Lesson 6 *January 31- February 6

Testing the Prophets

Memory Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 NKJV 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

“Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION”. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.

Sabbath Afternoon

Joel 2:28-29 NKJV 28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Acts 2:14-21 NKJV 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'

Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Revelation 12:17 NKJV 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:10 NKJV 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 36

 My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people.--Letter 55, 1905. {1SM 36.1}

     I am now instructed that I am not to be hindered in my work by those who engage in suppositions regarding its nature, whose minds are struggling with so many intricate problems connected with the supposed work of a prophet. My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there. It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.--Letter 244, 1906. (Addressed to elders of Battle Creek church.) {1SM 36.2}

     Receiving and Imparting the Light As inquiries are frequently made as to my state in vision, and after I come out, I would say that when the Lord sees fit to give a vision, I am taken into the presence of Jesus and angels, and am entirely lost to earthly things. I can see no farther than the angel directs me. My attention is often directed to scenes transpiring upon earth. {1SM 36.3}

     At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past. After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force. I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to (p. 37) call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them.--Spiritual Gifts (1860), vol. 2, pp. 292, 293. {1SM 36.4}


Dreams and Visions

Joel 2:28 NKJV 28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.

Genesis 15:1 NKJV 1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."

Numbers 12:6-8 NKJV 6 Then He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. 8 I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?"

Daniel 7:1 NKJV 1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

Review Genesis chaps 20–41 and Daniel chaps 1-7

Matthew 1:20 NKJV 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 2:12 NKJV 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Matthew 2:19 NKJV 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Matthew 2:22 NKJV 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.

Isaiah 1:1 NKJV 1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Ezekiel 1:1 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

Daniel 8:1 NKJV 1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me-to me, Daniel-after the one that appeared to me the first time.

Obadiah 1:1 NKJV 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom (We have heard a report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle"):

Nahum 1:1 NKJV 1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Acts 9:10 NKJV 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord."

Acts 10:3 NKJV 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!"

Acts 11:5 NKJV 5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me.

Acts 16:9 NKJV 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."

Acts 18:9 NKJV 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;

Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 36

My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people.--Letter 55, 1905. {1SM 36.1}

     I am now instructed that I am not to be hindered in my work by those who engage in suppositions regarding its nature, whose minds are struggling with so many intricate problems connected with the supposed work of a prophet. My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there. It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.--Letter 244, 1906. (Addressed to elders of Battle Creek church.) {1SM 36.2}

     Receiving and Imparting the Light As inquiries are frequently made as to my state in vision, and after I come out, I would say that when the Lord sees fit to give a vision, I am taken into the presence of Jesus and angels, and am entirely lost to earthly things. I can see no farther than the angel directs me. My attention is often directed to scenes transpiring upon earth. {1SM 36.3}

     At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past. After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force. I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to (p. 37) call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them.--Spiritual Gifts (1860), vol. 2, pp. 292, 293. {1SM 36.4}


Agreement With the Bible

Isaiah 8:20 NKJV 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Deuteronomy 4:44 NKJV 44 Now this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:9 NKJV 9 So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.

2 Chronicles 23:11 NKJV 11 And they brought out the king's son, put the crown on him, gave him the Testimony, and made him king. Then Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, "Long live the king!"

John 3:32 NKJV 32 "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.

Malachi 3:6 NKJV 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Jeremiah 25:11 NKJV 11 'And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jeremiah 28:1-4 NKJV 1 And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 'Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD'S house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. 4 'And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"

Jeremiah 28:15-17 NKJV 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. 16 "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.'" 17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.



Fulfilled Prophecy

Jeremiah 18:6-10 NKJV 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! 7 "The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 "if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 "And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 "if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

1 Samuel 9:6 NKJV 6 And he said to him, "Look now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he says surely comes to pass. So let us go there; perhaps he can show us the way that we should go."

Jeremiah 28:9 NKJV 9 "As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent."

Lamentations 3:37 NKJV 37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not commanded it?

Read Jonah chapters 3 & 4

Jonah 3:4 NIV 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."

