The temple of the Lord - In the Chaldee the passage stands thus: - "Do not trust in the words of lying prophets, which say, Before the temple of the Lord ye shall worship; Before the temple of the Lord ye shall sacrifice; Before the temple of the Lord ye shall adore; thrice in the year ye shall appear before it." This the Targumist supposes to have been the reason why the words are here thrice repeated. They rather seem to express the conviction which the people had, that they should be safe while their temple service continued; for they supposed that God would not give it up into profane hands. But sacred places and sacred symbols are nothing in the sight of God when the heart is not right with him.
The temple of the Lord - Thrice repeated, to emphasize the rejection of the cry ever upon the lips of the false prophets. In their view the maintenance of the temple-service was a charm sufficient to avert all evil.
These - The buildings of the temple, to which Jeremiah is supposed to point. The Jews put their trust in the material buildings.
Here is your danger, in failing to press forward “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Has the Lord given you light? Then you are responsible for that light; not merely while its rays are shining upon you, but for all which it has revealed to you in the past. You are to surrender your will to God daily; you are to walk in the light, and to expect more; for the light from the dear Saviour is to shine forth in clearer, more distinct rays amid the moral darkness, increasing in brightness more and more unto the perfect day. 5T 486.1
Are all the members of your church seeking to gather fresh manna every morning and evening? Are you seeking divine enlightenment? or are you devising means whereby you can glorify yourselves? Are you, with your whole soul, might, mind, and strength, loving and serving God in blessing others around you by leading them to the Light of the world? Are you satisfied with past blessings? or are you walking as Christ walked, working as He worked, revealing Him to the world in your words and actions? Are you, as obedient children, living a pure and holy life? Christ must be brought into your life. He alone can cure you of envy, of evil surmising against your brethren; He alone can take away from you the self-sufficient spirit that some of you cherish to your own spiritual detriment. Jesus alone can make you feel your weakness, your ignorance, your corrupt nature. He alone can make you pure, refine you, fit you for the mansions of the blessed. 5T 486.2
“Through God we shall do valiantly.” What an amount of good you can do by being loyal to God and to your brethren, by repressing every unkind thought, every feeling of envy or self-importance! Let your life be filled with the ministry of kindness to others. How soon you may be called to lay off the armor, you know not. Death may claim you suddenly, giving you no time to prepare for your last change, no physical strength or mental power to fix your thoughts on God and make your peace with Him. Some, erelong, will know by experience how vain is the help of man, how worthless is the self-important, self-sufficient righteousness which has satisfied them. 5T 487.1Read in context »
As our numbers are increasing, broader plans must be laid to meet the increasing demands of the times; but we see no special increase of fervent piety, of Christian simplicity, and earnest devotion. The church seem content to take only the first steps in conversion. They are more ready for active labor than for humble devotion, more ready to engage in outward religious service than in the inner work of the heart. Meditation and prayer are neglected for bustle and show. Religion must begin with emptying and purifying the heart, and must be nurtured by daily prayer. 4T 535.1
The steady progress of our work, and our increased facilities, are filling the hearts and minds of many of our people with satisfaction and pride, which we fear will take the place of the love of God in the soul. Busy activity in the mechanical part of even the work of God may so occupy the mind that prayer shall be neglected, and self-importance and self-sufficiency, so ready to urge their way, shall take the place of true goodness, meekness, and lowliness of heart. The zealous cry may be heard: “The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.” “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” But where are the burden bearers? where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? Where are those who carry upon the heart the burden for souls and who come in close sympathy with their fellow men, ready to place themselves in any position to save them from eternal ruin? 4T 535.2
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” “Ye are,” says Christ, “the light of the world.” What a responsibility! There is need of fasting, humiliation, and prayer over our decaying zeal and languishing spirituality. The love of many is waxing cold. The efforts of many of our preachers are not what they should be. When some who lack the Spirit and power of God enter a new field, they commence denouncing other denominations, thinking that they can convince the people of the truth by presenting the inconsistencies of the popular churches. It may seem necessary on some occasions to speak of these things, but in general it only creates prejudice against our work and closes the ears of many who might otherwise have listened to the truth. If these teachers were connected closely with Christ, they would have divine wisdom to know how to approach the people. They would not so soon forget the darkness and error, the passion and prejudice, which kept themselves from the truth. 4T 535.3Read in context »
Cleansing From Commercial Work—Three nights before the Review office burned, I was in an agony that words cannot describe. I could not sleep. I walked the room, praying to God to have mercy upon His people. Then I seemed to be in the Review office with the men who have the management of the institution. I was trying to speak to them and thus to help them. One of authority arose and said, “You say, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we; therefore, we have authority to do this thing and that thing and the other thing. But the word of God forbids many of the things that you propose to do.” At His first advent, Christ cleansed the Temple. Prior to His second advent He will again cleanse the temple. He was there cleansing the temple. Why? Because commercial work had been brought in, and God had been forgotten. With hurry here and hurry there and hurry somewhere else, there was no time to think of heaven. The principles of God's law were presented, and I heard the question asked, “How much of the law have you obeyed?” Then the word was spoken, “God will cleanse and purify His temple in His displeasure.” PM 170.4Read in context »