Hidden 1888 Treasures –The Key of Knowledge – Part 2 –“What Must I do to be Saved”

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Dear Reader, 

We will begin this study with more Ellen White statements defining the key of knowledge. Then we will pursue an all important study on what we must do to be saved.


  MR No. 895 - Minneapolis General Conference and its Aftermath


     The Sinfulness of an Unloving Spirit--I never can express with pen or voice the work that I discerned was laid out before me on that occasion when I was beside my dying husband. I have not lost the deep views of my work, as I sat by the bed of my husband with his dying hand in mine. . . . {11MR 227.1}


     I have pledged myself by a solemn vow to God that wherever this spirit of contempt and unkindness and want of love should exist, I would lay it out in clear lines before my brethren, show them the sinfulness of their course, and with decided testimony turn the current if possible.--Ms. 21, 1888, pp. 3, 6. ("Distressing Experiences of 1888," probably written at Minneapolis.) {11MR 227.2}


     The Spiritual Blindness of Many at Minneapolis--There was, I knew, a remarkable blindness upon the minds of many [at Minneapolis], so that they did not discern where the Spirit of God was and what constituted true Christian experience. And to consider that these were the ones who had the guardianship of the flock of God was painful--the destitution of true faith, the hands hung down because not lifted up in sincere prayer! Some felt no need of prayer. Their own judgment, they felt, was sufficient, and they had no sense that the enemy of all good was guiding their judgment. . . . -228- {11MR 227.3}


     The Lord was testing and proving His people who had had great light whether they would walk in it or turn from it under temptation, for but few know what manner of spirit they are of until circumstances shall be of a character to test the spirit which prompts to action. In many the natural heart is a controlling power, and yet they do not suppose that pride and prejudice are entertained as cherished guests, and work in words and actions against light and truth. {11MR 228.1}


     Our brethren who have occupied leading positions in the work and the cause of God should have been so closely connected with the Source of all light that they would not call light darkness and darkness light. They had the example of those before them who had claimed to believe the truth, but who, when mercifully reproved for sin and errors, gave loose rein to their own natural temperament and opposed the work of the Spirit of the Lord. They had seen these go farther and farther in darkness until they became apostates to the truth. And they do not discern that they are in the greatest peril, if, notwithstanding the course and marked example of others, they blindly stumble into the same path of doubt, unbelief, and rejection of light sent of God, because it does not coincide with their ideas.--Ms. 24, 1888. ("Looking Back at Minneapolis," cir. Nov. or Dec., 1888.) {11MR 228.2}


     A Reformation Needed After the 1888 General Conference--The Lord was working [at Minneapolis] and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as heretofore. I had felt that when a call came to me, "We want you at our meeting, Sister White; your influence is needed," I should not consult my choice or my feelings, but should arise by faith and try to act my part and leave the Lord to do the work that was essential to be done. Now a greater burden falls upon me. From this time I must look alone to God, for I dare not rely upon the wisdom of my brethren. I see they do not always take God for their Counselor, but look in a large degree to the men they have set before them in the place of God. . . . {11MR 228.3}


     I then felt my spirit stirred within me, and I bore a very plain testimony to these brethren. I told them a little of how matters had been carried at Minneapolis and stated the position I had taken, that pharisaism had been at work leavening the camp here at Battle Creek, and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected, but the Lord had given me a message and with pen and voice I would work until this leaven was expelled and a new leaven was introduced, which was the grace of Christ. {11MR 229.1}


 I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry. . . . {11MR 229.2}


Ron’s Commentary: The above statement is commented on by SDA leaders as being the ONLY statement Ellen White made that expressed a loss of confidence in the church leaders. However, within this same document (paragraph 6) we find the following statement:


     A Reformation Needed After the 1888 General Conference--The Lord was working [at Minneapolis] and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as heretofore. End comment.


     I stated that the course that had been pursued at Minneapolis was cruelty to the Spirit of God; and those who went all through that meeting and left with the same spirit with which they came to the meeting, and were carrying on the same line of work they did at that meeting and since they -230-


had come from it, would--unless they were changed in spirit and confessed their mistakes--go into greater deceptions. They would stumble and know not at what they were stumbling. I begged them to stop just where they were. But the position of Elder A and Elder B influenced them to make no change, but stand where they did. No confession was made. The blessed meeting closed. Many were strengthened, but doubt and darkness enveloped some closer than before. . . . {11MR 229.3}


     If my brethren had sensed their own weakness, their own inability, and had never lost sight of this, they would have humbled their hearts before God, confessed their errors, and come into light and freedom. . . . {11MR 230.1}


     Many are ignorant of the deception which palms off falsehood for truth. They entertain ideas that men may be saved by their own merit. A false religion has come in among us, a legal religion. We will not keep silent. The church must be roused. We will secure halls in the cities and put out handbills and the people shall be enlightened. . . . {11MR 230.2}


     We are years behind, and yet men in responsible positions will in their blindness keep the key of knowledge, refusing to enter themselves and hindering those who would enter. . . . {11MR 230.3}


     A difference in the application of some few scriptural passages makes men forget their religious principles. Elements become banded together, exciting one another through the human passions to withstand in a harsh, denunciatory manner everything that does not meet their ideas. This is not Christian, but is of another spirit. And Satan is doing his utmost to have those who believe present truth deceived on this point, for he has laid his snare to overcome them, that those who have accepted unpopular truth, who have had great light and great privileges, shall have the spirit that will pervade the world. Even if it is in a less degree, yet it is the same principle, which, when it has a controlling power over minds, leads to certain results. There is pride of opinion, a stubbornness that shuts the soul away from good and from God.--Ms. 30, 1889, ("Experience Following the Minneapolis Conference," late June, 1889.) {11MR 230.4}


     Need for Heavenly Wisdom in Combating Error--We see more and greater need of close communion with God and greater need of unity. Let us devote much time to seeking for heavenly wisdom. Let us be much with God in prayer. We want Bible evidence for every point we advance. We do not want to tide over points as Elder Canright has done with assertions. {11MR 231.1}


     What we want in every conflict is not words to condemn, but the sword of the Spirit. We want the truth as it is in Jesus. We want to be filled with all the fullness of God and have the meekness and lowliness of Christ. {11MR 231.2}


     We have a wily foe who will seize your sword and turn it against you, unless you know how to use it skillfully. But let none feel that we know all the truth the Bible proclaims.--Letter 13, 1887, p. 4. (To G. I. Butler and Uriah Smith, April 5, 1887.) {11MR 231.3}


     Righteousness by Faith Needed at the 1889 Camp Meetings--I think that Elder A. T. Jones should attend our large camp meetings and give to our people, and to outsiders as well, the precious subject of faith and the righteousness of Christ. There is a flood of light in this subject, and if he goes to the canvassers' meetings only, how can the light come before the largest number? You cannot expect that any of the canvassers can present this matter in the light in which he presents it. I think that it is robbing the churches of the light and the message for the present time for him not to attend the camp meetings. Let the outsiders understand that we preach the gospel as well as the law.--Letter 1, 1889, p. 6. (To W. C. White, April 7, 1889.) {11MR 231.4}


Ellen White's Work at the Ottawa, Kansas, Camp Meeting--I have good news to report this morning. There has been a break in the meeting. Praise the Lord. He is at work for His people. We have felt surely that the enemy of Christ and all righteousness was upon the ground. There were some ministers from Iowa who came armed and equipped to leaven the camp with the very same spirit that was so prominent in Minneapolis. . . . {11MR 232.1}


     Wednesday I attended the early morning meeting and bore a decided testimony and entreated all present not to act over Minneapolis, and not to be like those Paul describes in Hebrews 4:2. I then entreated them to humble their hearts before God and put away their sins by repentance and confession and receive the messages God sends them through His delegated servants. . . . {11MR 232.2}


     In the night season, one of God's messengers stood by my side and asked: {11MR 232.3}


     "Did not I raise you up when you were sick nigh unto death in Healdsburg? Did not I put My Spirit upon you and sustain you to bear your testimony in Oakland? Did not I your Lord strengthen you to come the long journey to this place? Have I not kept your mind in peace amid the strife and confusion of tongues, and now I have a work for you to do in this place. My everlasting arms are beneath you. I have given you a message to bear. I will show you many things." -233- {11MR 232.4}


     I was conducted to the house where our brethren made their homes, and there was much conversation and excitement of feelings and some smart, and as they supposed sharp, witty remarks. The servants whom the Lord sent were caricatured, ridiculed, and placed in a ridiculous light. The comment of words passed upon me and the work that God had given me to do was anything but flattering. Willie White's name was handled freely and he was ridiculed and denounced, also the names of Elders Jones and Waggoner. {11MR 233.1}


     Voices that I was surprised to hear were joining this rebellion and those with whom I had labored in past years without any evidence, or any sure knowledge of any change in Sister White, were hard, bold and decided in denouncing her. And of all those so free and forward with their cruel words, not one had come to me and inquired if these reports and their suppositions were true. I was represented as telling things untrue, when I made the statement that not a word of conversation had passed between me and Brethren Jones and Waggoner nor my son Willie upon the law in Galatians. If they had been as frank with me as they were in talking with one another against me, I could have made everything plain to them in this matter. I repeated this several times, because I saw they were determined not to take my testimony. They thought we all came to the conference with a perfect understanding and an agreement to make a stand on the law in Galatians. {11MR 233.2}


     After hearing what I did my heart sank within me. I had never pictured before my mind what dependence we might place in those who claim to be friends, when the spirit of Satan finds entrance to their hearts. I thought of the future crisis, and feelings that I can never put into words for a little time overcame me. [Mark 13:9, 12, 13 quoted.] {11MR 233.3}-234-


     All this passed through my mind like a flash of lightning and I was sensible how little trust or dependence could be put in the friendship of men, when human thoughts and human passions bear sway. Just as sure as the enemy is permitted to bear sway, then we may expect anything. Human friendship, bonds, and ties of relationship are severed, and why? Because there is a difference of opinion in interpretation of the Scriptures. It is the same spirit which condemned the Lord of life and glory. . . . {11MR 234.1}


     And what created all this stirring up of human passions which was bitterness of spirit, because some of their brethren had ventured to entertain some ideas contrary to the ideas that some others of their brethren had entertained, which were thought from their understanding to be inroads upon ancient doctrines? {11MR 234.2}


     The guide who accompanied me gave me the information of the spiritual standing before God of these men who were passing judgment upon their brethren. They were not keeping their own souls in the love of God. Had they been growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they would have distinguished light from darkness, and truth from error. {11MR 234.3}


     I had declared my intention of leaving the meeting as soon as the Sabbath should close, but when I was assured I had a work to do to stand at my post, that God had given me a message to bear in His name, and if even I had foreseen the consequences, I could not be clear before God and have my peace. My work must not cease here, for my testimony of this character must continue as God should direct until these wrongs were expelled from the churches. Unless the faithful testimonies are continued to be repeated in the ears of the people of God, the mold that has been left upon the work would not be removed. {11MR 234.4} -235-  


     There have been, I was informed, misunderstanding not only of the testimonies, but of the Bible itself. Men have exalted themselves and esteemed themselves too highly, which leads to the denouncing of others and passing judgment upon their brethren. Envy, jealousy, evil speaking, evil surmising, judging one another, has been considered a special gift given of God in discernment when it savors more of the spirit of the great accuser, who accused the brethren before God day and night. There has been a spirit of pharisaism, a hard, unsympathetic spirit toward the erring, a withdrawing from some and leaving them in discouragement, which is leaving the lost sheep to perish in the wilderness. There has been a placing of men where God alone should be.--Letter 14, 1889. pp. 4-6. (To Dear Children of the Household, May 12, 1889.) {11MR 235.1}


     Ellen White's Concerns While at Ottawa, Kansas--If I can possibly get off from the appointment to the Scandinavians I will do it and return home and see what you are all about. I shall be glad to have No. 33 [NOW TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH, VOL. V. PP. 477-754.] out, for the people need it. I am up writing at three o'clock in the morning. There are many questions to be considered and settled. It is understood that you are going to the Kansas meeting. I cannot lay out the matter clearly in my mind. {11MR 235.2}


