Confession and Restitution

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Confession & Restitution

 

“ When Brother G once takes a position on the wrong side, it is not easy for him to confess that he has erred; but if he can let his wrong course pass out of his mind and pass from the memory of others, and he can make some changes for the better without an open acknowledgment of his wrong, he will do soBut all these errors and unconfessed sins stand registered in heaven and will not be blotted out until he complies with the directions given in the word of God: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." If Brother G has found another plan besides that given us by our Lord, it is not a safe way and will prove his ruin at lastThis other way is ruinous to the church, and ruinous to the prosperity and happiness of his family. He needs to soften his heart and to let tenderness, humility, and love into his soul. He needs to cultivate unselfish qualities. Brother and Sister G, you should cultivate qualities of mind which will make you pure, forgetful of self, and more interested in those with whom you are brought in contact. There

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is a vein of self-love and care for self which does not increase your happiness, but brings to you grief and sorrow. You have a conflict with yourself in which you alone can act a part. Both of you should control the tongue and keep back many things to which you give utterance. The first evil is in thinking wrong; then come the words which are wrong. But you leave undone the work of cultivating love, deference, and respect for each other. Be kindly considerate of each other's feelings, and seek to sacredly guard each other's happiness. You can do this only in the strength and name of Jesus.....If Brother G had received the light that the Lord sent him months ago and had frankly conversed with his wife, if both had broken their hard hearts before the Lord, how different would be their present state. They both slighted the words of reproof and entreaty of the Spirit of God, and did not reform their lives. But closing their eyes to the light God had sent them did not make one of their faults less grievous in the sight of God nor lessen their accountability. They have hated the reproof which the Lord in pitying tenderness gave them. Brother G has naturally a kind and tender heart, but it is crusted over with self-love, vanity, and evil surmising. His heart is not callous, but he lacks moral powerHe is a coward as soon as the necessity of self-denial and self-sacrifice is brought before him, for he loves himself. To control self, to put a watch upon his words, to acknowledge that he has done wrong or spoken wrongly, is a cross which he feels is too humiliating to lift; and yet if he is ever saved this cross must be lifted.  {4T 242.2}

     Brother and Sister G, both of you need to watch your words; for just as surely as there is not a sentinel placed over your thoughts and actions, you will discourage each other

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and make it a sure case that neither of you can be saved. Both of you need to guard against a hasty spirit, which prompts hasty words and actionsResentment, which is indulged because you think you have been misused, is the spirit of Satan and leads to great moral evil. When you are controlled by a hasty spirit you deprive your reason, for the time, of the power of regulating your words and your conduct, while you make yourselves responsible for all the evil consequences. That which is done in haste and anger is not excusable.”

 

Sins must not be covered over, but completely confessed in principle, and as far as possible, the wrong done, set as if it had not been.  We need to express that which is true confession and repentance, in terms of doing all we can to set the record and the influence straight, thereby proving that we have received complete forgiveness.  That is why we are told: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  Prov. 28:13

 

“The love of God is something more than a mere negation; it is a positive and active principle, a living spring, ever flowing to bless others. If the love of Christ dwells in us, we shall not only cherish no hatred toward our fellows, but we shall seek in every way to manifest love toward them.  {MB 58.1}

     Jesus said, "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." The sacrificial offerings expressed faith that through Christ the offerer had become a partaker of the mercy and love of God. But for one to express faith in God's pardoning love, while he himself indulged an unloving spirit, would be a mere farce.  {MB 58.2}

     When one who professes to serve God wrongs or injures a brother, he misrepresents the character of God to that brother, and the wrong must be confessed, he must acknowledge it to be sin, in order to be in harmony with GodOur brother may have done us a greater wrong than we have done him, but this does not lessen our responsibility. If when we come before God we remember that another has aught

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against us, we are to leave our gift of prayer, of thanksgiving, of freewill offering, and go to the brother with whom we are at variance, and in humility confess our own sin and ask to be forgiven.  {MB 58.3}

     If we have in any manner defrauded or injured our brother, we should make restitution. If we have unwittingly borne false witness, if we have misstated his words, if we have injured his influence in any way, we should go to the ones with whom we have conversed about him, and take back all our injurious misstatements.  {MB 59.1}

     If matters of difficulty between brethren were not laid open before others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, how much evil might be prevented! How many roots of bitterness whereby many are defiled would be destroyed, and how closely and tenderly might the followers of Christ be united in His love!  {MB 59.2}”   See page 68.