Jonah 3:4 NKJV 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 131-132

Chap. 23 - Conformity to the World

     I was shown the conformity of some professed Sabbathkeepers to the world. Oh, I saw that it is a disgrace to their profession, a disgrace to the cause of God. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and actions, that there is no distinction. I saw them decorating their poor, mortal bodies, which are liable at any moment to be touched by the finger of God and laid upon a bed of anguish. Oh, then, as they approach their last change, mortal anguish racks their frames, and the great inquiry is:

"Am I prepared to die? prepared to appear before God in judgment, and pass the grand review?" Ask them then how they feel about decorating their bodies, and if they have any sense of what it is to be prepared to appear before God, they will tell you that if they could take back and live over the past, they would correct their lives, shun the follies of the world, its vanity and pride, and would adorn the body with modest apparel, and set an example to all around them. They would live to the glory of God. {1T 131.1}

     Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead. But many are longing for the leeks and onions of Egypt. They have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible and yet go to heaven. Such climb up some other way. They do not enter through the strait gate and narrow way. {1T 131.2}

     I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said (p. 132) the angel: "Some food for worms, [SISTER CLARISSA M. BONFOEY, WHO FELL ASLEEP IN Jesus ONLY THREE DAYS AFTER THIS VISION WAS GIVEN, WAS PRESENT IN USUAL HEALTH, AND WAS DEEPLY IMPRESSED THAT SHE WAS ONE WHO WOULD GO INTO THE GRAVE, AND STATED HER CONVICTIONS TO OTHERS.] some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." {1T 131.3}

     Solemn words were these, spoken by the angel. I asked the angel why so few were interested in their eternal welfare, so few preparing for their last change. Said he: "Earth attracts them, its treasures seem of worth to them." They find enough to engross the mind, and have no time to prepare for heaven. Satan is ever ready to plunge them deeper and deeper into difficulty; as soon as one perplexity and trouble is off the mind, he begets within them an unholy desire for more of the things of earth; and thus their time passes, and, when it is too late, they see that they have gained nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows and lost eternal life. Such will have no excuse. {1T 132.1}

     Many dress like the world, to have an influence. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make the distinction great between the Christian and the world. I saw that the words, the dress, and actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. Unbelievers will see that the truth we profess has a holy influence and that faith in Christ's coming affects the character of the man or woman. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of the truth, let them live it out and thus imitate the humble Pattern. {1T 132.2}

     I saw that God hates pride, and that all the proud and all that do wickedly shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up. I saw that the third angel's message (p. 133) must yet work like leaven upon many hearts that profess to believe it, and purge away their pride, selfishness, covetousness, and love of the world. {1T 132.3}

Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, October 6, 1896

October 6, 1896 Whosoever Will, Let Him Come. - By Mrs. E. G. White.

     "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Here is brought to view the Christian's strength and efficiency, and I would that I had power to present the subject in its fulness. Christ is the root, and he sustains every branch by his divine power; but those who make finite man their dependence will certainly fall. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 1}

     Christ is the root; his disciples are the branches. Great dishonor is done to Christ by those who profess to be his disciples, and are not. If men are not evidencing that they are branches in the divine root, if they are not partakers of the divine nature, they will not, they cannot, love those for whom Christ has given his life. His word declares: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." But notwithstanding these positive utterances, there is but little expression given to that love which evidences that its possessors are sons and daughters of God. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 2}

     Christ is the "bright and morning star." He is the Christian's light. "They that follow me," he says, "shall not walk in darkness." They are to receive their light from the morning star; and as they catch his bright beams, they are actively, interestedly, to transmit to others the light received. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 3}

     "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. . . . And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Every sincerely converted soul has his work to do; he is to receive grace from Christ, and to give as freely as he has received. He is to let the light from the bright and morning star shine forth in self-denial, in self-sacrifice, as Christ has given the example in his own life and character. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 4}

     Jesus would impress upon his church that they are his brethren. He would have them unite with him in one brotherhood, as laborers together with God. They are to constitute the light of the world. They are to be co-partners with Christ in the great work of saving souls. Their efforts will be determinedly opposed; but they are to remember that Jesus failed not nor was discouraged. His manner of labor must be the plan adopted by his followers. The Lord expects every man to do his duty, each uniting with each, and all with Christ, the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 5}

