood of Christ becomes a reality to the soul through faith in Christ, the believer will let his light shine forth in good works, in bringing forth fruits unto righteousness (The Youth's Instructor, September 22, 1892). 6BC 1116.4

19-21 (1 Peter 2:4, 5). Lusterless Stones Without Value—When I meditate upon this fountain of living power from which we may freely draw, I mourn that so many are losing the delight they might have in considering His goodness. To be sons and daughters of God, growing into an holy temple to the Lord, “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”—this is our privilege. 6BC 1116.5

How amazed is heaven at the present condition of the church that could be so much to the world if every stone were in its proper place, a living stone to emit light! A stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones, but living stones, stones that catch the bright beams from the Chief Cornerstone, even the Sun of Righteousness—the bright glory in which are combined the beams of mercy and truth that have met together, of righteousness and peace that have kissed each other (Letter 15, 1892). 6BC 1116.6

19-22. See EGW on 1 Kings 6:7. 6BC 1116.7

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 168

The Lord would have done a great and good work in this vicinity last spring had all felt the need of this work and come up to the help of the Lord. There was not unity of action. All did not feel the necessity of the work and engage in it heartily. There was not a surrendering of all to God. You were shown me as being troubled and perplexed, a mist of darkness gathering over you. You were questioning and were not in a position to receive strength yourselves nor to impart it to others. It is a solemn, fearful time. There is no time now for cherishing idols, no place for concord with Belial or for friendship with the world. Those whom God accepts and sanctifies to Himself are called to be diligent and faithful in His service, being set apart and devoted to Him. It is not a form of godliness, nor a name upon the church records, that constitutes “a living stone” in the spiritual building. It is being renewed in knowledge and true holiness, being crucified to the world and made alive in Christ, that unites the soul to God. The followers of Christ have one leading object in view, one great work: the salvation of their fellow men. Every other interest should be inferior to this; it should engage the most earnest effort and the deepest interest. 2T 168.1

God first requires the heart, the affections. He requires His followers to love and serve Him with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength. 2T 168.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 121

There are some good workers in your church, and these self-denying ones will never know how much good they have accomplished by their persevering efforts in the missionary field. But the Lord has claims upon more men and women in the church than have yielded to His demands. Some of the stones composing God's holy temple reflect the light which shines upon them from Jesus Christ, while others emit no light, thus clearly revealing that they are not living stones, elect, precious. They are not devotional, but prayerless, talkative, irreligious. True Christians will copy the pattern given them by our Saviour and will be meek, lowly, forbearing, gentle, easy to be entreated, free from pomposity and stubbornness. 5T 121.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 435

This condition of weakness must not continue. Well-organized work must be done in the church, that its members may understand how to impart the light to others and thus strengthen their own faith and increase their knowledge. As they impart that which they have received from God they will be confirmed in the faith. A working church is a living church. We are built up as living stones, and every stone is to emit light. Every Christian is compared to a precious stone that catches the glory of God and reflects it. 6T 435.1

The idea that the minister must carry all the burdens and do all the work is a great mistake. Overworked and broken down, he may go into the grave, when, had the burden been shared as the Lord designed, he might have lived. That the burden may be distributed, an education must be given to the church by those who can teach the workers to follow Christ and to work as He worked. 6T 435.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 196

Means and earnest labor may be safely invested in such a work as this, for it is a work that will endure. Thus those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are brought into fellowship with the saints and are made to sit in heavenly places with Christ. Their feet are placed on a sure foundation. They are enabled to reach a high standard, even the loftiest heights of faith, because Christians make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 8T 196.1

Every church should labor for the perishing within its own borders and for those outside its borders. The members are to shine as living stones in the temple of God, reflecting heavenly light. No random, haphazard, desultory work is to be done. To get fast hold of souls ready to perish means more than praying for a drunkard and then, because he weeps and confesses the pollution of his soul, declaring him saved. Over and over again the battle must be fought. 8T 196.2

Let the members of every church feel it their special duty to labor for those in their neighborhood. Let each one who claims to stand under the banner of Christ feel that he has entered into covenant relation with God, to do the work of the Saviour. Let not those who take up this work become weary in well-doing. When the redeemed stand before God, precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of the faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties and earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward. 8T 196.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 246

Christ declares: “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” John 15:8. God has endowed us with faculties and has entrusted us with talents in order that we may use them for Him. To every man is given his work—not merely work in his fields of corn and wheat, but earnest, persevering work for the salvation of souls. Every stone in God's temple must be a living stone, a stone that shines, reflecting light to the world. Let the laymen do all that they can; and as they use the talents they already have, God will give them more grace and increased ability. Many of our missionary enterprises are crippled because there are so many who refuse to enter the doors of usefulness that are opened before them. Let all who believe the truth begin to work. Do the work that lies nearest you; do anything, however humble, rather than be, like the men of Meroz, do-nothings. 8T 246.1