     I have had some thoughts like this about Iowa: [J. H.] Morrison and [Henry] Nicola have run the conference until there is but little life and soul in it. Now whether Elder [A. T.] Jones and I ought not to attend that conference and bring to the poor sheep and lambs food, is the question. -236- {11MR 235.3}


     I never saw the condition of things as since coming here. The people seemed to be in a maze. They could not seem to get hold of the subjects presented until last Thursday; then there was a break, and since that time the meetings have increased steadily in interest and the people have been greatly benefited. Brother [R. M.] Kilgore is a free man. He no longer sees men as trees walking. His trumpet will give a certain sound. He is a converted man. {11MR 236.1}


     Brother Tait is another who has been greatly blessed and will give the trumpet a certain sound. Brother [J. F.] Ballenger has been in great distress of mind, but he is now free and has a new conversion. It does my soul good to see these old men and young men drinking in of the Spirit of God and planting their feet on solid Rock. {11MR 236.2}


     I have so desired that Frank [Belden] and yourself would share in the benefits of this meeting, for if you both act a part in the work of God, then you both need to be supplied with divine grace, that your works shall be wrought in God. I see the great need of less of self and more--a great deal more--of Jesus, and young and old have been getting hold from above and becoming acquainted with faith and the righteousness of Christ. {11MR 236.3}


     Well, I must write no more now. {11MR 236.4}


     [Later:] We want the Testimony out as soon as possible. I think I shall not wait here any longer, although they want me to do so. As far as anyone to consult with is concerned, I am alone. I scarcely see Fannie [Bolton]; only in meeting and a few moments in the evening. I do not know what she is doing, except to attend the meetings, which I am confident means -237-


to her very much. I shall not have her travel with me. This Kansas meeting is somehow to me inexplainable [unexplainable]. I cannot understand it--that four weeks' work should be put in in one place, and then other places where my testimony is much needed be passed by. {11MR 236.5}


     I have been really worried over this matter of Iowa--whether I ought not to go there, and Elder Jones go, and leave some other places. I should have to give up Pennsylvania. Had I thought you would not have attended this meeting at all, I should have made calculations accordingly. Now I do not know what to do. I verily believe it was the work of the enemy that you have not been here all through this meeting. You might have waited here for news from Emma if she was worse, and then matters might have shaped themselves so that you would have had the benefits of this meeting, which I knew you needed. I am sorry, so sorry; but I must close.--Letter 14a, 1889, pp. 1, 2. (To J. Edson White, cir. April 7, 1889.) {11MR 237.1}


     The Spirit of Picking Flaws--Now, brethren, I want to tell you, when the Spirit of God comes into our midst, it will strike the minds that are ready to receive it. But if their minds are not open to receive it, they are all ready to pass judgment upon the messenger and the words spoken. In the place of coming to God and asking Him to give them a new heart and a new mind, that the transforming influence of the grace of God shall be upon them, they commence to find fault and pick flaws. It does not strike them, and it must harmonize with their ideas and they will stand right there until these things are culled out of the way, and they place themselves right there to judge. This is the way it was at Minneapolis.


Ron’s Commentary: Never, ever, confuse sighing and crying for all the abominations, Ezekiel 9:4, be confused with faultfinding and picking at flaws. Gross apostasy is never to be categorized as mere minor faults and flaws. End comment.

 -238- {11MR 237.2}


     It is because I know that the very same spirit is here, and that we should not give place to it for a moment that I say these things. I know that while the Spirit of God will make impressions upon human minds, the enemy will come in and make the most of any little thing that it is possible to make and the leaven will begin to work because the devil wants it so. Now brethren and sisters I want to place you on your guard. I want to ask you if you are satisfied with your coldness, your unbelief, your backslidings. Have you not had enough of it? If not, the devil will give you all you desire. We don't want any more. {11MR 238.1}


     We see that we are in no better condition than the Jewish people. God gave them clear light that they might stand as His holy, peculiar people. He had given them the prophets, and then Christ Himself came in order that He might present the truth to them. But when His own nation rejected Him, He turned away. He told them, "Ye have ears, but ye hear not, eyes have ye but ye see not." (cf. Jer. 5:21.) Then they inquired, "Are we blind also?" Christ said, "If ye were blind no sin would be attached, but it is because light has come and ye choose darkness rather than light." (See John 9:41.) Was it a real darkness? No, it was not. The light of truth had shone upon them, but Satan was throwing his blinder before their eyes, and they received it not. {11MR 238.2}


     Now, Brethren, there is a blessing here for you. You may think it strange that I speak to you about these things, but it is my duty. We never want this thing acted over again on God's earth; and if God gives me strength I will lift up a standard against the enemy. I have a work to do, and if God gives me strength I will do it. I want you to inquire, How is it with my soul? Will you take the light, or will you stand complaining? -239- {11MR 238.3}


     It is time we should know where we are. We should have a chance to pray and talk and seek God. What we want is the Lord, and we don't want anything else. But we have it here in these words of Zechariah. Joshua stood before the Lord, and Satan stood there at his right hand to resist him. "The Lord rebuke thee," He said, "is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zechariah 3:2). {11MR 239.1}


     Now here are the people of God and God wants you to be getting ready for the great day of salvation, that you may be getting others ready. He wants you to have a fitting-up, that you may have a message for the people that will cut its way through the fleshy heart, and that you may go crying through the porch and the altar, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach" (Joel 2:17). Now open your ears to the truth you have had and put away your doubts, unbelief, and Christless surmisings. {11MR 239.2}


     God wants you to come and drink of the clear waters of the streams of Lebanon, and when you have drunk yourselves you will want to call others to drink. Convert after convert is presented to me who does not know what it is to have faith in Christ. It seems they are ready to die; there is no light in them; they are dying for want of food. {11MR 239.3}


     I went to a meeting where I could stay only three days, and in that time I spoke to them seven times. They begged me to stay longer; they seemed starved, and they would get up and talk of how they wanted this truth and this light, but the devil was ready to bring in something to shut out the light, and many are ready to have it so. They don't know what the pure atmosphere is, but may the Lord help us that the clear light of His glory may surround us. May God help us to stand on vantage ground before the -240-


enemy that we shall have our minds broken off from things below and get hold from above. {11MR 239.4}


     Christ, when talking to the people of His time, told them that they had blinded their eyes and closed their ears lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and be converted and He should save them. (Matthew 13:15.) Light had been given them, but they would not receive it. Darkness was upon them, and they would come and pick the little flaws, and draw the minds of the people away from the solemn truth that was for them. Now, how will it be with us? We don't want to kill ourselves here laboring for you, but will you labor for yourselves? We want to know whether we will have the rich blessing of the Lord resting upon us, and we realize that He sheds His rich light and glory upon us. This is my prayer.--Ms. 2, 1889, pp. 2-4. ("Picking Flaws," May 12, 1889.) {11MR 240.1}


     The Need for Humility--Brethren and sisters, just as surely as we begin to look earnestly to Jesus and uncover our souls to Him, we shall go down deep into the valley of humiliation; and just so surely as we go down, we shall rise up again. The more humbly we live before God, the nearer we will come to Him, and the more distinct will be our view of Jesus Christ and His matchless light. {11MR 240.2}


     "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory" (1 Cor. 3:18). Now you see how important it is that we are beholding this. The enemy has come in and his dark shadow has been thrown athwart our pathway, so that we dwell on the dark side and talk of gloom until our way seems almost hopeless, and we stumble along without courage, hope or love. But we do not -241-


want this to be so. We want this shadow to be swept away, and it will be if we look beyond the darkened shadow to the brightness beyond in Christ Jesus. . . . {11MR 240.3}


     Have we received a bright thought? If so, we are not to think that it is because of any wonderful smartness or intelligence in ourselves. It is because God is the author of it. If anyone tells you you have preached a good sermon, tell him the devil told you that before he did, and for him not to be an agent for the devil. There is pride in our hearts that must be emptied out, and then Jesus Christ will come in and take possession of our whole heart. I love my Saviour this morning because He first loved me. If there is anything in my life, my words, my teachings that is good, it is because Christ has put it there. It is not because of any goodness in me, and there is no glory to be directed to myself. {11MR 241.1}


     The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith; against these there is no law. We should experience this, and then we will not be under the bondage of the law of God by any means. You are free in Christ Jesus. We shall walk in liberty, because our will is in harmony with the will of God and we love all His commandments. . . . It is our privilege to go on from strength to strength and from glory to glory. Do not think that, because we have a glimmer of the light of God, that we have it all.--Ms. 3, 1889, pp. 1-3. (Morning Talk at Ottawa, Kansas, May 14, 1889.) {11MR 241.2}


     Preparation of Christ's Coming--We take the words of Brother [O.A.] Olsen in regard to the coming of the Lord, and we think how it has been -242-


presented to us in a striking manner that the end of all things is at hand, the Lord is at the door. What influence has it had to solemnize our minds, and arouse in us an earnestness to separate from us everything that is offensive to God? Then to think that after all He is nearer now than when we first believed. The day of the Lord is right at hand, and it is not safe for us to delay His coming. . . . {11MR 241.3}


     Let us thank God today that we are not yet before the judgment seat of God, but we have an Intercessor, One who has loved us so that He gave His own precious life for us individually. Just as though there were not another soul in the universe. He died for us and we are of infinite value of Jesus Christ. How can we measure the sacrifice He has made for us? . . . {11MR 242.1}


     It is not that you come out in words and deny Him, but in your actions you deny Christ so that He is ashamed to call you brethren. We want every one of us to be consecrated to God. Let the plowshare go deep and uproot all this pharisaism and let this self-righteousness be torn all to pieces. The very best way to have this done is to fall on the Rock and be broken. Just as soon as you see that there is nothing in you that is righteous; just as soon as you have a dread of sin, you will fall on the Rock, and then it is that Christ can take you and mold you and fashion you into a vessel of honor. But just as soon as you allow your thoughts and feelings to be turned against one another, this is unlike Christ, and just so sure it is that you are not vessels unto honor, but dishonor. You don't give God a chance. You are trying to fashion yourself after a mold of your own imagination, but you need to take that out of your mind and keep Christ before you every day. -243- {11MR 242.2}


     When you rise up, and when you sit down, when you go out, and when you come in, you need to exercise Christian politeness and respect, because you are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and He has died upon Calvary's cross that we might live. Christ Himself has bridged the gulf for us. It is our duty to help those who are downcast. Recollect what their privileges are, and don't talk of the difficulties, but go right to them and try to bind up the brokenhearted. These are right in the church all around us. Never have an idea that you know more than your brethren, but just keep humble. It was this spirit of evil surmising that brought all the weakness into the Jewish nation.--Ms. 4, 1889, pp. 1, 2. ("Preparation for Christ's Coming," May 14, 1889.) {11MR 243.1}


     Evil-surmising Leads to an Unbalanced Intellect--In Minneapolis God gave precious gems of truth to His people in new settings, This light from heaven by some was rejected with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested in rejecting Christ, and there was much talk about standing by the old landmarks. But there was evidence they knew not what the old landmarks were. There was evidence and there was reasoning from the Word that commended itself to the conscience; but the minds of men were fixed, sealed against the entrance of light, because they had decided it was a dangerous error removing the "old landmarks"--when it was not moving a peg of the old landmarks. {11MR 243.2}


     The men in responsible positions have disappointed Jesus. They have refused precious blessings, and refused to be channels of light, as He wanted them to be. The knowledge they should receive of God that they might be a light and blessing to others, they refuse to accept, and thus become channels -244-


of darkness. The spirit of God is grieved. Never can the heart be stirred up with envy, with evil-surmising, with evil reports, but the intellect becomes unbalanced, and cannot decide correctly any controverted point. The attributes of Satan which have found entrance to the soul, cannot harmonize with truth.--Ms. 13, 1889, pp. 3, 4. ("Standing by the Landmarks.") {11MR 243.3}