     When they are in unity with him, a living testimony goes forth, in words and actions, that the church have the spirit and mind of Christ. They love as brethren; they are the light of the world, the salt of the earth. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 6}

     Jesus freely offers salvation. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Jesus says, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;

but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." This offer embraces all who accept Christ individually. The invitation "Come" is to be echoed by every soul who is a partaker of the divine nature. Christ was standing only a few steps from the heavenly throne when he gave his commission to his disciples. Including as missionaries all who should believe on his name, he said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." God's power was to go with them. If those who claimed to have a living experience in the things of God had done their appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would have been warned ere this, and the Lord Jesus would have come in power and great glory. For God has appointed a day in the which he will judge the world. He tells us when that day shall come,--"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Jesus wants every minister to whom he has committed a trust, to be faithful, to remember his injunctions, to contemplate the vastness of the work, and upon how large a number the obligation rests. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 7}

     God has organized his instrumentalities for drawing all men unto him. As the worker seeks to give to others the light God has given him, the Lord imparts increased light; and doing his best, with an eye single to the glory of God, he realizes the value of souls. As he visits from house to house, opening the Scriptures to those whose understanding is darkened, angels of God will be close beside him to impress the heart of the one who is athirst for the water of life. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 8}

     When the latter rain is poured out, the church will be clothed with power for its work; but the church as a whole will never receive this until its members shall put away from among them, envy, evil-surmisings, and evil-speaking. Those who cherish these sins know not the blessed experience of love; they are not awake to the fact that the Lord is testing and proving their love for him by the attitude they assume toward one another. Christ says to us, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." When this commandment is obeyed, envy, evil-speaking, evil-surmising, and evil-thinking will not be indulged; they will have no part in the formation of character. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 9}

     This love means growth spiritually. Christ has given an example which his people are to follow. He binds them to one another and to himself by his own divine attributes. Their oneness with Jesus Christ makes them love one another, for this is the sure fruit. He makes their affection for one another the badge of their discipleship. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 10}

     As the Saviour lifted his eyes to heaven, just before he descended to the greatest depths of his humiliation, offering up his life on the cross, he prayed that his disciples might all be one, "even as we are one: . . . that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 11}

     God's people have battles to fight, close and severe, but not against their brethren. All dissension, all desire to hurt or weaken or destroy the influence or work of one of God's weakest workers, will be registered in the books of heaven as done unto Jesus.

The warfare we must undertake is against the confederacy of evil; but woe unto those who shall turn their implements of warfare against their own brethren! {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 12}

     "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" The love of Jesus in the heart will always be revealed in kind- heartedness and tender compassion for those for whom he paid so dear a price. The beloved disciple continues: "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. . . . And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." We cannot be loveless Christians; the thing is simply impossible. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 13}

     The education of the church has not been altogether what it should be. Satan has been working to blind the understanding, that the church shall not realize her weighty responsibilities. The ordained minister is depended upon to pray, and to open the Scriptures to the people who assemble for worship; but God would have every one do a work for the Master. Thousands might be at work who are not ordained to preach the gospel. It is humble men whom God will use,--those who will open their hearts to the voice and knock of Jesus, that he may come in and abide with them. And because they have neglected their God-given work, many have lost their first love. A hard, selfish spirit has taken possession of a large number of those who, if they had loved the souls for whom Christ has died, would work for them in a variety of ways as God's instrumentalities. {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 14}

     God reminds his army that they are to fight in unison with the angels of heaven, and that more than angels are engaged in the warfare. The Holy Spirit, Christ's representative, is in their ranks, arming the weakest with his might to press forward unto victory. - {RH, October 6, 1896 par. 15}

Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 29

 Then this map was removed and another put in its place. On it light was shining from a few places only. The rest of the world was in darkness, with only a glimmer of light here and there. Our Instructor said: "This darkness is the result of men's following their own course. They have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. They have made questioning and faultfinding and accusing the chief business of their lives. Their hearts are not right with God. They have hidden their light under a bushel." {9T 29.1}

     If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us. - {9T 29.2}

     Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing ourselves and our present and future to His wise providence, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that it is not because of our worthiness that we receive the blessings of heaven, but because of the worthiness of Christ, and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God's abounding grace. (30) {9T 29.3}