We shall not be stinted for means if we will only go forward trusting in God. The Lord is willing to do a great work for all who truly believe in Him. If the lay members of the church will arouse to do the work that they can do, going on a warfare at their own charges, each seeing how much he can accomplish in winning souls to Jesus, we shall see many leaving the ranks of Satan to stand under the banner of Christ. If our people will act upon the light that is given in these few words of instruction, we shall surely see of the salvation of God. Wonderful revivals will follow. Sinners will be converted, and many souls will be added to the church. When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost will fall on us. 8T 246.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 281.2

The Jewish Temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains, and every stone was fitted for its place in the Temple, hewed, polished, and tested, before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation, and tongue, and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. These are not dead substances, to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones, quarried out from the world by the truth; and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them, and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the [object of] admiration of angels and men, for its builder and maker is God. UL 281.2

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 175

The hearts of Paul and his associate workers were drawn out in behalf of those who were “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Through the untiring ministrations of the apostles to the Gentiles, the “strangers and foreigners,” who “sometimes were far off,” learned that they had been “made nigh by the blood of Christ,” and that through faith in His atoning sacrifice they might become “fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:12, 13, 19. AA 175.1

Advancing in faith, Paul labored unceasingly for the upbuilding of God's kingdom among those who had been neglected by the teachers in Israel. Constantly he exalted Christ Jesus as “the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15), and exhorted the believers to be “rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith.” Colossians 2:7. AA 175.2

To those who believe, Christ is a sure foundation. Upon this living stone, Jews and Gentiles alike may build. It is broad enough for all and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world. This is a fact plainly recognized by Paul himself. In the closing days of his ministry, when addressing a group of Gentile believers who had remained steadfast in their love of the gospel truth, the apostle wrote, “Ye ... are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19, 20. AA 175.3

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Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 168

Counsel and Reproof Must Be Heeded—Those who are defective in character, in conduct, in habits and practices, are to take heed to counsel and reproof. This world is God's workshop, and every stone that can be used in the heavenly temple must be hewed and polished, until it is a tried and precious stone, fitted for its place in the Lord's building. But if we refuse to be trained and disciplined, we shall be as stones that will not be hewed and polished, and that are cast aside at last as useless.11 CG 168.1

It may be that much work needs to be done in your character building, that you are a rough stone which must be squared and polished before it can fill a place in God's temple. You need not be surprised if with hammer and chisel God cuts away the sharp corners of your character, until you are prepared to fill the place He has for you. No human being can accomplish this work. Only by God can it be done. And be assured that He will not strike one useless blow. His every blow is struck in love, for your eternal happiness. He knows your infirmities, and works to restore, not to destroy.12 CG 168.2

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Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 73

We are now in God's workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as the truth of God is brought to bear upon us, every imperfection is removed and we are prepared to shine as lively stones in the heavenly temple, where we shall be brought into association, not only with the holy angels, but with the King of heaven Himself.7 CG 73.1

The Aim—Perfection—Mothers, will you not dispense with useless, unimportant labor for that which must perish with the using? Will you not seek to draw near to God, that His wisdom may guide and His grace assist you, in a work which will be as enduring as eternity? Aim to make your children perfect in character. Remember that such only can see God.... CG 73.2

Many parents are neglecting their God-given work. They are themselves far from purity and holiness, and they do not see the defects of their children as they would if their own eyes were beholding and admiring the perfection of Christ's character.8 CG 73.3

How to Become an Ideal Mother—Instead of sinking into a mere household drudge, let the wife and mother take time to read, to keep herself well informed, to be a companion to her husband, and to keep in touch with the developing minds of her children. Let her use wisely the opportunities now hers to influence her dear ones for the higher life. Let her take time to make the dear Saviour a daily companion and familiar friend. Let her take time for the study of His Word, take time to go with the children into the fields and learn of God through the beauty of His works. CG 73.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 573

This brother ... said he had received much light, and would labor in altogether a different manner than he had done. The _____ are an excitable people. They will bring every power to bear suddenly, and under great excitement will exclaim, “Is this so? What will you do? Will you keep the Sabbath? Say Yes or No“! They are as sharp as a razor, [and] cut off the ears of the people, ... and that is the end of the business so far as converting them to the truth is concerned. Ev 573.1