     Need for Divine Enlightenment--I tell you now that you must have divine enlightenment. If you do not seek this, Satan will set up his hellish banner right in your homes, and you will be so blinded to the real nature of his deceptions that you will reverence it as the banner of Christ.--Ms. 18, 1888, p. 4. ("Religious Liberty.") {11MR 244.1}


     Accepting the Robe of Christ's Righteousness--The Lord blessed the words spoken, and he [Edwin Jones] said he could now better understand that his business was "to look and live," to take the robe woven by Christ Himself in the heavenly loom, and rejoice in the worthiness and righteousness of Christ.--Letter 114, 1890, p. 3. (To O. A. Olsen, June 9, 1890.) {11MR 244.2}


     Ellen White's Arduous Labors From 1887 to 1890--I have not spared myself, but I have labored, I may say, day and night without periods of rest. I have been so burdened that I could not sleep. The Lord was setting things before me and He strengthened me to meet the different issues that were arising. . . . I had labored early and late, writing out important matters to meet and correct the prejudice, the misconstruing of things, the misinterpretation of matters. . . . -245- {11MR 244.3}


     I have had to vindicate myself and my brethren, press with all my powers against the prejudice, unbelief, false statements and misrepresentations until it almost gives me a nervous chill to think of the blindness and unreasonable pharisaism that has been adjusted as a garment about men in prominent positions. . . . {11MR 245.1}


     If my brethren allow me to carry this burden longer in this way I will certainly know that God does not lead them and me. One of us is not moving in God's order. I think it time to call a halt and see what powers are moving us. . . . {11MR 245.2}


     Satan will work with masterly power not only among unbelievers, but believers, to close the door that the very special light shall not do its work. What am I to do, Elder Olsen? I have no rest day nor night in spirit.--Letter 115, 1890, pp. 1, 2, 7, 8. (To O. A. Olsen, June 21, 1890.) {11MR 245.3}


     Satan's Attempt to Undercut Ellen White's Message--The spirit of resistance that has been exhibited in presenting the righteousness of Christ as our only hope has grieved the Spirit of God, and the result of this opposition has required the delivery of this matter the more earnestly and decidedly. .  . . {11MR 245.4}


     Satan sees it is his time to make a strike. Fanaticism and errors will prevail, and the men who ought to have stood in the light, their voices heard on the right side of the question, were exercised on the wrong side to oppose that which was of God and resist that message which the Lord sends. Their position is seen to be wrong by very many, and they cry, "Danger, fanaticism," when there is no heresy and fanaticism. When these evils -246-


really appear and they see the peril and try to avoid it, they cannot do it. . . . {11MR 245.5}


     Satan fixed up the matter according to his own devices. Because the message of Sister White in testimonies given did not harmonize with their ideas, the testimonies were made of no account, except when they endorsed their ideas. So persistently have they followed their own ways in this matter, that should reproof be given to the evils that shall arise, the ones reproved will say, "Sister White's testimonies are no longer reliable. Brethren A, B, and other leaders no longer have confidence in them." These men have sown the seed and the harvest will surely follow.--Letter 116, 1890, pp. 1, 2. (To O. A. Olsen, August, 27, 1890.)


White Estate Washington, D. C. November 12, 1981 {11MR 246.1} 


Let your influence be persuasive, binding people to your hearts, because you love Jesus, and these souls are His purchased possession. This is a great work. If, by your Christ-like words and actions, you make impressions that will create in their hearts a hungering and thirsting after righteousness and truth, you are a co-laborer with Christ. Those who have a leading influence in the institutions should be men and women who possess devotion and piety, who are not narrow and selfish in any matter; but conscientious, self-denying, and self-sacrificing, ever dealing with the workers as they would wish to be dealt with, having an eye single to the glory of God. Men of such a character will keep the way of the Lord. The workers should seek to make it as easy as possible for those who bear the burden of responsibility, and have many cares and perplexities to engage their attention. {PH088 6.1}


     All need to have right principles placed before them in a judicious manner. Men of investigating minds will thus receive the key of knowledge, and will bring out treasures of thought for the enriching of other minds-- thought that will result in the saving of souls. Circumstances will call forth words and decisions in favor of the right, and many -7-


will thus be swayed in the right direction. Words and works flowing from the heart imbued with the love and fear of God become a widespread blessing--a blessing that is carried into the highways and byways of life. {PH088 6.2}


Chap. 6 - Morning Talk





               A Living Connection With God

                   Morning talk by Ellen G. White

               Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 11, 1888 - MS 6, 1888



     I am thankful, brethren and sisters, that God has spared me to come to this meeting. I have been sick nigh unto death; but prayer was offered by those assembled at the Oakland camp meeting, and the Lord heard them. It was not by my faith, for I had none, but they exercised faith in my behalf, and the Lord gave me strength to bear my testimony to the people in Oakland, and then I started, as it were, at a venture to come on this journey. I had but one sinking spell on the way, but the Lord helped me, and when we reached Kansas City I went out to the campground where they were holding their meeting and spoke to the people. In this I realize and know that the Lord has strengthened me, and He shall have all the glory. {1888 69.1}


     Now as we have assembled here we want to make the most of our time. I have thought again and again that if we would only make the most of the precious opportunities God had given us, they would do us so much more good; but we too often let them slip away, and we do not realize that benefit from them which we should. {1888 69.2}


     My mind has been directed to the words of the apostle Paul. He says, in the twentieth of Acts, beginning with verse 17: "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." {1888 69.3}


     I have thought again and again, brethren and sisters, if we were Bible believers as well as Bible readers, and would carry out just what God has given us, we would be far better than we are at the present time. 70

But we do not realize that it is the loving voice of God speaking to us from His Word. We are to think everything of it and take it home to our hearts. Then Paul goes on to say, in verse 24, "Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (verses 26, 27). What a testimony is that-- "free from the blood of all men." {1888 69.4}


     Now here is the exhortation: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Now what is the necessity of watching them? Why says he, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (verses 28, 29). {1888 70.1}


     Brethren, if we would be [in earnest] the power of the Holy Ghost would attend our efforts, and we would see a different state of things among us. We are placed in trust with the most solemn truths ever committed to mortals, but the course of some is of such a character that God cannot answer their prayers. Their prayers are offensive to His holiness, and should He hear and answer their prayers they would be confirmed in a wrong course, and others would be led away from the straight paths. Why cannot we take the truth God has revealed and weave it into our very life and character? If we have the spirit of Christ in our hearts we will have a burden for the perishing souls around us as Paul had, and we will leave such an impression upon the young men and women who claim to believe the truth that they will feel that there are important responsibilities resting upon them. They will feel that their faith must be increased and that they must take up the work lying directly in their pathway, and be a blessing to others--humble, diligent, obedient; and when they meet their associates it will be to talk of Jesus. They will carry Jesus into their homes and testify to all of His mercy. {1888 70.2}


     If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, you will put away all vanity and foolish speaking. You will be sanctified through the truth. You will so labor for God that you can have an approving conscience in your ministerial work, and you can say with the devoted Saint Paul that you are clean from the blood of all men. But you cannot say this unless you are constantly gaining wisdom and knowledge from God as the branch draws nourishment from the living vine, unless His Holy Spirit is resting upon you and you are taking Jesus into your heart, thinking and talking of Jesus, and doing His work wherever you are. This is the only way that we can work successfully in these last times. Christ was Himself the example we should follow, not merely in outward form, but as He was in purity, self-denial, meekness, and love. So we 71

should follow Him in the world. His humiliation, His reproach, His crucifixion, and His cross He gave to His disciples. He also gave to them the glory that was given Him. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." {1888 70.3}


     Brethren, it is a positive necessity that we come up to a higher and holier standard. We must meet the difficulties in our Christian warfare as Paul met them when the Jews were lying in wait for him. We shall have to come through trying places, for there will be spies watching on our track and lying in wait for us. We shall not only be brought before councils, but we shall be thrust into prison, and we must be in that advanced position of faith that we shall know God and the power of His grace, where we can lift up holy hands to Him without wrath and doubting; and we must learn how to believe that God hears us. {1888 71.1}


     I know that God hears the prayers of His people. I know that He answers them. But He cannot bless us while we are cherishing selfishness; and what saith the Scriptures? "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." But if we put away all self-exaltation, all self- righteousness, and come into living connection with God, the righteousness of God will be imputed to us. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." {1888 71.2}


     The wisdom from above is abiding with us just so surely as we ask Him for it. The Lord has not forsaken us, but it is our sins and our iniquities that have separated us from God. We want in the name of Jesus to break down the barriers between our souls and God and then the peace of Christ will abide in our hearts by faith. We want to present ourselves in all humility before God, and get rid of everything like pride, selfishness, evil surmising, evil speaking, and all iniquity. Jesus will not take His abode in the heart where sin is enthroned. We want less of self and more of Jesus. We want to learn how to believe--that it is simply taking God at His word--but it is impossible to learn this unless we place ourselves in that position where we will be submissive to God. Our will must be on God's side, not on the side of Satan. The result of proving the forgiving love of God is to be perfectly reconciled to God's will. Then the human will and the divine become united. Every faculty must be kept in its place, all consecrated to God; every faculty working in God's order, performing His will and purpose. {1888 71.3}


     We need not feel anxious and troubled, as though the work was in our hands alone to manage. The Lord is standing at the helm. The Infinite has His hand on the machinery. If we humbly do our work with fidelity, the Lord will take care of the results. Have faith in God. This faith will enable us to have perfect trust and to look upon every movement in God's own light. Nothing that is taking place or that can take place need to excite in us fearful apprehensions, for God the great Master 72

Worker has charge of His own work; and if man will not interfere, but leave the work to God's own control, He will do this work well. Now, Christ would have you who minister in sacred things to be holy as He is holy. Do not forget that your power is in God. Be sure that if God has called you to open His Word to the people, He has called you to purity and goodness. {1888 71.4}


     You should have a clear apprehension of the gospel. The religious life is not one of gloom and of sadness, but of peace and joy coupled with Christlike dignity and holy solemnity. We are not encouraged by our Saviour to cherish doubts and fears and distressing forebodings; these bring no relief to the soul and should be rebuked rather than praised. We may have joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let us put away our indolence and study God's Word more constantly. If we ever needed the Holy Ghost to be with us, if we ever needed to preach in the demonstration of the Spirit, it is at this very time. If we will not work without it now, we shall have it in every emergency in the future, and be prepared for what is coming upon the earth. We need to dwell more upon present truth and the preparation essential in order that sinners may be saved. If the Spirit of God works with our efforts, we shall be called out not only to present repentance in its true light but pardon also, and to point to the cleansing fountain where all pollution may be washed away. {1888 72.1}


     We have a far more solemn work resting upon us in preaching the gospel of Christ than we have imagined. If we have the truth abiding in the heart, we shall be growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. Let us think of these things more earnestly. Let there be no more cramping of the intellect. There are greater wonders to be opened to our senses, consistent with the progress of the work. The mystery of revelation challenges investigation, for there are mines of truth to be opened to God's people. We must put off self-righteousness, we must reach loftier heights. God will direct the soul action if we seek the righteousness of Christ so that God can be pleased with our efforts. We want none of self and all of Jesus. The baptism of the Holy Ghost will come upon us at this very meeting if we will have it so. Search for truth as for hidden treasures. The key of knowledge needs to be held in every hand that it may open the storehouse of God's treasury, which contains stores of precious gems of truth. When a man is craving for truth from God's Word, angels of God are by his side to lead his mind into green pastures. {1888 72.2}


     If the truth rested with greater weight upon ministers of God, they would not handle the Word of God deceitfully. They seem to have a burden for souls while speaking to the people, but when out of the desk they are destitute of spirituality. Be afraid of such. They preach but do not practice. They show by their manner that the truth has not 73

sanctified their souls and what they have said has had no weight upon them. God's laborers will carry the burden of souls with them. God will not work with the man who preaches the claims of God in the desk and gives a lie to the truth out of the desk. We want to be clean from the blood of all men, that the blood of souls will not be found upon us, that we can say with Paul, "I am pure from the blood of all men." {1888 72.3}


     Let us commence right here in this meeting and not wait till the meeting is half through. We want the Spirit of God here now; we need it, and we want it to be revealed in our characters. We want the power of God here, and we want it to shine in our hearts. Brethren, let us take hold of the work as never before. Let us inquire, How is it with my soul? Is it in that condition that it will be well with me? Shall Christ come and find me as I now am? May God help us to be clean in spirit, pure and holy in all manner of conversation and godliness.--Manuscript 6, 1888. {1888 73.1}



Chap. 171 - Every Member a Missionary


And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Isa. 49:6.