 

“Now God requires that you who have thus done the least injustice to another shall confess your fault, not only to the one you have injured, but to those who through your influence have been led to regard their brother in a false light, and to make of none effect the work God has given him to do. . . . By repentance and confession you can have pardon registered against your name; or you can resist the conviction of the Spirit of God, and during the rest of your life, work to make it appear that your wrong feelings and unjust conclusions could not be helpedBut there stands the action, there stands the evil committed, there stands the ruin of those in whose hearts you planted the root of bitterness. . . .  {SD 309.3}

     Whatever the character of your sin, confess itIf it is against God only, confess only to Him. If you have wronged or offended others, confess also to them, and the blessing of the Lord will rest upon you. In this way you die to self, and Christ is formed within. . . . Our consecration to God must be unreserved, our love ardent, our faith unwavering. Then the expressions of the lips will testify to the quickened intelligence of the mind and the deep movings of the Spirit of God upon the soul. ”

 

“ {2MCP 456.1}

     There is explicit instruction given concerning this matter. Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way or forced from those who have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of sin.”

 

“If Saul had had true repentancehe would have made public confession of his sin; but it was his chief anxiety to maintain his authority and retain the allegiance of the people. He desired the honor of Samuel's presence in order to strengthen his own influence with the nation.  {PP 631.4}”

 

“ The mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare for all who love Him will be peopled by those who are free from sin. But sins that are not confessed will never be forgiventhe name of him who thus rejects the grace of God will be blotted out of the book of life. The time is at hand when every secret thing shall be brought into judgment, and then there will be many confessions made that will astonish the world. The secrets of all hearts will be revealed. The confession of sin will be most publicThe sad part of it is that confession then made will be too late to benefit the wrongdoer or to save others from deception. It only testifies that his condemnation is just. . . . You may now close the book of your remembrance in order to escape confessing your sins, but when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, you cannot close them. The recording angel has testified that which is true. All that you have tried to conceal and forget is registered, and will be read to you when it is too late for wrongs to be righted. . . . Unless your sins are canceled, they will testify against you at that day.  {TMK 238.3}”

 

“Chap. 23 - Closeness in Deal

 

     Dear Brother H: I have been waiting for an opportunity to write you, but have been hindered. After my last vision I felt it to be my duty to speedily lay before you what the Lord was pleased to present to me. I was pointed back and shown that for years in the past, even before your marriage, there had been in you a disposition to overreach in trade. You possessed a spirit of acquisitiveness, a disposition for close dealing, which was detrimental to your spiritual advancement and greatly injured your influence. Your father's family

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viewed these matters from the world's standpoint rather than from the high, exalted standard quoted by our divine Lord: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." In this you have failed. To deal in any way closely and unjustly is displeasing to God. He will not pass over errors and sins in this direction without thorough confession and forsaking.  {2T 152.1}

     I was pointed far back and shown the loose manner in which you regarded these things. The Lord marked the transaction of carrying to market that load of animals that were so inferior that they could not be profitable to keep, therefore were prepared for food and carried to market to be bought and introduced into the human stomach. One of these was placed upon our table for some time to feed our large family in the days of our poverty. You were not the only one to be blamed in this. Others of your family were alike guilty. It matters not whether it was designed that they should be bought and eaten by us or by worldlings. It is the principle of the thing which displeased God; you transgressed His command. You did not love your neighbor as you did yourself, for you would be unwilling to have the same thing done to you. You would consider yourself insulted. An avaricious spirit led to this departure from Christian principles, and caused you to descend to a species of trading which advantaged yourself at others' disadvantage.  {2T 153.1}

