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Isaiah 6:7

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And he laid it upon my mouth - Margin, ‹And he caused it to touch my mouth.‘ This is the more correct rendering. It was a slight, momentary touch, sufficient merely to be a “sign or token” that he was cleansed.

Thine iniquity is taken away - That is, whatever obstacle there existed to your communicating the message of God to this people, arising from your own consciousness of unworthiness, is taken away. You are commissioned to bear that message, and your own consciousness of guilt should not be a hinderance. To understand this, it should be remembered that “fire,” among the orientals, has been always regarded as an emblem of “purifying.” Thus the Sabeans, the followers or Zoroaster in Persia, worshipped “fire,” as the emblem of a pure divinity; see Malachi 3:2-3; compare Matthew 3:2. Every minister of the gospel, though conscious of personal unworthiness and unfitness, should yet go freely and cheerfully to his work, if he has evidence that he is called and commissioned by God. “Is purged.” Is purified, is removed - תכפר tekupâr from כפר kâphar “to cover, to overlay;” then to make an atonement for, to expiate, to cover sin, to pardon it, to affect or to procure forgiveness; and then to purify in general, to make whole; compare the note at Isaiah 43:3. This does not mean, that the fire from the altar had any physical effect to purify him from sin, but that it was “emblematic” of such a purifying; and probably, also, the fact that it was taken from the altar of sacrifice, was to him an indication that he was pardoned through the “atonement,” or expiation there made. The Jews expected pardon in no other mode than by sacrifice; and the offering on their altar pointed to the great sacrifice which was to be made on the cross for the sins of human beings. There is here a beautiful “union” of the truths respecting sacrifice. The great doctrine is presented that it is only by sacrifice that sin can be pardoned; and the Messiah, the sacrifice himself, is exhibited as issuing the commission to Isaiah to go and declare his message to people.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means "burners;" they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.
Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 432-3

From the representations given by the Holy Spirit to His prophets, let us learn the greatness of our God. The prophet Isaiah writes: MH 432.3

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. MH 432.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 281

From the representations given by the Holy Spirit to His prophets, let us learn the greatness of our God. The prophet Isaiah writes: 8T 281.1

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 8T 281.2

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. 8T 281.3

“Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated.” Isaiah 6:1-7, A. R. V., margin. 8T 281.4

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 21-2

When God was about to send Isaiah with a message to His people, He first permitted the prophet to look in vision into the holy of holies within the sanctuary. Suddenly the gate and the inner veil of the temple seemed to be uplifted or withdrawn, and he was permitted to gaze within, upon the holy of holies, where even the prophet's feet might not enter. There rose before him a vision of Jehovah sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, while the train of His glory filled the temple. Around the throne were seraphim, as guards about the great King, and they reflected the glory that surrounded them. As their songs of praise resounded in deep notes of adoration, the pillars of the gate trembled, as if shaken by an earthquake. With lips unpolluted by sin, these angels poured forth the praises of God. “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts,” they cried; “the whole earth is full of His glory.” [See Isaiah 6:1-8.] GW 21.1

The seraphim around the throne are so filled with reverential awe as they behold the glory of God, that they do not for an instant look upon themselves with admiration. Their praise is for the Lord of hosts. As they look into the future, when the whole earth shall be filled with His glory, the triumphant song is echoed from one to another in melodious chant, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.” They are fully satisfied to glorify God; abiding in His presence, beneath His smile of approbation, they wish for nothing more. In bearing His image, in doing His bidding, in worshiping Him, their highest ambition is reached. GW 21.2

As the prophet listened, the glory, the power, and the majesty of the Lord was opened to his vision; and in the light of this revelation his own inward defilement appeared with startling clearness. His very words seemed vile to him. In deep humiliation he cried, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips: ...for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” GW 21.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1138-41