Now we have to work with these men who are really intelligent, just as we worked with them one by one in the infancy of the Seventh-day Adventist work; separating from these precious souls their unsanctified ways and manners; talking to them about Jesus, His great love, His meekness, His lowliness, His self-denial. These rough stones we bring if possible into the workshop of God where they will be hewed and squared, and all the rough edges removed, and they be polished under the divine hand until they will make precious stones in the temple of God and shall be living stones emitting light. Thus they may grow up into a holy temple for God.—Letter 44, 1886. Ev 573.2

Publications in Every Language—To give all nations the message of warning—this is to be the object of our efforts....From city to city, and from country to country, they are to carry the publications containing the promise of the Saviour's soon coming. These publications are to be translated into every language; for to all the world the gospel is to be preached.—The Review and Herald, February 9, 1905. Ev 573.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 516

A message has been given me for the teachers in all our schools. Those who accept the sacred responsibility resting upon teachers need to be constantly advancing in their experience. They should not be content to remain upon the lowlands, but should ever be climbing heavenward. With the word of God in their hands, and the love of souls pointing them to diligence, they should advance step by step in efficiency. FE 516.1

A deep Christian experience will be combined with the work of true education. Our schools are to advance steadily in Christian development; and in order to do this, the words and example of the teacher should be a constant help. “Ye also, as lively stones,” the apostle declares, “are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” It would be well for every teacher and student to study carefully these words, asking himself the question, Am I, through the abundant grace given, obtaining the very experience that as a child of God I must have in order to advance constantly step by step to the higher grade? FE 516.2

In every line of instruction, teachers are to seek to impart light from the word of God, and to show the importance of obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” The education should be such that the students will make right principles the guide of every action: This is the education that will abide through the eternal ages. FE 516.3

I am given words of caution to the teachers in all our established schools. The work of our schools must bear a different stamp from that borne by some of our most popular schools. The mere study of the ordinary textbook is not sufficient; and many of the books that are used are unnecessary for those schools that are established to prepare students for the school above. As a result, the students in these schools are not receiving the most perfect Christian education. The very points of study are neglected that are most needed to prepare the students to stand the last great examination, and to fit them for missionary work in home and foreign fields. The education that is needed now is one that will qualify the students for practical missionary work, by teaching them to bring every faculty under the control of the Spirit of God. The study book which is of the highest value is that which contains the instruction of Christ, the Teacher of teachers. FE 516.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 78.6

The Lord desires us to improve in prayer and to offer our spiritual sacrifices with increased faith and power.... He has given His own Son for your redemption. If by living faith we accept Him as our Saviour, we are placed on vantage ground with God; for Christ stands before His Father, saying, “Lay their sins on me. I will bear their guilt. They are my property. I have graven them upon the palms of my hands.” In our behalf He presents before His Father the marks of the crucifixion which He will bear throughout eternity. HP 78.6

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 281

The church on earth is God's temple, and it is to assume divine proportions before the world. This building is to be the light of the world. It is to be composed of living stones laid close together, stone fitting to stone, making a solid building. All these stones are not of the same shape or dimension. Some are large and some are small, but each one has its own place to fill. In the whole building there is not to be one misshapen stone. Each one is perfect. And each stone is a living stone, a stone that emits light. The value of the stones is determined by the light they reflect to the world. HP 281.2

Now is the time for the stones to be taken from the quarry of the world and brought into God's workshop, to be hewed, squared, and polished, that they may shine. This is God's plan, and He desires all who profess to believe the truth to fill their respective places in the great, grand work for this time. HP 281.3

The angelic architect has brought his golden measuring rod from heaven, that every stone may be hewed and squared by the divine measurement, and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear beams of the Sun of Righteousness. HP 281.4

In this world we are to shine in good works. The Lord requires His people ... to reflect the light of God's character, God's love, as Christ reflected it. As we look unto Jesus, all our lives will be aglow with that wondrous light. Every part of us is to be light; then whichever way we turn, light will be reflected from us to others. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. In Him is no darkness at all; therefore, if we are in Christ, there will be no darkness in us. HP 281.5

The church on earth is to become the court of holy love.... Christian fellowship is one means by which character is formed. Thus selfishness is purged from the life, and men and women are drawn to Christ, the great center. Thus is answered His prayer that His followers may be one as He is one with the Father. HP 281.6

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 165.1

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5. OHC 165.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 205.7

Do you shine as living stones in God's building? ... We have not the genuine religion, unless it exerts a controlling influence upon us in every business transaction. We should have practical godliness to weave into our lifework. We should have the transforming grace of Christ upon our hearts. We need a great deal less of self, and more of Jesus.... RC 205.7

