It Is Not for You to Know the Times and the Seasons (Sermon by EGW)

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February 26, 2016

Sermon at Lansing, Michigan, September 5, 1891. | By Mrs. Ellen G. White.

“He showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 1}

The disciples were anxious to know the exact time for the revelation of the kingdom of God; but Jesus tells them that they may not know the times and the seasons; for the Father has not revealed them. To understand when the kingdom of God should be restored, was not the thing of most importance for them to know. They were to be found following the Master, praying, waiting, watching, and working. They were to be representatives to the world of the character of Christ. That which was essential for a successful Christian experience in the days of the disciples, is essential in our day. “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” And after the Holy Ghost was come upon them, what were they to do? “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 2}

This is the work in which we also are to be engaged. Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement, we are wisely to improve present opportunities, doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved. Instead of exhausting the powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in his own power, and withheld from men, we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, to do present duties, to give the bread of life, unadulterated with human opinions, to souls who are perishing for the truth.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 3}

Satan is ever ready to fill the mind with theories and calculations that will divert men from the present truth, and disqualify them for the giving of the third angel’s message to the world. It has ever been thus; for our Saviour often had to speak reprovingly to those who indulged in speculations and were ever inquiring into those things which the Lord had not revealed. Jesus had come to earth to impart important truth to men, and he wished to impress their minds with the necessity of receiving and obeying his precepts and instructions, of doing their present duty, and his communications were of an order that imparted knowledge for their immediate and daily use.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 4}

Jesus said: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” All that was done and said had this one object in view,–to rivet truth in their minds that they might attain unto everlasting life. Jesus did not come to astonish men with some great announcement of some special time when some great event would occur, but he came to instruct and save the lost. He did not come to arouse and gratify curiosity; for he knew that this would but increase the appetite for the curious and the marvelous. It was his aim to impart knowledge whereby men might increase in spiritual strength, and advance in the way of obedience and true holiness. He gave only such instruction as could be appropriated to the needs of their daily life, only such truth as could be given to others for the same appropriation. He did not make new revelations to men, but opened to their understanding truths that had long been obscured or misplaced through the false teaching of the priests and teachers. Jesus replaced the gems of divine truth in their proper setting, in the order in which they had been given to patriarchs and prophets. And after giving them this precious instruction, he promised to give them the Holy Spirit whereby all things that he had said unto them should be brought to their remembrance.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 5}

We are in continual danger of getting above the simplicity of the gospel. There is an intense desire on the part of many to startle the world with something original, that shall lift the people into a state of spiritual ecstasy, and change the present order of experience. There is certainly great need of a change in the present order of experience; for the sacredness of present truth is not realized as it should be, but the change we need is a change of heart, and can only be obtained by seeking God individually for his blessing, by pleading with him for his power, by fervently praying that his grace may come upon us, and that our characters may be transformed. This is the change we need today, and for the attainment of this experience we should exercise persevering energy and manifest heart-felt earnestness. We should ask with true sincerity, “What shall I do to be saved?” We should know just what steps we are taking heavenward.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 6}

Christ gave to his disciples truths whose breadth and depth and value they little appreciated, or even comprehended, and the same condition exists among the people of God today. We too have failed to take in the greatness, to perceive the beauty of the truth which God has intrusted to us today. Should we advance in spiritual knowledge, we would see the truth developing and expanding in lines of which we have little dreamed, but it will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. Again and again have I been warned in regard to time-setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 7}

I was searching through my writings, before coming to this meeting, to see what I should take with me to Australia, and I found an envelope on which was written, “Testimony given in regard to time-setting, June 21, 1851. Preserve carefully.” I opened it, and this is what I found. It reads, “A copy of a vision the Lord gave sister White June 21, 1851, at Camden, N. Y. The Lord showed me that the message must go, and that it must not be hung on time; for time will never be a test again. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time, that the third angel’s message can stand on its own foundation, and that it needs not time to strengthen it, and that it will go with mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 8}

“I saw some were making everything bend to this next fall; that is, making their calculations, and disposing of their property in reference to that time. I saw that this was wrong for this reason, instead of going to God daily, and earnestly desiring to know their present duty, they looked ahead, and made their calculations as though they knew that the work would end this fall, without inquiring their duty of God daily.” E. G. White. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 9}

This was the document I came upon last Monday in searching over my writings, and here is another which was written in regard to a man who was setting time in 1884, and sending broadcast his arguments to prove his theories. The report of what he was doing was brought to me at the Jackson, Mich., camp-meeting, and I told the people they need not take heed to this man’s theory; for the event he predicted would not take place. “The times and seasons God has put in His own power. And why has not God given us this knowledge?—Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told His disciples to “watch,” but not for definite time. His followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord; but no one will be able to predict just when that time will come; for “of that day and hour knoweth no man.” You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years.  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 10}