     When the meat-eating question was presented before me five years ago, showing how little the people knew what they were eating for food in the shape of flesh meats, this transaction of yours was shown. The effect of eating the meat of these unhealthy animals is diseased blood, sickness, and fevers. Many instances of the kind were shown me as being acted over daily by worldlings. You, my dear brother, have not seen this wrong on your part as the Lord sees it. You have

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never felt that it was a great sin on your part. Many things of like character have taken place in your life, which you will find that the recording angel has faithfully chronicled, and which you will meet again, unless by repentance and confession you make these wrongs right.  {2T 153.2}

     I was bidden to wait and see. I was directed to speak plainly, give general principles, and leave you to make the application yourself. I was shown that God would not frequently point out the wrongs committed by His people, but would cause to be given in their hearing general principles, close, pointed truths, and all should be open to conviction to see, to feel, and understand whether or not they are condemned. You have not dealt closely and faithfully with your own soul. Said the angel: "I will prove him, I will test him, I will walk contrary unto him, until he acknowledges the hand of God in thus dealing with him."  {2T 154.1}

     I saw that while in ----- those connected with your family did not move right. You manifested a close spirit, savoring of overreaching and dishonesty. You could have had no influence for good in that place until you had redeemed the past by an entire change of conduct in dealing with your fellow men. Your light was darkness to the people, and your influence while there was a great detriment to the cause of present truthYou brought reproach upon the truth, and your close dealing caused your name to be a byword among the people. You frequently fell below the standard of many worldlings in regard to honorable dealing. Elder I can do no good in -----. His words are as water spilled upon the ground, for the reason that he was connected with you and took part in this close trading. In many respects he became like a worldling in business transactions. He was close and was fast becoming selfish. His course in many things was calculated to destroy his influence and was not becoming a minister of

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Christ. Said the angel in the vision given at Rochester, New York, in 1866: "My hand shall bring adversity. He may gather, but I will scatter until he redeems the past and makes clean work for eternity."Every true Christian should feel above condescending to the low, bartering, trading spirit of worldlings.  {2T 154.2}

     You are not a miser; you love to be benevolent, free, open-hearted, and openhanded; but that which is wrong in you is the spirit mentioned in this letter, of not loving your neighbor as yourself; it is the neglect of seeing your wrongs and making them right when the clear, forcible light of truth has told you too plainly your duty. You are a lover of hospitality, and God will not give you over to be deceived by the great deceiver of mankind, but will come directly to you and show you where you err that you may retrace your stepsHe now calls upon you to redeem the past, and to come up upon a higher plane of action, and let your life record be unspotted with avarice or selfish love of gain.  {2T 155.1}

     Your judgment in worldly things will become foolishness unless you dedicate all to God. You and your wife are not devotional. Your spirituality is not what God would have it to be. Paralysis seems to be upon you; yet you are both capable of exerting a strong influence for God and for His truth, if you adorn your profession with well-ordered lives and godly conversation. You frequently get in too great a hurry, and then become impatient and fretful, and order your help in a hurried manner. This is detrimental to your spiritual advancement.  {2T 155.2}

     Time is short, and you have no time to delay the preparation of heart necessary to labor earnestly and faithfully for your own soul, and for the salvation of your friends and neighbors, and all who come under your influence. Ever aim to so live in the light that your influence can be sanctifying upon those with whom you are associated in a business

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capacity or in common intercourse. There is fullness in Jesus. You can obtain strength from Him which will qualify you to walk even as He walked, but there must be no separation of affections from Him. He requires the entire man, the soul, body, and spirit. When you do all on your part which He requires, He will work for you, and bless and strengthen you by His rich grace.