18-23 (1 Peter 3:1-5). Beauty of Soul a Standing Rebuke—In the third chapter of Isaiah's prophecy mention is made of the prevailing pride of the “daughters of Zion,” with “their tinkling ornaments, ... the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, ... and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.” Verses 18-23. How different this picture from that portrayed by the apostle Peter of the God-fearing woman, who, estimating at its real value the “outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel,” chooses rather to cultivate beauty of soul, “even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” It was “after this manner in the old time” that “the holy women ... who trusted in God, adorned themselves”; and their “chaste conversation coupled with fear” (1 Peter 3:1-5), as revealed in daily life, was ever a standing rebuke to their sisters who followed after folly (The Review and Herald, March 4, 1915). 4BC 1138.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 749-51

Skeptics may sneer at the thought that a glorious angel from heaven should give attention to a matter so commonplace as caring for these simple human needs, and may question the inspiration of the narrative. But in the wisdom of God these things are recorded in sacred history for the benefit, not of angels, but of men, that as they should be brought into trying positions they might find comfort in the thought that heaven knows it all. Jesus declared to His disciples that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of the heavenly Father, and that if God can keep in mind the wants of all the little birds of the air, He will much more care for those who may become the subjects of His kingdom and through faith in Him may be the heirs of immortality. Oh, if the human mind were only to comprehend—in such measure as the plan of redemption can be comprehended by finite minds—the work of Jesus in taking upon Himself human nature, and what is to be accomplished for us by this marvelous condescension, the hearts of men would be melted with gratitude for God's great love, and in humility they would adore the divine wisdom that devised the mystery of grace! 5T 749.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 753

These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men's souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days. 5T 753.1

We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past are to be revived; new controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us. 5T 753.2

But God's servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. In the visions given to Isaiah, to Ezekiel, and to John we see how closely heaven is connected with the events taking place upon the earth and how great is the care of God for those who are loyal to Him. The world is not without a ruler. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge. 5T 753.3

We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord's work. Finite men are not left to carry the burden of responsibility. We need to trust in God, believe in Him, and go forward. The tireless vigilance of the heavenly messengers, and their unceasing employment in their ministry in connection with the beings of earth, show us how God's hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in His work, as He said to Cyrus of old: “I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me.” 5T 753.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 153-4

The words of Moses possess deep meaning. “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Leviticus 10:1-3. This has a lesson for all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our publishing institutions. Sacred things are not to be mingled with the common. The papers that have so wide a circulation should contain more precious instruction than appears in the ordinary publications of the day. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” Jeremiah 23:28. We want pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed. 7T 153.1

“The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:11-20. 7T 153.2

I call the attention of all our workers to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. Read the experience of God's prophet when he saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.... Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:1-8. 7T 153.3

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Ellen G. White
Colporteur Ministry, 59

Painstaking effort is required; instruction must be given; a sense of the importance of the work must be kept before the workers. All must cherish the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice that has been exemplified in the life of our Redeemer. CM 59.1

Sixth of Isaiah—Let the canvassers read the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and take its lesson home to their hearts: CM 59.2

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:5-8. CM 59.3

This representation will be acted over and over again. The Lord desires to have many take part in this grand work, those who are consecrated, whose hearts are humble, and who are willing to engage in any line that demands their service.—Manual for Canvassers, 18, 19 (1902). CM 59.4

Constantly Improving—The follower of Jesus should be constantly improving in manners, in habits, in spirit, in labor. This is done by keeping the eye, not on mere outward, superficial attainments, but on Jesus. A transformation takes place in mind, in spirit, in character. The Christian is educated in the school of Christ to cherish the graces of His Spirit in all meekness and lowliness. He is fitting for the society of heavenly angels.—Gospel Workers, 283 (1915). CM 59.5

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 472-3

Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour's first advent. What shall we do? God's Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ's day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God's message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph's son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void. FE 472.1

Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God's preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ's lines. FE 472.2

Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance. FE 472.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 88

This was the method that Christ taught His disciples. When the great throngs gathered about the Saviour, He would give instruction to the disciples and to the multitude. Then after the discourse the disciples would mingle with the people and repeat to them what Christ had said. Often the hearers had misapplied Christ's words, and the disciples would tell them what the Scriptures said and what Christ had taught that they said. 6T 88.1

If the man who feels that he is called of God to be a minister will humble himself and learn of Christ, he will become a true teacher. What we need in our camp meetings is a ministry vivified by the Holy Spirit. There must be less sermonizing and more tact to educate the people in practical religion. They must be impressed with the fact that Christ is salvation to all who believe. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. There are grand themes on which the gospel minister may dwell. Christ has said: “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47. 6T 88.2