It is the duty of the people of God to have their lamps trimmed and burning, to be as men that wait for the Bridegroom, when he shall return from the wedding. You have not a moment to lose in neglect of the great salvation that has been provided for you. The time of the probation of souls is coming to an end. From day to day the destiny of men is being sealed, and even from this congregation we know not how soon many shall close their eyes in death and be habited for the tomb. We should now consider that our life is swiftly passing away, that we are not safe one moment unless our life is hid with Christ in God. Our duty is not to be looking forward to some special time for some special work to be done for us, but to go forward in our work of warning the world; for we are to be witnesses of Christ to the uttermost parts of the world. All around us are the young, the impenitent, the unconverted, and what are we doing for them? Parents, in the ardor of your first love, are you seeking for the conversion of your children, or are you engrossed with the things of this life to such an extent that you are not making earnest efforts to be laborers together with God? Do you have an appreciation of the work and mission of the Holy Spirit? Do you realize that the Holy Spirit is the agency whereby we are to reach the souls of those around us? When this meeting shall close, will you go from here and forget the earnest appeals that have been made to you? will the messages of warning be left unheeded, and the truth you have heard leak out of your heart as water leaks out of a broken vessel?  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 11}

The apostle says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”  {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 12}

The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that he may make of you vessels unto honor, and meet for his service. Today you are to give yourself to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy, evil-surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you are to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord–fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 13}

Brethren and sisters, with the increased light that has shone upon you at this meeting, will you go home to be more faithful in your Christian life? Meetings have been held every day to instruct your children as to how to give their hearts to Jesus, how to live in a manner that will be acceptable to God. They have been instructed that if they repent of their sins, Jesus will forgive them, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Who will carry forward the good work that has been begun? Day by day these children need instruction as to how to follow the Lord. Will you pray for them and teach them, and lead them in the way of righteousness? Will you teach your little ones of the love of God which led him to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life?  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 1}

Those who would be successful in winning souls to Christ, must carry with them the divine influence of the Holy Spirit. But how little is known concerning the operation of the Spirit of God. How little has been said of the importance of being endowed by the Holy Spirit, and yet it is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that men are to be drawn to Christ, and through its power alone can the soul be made pure. The Saviour said: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 2}

Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his church, but how little is this promise appreciated. How seldom is its power felt in the church; how little is its power spoken of before the people. The Saviour has said: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.” With the reception of this gift, all other gifts would be ours; for we are to have this gift according to the plentitude of the riches of the grace of Christ, and he is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive. Then let us not be satisfied with only a little of this blessing, only that amount which will keep us from the slumber of death, but let us diligently seek for the abundance of the grace of God.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 3}

God grant that his converting power may be felt throughout this large assembly. O, that the power of God may rest upon the people. What we need is daily piety. We need to search the Scriptures daily, to pray earnestly that by the power of the Holy Spirit God may fit every one of us up to work in our place in his vineyard. No one is prepared to educate and strengthen the church unless he has received the gift of the Holy Spirit. No minister is prepared to labor intelligently for the salvation of souls, unless he is endowed by the Holy Spirit, unless he is feeding on Christ, and has an intense hatred of sin. There are some who are regarded as laborers together with God, who have no connection with God, and are sinning against him. They are not led by Christ; another is their captain. They do not wait upon the Lord, and renew their strength in Christ; they have no burden for souls. What kind of account will these false shepherds have to meet in the judgment? What will they have to say to justify their inefficient, unconsecrated lives? What excuse can they render to the God of heaven? Was there not a sufficient sacrifice made in their behalf, that they might become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust? We are to make intelligent work for eternity. This is the object for which we should labor.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 4}

I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place,–when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning. Christ has told us to watch; “for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” “Watch and pray” is the charge that is given us by our Redeemer. Day by day we are to seek the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, that it may do its office work upon the soul and character. O, how much time has been wasted through giving attention to trifling things. Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 5}

We now call upon you to give yourselves to the service of God. Too long have you given your powers to the service of Satan, and have been slaves to his will. God calls upon you to behold the glory of his character, that by beholding, you may become changed into his image. There are many who have not an experimental knowledge of God or of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. Christ came into the world because men did not have a correct knowledge of the character of God, and he came to reveal the Father. He said: “Neither knoweth any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Jesus came to reveal to the world the love and goodness of God.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 6}

It was thought that Solomon knew God. In a dream the Lord appeared unto Solomon, and said unto him: “Ask what I shall give thee.” And Solomon said: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom and riches and power and influence, and Solomon served the Lord for a time. At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed unto the Lord, and blessed the people, saying, “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.”  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 7}