 

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  {2T 155.3}

 

Chap. 24 - Oppressing the Hireling

 

     Dear Brother J: A great solemnity has rested upon my mind since the vision given Friday evening, June 12, 1868. I was shown that you do not know yourself. You have not felt reconciled to the testimony given in your case and have not made thorough work to reform. I was referred to Isaiah: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" If you do these things, the blessings promised will be given.  {2T 156.1}

     You may raise the inquiry, "Wherefore have we fasted," "and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?" God has given reasons why your prayers were not answered. You have thought that you had found reasons in others and have charged the fault upon them. But I saw that there are sufficient reasons in yourself. You have a work to do to set your own heart in order. You should realize that the work must begin with yourself. You have oppressed the destitute and have benefited yourself by taking advantage of their necessities. In regard

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to means, you nave been close and dealt unjustly. You have not possessed that kind, noble, and generous spirit which should ever characterize the life of a follower of Christ. You have oppressed the hireling in her wages. You saw a poorly clad, hard-working person who you knew was conscientious and God-fearing; yet you took advantage of her because you could do so. I saw that the neglect of seeing and understanding her wants, and the small wages paid her, are all written in heaven as done to Jesus in the person of one of His saints. As you have done this unto the least of Christ's disciples, you have done it unto Him. Heaven has regarded all your closeness to those who have served in your house, and it will stand faithfully chronicled against you unless it is repented of and restitution made. One wrong move does more harm than can be undone in years; if the wrongdoer could see the extent of the evil, it would wring from his soul cries of anguish. You are selfish in regard to means. In the case of Brother K the angel of God pointed to you and said: "Inasmuch as ye have done this to one of Christ's disciples, ye have done it to Jesus in His person."  {2T 156.2}

     The cases I have mentioned are not the only ones. I would you could see these things as Heaven has opened them before me. There is a sad deception upon minds. It is the religion of Christ that you need. He pleased not Himself, but lived to benefit others. You have a work to do, and should lose no time in humbling your heart before God, and by humble confessions remove the blots from your Christian character. Then can you engage in the solemn work of laboring for the salvation of others without making so many mistakes.  {2T 157.1}

     What has your time amounted to, spent as it has been spent while engaged in a work which God did not set you about? Impressions have been made on minds, and experiences gained, which it will require much labor for them to efface.

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Souls will wander in darkness, perplexity, and unbelief, and some will never recoverWith fasting and earnest prayer, with deep heart searching, stern self-examination, lay bare the soul; let no act escape your critical examination. Then, with self dead and your life hid with Christ in God, offer your humble petitions. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear you. If He had heard your prayers, you would have been exalted. Satan has stood by, prepared to make the most of the advantage he has gained.  {2T 157.2}

     Oh, how important it is that faithfulness in little things characterize our lives, that true integrity mark all our course of action, and that we ever bear in mind that angels of God are taking cognizance of every act! That which we mete to others shall be meted to us again. A fearfulness should ever attend you lest you should deal unjustly, selfishly. By sickness and adversity the Lord will remove from us much more than we obtain by grinding the face of the poor. A just God truly estimates all our motives and actions.  {2T 158.1}”

 

“External forms, even though they be such as God has commanded, are of no value unless accompanied by an inward work of cleansing. Outward works alone will never make a man perfect before God. Nothing but repentance and faith can make an impure heart pure.  {YI, July 31, 1902 par. 6}

      In the great day of judgment how will transgressors appear in their own sight as they are permitted to see the record of their life as they have chosen to make it, regardless of the law which through eternity will govern the universe? During their lifetime they utterly refused to be made better. The efforts put forth in their behalf were in vain. They knew the claims of God, but they refused to comply with the conditions laid down in his word. By their own choice they united with the enemy. The powers given them to use in God's service they used in the service of self. They made self their god, refusing to submit to any other control. They arrayed themselves on the side of the power of darkness, and encouraged others to do the same.  {YI, July 31, 1902 par. 7}

     As they stand before the bar of God, this opens before them. A flash of light will come to all lost souls. Scene after scene will rise before them. They will see the power of the mystery of godliness, which in this life they despised and hated. They will see what they might have become through the power of Christ. They will understand the robbery they have practised toward God. They will see the good they might have done but did not do.  {YI, July 31, 1902 par. 8}

     The picture can not be changed. Their cases are forever decided. They realized that they must perish with the one whose ways and works they have chosen, and in terror they cry to the rocks and mountains, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the face of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"                                            Mrs. E. G. White.  {YI, July 31, 1902 par. 9}”