If the minister's lips are touched with a coal from off the altar, he will lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope. When the heart of the speaker is sanctified through the truth, his words will be living realities to himself and to others. Those who hear him will know that he has been with God and has drawn near to Him in fervent, effectual prayer. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon him, his soul has felt the vital, heavenly fire, and he will be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. Power will be given him to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts will be broken by his presentation of the love of God, and many will inquire: “What must I do to be saved?” 6T 88.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 325

The Lord desires you to be soul winners; therefore, while you should not force doctrinal points upon the people, you should “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. Why fear? Fear lest your words should savor of self-importance, lest unadvised words be spoken, lest the words and manner should not be after Christ's likeness. Connect firmly with Christ, and present the truth as it is in Him. Hearts cannot fail to be touched by the story of the atonement. As you learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ, you will know what you should say to the people; for the Holy Spirit will tell you what words to speak. Those who realize the necessity of keeping the heart under the control of the Holy Spirit will be enabled to sow seed that will spring up unto eternal life. This is the work of the evangelistic canvasser. 6T 325.1

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 208

Thus the Galatians were taught the fundamental truths concerning “God the Father” and “our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” “By the hearing of faith” they received the Spirit of God and became “the children of God by faith in Christ.” Galatians 1:3, 4; 3:2, 26. AA 208.1

Paul's manner of life while among the Galatians was such that he could afterward say, “I beseech you, be as I am.” Galatians 4:12. His lips had been touched with a live coal from off the altar, and he was enabled to rise above bodily infirmities and to present Jesus as the sinner's only hope. Those who heard him knew that he had been with Jesus. Endued with power from on high, he was able to compare spiritual things with spiritual and to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts were broken by his presentation of the love of God, as revealed in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, and many were led to inquire, What must I do to be saved? AA 208.2

This method of presenting the gospel characterized the labors of the apostle throughout his ministry among the Gentiles. Always he kept before them the cross of Calvary. “We preach not ourselves,” he declared in the later years of his experience, “but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For 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.” 2 Corinthians 4:5, 6. AA 208.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 329

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For 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.” AA 329.1

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Ellen G. White
Conflict and Courage, 234.1

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Isaiah 6:6, 7. CC 234.1

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 78

Let not narrow ideas proscribe and bind about your labors. “The field is the world.” The doctrines of truth are plainly revealed on every page of the word of God, and yet the enemy has power to blind the minds of the self-sufficient, so that the plainest and simplest utterances may not be understood. Let the truth be taught to our children. Let them be armed with the revelation of the word of God. Let them be able to tell what is written in the Scriptures of truth. Let the minister from the desk, with lips touched with a coal from off the altar of heaven, speak the words of life that will burn their way into the heart and soul of those who, although wise in the wisdom of the world, do not comprehend the wisdom that is from above. CSW 78.1

The question, “What is truth?” should be asked with decided interest. We must respond to the command of God, and go forward from light to a greater light. There is no such thing as the soldiers of Christ standing still, careless and inactive. There are constant improvements to be made. The providence of God is leading us on step by step in the path of obedience. Let parents and teachers impress upon the minds of the children that the Lord is proving them in this life, to see if they will render obedience to Him with love and reverence. Those who would not be obedient to Christ here would not obey Him in the eternal world. The Lord is seeking to fit them for the heavenly mansion that Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 31, 32. CSW 78.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 370

When the students thus beheld Jesus, the suspension of their studies was counted as no loss. They were catching glimpses of Him who is invisible. They earnestly sought the living God, and the live coal of pardon was placed upon their lips. The Holy Spirit wrought not only for those who had lost their first love, but also for souls who had never placed themselves on the Lord's side.... Tokens of His grace and favor called forth rejoicing from the hearts of those who were thus blessed, and it was known that the salvation of God was among His people.... CT 370.1

Why should we not expect the Holy Watcher to come into our schools? Our youth are there to receive an education, to acquire a knowledge of the only true God. They are there to learn how to present Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. They are there to gather up precious rays of light, that they may diffuse light again. They are there to show forth the loving-kindness of the Lord, to speak of His glory, to sound forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.... CT 370.2