     Tuesday morning, June 19. I have just looked at my watch; it is two o'clock. I dress, seek the Lord, and try to write a few words to go in the mail to Africa this morning. May the Lord help me in tracing each line. . . . {TDG 179.1}


     See Isaiah 49. I cannot write out this whole chapter. Read it carefully and solemnly. What words are these! "And [He] said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified" (Isa. 49:3). How many, after they have done their best, under most trying circumstances, suffering for the want of facilities and from dearth of means, are ready to say, in the words of the Scripture, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God" (verse 4). {TDG 179.2}


     All the warnings must be given. The truth, Bible truth, is to be proclaimed in our large camp meetings, and the churches can hear the truth. They have the opportunity. All may not desire to hear. Many oppose everything that calls for self-denial. They are not willing to accept the Sabbath. In Exodus 31:12-18 it is clearly marked out in definite lines what God expects from His people, and the decided consequence of rejecting [it] is death. Notwithstanding this, many will refuse obedience because the truth involves self-denial and self-sacrifice. {TDG 179.3}


     Many of the ministers will not hear and be convinced. They will not enter the sanctuary of truth to receive the knowledge of truth from the Word, but will take away the key of knowledge from the people by perversion of the Scriptures, wresting the Word of God from its true meaning. Thus every step gained in reaching the people to save them from being lost in error and disobedience requires a hard, constant battle. But shall it stop? No. Lift up the standard. Plant memorials of God's truth in every place possible, work in new territories, and conversions will be made. Some who do not take their stand at once will help advance the work with their means and their sympathy, and will themselves take their position on the Lord's side. . . . God will have representatives in every place in all parts of the world.-- Letter 86, June 19, 1900, to A. G. Daniels. {TDG 179.4}


January 28, 1886 "Preach the Word."


By Mrs. E. G. White


     "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth," was the prayer of Christ for his disciples. In every age God has committed to his people some special truth which is directly opposed to the desires and purposes of the human heart, and which tends to separate his church from the world; and it has been the duty of his ministers to proclaim this truth, whether men would hear or forbear. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 1}


     When Christ came as the teacher and guide of mankind, he brought to them truths glowing with the light of Heaven, showing in contrast the darkness of error, and revealing the superstition, self-righteousness, and bigotry of that age. His heart overflowed with love for the poor, the ignorant, the afflicted, and the fallen. He healed the sick, comforted the desponding, cast out devils, raised the dead, and preached to all the words of eternal life. But many who listened to the divine Teacher received his words with little favor. The priests and elders, the professed expositors of divine truth, were sending forth no rays of light. In their self-righteousness they held themselves aloof from the benighted people, who needed instruction and guidance. When Jesus took up the work which they had left undone, they felt that his life was a constant rebuke to them, and they feared that he would turn the hearts of the people from them, and destroy their influence. They were filled with pride, love of ostentation, and desire for praise; and they despised the humility and self-denial of Jesus. They hated the purity while they feared the power of his teachings. They refused to accept him themselves, and bent all their energies to hinder others from believing in him. No wonder he brought against them the terrible accusation: "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge. Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 2}


     It is no argument against the truth that there are few who are willing to accept it. Few accepted the world's Redeemer. Though the multitude flocked around him, eager to receive temporal blessings, yet he sadly declared: "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." Men are now no more favorable to practical godliness; they are just as intently seeking earthly good, to the neglect of eternal riches. And reformers of the present day will meet with the same discouragements as did their Master. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 3}


     Of the people in his day Christ said: "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." The Jews willfully closed their eyes and their ears, and barred their hearts with prejudice, lest they should see a better way, and be aroused from their dream of security. The people of the present generation are pursuing a similar course. New truths are constantly unfolding; new and clearer light is shining upon the pathway of God's people. But the great mass of mankind are satisfied with their present condition, and are unwilling to exchange error for truth. But we are to be sanctified through obedience to the truth. For want of this Bible sanctification, the soul of many a professed Christian has become a desecrated shrine, the haunt of hollow formalism, of selfishness and hypocrisy, pride and passion. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 4}


     It is harder to reach the hearts of men today than it was twenty years ago. The most convincing arguments may be presented, and yet sinners seem as far from repentance as ever. The work of the faithful minister is no child's play. Earnest, untiring effort is required to wrench the prey of Satan from his grasp. But God will sustain his servants in the work which he himself has committed to their hands. Said Christ to his disciples, as they toiled upon the Sea of Galilee, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." When the gospel net is cast, there should be a watching by the net, with tears and earnest prayers. Let the workers determine not to let the net go till it is drawn ashore, with the fruit of their labor. Sometimes, indeed, we may say with Peter, "We have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing;" but still it is the Master's command, as of old, "Let down the net on the right side of the ship,"--work on in faith, and God will give success. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 5}


     Whatever the trials and difficulties that the ambassador of Christ may have to meet, he can carry them all to God in prayer. He can weep between the porch and the altar, pleading, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach." And by study of the Scriptures and earnest, wrestling prayer, he may become "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Labor on, then, while the day lasts, you who have been called to preach the good news of salvation through Christ; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. God has called us to labor in his vineyard, and if we neglect our duty, souls will be lost through our unfaithfulness. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 6}


     Though the servants of Christ may, at times, feel almost disheartened as they see how many obstacles there are in the way of Christian living, and how slowly the work of God seems to advance, their duty remains the same. They are to sow the seed of truth beside all waters. A constant effort to promote personal piety should be seen in all their public labors. They should not preach sermon after sermon on doctrinal subjects alone. Practical godliness should find a place in every discourse, and the discourses should be short and to the point. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 7}


     The minister should not merely present the truth from the desk, but as the shepherd of the flock he should care for the sheep and the lambs, searching out the lost and straying, and bringing them back to the fold. He should visit every family, not merely as a guest to enjoy their hospitality, but to inquire into the spiritual condition of every member of the household. His own soul must be imbued with the love of God; then by kindly courtesy he may win his way to the hearts of all, and labor successfully for parents and children, entreating, warning, encouraging, as the case demands. Let him seek to keep the church alive, and laboring with him for the conversion of sinners. This is good generalship; and the results will be found far better than if the minister performed all the work alone. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 8}


     Jesus bids his people, "Go forward." The minister may labor for the people, but he cannot take the responsibility that God has placed upon them. There are higher attainments for us, there is a purer love, a deeper experience, if we will consecrate ourselves to God, and humbly take him at his word. The reason why we have no greater confidence and joy, is that we are not sanctified through obedience to the truth. There is in us an evil heart of unbelief. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. Then let us shake off the spiritual sloth that dishonors him and imperils our own souls. If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. We must not wait for better opportunities, for strong persuasions, or for holier tempers. We can do nothing for ourselves. We must trust to the power of Jesus to save us. He is holding out to us the crown of life, and shall we not accept it? Let us come to him just as we are, and we shall find him a present help in our time of need. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 9}


     The sweet sense of sins forgiven, the light and love which Christ alone can give, fill the soul with peace and joy. The assurance that we are under the protection of Omnipotence imparts courage and confidence, inspires a hope that is "as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail." This assurance is a source of strength unknown to the worldling or to the half-hearted professor. So long as we have the presence of our Saviour, difficulties cannot dismay nor dangers appall us; and we are ready cheerfully to perform whatever duty God requires of us. If we were only as free to speak of the blessings we receive from God as we are to talk of our doubts and discouragements, we should enjoy far more of his presence. Our kind heavenly Father declares: "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me." Let us praise him more, and complain less; let us talk more of the love and wondrous power of our Redeemer, and we shall be brought nearer and nearer to him, into closer and still closer relations with him in whom our hope centers. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 10}


     Shall we not consecrate ourselves to God without reserve? Christ, the King of glory, gave himself a ransom for us. Can we withhold anything from him? Shall we think our poor, unworthy selves too precious, our time or property too valuable, to give to Jesus? No, no; the deepest homage of our hearts, the most skillful service of our hands, our talents of ability and of means,--all are but too poor an offering to bring to Him who was slain, and has redeemed us to God by his blood "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 11}


What Must I do to be Saved?

History repeats itself. “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be: and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9). In other words, “The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past.” (G.C. 343).


That the Advent Movement is an important movement of the present no one can deny and it has its parallel in the history of Ancient Israel: “The remnant church is called to go through an experience similar to that of the Jews.” (1 SM, 387). Not one of us can afford to ignore the following warning:


“The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me, again and again, to ILLUSTRATE the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today her is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the Precious Truth.” (1 SM, 406; 2 Cor 4:4). The “precious truth” mentioned here is the light sent to the Seventh-day Adventists in 1888.


What was the attitude of the Jewish people at the time of the first coming of Christ? “In the days of Christ the religious leaders of the people felt that they were rich in spiritual treasure. The prayer of the Pharisee, ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men,’ expressed the feeling of this class and, to a great degree, of the whole nation. Jesus had presented the cup of blessing to those who felt that they were ‘rich and increased with goods, and had need of nothing.’” (Rev. 3:17; MB, p. 6).


Will not this be the attitude of the Advent people just prior to the second coming of Christ? The next statement from the pen of inspiration should leave no doubt in the mind of the reader:


“Here is represented a people (Adventists) who pride themselves in their possession of spiritual knowledge and advantages—who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency—who claim to know and possess everything.” 1SM 357, 358.


The illustration is, indeed, one must admit, very striking! (GC, 457). Both, Ancient and Modern Israel “have been satisfied to sink down in contentment, in lamentable ingratitude, hollow formalism, and hypocritical insincerity. With Pharisaic pride they have vaunted themselves till it has been said of them, ‘Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’” (1 SM 357).


Ron comments: It should be remembered that in the days of the disciples there was a literal city of Laodicea. The very fact that the Laodicean message reapplies to our day; to professing Christians, including professing Seventh-day Adventists, is evidence that reapplies the experience of the Jews to Adventists, modern Israel, today. End comment.


To a great degree, then, this will be the attitude of the majority of the different parties of Advent believers before the second coming of Christ: “He who feels whole, who thinks he is reasonably good, and is contented with his condition, does not seek to be a partaker of the grace and righteousness of Christ. Pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.” (Mount of Blessing, p. 7).


“There is no room for Jesus in the heart of such a person. Those who are rich and honourable in their own eyes do not ask in faith and receive the blessings of God. They feel that they are full, therefore they go away empty.” (ibid., p. 7).


Therefore, “To those who are indifferent at this time, Christ’s warning is: ‘I will spew thee out of my mouth.’ The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that Christ cannot offer up your prayers of your expressions of love to God; that He cannot endorse your teaching of His word or your spiritual work in anywise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you.” 6 T 408. In other words: “He cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency and that He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help.” 1 SM 358.


If there was ever a time when the professed people of God needed to become aware of their true condition, it is now, before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a large measure!


In the days of Christ, “there were some who had a sense of their spiritual poverty, who knew that they could not possibly save themselves, or of themselves do any righteous action. They were the poor in spirit whom the Lord declared to be blessed.” Mount of Blessing, pp 6, 7; Matt 5:3; 1 Cor. 1:26-29.


So it is today. While the majority feel satisfied with their spiritual condition, there are some who are thirsting and hungering for salvation. By day and by night the burden of their heart is: WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? They listen eagerly to popular discourses, hoping to learn how they may be justified before God. But too often they hear only a pleasing speech, an eloquent declamation. There are sad and disappointed hearts in every religious gathering.” Review and Herald, March 8, 1881; Faith and Works, p. 32; Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 40.