 

“Brother Rupert has a work of confession. I told him two years ago when at Potterville, and he has heard the same again and again from my lips, but Brother Smith has been his stumbling block and the stumbling block of many others.--Letter 73, 1890, p. 2. (To Brother Uriah Smith, Nov. 25, 1890.)  {3MR 200.3}

     I received two important letters from Elder Olsen and Leroy Nicola, with a most thorough confession of the part he acted in Minneapolis. It is thorough, and I praise the Lord for the victory he has gained over the enemy

 

 

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who has held him four years from coming into the light. Oh, how hard it is to cure rebellion! How strong the deceiving power of Satan! . . .  {3MR 200.4}”

 

     “Sunday, Elder Smith came to me, and we had a lengthy talk; I was encouraged to see that he did not brace against me, and I withheld nothing from him as to how I regarded his position and how hard he had made my work. He felt deeply over this. Tuesday he called on me again and asked me to attend a meeting which should be composed of a select few. This meeting was held on Wednesday. Brother Smith read the matter I had written to him, and he made a straightforward confession to Professor Bell who was present, of the manner in which he had treated him. Then he commenced with Minneapolis, and made his confession. He had fallen on the Rock and was broken. I cannot describe to you my joy. Brother Rupert then confessed quite fully, and this was a very solemn meeting indeed. I knew the Lord was in our midst. As we separated, Brother Smith took my hand and said, "Sister White, will you forgive me for all the trouble and distress that I have caused you? I assure you this is the last time if the Lord will pardon me. I will not repeat the history of the past three years." Bless the Lord, O my soul! Bless His holy name! My return from Washington, D. C., to Battle Creek was indeed the Lord's doing, and as soon as I reached home, the affliction left my heart and has not returned since.--Ms 3, 1891, pp. 2, 3. (Biographical, Jan. 9, 1891.) ”

 

     “Brother Will Smith is a man that was converted last year. He was in the truth years ago, but for some reason gave it up, and the devil took

 

 

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possession of him, and he became a desperado. His wife kept the Sabbath. He is a tall, well developed, powerfully built man. He went into all sorts of lawlessness, stealing, and tried to kill, but his victim did not come in just when he was prepared to kill him. Last year at Fresno under the labors of Elder [E.P.] Daniels he was powerfully wrought upon, and he repented with another backslider who had gone with him in all his wickedness. Then commenced the work of confession and restitution. One man they went to see and met him in the road and down they went in the very dust and dirt on their knees, weeping and confessing, and the infidel wept like a child. "Now," said they, "We want you to forgive us, and we do not ask you to arrest us for stealing your sheep, but we ask pardon; we will pay every cent of the cost of the sheep."  {6MR 150.3}

     The man who had been wronged said, "What has wrought upon you to make this confession?" Said they, "We have been attending the campmeeting, and the spirit and power of God and the religion of Jesus Christ have taken hold upon us." "Well," said the man, "If the work done there is of this order I must go there," and he did go, and he did tremble under the sharp arrows of God. The influence of these confessions made to many others who have been wronged, is as far reaching as eternity. This man in his wickedness had nothing, but since his conversion the Lord has blessed him greatly with means, and he is using it in making restitution and in advancing the cause of truth. He is free, generous to a fault, he is humble as a child, sitting at the feet of Jesus, ready and willing to do anything. He takes 150 Signs and distributes. He has done more missionary work alone the past year than the whole Fresno Church together.--Letter 47, 1888, pp. 2-4. (To "Dear Brethren," circa March, 1888.) ”

 

     “As the erring one accepts the reproof offered in the love of Christ, and acknowledges his wrong, asking forgiveness from God and from his brother, the sunshine of heaven fills his heart. The controversy is ended; friendship and confidence are restored. The oil of love removes the soreness caused by the wrong; the Spirit of God binds heart to heart; and there is music in heaven over the union brought about.  {GW 499.4}

     As those thus united in Christian fellowship offer prayer to God, and pledge themselves to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God, great blessing comes to them. If they have wronged others, they continue the work of repentance, confession, and restitution, fully set to do good to one another. This is the fulfilling of the law of Christ.  {GW 500.1}”

 

     “Some have engaged in canvassing for other books than those bearing on present truth. Because they professed to be Christians, they were trusted. Their claim to be Seventh-day Adventists led their employers to put confidence in them, and it was not thought necessary to place them under restrictions. Some had a very low standard of righteousness and honesty, and they took advantage of this confidence. They squandered the money taken for books, money that belonged to their employers. They made false statements; and some even committed theft, forgery, and robbery.

