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Ephesians 2:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And are built upon the foundation - Following the same metaphor, comparing the Church of Christ to a city, and to the temple, the believing Ephesians are represented as parts of that building; the living stones out of which it is principally formed, 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:5, having for foundation - the ground plan, specification, and principle on which it was builded, the doctrine taught by the prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles in the New. Jesus Christ being that corner stone, or ακρογωνιαιος, the chief angle or foundation corner stone, the connecting medium by which both Jews and Gentiles were united in the same building. Elsewhere Jesus Christ is termed the foundation stone. Behold I lay in Zion a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, Isaiah 28:16; but the meaning is the same in all the places where these terms, foundation and corner stone, occur; for in laying the foundation of a building, a large stone is generally placed at one of the angles or corners, which serves to form a part of the two walls which meet in that angle. When, therefore, the apostle says that Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone, it means such a foundation stone as that above mentioned.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And are built upon the foundation - The comparison of the church with a building, is common in the Scriptures: compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 3:9-10. The comparison was probably taken from the temple, and as that was an edifice of great beauty, expense, and sacredness, it was natural to compare the church with it. Besides, the temple was the sacred place where God dwelt on the earth; and as the church was the place where he delighted now to abide, it became natural to speak of his church as the temple, or the residence of God; see the notes at Isaiah 54:11-12. That building, says Paul, was permanently founded, and was rising with great beauty of proportion, and with great majesty and splendor.

Of the apostles - The doctrines which they taught are the basis on which the church rests. It is “possible” that Paul referred here to a splendid edifice, particularly because the Ephesians were distinguished for their skill in architecture, and because the celebrated temple of Diana was among them. An allusion to a building, however, as an illustration of the church occurs several times in his other epistles, and was an allusion which would be everywhere understood.

And prophets - The prophets of the Old Testament, using the word, probably, to denote the Old Testament in general. That is, the doctrines of divine revelation, whether communicated by prophets or apostles, were laid at the foundation of the Christian church. It was not rounded on philosophy, or tradition, or on human laws, or on a venerable antiquity, but on the great truths which God had revealed. Paul does not say that it was founded on “Peter,” as the papists do, but on the prophets and apostles in general. If Peter had been the “vicegerent of Christ,” and the head of the church, it is incredible that his brother Paul should not have given him some honorable notice in this place. Why did he not allude to so important a fact? Would one who believed it have omitted it? Would a papist now omit it? Learn here:

(1) That no reliance is to be placed on philosophy as a basis of religious doctrine.

(2) that the traditions of people have no authority in the church, and constitute no part of the foundation.

(3) that nothing is to be regarded as a fundamental part of the Christian system, or as binding on the conscience, which cannot be found in the “prophets and apostles;” that is, as it means here, in the Holy Scriptures. No decrees of councils; no ordinances of synods; no “standard” of doctrines; no creed or confession, is to be urged as authority in forming the opinions of people. They may be valuable for some purposes, but not for this; they may be referred to as interesting parts of history, but not to form the faith of Christians; they may be used in the church to express its belief, but not to form it. What is based on the authority of apostles and prophets is true, and always true, and only true; what may be found elsewhere, may be valuable and true, or not, but, at any rate, is not to be used to control the faith of people.

Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone - see the note at Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33, note. The cornerstone is the most important in the building.

(1) because the edifice rests mainly on the cornerstones. If they are small, and unstable, and settle down, the whole building is insecure; and hence care is taken to place a large stone firmly at each corner of an edifice.

(2) because it occupies a conspicuous and honorable place. If documents or valuable articles are deposited at the foundation of a building it is within the cornerstone. The Lord Jesus is called the “cornerstone,” because the whole edifice rests on him, or he occupies a place relatively as important as the cornerstone of an edifice. Were it not for him, the edifice could not be sustained for a moment. Neither prophets nor apostles alone could sustain it; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 3:11; compare 1 Peter 2:6.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The church is compared to a city, and every converted sinner is free of it. It is also compared to a house, and every converted sinner is one of the family; a servant, and a child in God's house. The church is also compared to a building, founded on the doctrine of Christ; delivered by the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New. God dwells in all believers now; they become the temple of God through the working of the blessed Spirit. Let us then ask if our hopes are fixed on Christ, according to the doctrine of his word? Have we devoted ourselves as holy temples to God through him? Are we habitations of God by the Spirit, are we spiritually-minded, and do we bring forth the fruits of the Spirit? Let us take heed not to grieve the holy Comforter. Let us desire his gracious presence, and his influences upon our hearts. Let us seek to discharge the duties allotted to us, to the glory of God.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 387
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 139

Suddenly the discourse was interrupted by the descent of the Holy Spirit. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. AA 139.1

“Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” AA 139.2

Thus was the gospel brought to those who had been strangers and foreigners, making them fellow citizens with the saints, and members of the household of God. The conversion of Cornelius and his household was but the first fruits of a harvest to be gathered in. From this household a wide-spread work of grace was carried on in that heathen city. AA 139.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 175-6

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
The Acts of the Apostles, 595-6

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
In Heavenly Places, 130.5

We are to be sons and daughters of God, growing into a holy temple in the Lord. “No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens 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” (Ephesians 2:19, 20). This is our privilege.... HP 130.5

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 282.1

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:19, 20. HP 282.1

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 54.5

When I meditate upon this fountain of living power from which we may draw, I mourn that so many are losing the delight they might have had in considering His goodness. We are to be sons and daughters of God, growing into a holy temple in 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.” Ephesians 2:19, 20. This is our privilege. OHC 54.5

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 224.1

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:19, 20. RC 224.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 21.3

Christ is the uniting link in the golden chain which binds believers together in God. There must be no separating in this great testing time. The people of God are, “fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Verses 19-21). The children of God constitute one united whole in Christ, who presents his cross as the center of attraction. All who believe are one in Him. 3SM 21.3

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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, 355

Every Child Should Learn Some Trade—The carelessness of parents in failing to furnish employment to the children that they have taken the responsibility of bringing into the world has resulted in untold evil, imperiling the lives of many youth and greatly crippling their usefulness. It is a great mistake to permit young men to grow up without learning some trade.1 CG 355.1

From the pillar of cloud Jesus gave directions through Moses to the Hebrews that they should educate their children to work, that they should teach them trades, and that none should be idle.2 CG 355.2

You should help your children to acquire a knowledge, that, if necessary, they could live by their own labor. You should teach them to be decided in following the calls of duty.3 CG 355.3

Teach Use of Tools—When children reach a suitable age, they should be provided with tools. If their work is made interesting, they will be found apt pupils in the use of tools. If the father is a carpenter, he should give his boys lessons in house building, ever bringing into his instruction lessons from the Bible, the words of Scripture in which the Lord compares human beings to His building.4 CG 355.4

Train Sons in Agriculture—Fathers should train their sons to engage with them in their trades and employments. Farmers should not think that agriculture is a business that is not elevated enough for their sons. Agriculture should be advanced by scientific knowledge. CG 355.5

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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
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
The Great Controversy, 416

“He shall build the temple of the Lord.” By His sacrifice and mediation Christ is both the foundation and the builder of the church of God. The apostle Paul points to Him as “the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also,” he says, “are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22. GC 416.1

“He shall bear the glory.” To Christ belongs the glory of redemption for the fallen race. Through the eternal ages, the song of the ransomed ones will be: “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, ... to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” Revelation 1:5, 6. GC 416.2

He “shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Not now “upon the throne of His glory;” the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God “give unto Him the throne of His father David,” a kingdom of which “there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32, 33. As a priest, Christ is now set down with the Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21. Upon the throne with the eternal, self-existent One is He who “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” that He might be “able to succor them that are tempted.” “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 4:15; 2:18; 1 John 2:1. His intercession is that of a pierced and broken body, of a spotless life. The wounded hands, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such infinite cost. GC 416.3

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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

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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

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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

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 266

In the Scriptures thousands of gems of truth lie hidden from the surface seeker. The mine of truth is never exhausted. The more you search the Scriptures with humble hearts, the greater will be your interest, and the more you will feel like exclaiming with Paul: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Every day you should learn something new from the Scriptures. Search them as for hid treasures, for they contain the words of eternal life. Pray for wisdom and understanding to comprehend these holy writings. If you would do this you would find new glories in the word of God; you would feel that you had received new and precious light on subjects connected with the truth, and the Scriptures would be constantly receiving a new value in your estimation. 5T 266.1

“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.” Jesus says: “Behold, I come quickly.” We should keep these words ever in mind, and act as though we do indeed believe that the coming of the Lord is nigh, and that we are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth. The vital energies of the church of God must be brought into active exercise for the great object of self-renovation; every member must be an active agent for God. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” This is a particular work, which must be carried forward in all harmony, in unity of Spirit, and in the bonds of peace. No place should be given to criticisms, doubts, and unbelief. 5T 266.2

The Upper Columbia and North Pacific Conferences [See footnote on page 249.] are years behind. Some who ought to be strong and established in Christ are as babes in understanding and experimental knowledge of the workings of the Spirit of God. After years of experience they are able to comprehend only the first principles of that grand system of faith and doctrine that constitutes the Christian religion. They do not comprehend that perfection of character which will receive the commendation: “Well done.” 5T 266.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 291-2