Confessing Jesus, the God-man

1 John 4:1-2 NKJV 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

Hebrews 4:14-15 NKJV 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Ellen G. White, Messages to Young People, p. 161

Jesus Christ is everything to us,--the first, the last, the best in everything. Jesus Christ, His Spirit, His character, colors everything; it is the warp and woof, the very texture of our entire being. The words of Christ are spirit and life. We cannot, then, center our thoughts upon self; it is no more we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and He is the hope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. Continuing to look unto Jesus, we reflect His image to all around us. We cannot stop to consider our disappointments, or even to talk of them; for a more pleasant picture attracts our sight,--the precious love of Jesus. He dwells in us by the word of truth.--"Testimonies to Ministers," pp. 387-390. {MYP 161.1}

     The Pearl of Great Price We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the Lord's to be consecrated to His service. When we thus give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of great price.--"Christ's Object Lessons," p. 116. {MYP 161.2}

Acts 4:12 NKJV 12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 367

Jesus and Nicodemus Nicodemus sought an interview with Jesus at night, saying, "Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him." All this was true, as far as it went; but what said Jesus? He "answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Here was a man in a high position of trust, a man who was looked up to as one educated in Jewish customs, one whose mind was stored with wisdom. He was indeed in possession of talents of no ordinary character. He would not go to Jesus by day, for this would make him a subject of remark. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with the despised Nazarene. Nicodemus thinks, I will ascertain for myself the mission and claims of this Teacher, whether He is indeed the (p. 368) Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Israel. {TM 367.1}

Ellen G. White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 127

Those who are teaching the most solemn message ever given to the world, should discipline the mind to comprehend its significance. The theme of redemption will bear the most concentrated study, and its depth will never be fully explored. You need not fear that you will exhaust this wonderful theme. Drink deep of the well of salvation. Go to the fountain for yourself, that you may be filled with refreshment, that Jesus may be in you a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. Only Bible truth and Bible religion will stand the test of the judgment. We are not to pervert the word of God to suit our convenience, and worldly interests, but to honestly inquire, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price." And what a price! Not "with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ." When man was lost, the Son of God said, I will redeem him, I will become his surety and substitute. He laid aside His royal robes, clothed His divinity with humanity, stepped down from the royal throne, that He might reach the very depth of human woe and temptation, lift up our fallen natures, and make it possible for us to be overcomers, the sons of God, the heirs of the eternal kingdom. Shall we then allow any consideration of earth to turn us away from the path of truth? Shall (p. 128) we not challenge every doctrine and theory, and put it to the test of God's word? {FE 127.1}

Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, March 18, 1889

March 18, 1889 The Substance of Things Hoped For. [MORNING TALK AT SOUTH LANCASTER, MASS., JANUARY 18, 1889.] - By Mrs. E. G. White.


     The word of the Lord declares that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." We desire that everyone should be in a position where he can believe the word of God. How should I feel if my children should be constantly complaining to me, just as though I did not mean well, when my whole life's efforts have been to forward their interests and to give them comfort? Suppose they should doubt my love; my heart would break. I couldn't endure it. How would any of you feel to be thus treated by your children? How can our heavenly Father regard us when we doubt his love, that has led him to give his only begotten Son that we might have life? The apostle writes, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" And yet we stand back, distrustful and suspicious, saying, "Well, he doesn't mean this for me. Perhaps he loves others, but he does not love me." {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 1}