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Several of those who did this thought it a good opportunity, and laughed with one another over the matter. But every one of these dishonest transactions is registered in the books of heaven, and there it will remain until the Judgment, unless by confession, repentance, and restitution, the guilty one shall ask God to write pardon against his name.  {MC 62.3}”

 

     “We felt burdened for those who had been bearing

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the message of truth to others, lest they should close their hearts to some of the precious rays of heaven's light that God has sent them. Jesus rejoiced when His followers received His messages of truth. . . . {3SM 180.3}

     On Sabbath afternoon, many hearts were touched, and many souls were fed on the bread that cometh down from heaven. After the discourse we enjoyed a precious social meeting. The Lord came very near, and convicted souls of their great need of His grace and love. We felt the necessity of presenting Christ as a Saviour who was not afar off, but nigh at hand. When the Spirit of God begins to work upon the hearts of men, the fruit is seen in confession of sin and restitution for wrongs. All through the meetings, as the people sought to draw nearer to God, they brought forth works meet for repentance by confessing one to another where they had wronged each other by word or act. . . .  {3SM 181.1}

     There were many, even among the ministers, who saw the truth as it is in Jesus in a light in which they had never before reviewed it. They saw the Saviour as a sin-pardoning Saviour, and the truth as the sanctifier of the soul. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." . . .  {3SM 181.2}”

 

     “If we would offer acceptable prayer, there is a work to be done in confessing our sins to one another. If I have sinned against my neighbor in word or action I should make confession to him. If he has wronged me he should confess to me. So far as is possible the one who has wronged another is to make restitution. Then in contrition he is to confess the sin to God, whose law has been transgressed. In sinning against our brother, we sin against God, and we must seek pardon from Him. Whatever our sin, if we but repent and believe in the atoning blood of Christ we shall be pardoned. . . . We have only one channel of approach to God. Our prayers can come to Him through one name only --that of the Lord Jesus, our advocate.  {TMK 260.4}”

 

    “Repentance, confession, and restitution are all required. But these cannot atone for the sin, for God has been wronged in the person of His saints. The Lord Jesus alone is able to atone for sin, by the application of His blood, shed for the guilt of the sinner. His blood cleanses from all sin.--Manuscript 47, April 2, 1902, "Lessons From the Eighteenth of Matthew."  {UL 106.6}”

 

     “God requires repentance and confession, and restitution will always follow genuine repentance. If you have prevaricated, if you have borne false witness, if you have misjudged and misinterpreted your brother, if you have misstated his words, ridiculed him, if you have injured his influence in any way, go right to the persons with whom you have conversed about him, with whom you have united in this work, and take all your injurious misstatements backConfess the wrong that you have done your brother; for your sin will stand charged against you in the books of record until you do all that lies in your power to correct the evil your words have wrought. When you have done all that God requires of you, pardon will be written against your name.  {RH, May 28, 1889 par. 13}”

 

     “{PH096 71.1}

     Now you have urged upon others the duty to confession, have you made confession of the wrong that you have done to the brethren? Have you told them of your errors? Have you told them of your schemes.....”