When Satan became disaffected in heaven, he did not lay his complaint before God and Christ; but he went among the angels who thought him perfect and represented that God had done him injustice in preferring Christ to himself. The result of this misrepresentation was that through their sympathy with him one third of the angels lost their innocence, their high estate, and their happy home. Satan is instigating men to continue on earth the same work of jealousy and evil surmising that he commenced in heaven. 5T 291.1

When Jesus was upon earth, the Jews were ever acting as spies on His track. They gathered up every false report and charged Him with one crime after another. They were constantly endeavoring to turn the people away from Him. Was their course right? If it was, then Brother D has not sinned, for he is doing a similar work. He may now break the snare of the enemy; he may conquer this spirit which leads him to exalt himself above his brethren. Let him seek meekness, and learn to esteem others better than himself. If he will work in fidelity and in harmony with God's plan he will hear the sweet words, “Well done,” from the lips of the Master. But if he rejects the labors of God's servants, if he chooses his own way and leans to his own understanding, he will surely make shipwreck of faith. God has not passed His people by and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. Paul warned the church in his day: “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” The greatest harm to God's people comes through those who go out from among them speaking perverse things. Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of. 5T 291.2

Let none be self-confident, as though God had given them special light above their brethren. Christ is represented as dwelling in His people. Believers are represented as “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,” says Paul, “beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” 5T 291.3

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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 to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 17

As we review certain situations in our church history which form the background for the messages of the 1890's, we uncover clues which enable us better to understand these messages. Let us turn back the pages of history and look at some important developments. TM xvii.1

From the very outset, Sabbath-keeping Adventists were characterized by their eagerness to understand God's will and to walk in his way. In their Advent experience of the mid-1840's they had witnessed the stable Protestant churches, with their creedal stakes firmly driven, turn from great truths taught in the word of God. Many of these Adventists had been cast out of these churches because of their Advent hope, a hope which sprang from the Scriptures. They had seen their former brethren enter into active opposition to those who held and expounded Bible truths. This led them to be fearful of formality and church organization. But as the way began to open for the heralding of the third angel's message, the need for organization developed, and in January, 1850, Ellen White was shown that the Sabbath-keeping Adventists should bring their work into order, for “everything in heaven was in perfect order.”—Manuscript 11, 1850. TM xvii.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 209

The Lord must be believed and served as the great “I AM,” and we must trust implicitly in Him. Let not men prescribe laws to take the place of God's law. Never educate men to look to men, to trust in men; for man's wisdom is not sufficient to decide as to their right to engage in the Lord's work. When God lays a work upon individuals, men are not to reject His sanction. God must not be impeded in the working out of His plans by man's interference, but this has been done again and again. TM 209.1

If the church on earth is to resemble a temple, let it be built according to the pattern shown in heaven and not according to man's genius. The invention of man often counteracts the working out of God's plans. The golden measuring rod has not been placed in the hands of any finite man or any class of men, whatever their position or calling, but is in the hand of the heavenly Architect. If men will not meddle with God's plan, and will let Him work upon minds and characters, building them up according to His plan, a work will be accomplished that will stand through the severest of trials. TM 209.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 597

Looking with pity upon them, the Saviour continued, “Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” DA 597.1

This prophecy the Jews had often repeated in the synagogues, applying it to the coming Messiah. Christ was the cornerstone of the Jewish economy, and of the whole plan of salvation. This foundation stone the Jewish builders, the priests and rulers of Israel, were now rejecting. The Saviour called their attention to the prophecies that would show them their danger. By every means in His power He sought to make plain to them the nature of the deed they were about to do. DA 597.2

And His words had another purpose. In asking the question, “When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” Christ designed that the Pharisees should answer as they did. He designed that they should condemn themselves. His warnings, failing to arouse them to repentance, would seal their doom, and He wished them to see that they had brought ruin on themselves. He designed to show them the justice of God in the withdrawal of their national privileges, which had already begun, and which would end, not only in the destruction of their temple and their city, but in the dispersion of the nation. DA 597.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 267.3

Christians are Christ's jewels. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. Their luster depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But everyone who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord's temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives, they can reflect no more light than a common pebble. Christ says to man, You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone; but if you will place yourself in My hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to My name. No man shall pluck you out of My hand. I will make you My peculiar treasure. On My coronation day, you will be a jewel in My crown of rejoicing. HP 267.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1083

Paul had been called to his work by the Prince of life. While Paul had been engaged in the work of cruelly persecuting the followers of Christ, the Saviour had appeared to him and called him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. As an apostle of our Lord, he felt a sacred responsibility for the welfare of the church in Corinth. Under his administration they had not only received but they had taught the truth to others. They had been so enriched as to come behind in no gift. They had been brought into near and dear relation to Christ. 6BC 1083.1