Again and again the heavenly Messenger has been sent to the school. When His presence has been acknowledged, the darkness has fled away, the light has shone forth, and hearts have been drawn to God. The last words spoken by Christ to John were: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. When we respond to God and say, “Lord, we come,” then with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation. CT 370.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 142

The teaching of Christ was the expression of an inwrought conviction and experience, and those who learn of Him become teachers after the divine order. The word of God, spoken by one who is himself sanctified through it, has a life-giving power that makes it attractive to the hearers, and convicts them that it is a living reality. When one has received the truth in the love of it, he will make this manifest in the persuasion of his manner and the tones of his voice. He makes known that which he himself has heard, seen, and handled of the word of life, that others may have fellowship with him through the knowledge of Christ. His testimony, from lips touched with a live coal from off the altar, is truth to the receptive heart, and works sanctification upon the character. DA 142.1

And he who seeks to give light to others will himself be blessed. “There shall be showers of blessing.” “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25. God could have reached His object in saving sinners without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like Christ's, we must share in His work. In order to enter into His joy,—the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice,—we must participate in His labors for their redemption. DA 142.2

Nathanael's first expression of his faith, so full and earnest and sincere, fell like music on the ears of Jesus. And He “answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.” The Saviour looked forward with joy to His work in preaching good tidings to the meek, binding up the brokenhearted, and proclaiming liberty to the captives of Satan. At thought of the precious blessings He had brought to men, Jesus added, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” DA 142.3

Here Christ virtually says, On the bank of the Jordan the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove upon Me. That scene was but a token that I am the Son of God. If you believe on Me as such, your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men. DA 142.4

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 207

Those who would be overcomers must be drawn out of themselves; and the only thing which will accomplish this great work, is to become intensely interested in the salvation of others. This does not mean that you are to convert men to your way of doing, or to compel them to view things in the same light as you do; but you are to seek to present the truth as it is in Jesus, and laboring to be a blessing to others, you will be blessed of God abundantly. That you have done and are doing something to enlarge the boundaries of the kingdom of God in rescuing poor souls from Satan's yoke of superstition and error, will rejoice the heart, and broaden your ideas and plans. As you identify your interest with that of Christ, you will sanctify to God your talent of ability, influence, and means. Some of you will consider it your privilege to leave your homes that you may labor in the islands of the sea, and rescue souls from the bondage of sin and error. As you gain a new and deeper experience, you will learn what it is to pray in the Holy Spirit; and those who are backslidden from God will be reclaimed, and there will be more anxiety manifested to learn of Jesus to be meek and lowly of heart, than to point out the mistakes and errors of your brethren; for by faith you accept Christ as your personal Saviour. You will not then come to meeting to tell your doubts and fears. You will have something better to talk about; for your hearts will be enlarged, having the peace of Christ, which passeth understanding. This is the experience that God would have you understand in this country. FE 207.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 23

The live coal is symbolical of purification, and it also represents the potency of the efforts of God's true servants. To those who make so full a consecration that the Lord can place His touch upon their lips, the word is spoken, Go forth into the harvest-field. I will co-operate with you. GW 23.1

The minister who has received this preparation will be a power for good in the world. His words will be right words, pure and true, fraught with sympathy and love; his actions will be right actions, a help and a blessing to the weak. Christ will be to him an abiding presence, controlling thought, word, and deed. He has pledged himself to overcome pride, covetousness, selfishness. As he seeks to fulfil this pledge, he gains spiritual strength. By daily communion with God he becomes mighty in a knowledge of the Scriptures. His fellowship is with the Father and the Son; and as he constantly obeys the divine will, he becomes daily better fitted to speak words that will guide wandering souls to the fold of Christ. GW 23.2

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 256-7

The Saviour loved the solitude of the mountain in which to hold communion with His Father. Through the day He labored earnestly to save men from destruction. He healed the sick, comforted the mourning, called the dead to life, and brought hope and cheer to the despairing. After His work for the day was finished, He went forth, evening after evening, away from the confusion of the city, and bowed in prayer to His Father. Frequently He continued His petitions through the entire night; but He came from these seasons of communion invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and for trial. GW 256.1

Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? So also was He who knew no sin. In the hour of distress He turned to His Father. Himself a source of blessing and strength, He could heal the sick and raise the dead; He could command the tempest, and it would obey Him; yet He prayed, often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with human beings. He was a mighty petitioner. As the Prince of life, He had power with God, and prevailed. GW 256.2

Ministers who are truly Christ's representatives will be men of prayer. With an earnestness and faith that will not be denied, they will plead with God to strengthen and fortify them for service, and to sanctify their lips by a touch of the living coal, that they may know how to speak His words to the people. GW 256.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 106.4

We need a more heavenly atmosphere to surround our souls. We need to have our lips touched with a live coal from off the altar. We need to hear the word from Christ, “Be thou clean.” If we have scattered darkness, if we have accumulated rubbish and hoarded doubts, if we have planted seeds of doubt and discouragement in the minds of others, may God help us to see our sin. We cannot afford to drop a single word of doubt, for it will germinate and grow and bring forth a bitter harvest. We should take heed to the exhortation, “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15). One seed of doubt sown, and it is beyond the power of man to kill it. God alone can pluck it from the soul.... HP 106.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 321.3

The Lord desires His children to esteem one another as the purchase of the blood of Christ. When they do this they will know what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. Our lips need to be sanctified with a live coal from the altar of God. Then we shall speak words that are elevating, refining, ennobling, words that are filled with the fragrance of Christ's righteousness, words that are a savor of life unto life. HP 321.3

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 48.5

What are these “greater works”? If our lips are touched with the living coal from off the altar, we shall reveal to the world the wonderful love manifested by God in giving Jesus, His only begotten Son, to the world, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” LHU 48.5

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 314

In the vision that came to Isaiah in the temple court, he was given a clear view of the character of the God of Israel. “The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy,” had appeared before him in great majesty; yet the prophet was made to understand the compassionate nature of his Lord. He who dwells “in the high and holy place” dwells “with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15. The angel commissioned to touch Isaiah's lips had brought to him the message, “Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isaiah 6:7. PK 314.1

In beholding his God, the prophet, like Saul of Tarsus at the gate of Damascus, had not only been given a view of his own unworthiness; there had come to his humbled heart the assurance of forgiveness, full and free; and he had arisen a changed man. He had seen his Lord. He had caught a glimpse of the loveliness of the divine character. He could testify of the transformation wrought through beholding Infinite Love. Henceforth he was inspired with longing desire to see erring Israel set free from the burden and penalty of sin. “Why should ye be stricken any more?” the prophet inquired. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well.” Isaiah 1:5, 18, 16, 17. PK 314.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 112.3

Those who support the truth, not only by argument, but in their lives, range themselves on the side of righteousness. By a converted life they give evidence that they bear a solemn message of warning, which is a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. When men are really converted, controversy and debate will be ended. The plain, searching truth will be proclaimed by lips touched with a live coal from the altar of God.... RC 112.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 208.3

True conviction of sin, real heart sorrow because of wickedness, death to self, the daily overcoming of defects of character, and the new birth—these, represented as old things, Paul says had passed away, and all things had become new. Such a work many know nothing of. They grafted the truth into their natural hearts, and then went on as before, manifesting the same unhappy traits of character. What is now needed is the plain testimony borne in love from lips touched with living fire. RC 208.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 217.5

With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit's power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob. Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation. Our supplications would be full of earnestness, full of a sense of our great need; and we would not be denied. The truth would be expressed by life and character, and by lips touched with the living coal from off God's altar. RC 217.5

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1089

Jesus knew that He could do the scribes and Pharisees no good, unless they would empty themselves of self-importance. He chose new bottles for His new wine of doctrine, and made fishermen and unlearned believers the heralds of His truth to the world. And yet, though His doctrine seemed new to the people, it was in fact not a new doctrine, but the revelation of the significance of that which had been taught from the beginning. It was His design that His disciples should take the plain, unadulterated truth for the guide of their life. They were not to add to His words, or give a forced meaning to His utterances. They were not to put a mystical interpretation upon the plain teaching of the Scriptures, and draw from theological stores to build up some man-made theory. It was through putting a mystical meaning upon the plain words of God, that sacred and vital truths were made of little significance, while the theories of men were made prominent. It was in this way that men were led to teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they rejected the commandment of God, that they might keep their own tradition (The Review and Herald, June 2, 1896). 5BC 1089.1