     Why is it so difficult for you to believe in God?--It is because you have been educating your soul in doubt and unbelief all your life long. It makes my heart ache to hear your mournful testimonies, stating that your whole life has been a failure. Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed in response to the Spirit of God? Dear brethren, for Christ's sake cherish every ray of light, every token of mercy and good, every blessing that God has bestowed upon you. Although you see that you have not given glory to God, that you have not been grateful, let that not be a reason why you should be ungrateful still, and sink down into despondency and discouragement. Have you not praised God in the past when the warm rays of his love fell upon your heart? Have you not sought to do his will as an obedient child? When you look back into the chapters of your experience, do you not find some pleasant pages? Is memory's hall filled only with pictures of neglect and sorrow? Are there only dark, forbidding, and unhappy representations there? Are there not some pleasant pictures, where you can see the providence of God? Confess your ingratitude of the past; but retain every pleasing memory, and every token of God's love that he has given to bind your heart to his great heart of infinite love. Oh, praise him! Let us educate ourselves to speak the language of faith. If Satan has cast his dark shadow across your path, look up in faith, and God will let his light shine upon you and dispel the darkness. Satan would like to have you cherish that shadow. He would like to have you view God through a cloud of his own making; but we are to be in a position of faith and confidence in God, where we can cherish every bright beam of light; having seen a token of God's love, we are to say, "Here is an evidence that God is blessing me. I cherish this as a manifestation of his favor. I will gather up the precious jewels of his truth." If you do this, you will be full of light. If you have been in the shadow, confess your unbelief, and then claim the promises of God by living faith, and come into the light of your Saviour. {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 2}

     You are not to trust simply in pleasant emotions. Suppose that after you have been filled with joy, you should rise in the morning under a cloud, with the same train of shadowy thoughts as have troubled you in the past. Would that be an evidence that God had left you during the night? Not at all. It would simply be an evidence that your mind has so long been trained in the line of unbelief, that it is from force of habit running in the doubting channel. Dwell on the faith side of the question. Educate your thoughts in the line of God's mercy. Educate your tongue to speak of his goodness. Train the whole mind and soul to act in faith. It is praising Satan when you talk so continuously of your doubts and darkness. You are glorifying the prince of darkness when you give up your thoughts and words to follow in the shadow he casts on your pathway. Let your first morning thought be, "How good is the Lord! He is full of goodness and tender mercy." Praise him. Say, "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." When the darkness of the enemy begins to sweep over you, say, "I do love the Lord. I know that I love him, and I know that the Lord loves me, even me." {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 3}

     A good way to disperse darkness is to talk faith and courage. We are admonished in the word of God to fight the good fight of faith. Suppose that you take your stand under the banner of faith. If you have repented of your sins, and have confessed them to God, you need no longer go on in doubt and despondency.

God does not want you to stand under a cloud. He wants you to come into the light, and to have confidence in him, knowing that you have committed your soul unto his keeping, as unto a faithful Creator. {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 4}

     Satan will come to you after you have trusted in God, and will try to steal away the victory that faith has gained. He will present your sins to you; but can you not tell him it is written, "The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin"? Can you not tell him that God has promised to remove your transgressions away from you as far as the east is from the west, and that they are to be remembered no more? {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 5}

     I see the necessity every day and every hour of exercising living faith. What is faith? It is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." There is a wonderful power in faith. It brings eternal things to view, and lays hold of the arm of infinite power. If you have been educating your soul to gather up the dark chapters in your experience, turn over a new leaf and have a new, bright, cheerful experience; put your will wholly on the Lord's side. We must exercise living faith if we would war successfully against the temptations of the enemy. {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 6}

     There are on the walls of this house two mottoes, "Praise the Lord," and, "Thy word is truth." These are good and pleasant words. Suppose that you hang your memory's hall all full of the remembrances of God's goodness, grace, and truth, and let not one dark thought or shadow have a place in that hall. We are not to be so selfish as to simply desire a flight of happy emotions. We are to fix our faith on the promises of God, which are sure and steadfast, and shall endure forever and ever. The joyful feeling will come when we fully trust in God's promises. Jesus has said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden." This invitation is certainly for those who are burdened with unbelief; and his assurance is, "Ye shall find rest unto your souls." It is not, "May be you shall find rest." Oh, no; it is positive and certain: "Ye shall find rest." Why do we misinterpret our heavenly Father when he says "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Take his yoke upon you, and he will bear the heaviest part himself. Is he not good company? do you object to association with him? He says, "I am at thy right hand to help you," "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 7}