Paul could not, by silence, allow himself to be driven from the field by false teachers—teachers who would introduce false sentiments and theories that might lead honest souls away from the truth. The churches must be guarded, and warned against deception. Christ gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, that He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. His church must be kept free from all false doctrine (Manuscript 46, 1905). 6BC 1083.2

10. Unity in Diversity—The strength of God's people lies in their union with Him through His only-begotten Son, and their union with one another. There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the same direction. But while this is so, there may be unity in diversity. Christ is our root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore. They will reveal the fragrance of His character in the talent of speech, in the cultivation of hospitality, of kindness, of Christian courtesy and heavenly politeness. 6BC 1083.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 387

He who embezzles his Lord's goods not only loses the talent lent him of God, but loses eternal life. Of him it is said: “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.” The faithful servant, who invests his money in the cause of God to save souls, employs his means to the glory of God and will receive the commendation of the Master: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” What will be this joy of our Lord? It will be the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of glory. “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 3T 387.1

The idea of stewardship should have a practical bearing upon all the people of God. The parable of the talents, rightly understood, will bar out covetousness, which God calls idolatry. Practical benevolence will give spiritual life to thousands of nominal professors of the truth who now mourn over their darkness. It will transform them from selfish, covetous worshipers of mammon to earnest, faithful co-workers with Christ in the salvation of sinners. 3T 387.2

The foundation of the plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. Jesus left the royal courts and became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. All who share this salvation, purchased for them at such an infinite sacrifice by the Son of God, will follow the example of the true Pattern. Christ was the chief Cornerstone, and we must build upon this Foundation. Each must have a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. The life of Christ upon earth was unselfish; it was marked with humiliation and sacrifice. And shall men, partakers of the great salvation which Jesus came from heaven to bring them, refuse to follow their Lord and to share in His self-denial and sacrifice? Says Christ: “I am the Vine, ye are the branches.” “Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” The very vital principle, the sap which flows through the vine, nourishes the branches, that they may flourish and bear fruit. Is the servant greater than his Lord? Shall the world's Redeemer practice self-denial and sacrifice on our account, and the members of Christ's body practice self-indulgence? Self-denial is an essential condition of discipleship. 3T 387.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 370.1

And [ye] are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:20. UL 370.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 36

Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. Garnished with precious stones, surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold, the temple structure, with its broidered hangings and rich furnishings, was a fit emblem of the living church of God on earth, which through the ages has been building in accordance with the divine pattern, with materials that have been likened to “gold, silver, precious stones,” “polished after the similitude of a palace.” 1 Corinthians 3:12; Psalm 144:12. Of this spiritual temple Christ is “the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2:20, 21. PK 36.1

At last the temple planned by King David, and built by Solomon his son, was completed. “All that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the Lord,” he had “prosperously effected.” 2 Chronicles 7:11. And now, in order that the palace crowning the heights of Mount Moriah might indeed be, as David had so much desired, a dwelling place “not for man, but for the Lord God” (1 Chronicles 29:1), there remained the solemn ceremony of formally dedicating it to Jehovah and His worship. PK 37.1

The spot on which the temple was built had long been regarded as a consecrated place. It was here that Abraham, the father of the faithful, had revealed his willingness to sacrifice his only son in obedience to the command of Jehovah. Here God had renewed with Abraham the covenant of blessing, which included the glorious Messianic promise to the human race of deliverance through the sacrifice of the Son of the Most High. See Genesis 22:9, 16-18. Here it was that when David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to stay the avenging sword of the destroying angel, God had answered him by fire from heaven. See 1 Chronicles 21. And now once more the worshipers of Jehovah were here to meet their God and renew their vows of allegiance to Him. PK 37.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 131

No one has any right to take advantage of the business arrangements that have been made in regard to sanitarium health foods. Those who handle the foods devised by Dr. Kellogg at large expense should first come to an understanding with him, or others who are working in harmony with him, and learn the best methods of handling these foods. He who enters selfishly into this work, at the same time giving his customers the impression that the profits on the goods he sells are used to aid benevolent enterprises, while in reality they are used for personal interests, is under the displeasure of God. By and by his business will fail, and he will get things into such a tangle that his brethren will have to buy him out to save the cause from disgrace. 7T 131.1

The Lord is greatly displeased when His service is dishonored by the selfishness of those engaged in it. He wills that every part of His work shall be in harmony with every other part, joint connecting with joint. 7T 131.2

The Lord wants His people to stand far above selfish interests. He wants them to conquer the temptations they meet. He calls for the communion of saints. He desires His workers to stand under His supervision. He will plane and polish the material for His temple, preparing each piece to fit closely to the other, that the building may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 7T 131.3

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