34. See EGW on ch. 12:24-32. 5BC 1089.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1084

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” Paul was a very great teacher; yet he felt that without the Spirit of God working with him, all the education he might obtain would be of little account. We need to have this same experience; we need to be afraid of ourselves. We need individually to sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen to His words of instruction (Manuscript 84, 1901). 6BC 1084.1

1-4. See EGW on Acts 17:34. 6BC 1084.2

1-5 (Acts 9:3-6; 22:3, 4). Instruction for the Church Today—[1 Corinthians 2:1-5 quoted.] Paul was not an unlearned man, but the preaching of Christ was a new gospel to him. It was a work entirely different from that he had engaged in when he hunted the believers from place to place and persecuted them even “unto the death.” But Christ had revealed Himself to Paul in a remarkable manner at his conversion. At the gate of Damascus the vision of the Crucified One changed the whole current of his life. The persecutor became a disciple, the teacher a learner. 6BC 1084.3

From that time Paul was a truly converted man. God gave him a special work to do for the cause of Christianity. His instruction in his letters to the churches of his day is instruction for the church of God to the end of time (Letter 332, 1907). 6BC 1084.4

Eloquence in Simplicity—[1 Corinthians 2:1-5 quoted.] Paul did not come to the churches as an orator or as a scientific philosopher. He did not seek merely to please the ear by flowery words and phrases. In eloquent simplicity he proclaimed the things that had been revealed to him. He was able to speak with power and authority, for he frequently received instruction from God in vision [vs. 6-10 quoted] (Manuscript 46, 1905). 6BC 1084.5

(Acts 17:22-34.) Spiritual Power Not in Human Wisdom—[1 Corinthians 2:1-9 quoted.] The apostle Paul had all the privileges of a Roman citizen. He was not behind in the Hebrew education, for he had learned at the feet of Gamaliel; but all this did not enable him to reach the highest standard. With all this scientific and literary education, he was, until Christ was revealed to him, in as complete darkness as are many at this time. Paul became fully conscious that to know Jesus Christ by an experimental knowledge was for his present and eternal good. He saw the necessity of reaching a high standard. 6BC 1084.6

It had been Paul's custom to adopt an oratorical style in his preaching. He was a man fitted to speak before kings, before the great and learned men of Athens, and his intellectual acquirements were often of value to him in preparing the way for the gospel. He tried to do this in Athens, meeting eloquence with eloquence, philosophy with philosophy, and logic with logic; but he failed to meet with the success he had hoped for. His aftersight led him to understand that there was something needed above human wisdom. God taught him that something above the world's wisdom must come to him. He must receive his power from a higher source. In order to convict and convert sinners, the Spirit of God must come into his work and sanctify every spiritual development. He must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God (The Review and Herald, July 18, 1899). 6BC 1084.7

2 (Galatians 6:14). The One Central Truth of the Scriptures—There is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures—Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relation to this theme. It is only in the light of the cross that we can discern the exalted character of the law of God. The soul palsied by sin can be endowed with life only through the work wrought out upon the cross by the Author of our salvation (Manuscript 31, 1890). 6BC 1084.8

4 (ch. 4:9). Faithful Preachers a Spectacle to the World—Our work for this time is not to be done by enticing words of man's wisdom, such as were used by heathen orators to gain applause. Speak in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with the power which God alone can impart. The testing truths for this time are to be proclaimed by men whose lips have been touched with a live coal from off God's altar. Such preaching will be a decided contrast to the preaching usually heard. Faithful, God-sent messengers are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men, not because they place themselves in high positions, but because they show that they are strengthened and helped by the Spirit (Manuscript 165, 1899). 6BC 1084.9