“There are many who want to know what they must do to be saved.” Evangelism, p. 188. It is to them that the gospel is to be preached: “The gospels is to be preached to the poor. Not to the spiritually proud, those who claim to be rich and in need of nothing is it revealed, but to those who are humble and contrite. One fountain only has been opened for sin, a fountain for the poor in spirit.” Desire of Ages, p. 300; Job 22:29.


The “poor in spirit” spoken of in the Scriptures are “those who recognize that their great need is their only claim on God’s mercy.” Desire of Ages, p. 317. They know that “they have nothing to recommend them to God,” and therefore “the plea that they may urge NOW and EVER is their utterly helpless condition that makes God’s redeeming power a necessity.” (Ibid. 317). In other words, “their argument is their great need.” (Ibid. 317; Jer. 17:9; Luke 18:13).


When, in the 1880’s, “the poor in spirit” began to seriously inquire and agonize about the matter of salvation, crying out to God, by day and by night, “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED,?” the Lord, in His great mercy, sent them “a most precious message.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 91.


To them this message was “MEAT IN DUE SEASON.” (Matt. 24:45; Isa. 50:4). However, as it was to be expected, “When light begins to shin forth to make clear the plan of redemption to the people, the enemy works with all diligence, that the light may be shut away from the hearts of men.” (Review and Herald, Sep. 3, 1889; 1 SM 360). These words were penned at a time when God had designed that this precious message of redemption should come to His people as the latter rain:


“We have been in the time of the latter rain since the Minneapolis meeting.” E.G. White, 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p. 377.


The next statement removes any doubt as to whether or not the enemy succeeded in shutting away THE PRECIOUS TRUTH from the hearts of God’s people: “Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been kept away from the world.” 1 SM 234, 235; TM, 79, 80, 91.


When, through the illumination of the Spirit of God, efforts are made to make plain the answer to the question: WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED,? “Satan calls to his aid all the fallen angels of his realm.” GC 398; Rev. 12:12, 17.  The fallen angels cast their shadow athwart our pathway to intercept the Heaven-sent light (2 Cor. 4:6). Hence the following warning:


“Satan will work to quench the light God has for every soul, by casting his shadow across the pathway to intercept every ray of heavenly light. He knows that his time is short. The people of God must cleave to God, else they will lose their bearings.” Ellen White’s Comments, 4 Bible Commentary, 1179.


Shortly after the proclamation of the message in 1888, the Lord sent this testimony: “There seems to be a cloudy atmosphere that has gathered about the soul of man and that has shut in the mind. It is next to impossible to break through this atmosphere of doubt and unbelief. It is next to impossible to arouse man’s vital interests so that he may understand WHAT HE MUST DO TO BE SAVED.” Faith and Works, p. 64.


Not One in One Hundred…


Why is it that we do not understand the precious truth? Because “Satan is working with all his hellish power to quench that light which should burn brightly in the soul and shine forth in good works. He is working against this ALL THE TIME.” E.G. White Comments, 4 Bible Commentary, 1179; Faith and Works, p. 72; Matt. 5:16. It is certainly not because it is too difficult to understand. “We do not understand the matter of salvation. IT IS JUST AS SIMPLE AS ABC. But we don’t understand it.” E.G. White, May 11, Manuscript 1, 1889; Faith and Works, p. 64. Once again, these words were penned only a few months after the proclamation of the message at Minneapolis in 1888.


It would seem that “We need to be enlightened in regard to the plan of salvation.” In no uncertain terms we are told that “we do not understand it.” Not even one in one hundred does: “There is NOT ONE IN ONE HUNDRED who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare.” 1 SM 360. Not one in one hundred! These words from the apostle Paul to the Corinthians certainly apply to us today:


“If any man think he knoweth anything he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1 Cor. 8:2.


A Call to Reform


What must I do to be saved? The date is February 6, 1896. Sister White is in Australia. She is writing to the brethren in America. Under the subtitle, “A CALL TO REFORM,” she writes:


“The people to whom God has entrusted eternal interests, the depositories of truth pregnant with eternal results, the keepers of light that is to illuminate the whole world, have LOST THEIR BEARINGS.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 397; 1 Selected Messages, pp. 234, 235.


The people to whom God has entrusted this precious truth have lost their bearings! Would that not explain why, some, especially in the last fifty years or so, have been trying to get their bearings back?!


Trying to Re-Discover the Light


In 1950, Elders Wieland and Short, who were then missionaries to Africa, published the first edition of their well renown book, THE 1888 MESSAGE RE-EXAMINED, in which these words are found:


“Many even in the world today are trying to discover THE LIGHT which God revealed to His people in 1888. No one has so far been successful. Religious thinkers are yearning for something no one clearly understands, thought it would seem that a few are on the verge of discovery.” Wieland and Short, 1888 Re-Examined, 1950, pp. 242-243. According to these two scholars, a few seemed to be on the verge of discovering this precious truth in 1950.


As many as forty years had gone by, when, in 1987, Wieland and Short published their second edition of “The 1888 Message Re-Examined,” and on page 184, we find that they had this to say:


“It would seem that 1888 presents a problem unique in the long history of God’s confrontation with His people. There is a Precious Truth involved therein that seems more elusive than any in the history of past ages.” Wieland and Short, 1888 Re-Examined, Second Edition, 1987, p. 184.


Ron’s Comment: At the present time (2007), the 1888 message is being turned on its head by the liberal leaders of the SDA General Conference. They are leaving out the sanctification part and making righteousness by faith a forensic (legal) justification (pardon only) as far as any condition for salvation is concerned. This is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which God especially hates. They never teach that grace is given for obedience as well as pardon, Roman 1:5. So either the 1888 message is still not understood by the ruling powers of the SDA church, or they are purposely confounding it. God says that they ALL CANNOT UNDERSTAND, Isaiah 56:10-12. End comment.


How could a message which was said to be “just as simple as ABC,” become “more elusive than any in the history of past ages” and that, for more than a century? How could the people of God possibly fail to understand something that simple? It should not matter that the enemy is working against this all the time. The blame must be laid at the door of the church. (1 SM 234, 235).


It is difficult to believe, let alone to accept the fact that not one in one hundred understands for himself what he must do to be saved! (Faith and Works, 65). One more reason why it would be wise to seriously “examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith.” (2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Cor. 8:2). “Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12).


It is indeed mind-boggling that this “Precious Truth” which was described as being “just as simple as ABC,” (FW 64) “presented in clear and distinct lines,” (TM 93) and “spoken in demonstration of the Spirit,” (TM 91), should somehow have become for more than a century, “more elusive than any in the history of past ages!”


The Message


In her address to the brethren who were assembled at this most illustrious Conference in 1888, Sister White spoke solemnly as she reflected upon the message from God: She said to them: “Be careful how you treat it. Take off the shoes from off your feet, for you are on holy ground.” (TM 90). And then, in one of the most solemn appeals ever given to them, she, in turn, spelled out in all its beauty and simplicity the very message which some of us have for so many years been so desperately trying to discover:


“How long will you hate and despise the messengers of God’s righteousness? God has given them HIS MESSAGE. They bear the word of the Lord: THERE IS SALVATION FOR YOU BUT ONLY THROUGH THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST.” (TM 96, 97). This is the precious truth that not one in one hundred understands for himself! Only by accepting it and by applying it to our own hearts can we get our spiritual bearings back! This is the “most precious message” which God designed that should come to His people as the latter rain! It is said that those who received this message were greatly blessed, as they applied it to their own hearts: “The merits of the blood of Christ the believers apply to their own hearts and they are greatly blessed.” (TM 95).


As soon as the full meaning of this truth begins to dawn in our minds and hearts, we cannot but be startled with its beauty and simplicity and we are filled with nothing but gratitude to God: “Believe it because it is the truth, because God says it, and LAY HOLD UPON THE MERITORIOUS BLOOD OF A CRUCIFIED AND RISEN SAVIOR… When you realize that, you can bring to Him only and offering of praise.” To the question: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” the Psalmist’s answer is: “I will offer unto Him the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.” (Ps. 116:12, 17; Heb 13:15).


That this is the everlasting gospel in a nutshell, one needs only to read the following words: “Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly sanctuary, the children of Israel were to LAY HOLD OF THE MERITS OF A SAVIOR TO COME.” Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 161.


That there should have been any kind of prejudice towards this message or any type of resistance against it, (TM 467); 1 SM 234, 235) is attributable to the fact that “THE PROUD HEART STRIVES TO EARN HIS SALVATION.” (DA, 300). This message was sent to the church “that God’s people might discern with astonishment the UTTER WORTHLESSNESS OF CREATURE MERITS TO EARN THE WAGES OF ETERNAL LIFE.” Faith and Works, p. 23.


“Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. As a gift it must be received by faith, and gratitude and praise be offered to God.” (Ibid., p. 27).


But the proud heart cherishes the idea that he can do something to make himself worthy of God’s blessings: “We have long desired and tried to obtain the blessings of the covenant of grace but have not received them because WE HAVE CHERISHED TH IDEA THAT WE COULD DO SOMETHING TO MAKE OURSELVES WORTHY OF THEM.” (Faith and Works, p. 36).


Those who cherish such an idea stand in the way between the Heaven-sent light and the very ones who would gladly receive it. And more often than not, “it is the ministers and leading men who reject the light themselves and are not willing that others should receive it.” (EW, 241; Luke 11:52). So it is today: “The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means; the seeds sown there in some hears are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest.” (TM 467).


“Many are losing the right way, in consequence of thinking that they must climb to Heaven, that they must do something to MERIT the favour of God. This they can NEVER accomplish.” (1SM 368). The truth that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare was “in great measure” “shut away” from our people “by the action of our own brethren.” (1 SM 235).


Ron’s Comment: Why would the leading brethren reject relying only on the MERITS of Christ? Because one of those MERITS is grace given for obedience. Rom. 1:5, and folk want pardon for sin and reject the offer of power (grace) for obedience. It is not so much that the leaders cannot understand this fact of the message of righteousness by faith. Rather, they reject it for the ease of the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the desire to be saved in sin rather than from sin. End comment. The leaders are thus not the only ones to blame, for the people love the notion of being saved in their sins because they love their sins more than they love Christ and salvation—eternal life. That is the paradox of mankind!


It is not my personal opinion that God’s people love it when their leaders (prophets) prophesy falsely and teach them a cheap grace false gospel:


"The Lord commanded one of his ancient servants, 'Pray not thou for this people [Jer. 7:16 and 11:14], neither lift up cry nor prayer for them neither make intercession to me for I will not hear thee.' The prophet thus describes the sins which had called forth this fearful denunciation: 'The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so and what will ye do in the end thereof?' 'From the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.' The apostles declare that this state of things will find its COUNTERPART in the last days. Many have a form of godliness, but in their daily life deny the power thereof. They have ceased to be convicted of their sins or alarmed at their state. They say in their hearts, 'The church is flourishing. Peace and spiritual prosperity are within her borders.' The words of the prophet may well apply to these self-deceivers, 'They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them." E. G. White,  Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  11-07-82.



COUNTERPART: "In the time of the Saviour, the Jews had so covered over the precious jewels of truth with the rubbish of tradition and fable, that it was impossible to distinguish the true from the false. The Saviour came to clear away the rubbish of superstition and long-cherished errors, and to set the jewels of God's word in the framework of truth. What would the Saviour do if he should come to us now as he did to the Jews? He would have to do a similar work in clearing away the rubbish of tradition and ceremony. The Jews were greatly disturbed when he did this work [As are SDAs today!]. They had lost sight of the original truth of God, but Christ brought it again to view. It is our work to free the precious truths of God from superstition and error." E.G. White,  Review and Herald, vol. 2, 308. 