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 273

When the sacred work of God shall be purified from all the rubbish which has been accumulating for years, the name of God will be glorified in your midst. When the Holy Spirit controls human agents, there will be none of the underhand business which has been practiced. Honesty, truthfulness, and a willingness that all should understand the methods of working will be seen. The characters of the workers will be built up with pure, solid timbers. Straightforwardness in deal will be seen in all God's commandment-keeping people. Every thread of the web will be originated by the Lord, and each worker will draw his thread into the web to help compose the pattern. The pattern will come from the great loom perfect in its design. RC 273.2

Three thousand years ago, David asked the question, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Souls already impure need to be cleansed, purified, and sanctified. Then the testimony can be borne, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” RC 273.3

In this world we are to shine in good works. The Lord requires His people who handle sacred things to be alone with God, to reflect the principles of heaven in every business transaction, to reflect the light of God's character, God's love, as Christ reflected it. [As we look] unto Jesus, all our lives will be aglow with that wondrous light. Every part of us is to be light; then whichever way we turn, light will be reflected from us to others.... RC 273.4

The fruit of the Spirit—what is it? Gloom, and sadness, and mourning, and tears? No, no; the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. These graces will be seen in every stone that helps to compose the temple of God. All the stones are not of the same dimension or shape, but every stone has its place in the temple. RC 273.5

In the temple there is not one misshapen stone. Each is perfect, and in the diversity there is unity, making a complete whole. One thing is sure, every stone is a living stone, a stone that emits light. Now is the time for the stones taken from the quarry of the world to be brought into the workshop of God, and hewed, squared, and polished, that they may shine.—Special Instruction Regarding Royalties, 20, 21. RC 273.6

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 16.2

Those who wear Christ's yoke will draw together. They will cultivate sympathy and forbearance, and in holy emulation will strive to show to others the tender sympathy and love of which they feel such great need themselves. He who is weak and inexperienced, although he is weak, may be strengthened by the more hopeful and by those of mature experience. Although the least of all, he is a stone that must shine in the building. He is a vital member of the organized body, united to Christ, the living head, and through Christ identified with all the excellencies of Christ's character so that the Saviour is not ashamed to call him brother. 3SM 16.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1154

12. God Spends Time on Jewels—We are God's workmanship. The value of the human agent depends wholly upon the polishing he receives. When the rough stones are prepared for the building, they must be taken into the shop, and hewed and squared. The process is often sharp as the stone is pressed down upon the wheel, but the rough coarseness is being removed, and the lustre begins to appear. The Lord spends not His time upon worthless material; only His jewels are polished after the similitude of a palace. Every soul must not only submit to this work of the divine hand, but must put to the tax every spiritual sinew and muscle, that the character may become more pure, the words more helpful, the actions such as God can approve (Letter 27, 1896). 3BC 1154.1

The divine Worker spends little time on worthless material. Only the precious jewels does He polish after the similitude of a palace, cutting away the rough edges. The process is severe and trying; Christ cuts away the surplus surface, and putting the stone to the polishing wheel, presses it close, that all roughness may be worn off. Then, holding the jewel up to the light, the Master sees in it a reflection of Himself, and He pronounces it worthy of a place in His casket. 3BC 1154.2

Blessed be the experience, however severe, that gives new value to the stone, causing it to shine with living brightness (Letter 69, 1903). 3BC 1154.3

A Painful but Necessary Process—By the mighty cleaver of truth God has brought His people, as rough stones, from the quarry of the world. These stones must be squared and polished. The rough edges must be removed. This is a painful process; but it is a necessary one. Without it, we could not be prepared for a place in God's temple. By trial, by warnings, by admonitions, God seeks to prepare us to fulfill His purpose. If we cooperate with Him, our characters will be fashioned “after the similitude of a palace.” It is the specified work of the Comforter to transform us. At times it is hard for us to submit to the purifying, refining process. But this we must do if we would be saved at last (Letter 139, 1903). 3BC 1154.4

Children May Be Polished for God—Patiently, lovingly, as faithful stewards of the manifold grace of God, parents are to do their appointed work. It is expected of them that they will be found faithful. Everything is to be done in faith. Constantly they must pray that God will impart His grace to their children. Never must they become weary, impatient, or fretful in their work. They must cling closely to their children and to God. 3BC 1154.5

If parents work in patience and love, earnestly endeavoring to help their children to reach the highest standard of purity and modesty, they will succeed. In this work parents need to manifest patience and faith, that they may present their children to God, polished after the similitude of a palace (NL No. 28, p. 3). 3BC 1154.6