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 529

We fail many times because we do not realize that Christ is with us by His Spirit as truly as when, in the days of His humiliation, He moved visibly upon the earth. The lapse of time has wrought no change in His parting promise to His apostles as He was taken up from them into heaven: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He has ordained that there should be a succession of men who derive authority from the first teachers of the faith for the continual preaching of Christ and Him crucified. The Great Teacher has delegated power to His servants, who “have this treasure in earthen vessels.” Christ will superintend the work of His ambassadors if they wait for His instruction and guidance. 4T 529.1

Ministers who are truly Christ's representatives will be men of prayer. With an earnestness and faith that will not be denied, they will plead with God that they may be strengthened and fortified for duty and for trial, and that their lips may be sanctified by a touch of the living coal from off the altar, to speak the words of God to the people. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” 4T 529.2

Christ said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Who can estimate the result of the prayers of the world's Redeemer? When Christ shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied, then will be seen and realized the value of His earnest prayers while His divinity was veiled with humanity. 4T 529.3

Jesus pleaded, not for one only, but for all His disciples: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” His eye pierced the dark veil of the future and read the life history of every son and daughter of Adam. He felt the burdens and sorrows of every tempest-tossed soul, and that earnest prayer included with His living disciples all His followers to the close of time. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” Yes; that prayer of Christ embraces even us. We should be comforted by the thought that we have a great intercessor in the heavens, presenting our petitions before God. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” In the hour of greatest need, when discouragement would overwhelm the soul, it is then that the watchful eye of Jesus sees that we need His help. The hour of man's necessity is the hour of God's opportunity. When all human support fails, then Jesus comes to our aid, and His presence scatters the darkness and lifts the cloud of gloom. 4T 529.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 252

Another cause of failure in these conferences is that the people to whom God's messenger is sent wish to mold his ideas to theirs and to put into his mouth the words that he should speak. God's watchmen must not study how they shall please the people, nor listen to their words and utter them; but they must listen to hear what saith the Lord, what is His word for the people. If they rely upon discourses prepared years before they may fail to meet the necessities of the occasion. Their hearts should be laid open so that the Lord may impress their minds, and then they will be able to give the people the precious truth warm from heaven. God is not pleased with those narrow-minded ministers who devote their God-given powers to matters of little moment and fail to grow in divine knowledge to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus. He would have His ministers possess breadth of mind and true moral courage. Such men will be prepared to meet opposition and surmount difficulties, and will lead the flock of God instead of being led by them. 5T 252.1

There is altogether too little of the Spirit and power of God in the labor of the watchmen. The Spirit which characterized that wonderful meeting on the Day of Pentecost is waiting to manifest its power upon the men who are now standing between the living and the dead as ambassadors for God. The power which stirred the people so mightily in the 1844 movement will again be revealed. The third angel's message will go forth, not in whispered tones, but with a loud voice. 5T 252.2

Many who profess to have great light are walking in sparks of their own kindling. They need to have their lips touched with a live coal from off the altar, that they may pour forth the truth like men who are inspired. Too many go into the desk with mechanical discourses that have no light from heaven in them. 5T 252.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 251

That the efforts of God's workers may be successful, they must receive the grace and efficiency that He alone can give. “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24), is the promise. Then why not take time to ask, to open the mind to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, that the soul may be revived by a fresh supply of life? Christ Himself was much in prayer. Whenever He had opportunity, He went apart to be alone with God. As we bow before God in humble prayer, He places a live coal from His altar upon our lips, sanctifying them to the work of giving Bible truth to the people. 7T 251.1

I am instructed to say to my fellow workers: If you would have the rich treasures of heaven, you must have secret communion with God. Unless you do this, your soul will be as destitute of the Holy Spirit as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. When you hurry from one thing to another, when you have so much to do that you cannot take time to talk with God, how can you expect power in your work? 7T 251.2

The reason so many of our ministers preach tame, lifeless discourses is that they allow a variety of things of a worldly nature to take their time and attention. Unless there is constant growth in grace, we shall be wanting in words suitable for the occasion. Commune with your own heart, and then commune with God. Unless you do this, your efforts will be fruitless, made thus by unsanctified hurry and confusion. 7T 251.3