 

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds."  {AA 554.2}

     We are authorized to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ while living in transgression of God's law. There exist in these last days evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church; and the teachings of the apostle John on these points should be carefully heeded. "You must have charity," is the cry heard everywhere,

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especially from those who profess sanctification. But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sinWhile we are to love the souls for whom Christ died, we are to make no compromise with evil.We are not to unite with the rebellious and call this charity. God requires His people in this age of the world to stand for the right as unflinchingly as did John in opposition to soul-destroying errors.  {AA 554.3}

     The apostle teaches that while we should manifest Christian courtesy we are authorized to deal in plain terms with sin and sinners; that this is not inconsistent with true charity. "Whosoever committeth sin," he writes, "transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him."  {AA 555.1}

     As a witness for Christ, John entered into no controversy, no wearisome contention. He declared what he knew, what he had seen and heard. He had been intimately associated with Christ, had listened to His teachings, had witnessed His mighty miracles. Few could see the beauties of Christ's character as John saw them. For him the darkness had passed away; on him the true light was shining. His testimony in regard to the Saviour's life and death was clear and forcible. Out of the abundance of a heart overflowing with love for the Saviour he spoke; and no power could stay his words.  {AA 555.2}”

 

“The love of God will never lead to the belittling of sin; it will never cover or excuse an unconfessed wrong. . . . It has to do with all our acts and thoughts and feelings. It follows us, and reaches every secret spring of action. By indulgence in sin, men are led to lightly regard the law of God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow men, and flatter themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity.But His law is the great standard of right, and with it every act of life must be compared in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead to purity of lifeAll excuses for sin are vainWho can plead for the sinner when God testifies against him?  {CC 120.5}”

 

“The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin. . . .  {CC 302.2}

     Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution. . . .  {CC 302.3}”

 

“"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." Many a sin is left unconfessed, to be confronted in the day of final accountsbetter far to see your sins now, to confess them, and put them away, while the atoning Sacrifice pleads in your behalfDo not dislike to learn the will of God on this subjectThe health of your soul, the unity of your brethren, may depend upon the course you pursue in these things. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, "casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."  {FE 239.1}

     It is a lamentable fact that the erring heart is unwilling to be criticised, or to subject itself to humiliation by the

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confession of sinSome see their faults, but thinking confession will detract from their dignity, they excuse their wrong, and shield themselves from the discipline that confession would give to the soul. The thought of their manifest error will remain to embitter their enjoyments and embarrass their movements; for in passing out of the path of confession, they fail to be faithful examples to the people. They see the errors of others; but how can they have courage to give the advice, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed," when they have failed to follow this instruction in their own lives? How much will ministers or people learn of a truth which they thrust aside, and forget if possible, because it is not agreeable; because it does not flatter their pride, but reproves and pains?Ministers and people, if saved at all, must be saved day by day, hour by hour. They must hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ, the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Church members,-- those placed in positions of trust,-- must be baptized with the Spirit of God, or they will not be qualified for the positions they accept.  {FE 239.2}

     A man may have a knowledge of the Scriptures which will not make him wise unto salvation, although he may be able to master his opponents in public controversy. If he does not have a yearning of soul after God; if he does not search his own heart as with a lighted candle, fearing that any wrong should lurk there; if he is not possessed with a desire to answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples may be oneas He is one with the Father, that the world may believe that Jesus is the Christ,-- he flatters himself in vain that he is a Christian. His knowledge, begun in ambition, is carried forward in pride; but his soul is destitute of the divine love, the gentleness and meekness of Christ. He is not a wise man in the sight of God. He may have wisdom to overcome an opponent; but wise unto salvation, he cannot possibly be without the agency of the Holy Spirit. And the "fruit of the

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Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Neither talent, eloquence, nor selfish study of the Scriptures, will produce love to God or conformity to the image of ChristNothing but divine power can regenerate the human heart and character, and imbue the soul with the love of Christ, which will ever manifest itself in love to those for whom He died.--Review and Herald, Nov. 28, 1893.  {FE 240.1}”

 

See T5. 646

 

“Here is given a lesson for all Christ's followers. The gospel makes no compromise with evil. It cannot excuse sin. Secret sins are to be confessed in secret to God; but, for open sin, open confession isrequired. The reproach of the disciple's sin is cast upon Christ. It causes Satan to triumph, and wavering souls to stumble. By giving proof of repentance, the disciple, so far as lies in his power, is to remove this reproach.  {DA 811.2}”