     Why not make up your mind that you will stand in your God-given manhood and womanhood, and, through Christ, be overcomers? Why not say, "God has promised the power, and I will win back the moral image of my Creator and Redeemer"? Do not allow the mind to hold communion with the enemy. Do not talk of his power to discourage you. Talk of Christ, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. We have a whole Saviour, and let us have a whole faith in him who has died for the sins of men, and for my sins. When we take this position, we shall find rest and peace in our Saviour. Come with your burdens, and lay them down at the foot of the cross, put off the yoke of self and sin, and wear the yoke of Him who is meek and lowly of heart. Let every soul come to the fountain, and drink of the waters of life, that will be in him like a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 8}

     When I talk of the subject of faith, my faith grows. I feel as though I could run through the troops of darkness, and rise above all barriers. It seems as though nothing could hinder me. By living faith, I grasp the hand of Jesus, and I am all light in the Lord. I do not look at self, I look to Jesus, my high priest, who presents my case to the Father, offering up the merits of his life and sacrifice. Faith will keep the mind above the low level of earth, and direct the soul to Heaven in contemplation of the spiritual and eternal. Let us lift up Jesus, the Saviour of men. Talk of his love, tell of his power, and the angels of God will be attracted to you. Will you have faith in God, who "so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"? - {ST, March 18, 1889 par. 9}



The Orchard Test

Matthew 7:20 NKJV 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:15 NKJV 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Genesis 12:12-13 NKJV 12 "Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."

Jonah 1:1-3 NKJV 1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Acts 15:36-39 NKJV 36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing." 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;

Galatians 2:11-14 NKJV 11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?



Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 338-339

Chap. 48 - The Bible Prophets Wrote for Our Time Never are we absent from the mind of God. God is our joy and our salvation. Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). "Not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:12). {3SM 338.1}

     The Bible has been your study-book. It is well thus, for it is the true counsel of God, and it is the conductor of all the holy influences that the world has contained since its creation. We have the encouraging record that Enoch walked with God. If Enoch walked with God, in that degenerate age just prior to the destruction of the world by a flood, we are to receive courage and be stimulated with his example that we need not be contaminated with the world but, amid all its corrupting influences and tendencies, we may walk with God. We may have the mind of Christ.

(p. 339) {3SM 338.2}

     Treasures for the Last Generation Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was ever prophesying the coming of the Lord. This great event had been revealed to him in vision. Abel, though dead, is ever speaking of the blood of Christ which alone can make our offerings and gifts perfect. The Bible has accumulated and bound up together its treasures for this last generation. All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days. There is Moses still speaking, teaching self-renunciation by wishing himself blotted from the Book of Life for his fellow men, that they might be saved. David is leading the intercession of the church for the salvation of souls to the ends of the earth. The prophets are still testifying of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. There the whole accumulated truths are presented in force to us that we may profit by their teachings. We are under the influence of the whole. What manner of persons ought we to be to whom all this rich light of inheritance has been given. Concentrating all the influence of the past with new and increased light of the present, accrued power is given to all who will follow the light. Their faith will increase, and be brought into exercise at the present time, awakening an energy and an intensely increased earnestness, and through dependence upon God for His power to replenish the world and send the light of the Sun of Righteousness to the ends of the earth. {3SM 339.1}

     God has enriched the world in these last days proportionately with the increase of ungodliness, if His people will only lay hold of His priceless gift and bind up their every interest with Him. There should be no cherished idols, and we need not dread what will come, but commit the keeping of our souls to God, as unto our faithful Creator. He will keep that which is committed to His trust.--Letter 74a, 1897. {3SM 339.2}

1 Corinthians 7:29-30 NKJV 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,

Romans 13:12 NKJV 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 67

 As the subject was presented before me, the period of Christ's ministration seemed almost accomplished. Am I accused of falsehood because time has continued longer than my testimony seemed to indicate? How is it with the testimonies of Christ and His disciples? Were they deceived? {1SM 67.1} Paul writes to the Corinthians: {1SM 67.2} "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not" (1 Corinthians 7:29, 30). {1SM 67.3} Again, in his epistle to the Romans, he says: {1SM 67.4}

     "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light" (Romans 13:12). {1SM 67.5} And from Patmos, Christ speaks to us by the beloved John: {1SM 67.6} "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3). "The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:6, 7). {1SM 67.7}

     The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional. {1SM 67.8} God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel's message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to (p. 68) be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming. {1SM 67.9}