Ministers and teachers, let your work be fragrant with rich spiritual grace. Do not make it common by mixing it with common things. Move onward and upward. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. 7T 251.4

We need to be converted daily. Our prayers should be more fervent; then they will be more effectual. Stronger and stronger should be our confidence that God's Spirit will be with us, making us pure and holy, as upright and fragrant as the cedar of Lebanon. 7T 251.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 37

My heart is filled with anguish when I think of the tame messages borne by some of our ministers, when they have a message of life and death to bear. The ministers are asleep; the lay members are asleep; and a world is perishing in sin. May God help His people to arouse and walk and work as men and women on the borders of the eternal world. Soon an awful surprise is coming upon the inhabitants of the world. Suddenly, with power and great glory, Christ will come. Then there will be no time to prepare to meet Him. Now is the time for us to give the warning message. 8T 37.1

We are stewards, entrusted by our absent Lord with the care of His household and His interests, which He came to this world to serve. He has returned to heaven, leaving us in charge, and He expects us to watch and wait for His appearing. Let us be faithful to our trust, lest coming suddenly He find us sleeping. 8T 37.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 256

Those who shall be mouthpieces for God should know that their lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar, and present the truth in the demonstration of the Spirit. But lengthy discourses are a taxation to the speaker and a taxation to the hearers who have to sit so long. One half the matter presented would be of more benefit to the hearer than the large mass poured forth by the speaker. That which is spoken in the first hour is of far more value if the sermon closes then than the words that are spoken in an added half hour. There is a burying up of the matter that has been presented. TM 256.1

This subject has been opened to me again and again that our ministers were making mistakes in talking so long as to wear away the first forcible impression made upon the hearers. So large a mass of matter is presented, which they cannot possibly retain and digest, that all seems confused. TM 256.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 191.6

The Lord is coming, and we must be ready! Every moment I want His grace—I want the robe of Christ's righteousness. We must humble our souls before God as never before, come low to the foot of the cross, and He will put a word in our mouths to speak for Him, even praise unto our God. He will teach us a strain from the song of the angels, even thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. We can do nothing of ourselves, but God wants to touch our lips with a living coal from off the altar. He wants to sanctify our tongues—to sanctify our whole being.7 TMK 191.6

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 239.3

The piles of rubbish that have been accumulating need to be removed. How? Let us “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Cultivate personal piety. God would have us inquire, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” that He may instruct us, and that we may be able to say, “We have the mind of Christ.” Then all the rubbish of evil words will be removed. May the Lord imbue us with His Spirit, and touch our lips with a burning coal from the altar. Earnestly, vigilantly watching and waiting and working, we are to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). UL 239.3

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 319.2

Converted Speakers—When men are really converted, controversy and debate will be ended. The plain, searching truth will be proclaimed by lips touched with a live coal from the altar of God.—The Review and Herald, February 21, 1899. VSS 319.2

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 321

Fresh Manna—You have been too anxious to present lines of thought that would bring glory to yourself. You have thought it was necessary to dwell upon subjects which do not enlighten minds in regard to vital truth, or make clearer the way to present salvation. For Christ's sake keep to the point. In every discourse break the bread of life, present fresh manna, lay upon souls the solemn responsibilities that God has placed upon them, and keep in view eternal realities. Call the attention of the people to vital questions, and keep them to the point of decision, asking them, “What are you going to do?” Cooperate with heavenly intelligences. When you allow your mind to be diverted from plain lines of truth and to be engrossed with subjects that please your fancy, you are simply losing time. The Holy Spirit does not work with you, and thus you make a mistake.—Letter 29, 1895. VSS 321.1

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 390.1

Source of Success—I know that since coming to this place he has had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; his lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar. We know and can distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd. The truth has been poured forth from the lips of the servant of God as the people had never heard it before; unbelievers turn pale, and say, “That man is inspired.” The people do not stroll about the grounds, but go immediately into the tent, and listen as if spellbound. VSS 390.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 281

From the representations given by the Holy Spirit to His prophets, let us learn the greatness of our God. The prophet Isaiah writes: 8T 281.1

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 8T 281.2

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. 8T 281.3

“Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated.” Isaiah 6:1-7, A. R. V., margin. 8T 281.4

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