(1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:11-13.) Some Are Not What They Appear—Many, from worldly policy, endeavor, by their own efforts, to become as polished stones, but cannot be living stones, because they are not built upon the true foundation. The day of God will reveal that they are, in reality, only hay, wood, and stubble (Redemption: or the Teachings of Paul, and his Mission to the Gentiles, 78). 3BC 1154.7

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 126

I was shown that the church at ----- have partaken of the spirit of the world and become lukewarm to an alarming extent. When efforts are made to set things in order in the church and bring the people up to the position God would have them occupy, a class will be affected by the labor, and will make earnest efforts to press through the darkness to the light. But many do not persevere in their efforts long enough to realize the sanctifying influence of the truth upon their hearts and lives. The cares of the world engross the mind to that degree that self-examination and secret prayer are neglected. The armor is laid off and Satan has free access to them, benumbing their sensibilities and causing them to be unsuspicious of his wiles. 2T 126.1

Some do not manifest a desire to know their true state and escape from Satan's snares. They are sickly and dying. They are occasionally warmed by the fire of others, yet are so nearly chilled by formality, pride, and the influence of the world that they have no sense of their need of help. 2T 126.2

There are many who are deficient in spirituality and the Christian graces. A weight of solemn responsibility should daily rest upon them as they view the perilous times in which we live and the corrupting influences which are teeming around us. Their only hope of being partakers of the divine nature is to escape the corruption that is in the world. These brethren need a deep and thorough experience in the things of God, and this can only be obtained by an effort on their part. Their position requires them to possess earnestness and unabated diligence, so as not to be found sleeping at their post. Satan and his angels sleep not. 2T 126.3

Christ's followers should be instruments of righteousness, workmen, living stones, emitting light, that they may encourage the presence of heavenly angels. They are required to be channels, as it were, through which the spirit of truth and righteousness shall flow. Many have partaken so largely of the spirit and influence of the world that they act like the world. They have their likes and dislikes, and discern not excellence of character. Their conduct is not governed by the pure principles of Christianity; therefore they think only of themselves, their pleasure and enjoyment, to the disregard of others. They are not sanctified through the truth, therefore realize not the oneness of Christ's followers the world over. Those who are most loved of God are those who possess the least self-confidence and are adorned with a meek and quiet spirit; whose lives are pure and unselfish, and whose hearts are inclined, through the abundant measure of the spirit of Christ, to obedience, justice, purity, and true holiness. 2T 126.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 430

This world is not the Christian's heaven. It is merely the fitting-up place. It is the scene of our life battles, our conflicts and sorrows; and it is important that we all have a firm grasp of the better world, where will be found, when the warfare is ended, peace, joy, and bliss, to be enjoyed forever. I saw that you would both be in greater danger of making shipwreck of faith were you united, because you would look upon matters in a false light. You both have a great work to do for yourselves, but you are in danger of blinding your eyes to each other's faults. 2T 430.1

Sister P should be guarded so as not to stir up the hasty spirit of her husband by relating her supposed grievances to him to obtain sympathy. He views things in a strong light and feels deeply over matters which are not worthy of notice. She will have to learn this and understand that it is wisdom to be silent. She needs the power of endurance. It is much easier to throw a thing into the mind than to get it out when once it is there. It is easier to dwell upon a supposed wrong than to pacify or control the feelings when once aroused. 2T 430.2

Brother P has qualities which would be excellent if they were refined by the elevating influences of pure religion. He can be useful. Sincere piety alone can qualify him to perform his duties well in this world and give him a fitness for heaven. A heavenly character must be acquired upon earth, my brother, or you will never possess it; therefore you should engage at once in the work which you have to do. You should labor earnestly to obtain a fitness for heaven. Live for heaven. Live by faith. 2T 430.3

Brother P, you are a rough stone; but the hand of a skillful workman is upon you. Will you let Him hew and square you, and polish you for that building which is coming together without the sound of ax or hammer? Not a blow is to be struck after probation closes. You must now, in the hours of probation, overcome your impetuous temper, or be separated from God at last. 2T 430.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 154

Teachers should lead students to think, and clearly to understand the truth for themselves. It is not enough for the teacher to explain or for the student to believe; inquiry must be awakened, and the student must be drawn out to state the truth in his own language, thus making it evident that he sees its force and makes the application. By painstaking effort the vital truths should thus be impressed upon the mind. This may be a slow process; but it is of more value than rushing over important subjects without due consideration. God expects His institutions to excel those of the world; for they are His representatives. Men truly connected with God will show to the world that a more than human agent is standing at the helm. 6T 154.1