So Satan has devised three avenues to deceive the souls of men. First, he deceives them into thinking that they can earn salvation by their own empowered works. Secondly, he tempts them into believing that they can be saved in sin rather than from sin. Third, he causes some to think that temporal sin is more desirable than eternal life. Any of these options is the selling of the soul for a mess of pottage. 


It is the second option that is currently being taught by the majority and controlling faction of liberal, omega of apostasy SDA leaders of Adventism. Though it is true that some leaders in the church teach the true gospel, they are corporately responsible for the false gospel being taught in the church because they remain members of the church and support the false gospel with their tithe and offerings. No SDA will be excused for not knowing or rejecting the following statement which teaches corporate responsibility based on the Biblical example of Achan:


"The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body [corporately], responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them." Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 269.


 Many SDA’s have mocked and/or rejected the above statement saying that they are not responsible for the open sins of others in the church. This is curious when one considers that a prime reason they are Adventists is because Adventists came out of the other churches because they would be responsible for their errors if they did not do so. We would be responsible for Babylon’s sins if we did not come out of her.  End comment.


The Only Religion of the Bible


But see how marvelous it is in our eyes that in just “a few words” (Eph 3:3, 4) we have here, simply stated, the true religion, the only religion of the Bible: “THERE IS SALVATION FOR YOU BUT ONLY THROUGH THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST.” (TM 468, 97). To the question: What must I do to be saved, there can be only one answer: “Present your case before God pleading the MERITS of the blood that was shed for you upon Calvary’s Cross.” Here is the reason: “The MERITS of Christ’s sacrifice are SUFFICIENT to present to the Father in your behalf.” (FW, 106; SC 36; GC 471). Either we believe this or we don’t. If we do, we may find the approval of God.


As this study progresses, it will be seen, in an ever increasing light, that “the merits of a crucified and risen savior are the FOUNDATION of the Christian’s faith.” (The Great Controversy, p. 73). This is what the Reformers discovered and when they did, it is said that “THEY CAST THEMSELVES WHOLLY UPON THE MERITS OF THE SAVIOR.” (Ibid., p. 74).


“Luther tried through works to obtain the favour of God; but he was not satisfied until A GLEAM OF LIGHT FROM HEAVEN drove the darkness from his mind, and led him to trust, not in works, but in THE MERITS OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.” (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 120).


John Calvin’s prayer to God was: “O Father, we had devised for ourselves many useless follies, but Thou hast placed Your word before me like a torch, and Thou hast touched my heart, in order THAT I MAY HOLD IN ABOMINATION ALL OTHER MERITS SAVE THOSE OF JESUS.” (The Great Controversy, p. 221). No prayer was ever more Spirit-filled! It clearly defines the true religion, the only religion of the Bible!


By comparing statement with statement, as Scripture explains Scripture, (1 Cor. 2:13; 1SM 42) we will be better able to discern and appreciate the preciousness of this truth. We will see that it is indeed “a most precious message” (TM 91) and that it is no “cunningly devised fable.” (2 Peter 1:16). It will be seen that this simple truth is “THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS,” even “the third Angels’ message in verity!” (Eph. 4:21; TM 92, 93, 97).


The Testimony of God Himself


At this point we would like to introduce a third witness, for: “In the mouths of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2 Cor. 13:1). Once again we can see how the Pen of Inspiration could not have stated this truth in a more graphic or more simple way:


“We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son.” Acts of the Apostles, 333.


In other words, once again, simply stated: “God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Love springs up in the heart.” 1 SM 354. “Righteousness is love and love is the light and the life of God.” Mount of Blessing, p. 18.


May God give us hears to receive this testimony, for this is the precious truth that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare, that not one in one hundred understand for himself!


Righteousness is obtained only by trusting wholly in the all-sufficient merits of the Savior. This is the doctrine of Christ, the true religion, the only religion of the Bible (TM 468). The Father receives us to Himself through the merits of His Son! This is the Testimony of God Himself! (1 Cor 2:1, 2; Gal. 6:14).


Our Part and God’s Part


All that the truth expects from us is that we believe it. (1 John 5:10). Implicit faith in the truth is true humility, true self-surrender. (DA 535). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to impress the truth into our souls (FW 56) and to enable us to lay hold upon it by faith.


“Our part,” the prophet wrote, “is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ.” (FE 430). It is that simple. And if we do our part, then God will do His part! As faith lays right hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour, the Holy Spirit brings Christ’s righteousness into the life and “Christ’s righteousness accomplishes everything.” (FW, 64-66; 27). This is what it means to “believe on Him whom God has sent.” (John 6:29).


What Must I Do To Be Saved?


The answer is a simple one: “I must ever look toward Calvary; and with the simple faith of a little child I must rest in the merits of Christ, accepting His righteousness and believing in His mercy.” (Ev. 185). Little Children do not have much pride of opinion of their own. Grown up ones are not so ready to learn. “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as  little child, he shall not enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:15). This is spoken as giving us a model and example as to how we are to come to the word of God and learn. The merits of the blood of Christ are the “foundation” of the true religion, the only religion of the Bible, the “rock” upon which the soul is built up into a habitation of God through the Spirit. (Eph. 2:22).


This was the testimony which God gave to His servants: “a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the Third Angel’s message” in verity. (TM 93). The next witnesses will verify this:


“It has been Satan’s determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered... Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, TO HIS MERITS… This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in large measure.” (TM 92, 93).


Notice where the emphasis is in the following statements:


“The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power that their faith might lay hold upon ITS MERITS.” (Ibid., 92). “Unless he makes it his lifebusiness to behold the uplifted Saviour and to accept His MERITS which it is his PRIVILEGE to CLAIM, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus.” (TM 93).


The Role of Commandment-keeping

Could the Gospel have been made more plain or simple? With the simple faith of a little child we are to rest in the merits of the Lamb that was slain! All that we need to do is to hold on to the Testimony of God Himself, that He receives us to Himself through the merits of His Son! (AA, 333; 1 Cor. 2:1, 2). For: “The merits of Christ blot out transgressions and clothe us with the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of Heaven.” (Ev. 186). The people were invited to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ in order to receive the righteousness of God which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God (TM 92; FW 65, 66).


Ron’s Comment: When we “buy” (receive) gold tried in the fire (faith that works by love), we receive the gift of love and the power (grace for obedience—Rom. 1:5). We then obey out of love for Christ and by His empowerment of His Holy Spirit.  This is His test for us as to whether or not we love Him, and have indeed “bought” (received—accepted) His gift of love and faith—gold tried in the fire. The great problem is that obedience involves a sacrifice and a cross and most do not want the inconvenience of a sacrifice and a cross.


“The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that ‘our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;’ with one of old, ‘esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.’ 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 11:26.

“Whatever may be their profession, it is only those who are world servers at heart that act from policy rather than principle in religious things. We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God. To men of principle, faith, and daring, the world is indebted for its great reforms. By such men the work of reform for this time must be carried forward.

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.’ Isaiah 51:7-8.”—Great Controversy, 458-460. 


So you can see that it is not so much a matter of the leaders not being able to understand the 1888 message of Righteousness by faith as it is a matter of rejecting it for Satan’s lie of cheap grace without obedience out of a motive of love for Christ. The leaders know what the people want and in order to garner numbers rather than quality (in order to fill the coffers—for they are greedy says God), they teach the people what they want to hear—salvation in sin rather than from sin.


The so-called “elusiveness” of the message of Righteousness by Faith in 1888, is chargeable to the leadership who feeds the people what they want—salvation in sin. The truth is as simple as ABC, but most folk don’t want the truth. Thus, they “play church” and in the end, miss out on both—the temporal pleasures of the world and eternal life.  End Ron’s comment.


Court Week With Us


All the witnesses that we have heard, so far, are of one mind and of one accord, testifying to the saving truth that “the merits of Christ are SUFFICIENT to present to the Father in our behalf. (SC, 36). In other words, it is court week with us and we are to “present our case before God pleading the merits of the blood that was shed for us upon Calvary’s cross,” saying, “Lord, I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation but I present before you the –MERITS of the—all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God. THIS IS MY ONLY PLEA.” (FW, p. 106).


To apply to the merits of the blood of Christ is our “first work” and “the work of a lifetime,” for, “the blood of Christ is efficacious, but it needs to be applied continually.” (4T 122). Therefore, it is written that “we must DAILY APPLY to the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior that we might become fit vessels for the Master’s use.” FW, p. 86.


Habitually Dwelling. . .


Now, let us have a look at the sure results of habitually dwelling upon Christ and His merits:


“HABITUALLY DWELLING UPON CHRIST AND HIS ALL-SUFFICIENT MERITS increases faith, quickens the power of spiritual discernment, strengthens the desire to be like Him and brings earnestness into prayer that makes it efficacious.” Gospel Workers, p. 166. All these things will be realized in the lives of those who habitually dwell upon the merits of the Savior and acknowledge their appreciation of them. “As we acknowledge before God our appreciation of Christ’s merits, fragrance is given to our intercessions.” (Our Father Cares, p. 120). And we are specifically told that “Jesus has turned the merits of His sacrifice into prayer.” (7 Bible Commentary, 9140). And what is our work? “Our work is to hang our helpless souls upon His merits.” TM 247.


This is the only true faith which brings God’s blessings to us:


“Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits we appropriate the blessings of light and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (5T 744). This is “the faith which works by love” to purify the soul. (Gal. 5:6). Therefore, “The only faith that will BENEFIT us is that which embraces Jesus as our personal Savior: WHICH APPROPRIATES HIS MERITS TO OURSELVES.” (Our Father Cares, p. 192).


Do we begin to get a glimpse of what happens when we “appropriate” the merits of Christ to ourselves? As we realize our great need, we may fall at the feet of Jesus and claim His merits. In doing so, our heavenly Father treats us, not as we deserve, but as Jesus deserves to be treated and loved! Behold! What manner of love! “Jesus was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as He deserves.” DA, p. 25. Is this not a mind-boggling truth? The merits of Christ’s infinite sacrifice are placed upon the believer! Implicit faith in this truth is true humility, true self-surrender and it brings infinite blessings! Ibid., p. 535.


Comparing Statement with Statement


By comparing statement with statement, we hold the key that will explain the messages given, just as Scripture explains Scripture. (See 1 SM, 42). The prophet Isaiah said: “Here a little, there a little.” (Isa. 28:10). It was the apostle Paul’s manner of teaching, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.” (1 Cor. 2:13). The Testimonies, like the Scriptures, are “not subject to any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20).




Before we go any further, let us now make a brief summary of some of the testimonies we have heard so far:


1. “There is salvation for you but only through the merits of Jesus Christ.”


2. “The Father receives us to Himself through the merits of His Son.”


3. “The eyes of the people needed to be directed to Christ, to His merits.


4. The merits of Christ are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf.”


5. “Our part is to lay hold, by faith, of the merits  of Christ.”


6. “The only faith that will benefit us is that which appropriates Christ’s merits to ourselves.”


7. “The merits of Christ are the foundation of the Christian’s faith.”


8. “We must daily apply to the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior.”


9. “We are accepted through Christ’s merits alone.”


10. “Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits, we appropriate the blessings of light and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”


All these “witnesses” testify to the amazing fact that Jesus took upon Himself what we deserve that we might be treated as He deserves! It is our privilege to appropriate to ourselves the all-sufficient merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior.


More Witnesses


Now we would like to introduce other witnesses in support of this precious truth. It is impossible to overemphasize it. The apostle Paul said: “To write the same things to you, to me indeed it is not tedious, but for you it is safe.” (Phil. 3:2). It is safe for us to habitually dwell upon Christ and His merits.


Living Faith


Found in the following statement is the definition of what living faith is: “How has it been with Christ’s disciples in all ages of the world? Why, they have learned of Jesus; they have been in His school; they have been His students, and have learned the lessons of Christ in regard to the living connection that the soul has with God: That LIVING FAITH is essential to our salvation, THAT WE SHOULD LAY HOLD UPON THE MERITS OF A CRUCIFIED AND RISEN SAVIOR…” to bring Christ’s righteousness into the life. FW, p. 64.