Our teachers need to be constant learners. The reformers need to be themselves reformed, not only in their methods of labor, but in their own hearts. They need to be transformed by the grace of God. When Nicodemus, a great teacher in Israel, came to Jesus, the Master laid before him the conditions of divine life, teaching him the very alphabet of conversion. Nicodemus asked: “How can these things be?” “Art thou a master of Israel,” Christ answered, “and knowest not these things?” This question might be addressed to many who are now holding positions as teachers, but who have neglected the preparation essential to qualify them for this work. If Christ's words were received into the soul there would be a much higher intelligence and a much deeper spiritual knowledge of what constitutes a disciple, a sincere follower of Christ, and an educator whom He can approve. 6T 154.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 363

God will bless all who thus prepare themselves for His service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit because they have received Christ by faith. 6T 363.1

The place of worship may be very humble, but it is no less acknowledged by God. To those who worship God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness it will be as the gate of heaven. The company of believers may be few in number, but in God's sight they are very precious. By the cleaver of truth they have been taken as rough stones from the quarry of the world and have been brought into the workshop of God to be hewed and shaped. But even in the rough they are precious in the sight of God. The ax, the hammer, and the chisel of trial are in the hands of One who is skillful; they are used, not to destroy, but to work out the perfection of every soul. As precious stones, polished after the similitude of a palace, God designs us to find a place in the heavenly temple. 6T 363.2

God's appointments and grants in our behalf are without limit. The throne of grace is itself the highest attraction because occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father. But God did not deem the principle of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, His office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. Christ intercedes in behalf of those who have received Him. To them He gives power, by virtue of His own merits, to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ, who paid our ransom with His blood, by receiving and welcoming Christ's friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation of His Son. 6T 363.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 173

“Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” Verse 9. This figure represents human character, which is to be wrought upon, point by point. Each day God works with His building, stroke upon stroke, to perfect the structure, that it may become a holy temple for Him. Man is to co-operate with God. Each worker is to become just what God designs him to be, building his life with pure, noble deeds, that in the end his character may be a symmetrical structure, a fair temple, honored by God and man. There is to be no flaw in the building, for it is the Lord's. Every stone must be perfectly laid, that it may endure the pressure placed upon it. One stone laid wrong will affect the whole building. To you and to every other worker God gives the warning: “Take heed how you build, that your building may stand the test of storm and tempest, because it is founded on the eternal Rock. Place the stone on the sure foundation, that you may make ready for the day of test and trial, when all will be seen just as they are.” 8T 173.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 180

But I inquire: Does not God understand them? Is it not He who gives His servants a message for the people? He knows just what they need; and if the message comes directly from Him through His servants to the people, it will accomplish the work whereunto it is sent; it will make all one in Christ. Though some are decidedly French, others decidedly German, and others decidedly American, they will be just as decidedly Christlike. 9T 180.1

The Jewish temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains; and every stone was fitted for its place in the temple, hewed, polished, and tested before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation, and tongue, and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. These are not dead substances to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones, quarried out from the world by the truth; and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them, and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men; for its Builder and Maker is God. 9T 180.2

Let no one think that there need not be a stroke placed upon him. There is no person, no nation, that is perfect in every habit and thought. One must learn of another. Therefore God wants the different nationalities to mingle together, to be one in judgment, one in purpose. Then the union that there is in Christ will be exemplified. 9T 180.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 422

Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God?—all those who do His will. They have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The members of Christ's kingdom are the sons of God, partners in His great firm. The elect of God are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are living stones, a royal priesthood. They are in copartnership with Jesus Christ. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.... TM 422.1

There are rights which belong to every individual. We have an individuality and an identity that is our own. No one can submerge his identity in that of any other. All must act for themselves, according to the dictates of their own conscience. As regards our responsibility and influence, we are amenable to God as deriving our life from Him. This we do not obtain from humanity, but from God only. We are His by creation and by redemption. Our very bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay, making it impossible to render to God perfect service. Our lives and all our faculties belong to Him. He is caring for us every moment; He keeps the living machinery in action; if we were left to run it for one moment; we should die. We are absolutely dependent upon God. TM 422.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 150

The Word of God has served as a mighty cleaver to separate the children of God from the world. As they are taken out of the quarry of the world they are as rough stones, unfit for a place in the glorious temple of God. But they are brought into the Lord's workshop, to be hewed and squared and polished, that they may become precious, accepted stones. This work of preparation for the heavenly temple is going on continually during probationary time. We are naturally inclined to desire our own way and will, but when the transforming grace of Christ takes hold upon our hearts the inquiry of our souls is, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” When the Spirit of God works within us, we are led to will and to do of the Lord's good pleasure, and there is obedience in heart and action.... TMK 150.2

Christians are to be God's noblemen, who will never grovel in bondage to the great adversary of souls, but will bind themselves to God, catching inspiration from Him whom they love, who is high and lifted up. The soul that loves God rises above the fog of doubt; he gains a bright, broad, deep, living experience, and becomes meek and Christlike. His soul is committed to God, hid with Christ in God. He will be able to stand the test of neglect, of abuse and contempt, because his Saviour has suffered all this. He will not become fretful and discouraged when difficulties press him, because Jesus did not fail or become discouraged. Every true Christian will be strong, not in the strength and merit of his good works, but in the righteousness of Christ, which through faith is imputed unto him.29 TMK 150.3

We are to occupy some place in the Lord's spiritual temple, and the important question is not as to whether you are a large or a small stone, but whether you have submitted yourself to God that He may polish you and make you emit light for His glory. If we are in the Lord's temple we must emit light. Are we permitting the heavenly Builder to hew and square and polish us? Have we faith to rest in Him?30 TMK 150.4

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 151.5

The Jewish Temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains, and every stone was fitted for its place in the Temple, hewed, polished and tested, before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of an ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation and tongue and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant. These are not dead substances, to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones quarried out from the world by the truth, and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men, for its builder and maker is God. Truly, those who are to compose this glorious building are “called to be saints.”32 TMK 151.5

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 281.1

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5. UL 281.1

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 34.3

Organs of Speech a Living Machinery—One of the finest and most elevating branches of education is that of knowing how to address members of the household, that the influence of the words spoken will be pure and incorruptible. The proper conversation of a Christian is that which will enable him to interchange ideas. Loud-voiced words, that help and bless no one, might better be changed for words of good, elevated, enlightened common sense. This line of work is the greatest missionary enterprise in which any Christian can engage. Those who use the organs of speech as the living machinery of God, become living stones in His temple, emitting light and knowledge. VSS 34.3

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 150

Do you desire to become a follower of Christ, yet know not how to begin? Are you in darkness and know not how to find the light? Follow the light you have. Set your heart to obey what you do know of the word of God. His power, His very life, dwells in His word. As you receive the word in faith, it will give you power to obey. As you give heed to the light you have, greater light will come. You are building on God's word, and your character will be builded after the similitude of the character of Christ. MB 150.1

Christ, the true foundation, is a living stone; His life is imparted to all that are built upon Him. “Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.” “Each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:5 , R.V.; Ephesians 2:21 , R.V. The stones became one with the foundation; for a common life dwells in all. That building no tempest can overthrow; for— MB 150.2

But every building erected on other foundation than God's word will fall. He who, like the Jews in Christ's day, builds on the foundation of human ideas and opinions, of forms and ceremonies of man's invention, or on any works that he can do independently of the grace of Christ, is erecting his structure of character upon the shifting sand. The fierce tempests of temptation will sweep away the sandy foundation and leave his house a wreck on the shores of time. MB 150.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 635

Complicating Advancement of the Message—The attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in their spirit and attitude toward one another. They hurt one another, because they are not partakers of the divine nature; and thus they work against the perfection of their own character. They bring trouble to themselves, and make the work hard and toilsome, because they regard their spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered.... Ev 635.1

Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is, by seeking to take God's work out of His hands into their own finite hands. They think they must be constantly inventing something to make men do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated; for the great Chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of His own heritage. Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do His own work; for He does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.—The General Conference Bulletin, February 25, 1895. Ev 635.2

Hewn and Polished in Service—Those who are defective in character, in conduct, in habits and practices, are to take heed to counsel and reproof. This world is God's workshop, and every stone that can be used in the heavenly temple, must be hewed and polished, until it is a tried and precious stone, fitted for its place in the Lord's building. But if we refuse to be trained and disciplined, we shall be as stones that will not be hewed and polished, and that are cast aside at last as useless.—The Youth's Instructor, August 31, 1893. Ev 635.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 461-2

Hear the only correct way for each human being to do if he would have a safe, all-round experience. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, [for there is a work to be done, that is neglected at the peril of the soul], this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Carry this out, as a test of pure and undefiled religion, and the blessing of God will surely follow. FE 461.1

“Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.” Mark the figure presented in verse five: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Then these lively stones are exerting a tangible, practical influence in the Lord's spiritual house. They are a holy priesthood, performing pure, sacred service. They offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God. FE 461.2