That, dear reader, is what living faith is and it is according to God’s idea of it, and not according to any of man’s ideas. This is the true teaching of righteousness by faith. Thank God! (1 Cor. 2:1-5; Eph. 4:21). And we cannot explain it: “You cannot explain this faith that lays right hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior to bring Christ’s righteousness into the life.” FW, pp. 65, 66. This is the true religion, the only religion of the Bible! This is the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare, that not one in one-hundred understands for himself.


And whether we realize it or not: “This is the highest position to which man can attain” (AA, p. 21), for then: “Christ places His own merits upon us and thus elevates us in the scales of moral value with God.” (Our Father Cares, p. 121).


Thus, “It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possess Christ’s nature, a nature far above that which Adam and Eve forfeited by transgression.” (The Upward Look, p. 18). Clothed with the robe of His righteousness, we will not depend upon what we can do or what we will do, for Christ’s righteousness accomplishes everything. FW, pp. 66, 27.


At the foot of the cross, man, in his utterly helpless condition, is to hang his helpless soul upon the merits of the blood shed for him. (TM, 247; Heb. 11:6; TM 468).


A Wonderful Work


“Jesus looked forward to the time when the Holy Spirit should come to do a wonderful work in and through His merits.” TM 402. In this time of the latter rain, “One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other, Christ and His all-sufficient merits,” for “it is only the fragrance of the merits of the blood of Christ that will avail ANYTHING in our behalf.” (5 BC 1122). If there is anything in our world that should inspire enthusiasm, it is the fact that “JESUS WAS TREATED AS WE DESERVE THAT WE MIGHT BE TREATED AS HE DESERVES.” Desire of Ages, p. 25.


God forbid that we should glory save in the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior. (Gal. 6:14; Col. 1:20). This is “the hope that is set before us,” in the Scriptures. (Heb. 6:18). And what a lively hope!


Our Only Hope


“Our only hope is in the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior.” (GC 471). We have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. Our only ground of hope is in trusting wholly in the all-sufficient merits of the blood that is of value beyond estimate. FW, p. 22.


Blessed Assurance


Mark these words: “NOT ONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIS [Christ’s] MERITS WILL BE LEFT TO PERISH.” PP 432. Blessed assurance! “When we rely upon the merits of Jesus… we shall receive all the help that we can desire.” PP 431. Could salvation have been made more simple? I love to repeat it: “The merits of His sacrifice are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf.” SC, p. 36.


Who would dare to suggest, or even think, at this point, that it is not enough to rely solely upon the merits of the blood of Christ? This truth is pregnant with eternal results. This is the light that is to burn brightly into the soul and shine forth in good works, works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10).


A truth Whose Time Has Come


There is nothing so powerful as a truth whose time has come.


“Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks up to Him, grasps Him as the One who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient offering is accepted of the Father.” (Our Father Cares, p. 203). “God Himself has bowed in acceptance of the sacrifice.” FW, p. 72.


“Does Satan plead loudly against our souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey? The blood of Christ pleads with greater power!” (MB, p. 9; Rev. 12:11). “You cannot save yourself from the tempter’s power, but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged.” 5T 317.


Speaking With Great Authority

Now let us make room for other witnesses who definitely have an extremely important contribution to make in support of this precious truth, the truth as it is in Jesus. (Eph. 4:21). Our first witness in this connection speaks with great authority. We need to listen very carefully. May the Lord cover us with a canopy of His holy angels that not one word may be lost:

“It is the GRAGRANCE OF THE MERITS OF CHRIST that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that ENABLES us to do the works for which He rewards us. OUR WORKS IN AND OF THEMSELVES HAVE NO MERIT. When we have done all that is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS. (Luke 17:10). WE DESERVE NO THANKS FROM GOD. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures. WORKS WITHOUT FAITH ARE DEAD, AND FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. Works will never save us; IT IS ONLY THE MERITS OF CHRIST THAT WILL AVAIL IN OUR BEHALF.” E.G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1122; Faith and Works, p. 48.

This last statement contains the testimony of God. (1 Cor. 2:1, 2). It must be read again and over again until its vital truths are assimilated. It may bring confusion to those whose minds have been blinded by the price of darkness, (2 Cor. 4:6), but if the eyes of our understanding have been opened, to us it is a statement which is very illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. We must not forget to pray that God will surround us with a canopy of angels for this is the precious light the enemy is working against ALL THE TIME! (FW, p. 72).

Put Up the Bars Behind You!

We need not be confused. “We can be established on every point; and when the Holy Spirit shall come into our hearts, to impress the truth into our souls, WE WILL NOT LET IT GO EASILY.” (FW, p. 56). “If you have seen the truth of God, press right to the light and put up the bars behind you. We need to have an individual, personal experience. We need to be converted as did the Jews. If you see a little light, you are not to stand back and say, ‘I will wait until my brethren have seen it.’ IF YOU DO, YOU WILL GO ON IN DARKNESS.” FW, pp. 77, 78.

“Fear God!” That is, “You are to think for yourself. You are no longer to let other men do your thinking.” (E.G. White, This Day With God, p. 31). This is what it means to “fear” God. And “Give glory to Him.” Rev. 14:7. We are to give credit to whom credit is due. “What have you that you did not receive?” 1 Cor. 4:7. “A man can receive nothing unless it be given him from God.” John 3:27. “From the smallest benefits up to the largest blessing, all flow through the one Channel—a superhuman mediation sprinkled with the blood that is of value beyond estimate because it was the life of God in His Son.” FW, p. 22.

“The creation belongs to God. The Lord could, by neglecting man, stop his breath at once. All that he is and all that he has pertains to God. The entire world is God’s own endowment. It is all His gift to be returned back to God in helping to cultivate the heart of man. The most splendid offerings may be laid upon the altar of God, and men will praise, exalt, and laud the giver because of his liberality. In what? ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’” (1 Chronicles 29:14; FW pp. 22, 23).

“We stand in favour before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in—the merits of the—blood of a crucified and risen Savior.” FW 107; Rom. 5:9; 3:25; Col. 1:14, 20.

There is not a Point…

Our next witnesses speak with even greater authority. We need to pay close attention:

“There is not a point that needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly, repeated more frequently, or established more firmly in the minds of all than the impossibility of fallen man meriting anything by his own best good works.” FW, p. 19.

This is as strong a testimony as one witness can bear, right? However, this testimony does not even come close to what we are about to hear. Brace yourself! To my knowledge, the next testimony is likely to be the strongest, clearest, and most solemn one mortal ears will ever hear regarding the utter worthlessness of creature merit:

“If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul, or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as TREASON.” FW, p. 24.

To those who cherish the idea that good works have any merit in themselves, Jesus will say, “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity.” Matt. 7:23. Solemn words!

Could we possibly hear stronger language? Hardly! But there is more: “Standing in the presence of their Creator and looking upon the unsurpassed glory which enshrouds His person, they—the angels—are looking upon the lamb of God given from the foundation of the world to a life of humiliation, to be rejected of sinful men, to be despised, to be crucified. Who can measure the infinity of the sacrifice? And any works that man can render to God will be FAR LESS THAN NOTHINGNESS. The idea of doing anything to MERIT the grace of pardon is FALLACY from beginning to end.” FW, p. 24.

So then, “Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his good works can never procure eternal life for him.” (Ibid., pp. 20, 27).

The Lord will reward us for the works which He Himself has wrought in and through us but the merits of Christ’s blood alone will avail anything in our behalf. Only the merits and righteousness of Christ will be recognized.

None Will Ever Perish…

“In all our helpless unworthiness, we must trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Savior. NONE WILL EVER PERISH WHILE THEY DO THIS.” PP 203. None will ever perish while they do what? Trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Savior! Blessed assurance!

And “Through the virtue of the merits of the blood of Christ we may stand unscathed amid the fire of temptation and trial.” FW, pp. 86, 87. For, “Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits, we appropriate the infinite blessings of light and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 5T, 744. And “the gift of the Holy Spirit, rich, full, and abundant,” “brings all other blessings in its train,” AA 50; DA 672, and “is to be to God’s people as an encompassing wall of fire that the powers of hell shall not prevail against.” TM, p. 18.

Thus, “Living faith enables its possessor to lay hold upon the merits of Christ, enables him to derive great comfort and satisfaction from the plan of salvation.” 1SM, 364.

“He who spilled His own blood lives to plead its merits in our behalf!” (7 BC, 948). “The intercession of Christ in our behalf is that of presenting His divine merits in the offering of Himself to the Father as our Substitute and Surety; for He ascended up on high to make atonement for our transgressions.” FW 105. And now in this time of investigative judgment, through the virtue of the merits of His blood, we may be “more than conquerors” in the battle against our inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil. DA 671. “We are living in the great Day of Atonement, and it is now time that everyone should repent before God, confess his sins, and by living faith rest upon the merits of a crucified and living Savior.” TM pp. 224, 225.

When Christ died a sacrifice, “The condition for the atonement was fulfilled.” AA, p. 29. Ever since His ascension He has been pleading the merits of His blood before the Father in our behalf. “The intercession of Christ is as a golden chain fastened to the throne of God. HE has turned the merit of His sacrifice into prayer.” 7 BC 914; AA 37; PP 357-359.

In 1844 Jesus entered the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary to enter into the final phase of the atonement to prepare a people to stand without spot or wrinkle at His coming. “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. BY FAITH HE CAN BRING TO GOD THE MERITS OF CHRIST, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light.” FW, 101.

From Another Angle

Let us now look at this precious truth from another angle:

“Some seem to feel that they must be on probation and must prove to the Lord that they are reformed before they can claim His blessing. But these dear souls may claim the blessing even now. They must have His grace, the Spirit of Christ, to help their infirmities, or they cannot form a Christian character. Jesus loves to have us come to him as we are—sinful, helpless, dependent.” FW 38.

A preacher was once heard saying that the Holy Spirit was promised to us on certain conditions such as “humility, confession, repentance, and earnest prayer.” “And,” he added, “we need to pray that the Lord will show us any other conditions so that we can be revived and receive the Holy Spirit!” This teaching is not in harmony with the teachings of the Word of God. The Good News is that “The Lord specifies no conditions except that you hunger and thirst for His mercy and His love.” MB, p. 130, Matt. 5:6.

This is the only condition! And even this is the gift of God: “You cannot have an inclination to come to Him unless He sets in motion influences and impresses His Spirit upon the human mind. And if there is a man on the face of the earth who has any inclination toward God, it is because of the many influences that are set to work to bear upon his mind and heart. Those influences call for the allegiance to God and an appreciation of the great work done for him.” FW 73.

Ron’s Commentary: Willful, knowing disobedience to God’s commands is not evidence that one is hungering and thirsting for His mercy and love.

"No one can believe with the heart unto righteousness, and obtain justification by faith, while continuing the practice of those things which the Word of God forbids, or while neglecting any known duty....As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and co-operates with God, he works out in the life what God WORKS IN by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory....It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained." E.G. White, Selected Messages, Bk. 1, pp. 396-397. End Ron’s comment.


“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Ps. 107:21). And “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Verse 22.


This makes it very clear, then, that if there is anything good in us—humility, confession, repentance, etc., etc., it is wholly attributable to the mercy of a compassionate Savior! The next witness is just as emphatic: “He who will lay hold of Christ’s righteousness NEED NOT WAIT ONE MOMENT that he himself may blot out his own sins. HE NEED NOT WAIT UNTIL HE HAS MADE A SUITABLE REPENTANCE before he may take hold of Christ’s righteousness. WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE MATTER OF SALVATION. IT IS JUST AS SIMPLE AS ABC. BUT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT.” FW, pp. 76, 64.


Ron’s Commentary: The conditions for coming to Christ, and for being justified, must not be confused. Commensurately, it must be recognized that obedience must ACCOMPANY justification and is proof of it; the very test of it. If we love Him we will keep His commandments. Obedience is not a requisite for coming to Christ, but it will ACCOMPANY a true hungering and thirsting coming to Jesus, but we need not obey before coming to Christ. That would be impossible for it is only by His empowerment that we can obey.