The Lord will not accept a heartless service, a round of ceremonies that are really Christless. His children must be lively stones in God's building. If all would give themselves unreservedly to God, if they would cease to study and plan for their amusement, for excursions, and pleasure-loving associations, and would study the words, “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,” they would never hunger or thirst for excitement or change. If it is for our true interest to be spiritual and if the salvation of our people depends on our being riveted on the Eternal Rock, would we not better be engaged in seeking for that which will hold the whole building to the chief corner stone, that we may not be confused and confounded in our faith. FE 461.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 139

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised” (Jeremiah 9:23-25). 2SM 139.1

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:6-9). 2SM 139.2

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but 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. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:13-19).—Pamphlet published in 1893, Should Christians Be Members of Secret Societies? 2SM 139.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW), 1029-30

God in His providence called for a reform in His sacred work, which should begin at the heart, and work outwardly. Some who blindly continued to place a high estimate upon their services, were removed. Others received the message given to them, turned to God with full purpose of heart, and learned to abhor their covetous spirit. So far as possible, they endeavored to set a right example before the people by voluntarily reducing their wages. They realized that nothing less than complete transformation in mind and heart would save them from being swept off their feet by some masterly temptation. 2BC 1029.1

The work of God in all its wide extent is one, and the same principles should control, the same spirit be revealed, in all its branches. It must bear the stamp of missionary work. Every department of the cause is related to all parts of the gospel field, and the spirit that controls one department will be felt throughout the entire field. If a portion of the workers receive large wages, there are others, in different branches of the work, who will call for higher wages, and the spirit of self-sacrifice will gradually be lost sight of. Other institutions and conferences will catch the same spirit, and the Lord's favor will be removed from them; for He can never sanction selfishness. Thus our aggressive work would come to an end. Only by constant sacrifice can it be carried forward. 2BC 1029.2

God will test the faith of every soul. Christ has purchased us at an infinite sacrifice. Although He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might come into possession of eternal riches. All that we possess of ability and intellect has been lent us in trust by the Lord, to use for Him. It is our privilege to be partakers with Christ in His sacrifice (The Review and Herald, January 4, 1906). 2BC 1029.3

Contact With Worldly Wise Men Paved Way for Ruin—Solomon prepared the way for his own ruin when he sought for wise men from other nations to build the temple. God had been the educator of His people, and He designed that they should stand in His wisdom, and with His imparted talents should be second to none. If they had the clean hands, the pure heart, and the noble, sanctified purpose, the Lord would communicate to them His grace. But Solomon looked to man instead of God, and he found his supposed strength to be weakness. He brought to Jerusalem the leaven of the evil influences which were perpetuated in polygamy and idolatry (The General Conference Bulletin, February 25, 1895). 2BC 1029.4

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 252

The defense of Peter, in which he boldly avowed from whence his strength was obtained, appalled them. He had referred to the stone set at nought by the builders—meaning the authorities of the church, who should have perceived the value of Him whom they rejected—but which had nevertheless become the head of the corner. In those words he directly referred to Christ, who was the foundation stone of the church. SR 252.1

The people were amazed at the boldness of the disciples. They supposed, because they were ignorant fishermen, they would be overcome with embarrassment when confronted by the priests, scribes, and elders. But they took knowledge that they had been with Jesus. The apostles spoke as He had spoken, with a convincing power that silenced their adversaries. In order to conceal their perplexity, the priests and rulers ordered the apostles to be taken away, that they might counsel among themselves. SR 252.2

They all agreed that it would be useless to deny that the man had been healed through power given the apostles in the name of the crucified Jesus. They would gladly have covered up the miracle by falsehoods; but the work was done in the full light of day and before a crowd of people, and had already come to the knowledge of thousands. They felt that the work must be immediately stopped, or Jesus would gain many believers, their own disgrace would follow, and they would be held guilty of the murder of the Son of God. SR 252.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 154

“Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:7-9. Then your hand firmly grasped the true banner, and these encouraging words were spoken: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her, was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Revelation 19:7, 8. 8T 154.1

I was instructed that you and your fellow laborers were in danger of hiding the principles of our faith in order to obtain large patronage. Every jot done in this line, instead of extending the influence of the truth, will hinder its advance. 8T 154.2

You and your associates in the sanitarium work need a pilot with you constantly, else you will be shipwrecked. You surely must understand your peril. Satan is making every effort to turn you aside into strange paths. God has strengthened you. Your soul must be sanctified through the truth, that your steadfast adherence to principles may be plain to all. The more fully your helpless soul leans upon God, the more fully you make Him your trust, the more hungry you will become for the bread of life. 8T 154.3

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