"Obedience is the fruit of faith." Faith, of course, is what results in our receiving Justification. Therefore, obedience in the life, and sanctification, could never precede justification. We come to Jesus, in a surrendered, obedient HEART, in a willingness to obey. Steps to Christ, p. 62.


"If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Savior, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God as if you had not sinned." Steps to Christ, p. 62.


"No one can believe with the heart unto righteousness, and obtain justification by faith, while continuing the practice of those things which the Word of God forbids, or while neglecting any known duty....As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and co-operates with God, he works out in the life what God WORKS IN by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory....It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained." E.G. White, Selected Messages, Bk. 1, pp. 396-397. Compare with the statement below:


"We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, OR ACCEPT CHRIST BY FAITH, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ 'dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.' Col. 2:9, 10, R.V." Desire of Ages, 181.


"Many think that repentance is a work which wholly devolves upon man as a preparation to come to Christ., his mediator but this is an error and deception. Repentance must precede FORGIVENESS, but the sinner does not repent until he has faith in Christ as his mediator. The Bible does not teach that the sinner must repent before he comes to Christ. [But he/she must repent before receiving justification and if this is not true, we would be saved in sin rather than from sin]. Our Saviour has been lifted up upon the cross of Calvary, and the love of Christ shining from the cross speaks constantly to the sinner of the sufferings of Jesus for fallen man. His love for the fallen race constantly draws sinners to him. The transgressor may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ but if he does not resist, he will be drawn to Jesus, and a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God's dear Son." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, 08-11-90.


If repentance must precede forgiveness, then forgiveness must precede justification, because justification is grace and mercy forgiveness for sins past. Sure, come as you are, but one is not saved until he/she believes with the heart unto righteousness, and ceases things which the Word of God forbids, or while neglecting any known duty, such as fearing and shunning those who link themselves in ecumenical union, for example.


I have stated that man may come to Christ just as he/she is, but does not obtain justification by faith until ceasing to continue the willful, knowing practice of those things which the Word of God forbids, which includes neglect of known duty, such as the duty to fear and shun those who come into union with those who have ever been the opposers of truth, the fallen churches of Babylon.


Divine Power Combined With Human Effort


"All who ever enter heaven's gates will enter as conquerors. When the redeemed throng surround the throne of God, with palm branches in their hands and crowns on their heads, it will be known what victories have been won. It will be seen how Satan's power has been exercised over minds, how he has linked with himself souls who flattered themselves that they were doing God's will. It will then be seen that his power and subtlety could not have been successfully resisted had not divine power been combined with human effort. Man must also be victor over himself his temper, inclinations, and spirit must be brought into subjection to the will of God. But the righteousness and strength of Christ avail for all who will claim His merits. {5T 384.1}


What I am attempting to avoid is the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans which says:


Nicolaitans -- "The earliest extra-Biblical Christian writer to mention this party is Irenaeus (c. A.D. 185), who identifies the Nicolaitans as a Gnostic sect...There is evidence also of a Gnostic sect in the 3d cent. A.D. bearing the name 'Nicolaitans.' "...The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism (see SDA Bible Com 7:957). Nicolaitans of the 2d cent. seem to have continued and extended the views of the 1st-cent. adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation." SDA Bible Dictionary, vol. 8 of the Commentaries, p. 770, 771.


Nicolaitans -- "But the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of none effect that by 'believing' we are released from the necessity of being doers of the word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned. To the church of Ephesus He says, 'I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember then from whence thou are fallen, and repent, and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner's credentials that this imputed righteousness fulfils the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. 'I am saved,' they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah?--No for the garments of Christ's righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception, and Christ becomes to these persons a stumbling block as He did to the Jews,--to the Jews, because they would not receive Him as their personal Saviour, to these professed believers in Christ, because they separate Christ and the law, and regard faith as a substitute for obedience. They separate the Father and the Son, the Saviour of the world. Virtually they teach, both by precept and example, that Christ, by His death, saves men in their transgressions.

It is necessary that every intelligent being shall understand the principles of the Law of God. Christ through the apostle James declares, 'Whoso shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.' These words were spoken this side of the death of Christ therefore the Law was binding upon all at that time.

The Saviour raised His voice in protest against those who regard the divine commandments with indifference and carelessness. He said, 'Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' And He also declared, 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.

Many talk of freedom, of gospel liberty. They may assert that they are not in bondage to the Law. But the influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the Law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind, and he fully understands the requirements [conditions] of God, and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. 'Whosoever abideth in Him,' says John, 'sinneth not whosoever sinneth, hath not seen Him, neither know Him." E.G. White, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, 02-08-97. End Ron’s commentary.


We are to come to God as we are—sinful, helpless, dependent. “The plea that we may urge NOW and EVER is our utterly helpless condition.” DA 317. And then, by living faith, we are to daily apply to the merits of a crucified and risen Savior! “The blood of Christ is efficacious, but it needs to be applied continually.” 4T 122.


A Vitalizing Power


As we appropriate the merits of the Savior to ourselves, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us (1SM 354); Rom. 5:5, 9). And this love which is diffused through the whole being is a vitalizing power! Every vital part, the heart, the brain, the nerves, it touches with healing! It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care that crush the life forces. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul a joy that nothing earthly can destroy, joy in the Holy Spirit, health-giving, life-giving joy! (MH, 115).


A Sublime Truth


We cannot afford to forget this sublime truth: It is only the merits of Christ that will avail anything in our behalf: “Your birth, your reputation, your wealth, your talents, your virtues, your piety, your philanthropy, or anything else in you or connected with you, your connection with the church, the manner in which your brethren regard you, will be of no avail unless by living faith you lay hold upon the merits of a crucified and risen Savior.” E.G. White, RH, Mar. 28, 1899.


“Faith is the gift of God.” (Rom. 12:3). “But the power to exercise it is ours.” (PP 431; John 1:7). Thus, faith is the hand by which the soul lays right hold upon the merits of the blood that is of value beyond estimate to bring Christ and His love into the heart!


“If we are conscious of our need, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but RELY upon the MERITS of a crucified and risen Savior. Look and live. NOT ONE WHO TRUSTS IN THE MERITS OF CHRIST WILL BE LEFT TO PERISH.” PP.432.


May the Lord cover His people with a canopy of His holy angels and surround them with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace that they may get their bearings back by laying right hold upon the merits of the blood of the Lamb that was slain!


We have no merits except as we appropriate to ourselves those of Jesus! AND WHAT MERITS ARE THESE! Unless we do appropriate them, we cannot have the approval of God. But if we do, His merits are placed upon us and God loves us as He loves His only begotten Son!


In Conclusion


The Lord’s promise is that as we daily plead our case before Him, relying solely upon the merits of the blood that was shed for us upon Calvary’s cross, we shall love Him with all our hearts and our neighbours as ourselves. As we learn to hold in abomination all other merits save those of Jesus, we shall see that there is not a negative in the law that proceeds out of the mouth of God! We shall realize that the ten commandments are as many exceeding great and precious promises! (2 Cor. 1:20). Amen!


“John, while in vision, saw a company clothed with white robes…They were seen in the temple of God. This will be the result for all who will lay hold of the merits of Christ and wash their robes in His blood.” OFC 339.


“If we teach the truth according to our own ways, we shall see that there will not always be perfect harmony as there should be. But if we teach the truth as it is in Jesus (SALVATION ONLY THROUGH THE MERITS OF JESUS), we shall teach it in the spirit of the true Educator and we will not have various opinions, and cling to our own ideas with tenacity, but we will see eye to eye. And while we thus teach, believing that Jesus will help us to present the truth as it is in Him, then we may expect His help, and we will have it.” E.G. White Comments, SDA BC, Vol. 7, p. 914.




“Are you in Christ? Not if you do not acknowledge yourselves erring, helpless, condemned sinners.” E.G.W. 1893 GCB, p. 178.


“Some have said they cannot see how a man can acknowledge himself to be wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; and don’t know it, and at the same time be rejoicing in the Lord. Well, I would like to know how anyone else can. I would like to know how a man is going to rejoice I the Lord, when he thinks he is all right himself. Can you tell? I can’t imagine.” (A.T. Jones, ibid., 178). So “The plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition.” DA 317.


“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Savior. God would send every angel in Heaven to the aid of such one, rather than allow him to be overcome.” SD p. 35.


Heaven is a ceaseless approaching unto God through Christ and His all-sufficient merits. (1SM 354). Therefore, “Our part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ.” FE 430. “The work of the minister is to hang his helpless soul upon His merit.” TM 247.


“Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice.” TM 92.


Bank Account


Each one of us has a personal bank account with God. “Only the merits and righteousness of Christ will be recognized. But this is placed in our account in rich fullness. We may draw upon God every moment. God has pledged Himself to open before us all the riches of His grace.” E.G. White, Our Father Cares, p. 149.


Righteousness is Obedience


“Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ,” which clothe him with the robe of His righteousness to fulfill every jot and tittle of the law! (FW 101, 27; Ev. 186).


“The redeemer, with a heart of unalterable love, still pleads His sacred blood in the sinner’s behalf. The wounded hand, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead eloquently for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such an infinite cost. Oh, matchless condescension! Neither time nor events can lessen the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice. THE MERITS OF THE SLAIN LAMB ARE ACCEPTED BY GOD TODAY AS A PURIFIER FROM THE DEFILEMENT OF SIN.” (4T 124). “Faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin.” FW 101.


The Sacrifice of Gratitude


“And in as much as man enjoys the blessings of God in the gift of the sunshine and the gift of good, there must be on the part of man a bowing down in thankful acknowledgment that all things come of God.” (FW 21; 1Ch. 29:9-16; 16:29, 34, 35; Ed. 197, 198, 107, 108; DA 660).


“Every gift is stamped with the cross and bears the superscription of Jesus Christ. All things come of God. From the smallest benefits up to the largest blessing, all flow through the one Channel; a superhuman mediation sprinkled with the blood that is of value beyond estimate because it was the life of God in His Son.” (FW 22; 2 Cor. 5:18; 3:5; 1 Cor. 4:7; John 3:27).


“Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God. He needed no atonement of suffering for Himself; all His sufferings were for us; ALL HIS MERITS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS WERE OPEN TO FALLEN MAN, PRESENTED AS A GIFT.” (Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 913.


“If human beings would open the windows of the soul heavenward in appreciation of the divine gifts, a flood of healing virtue would pour in.” MH, p. 116.


“By virtue of His merits He gives us power to become members of the Royal family, children of the Heavenly King.” (OFC 120). “The blood of Christ in an ever-abiding efficacy is our only hope, for through its merits alone we have pardon and peace.” (OFC 143). And “We are to be transformed through the merits of Christ.” (OFC 204). Thus, “THROUGH THE MERITS OF CHRIST WE MAY FIND THE APPROVAL OF GOD.” (OFC 122). “There is no truth so powerful as a truth who time has come.” E.G. White.


“When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress, from strength to strength and from victory to victory…


Living faith enables its possessor to lay hold on the merits of Christ, enables him to derive great comfort and satisfaction from the plan of redemption.” E.G. White.


The Sprinkled Blood


The sprinkled blood is speaking

Before the Father’s throne,

The Spirit’s power is seeking

To make its virtues known;

The Sprinkled blood is telling

Jehovah’s love to man,

While heavenly harps are swelling

Sweet notes to mercy’s plan


The Sprinkled Blood is speaking

Forgiveness full and free,

Its wondrous power is breaking

Each bond of guilt for me;

The sprinkled blood’s revealing

A father’s smiling face,

The Saviour’s love is sealing

Each monument of grace.


The Sprinkled Blood is pleading

Its virtue as my own,

And there my souls is reading

Her title to Thy throne.

The sprinkled blood is owing

The weak one’s feeblest plea;

Mid sighs, and tears, and groaning,

It pleads, O Lord, with Thee