But although Solomon had had great light, he became lifted up in himself, and imagined that he was wise enough to keep himself, so he separated from God. Then he made alliances with the heathen nations around him, and married idolatrous women, and bowed at pagan shrines, and worshiped after the manner of the heathen.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 8}

He forgot the benefits that God has bestowed upon him; he forsook the sacred temple of the Lord, but he afterwards repented, and turned from his evil ways. But did Solomon know God when he was doing according to the ways of idolaters?–No; he had forgotten the rich experience of his youth and the prayers he had made in the temple.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 9}

The True Witness speaks to us today, and says, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art 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.” The Lord wants you to set things in order in your families, and to come back to your first love. He says, “Except thou repent, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place.” The candlestick was removed out of its place when Solomon forgot God. He lost the light of God, he lost the wisdom of God, he confounded idolatry with religion. The Saviour declares, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” and every one of you who persists in sinning against God when you have had such great light, will be lost, “except thou repent.” Do you imagine that you can give the third angel’s message to the world while you are still carnal and corrupt, while your characters are still sinful? “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.” Unless your hearts are emptied of sin every day, unless you are sanctified through the truth, you would better not touch the message of God. You cannot cleanse yourselves, but by coming to Jesus in humility, in contrition, surrendering yourselves to God, through the merits of Christ’s righteousness you may have an experience in the things of God, and taste of the powers of the world to come. You then will have fruit unto life eternal.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 10}

Christ says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love.” “O,” you may say, “I do keep the commandments.” Do you? Saul came to meet Samuel, and when reproved, he declared, “I have kept the commandments of the Lord.” Do you carry out the principles of God’s commandments in your home in your family? Do you never manifest rudeness, unkindness, and impoliteness in the family circle? If you do manifest unkindness at your home, no matter how high may be your profession, you are  breaking God’s commandments. No matter how much you may preach the commandments to others, if you fail to manifest the love of Christ to others in your home life, you are a transgressor of the law. But if the grace of Christ appears in your life, you will be in a position to glorify God, and to manifest Christ to others. But do you think that that man who goes from the sacred desk to indulge in jesting and joking, and in all manner of trifling conversation, is a representative of Christ to the world? Has he the law of God in his heart?–No. His heart is filled with self-love, self-importance, and he makes it manifest that he has no correct estimate of sacred things. His conduct is the product of his thoughts, showing just what is in the heart. Christ is not there, and he does not go weighted with the spirit of the solemn message of truth for this time. An exhibition of this character clearly proves that the man does not know God, and has not been intrusted with the solemn work which he does not understand or appreciate.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 11}

If the minister had a realizing sense of the presence of God, would he conduct himself in this way? He had great light, and had taken upon himself the sacred responsibility of a minister of God, and yet he acts as carelessly as if he was an unbeliever. His actions make it evident that he has as much realization of the presence of God as had Belshazzar when he drank from the sacred vessels from the house of the Lord, praising the gods of gold and silver. The mighty men and the lords of the kingdom were assembled, and they ate and drank, and had a jovial time, but the True Witness was there, and their profanity was recorded in the books of heaven. In the midst of their revelry, a bloodless hand appeared, tracing mysterious characters upon the wall of the palace, and their godless mirth was checked, and terror and despair took its place. They inquired for some one who could interpret the writing, and Daniel, the prophet of God, was called to the banquet room, and the servant of the Lord was able to decipher the writing, and interpret the meaning of the words. “This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 12}

The same Witness that recorded the profanity of Belshazzar is present with us wherever we go. Young man, young woman, you may not realize that God is looking upon you; you may feel that you are at liberty to act out the impulses of the natural heart, that you may indulge in lightness and trifling, but for all these things you must give an account. As you sow, you will reap, and if you are taking the foundation from your house, robbing your brain of its nutriment, and your nerves of their power by dissipation and indulgence of appetite and passion, you will have an account to render to him who says, “I know thy works.”  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 13}

If you knew God, if you were truly converted, you would not take pleasure in sinful things. The fear of God would be upon you, and as you looked to Calvary, the hateful character of transgression would be revealed to you, and you would see the great love wherewith God has loved you, and you would not have a disposition to sin. But how would it be with many of you who have dared to handle sacred things with unclean hands and with defiled souls, should the trumpet sound today? How would it be with some of you, should you be called to render up your account at the judgment seat of Christ today? I ask, What would be your condition if Christ should leave the holy place today, and probation should close, and Christ should come? That time is soon to come, though we know not the day or the hour.  {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 14}

The times and the seasons are known only to God, but we are each to know that it is well with our souls, that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. We are to know that our Redeemer liveth, and that we will be among that number who shall hear the voice of Christ, who will be gathered by the angels of God, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 15}

We would ask you what time have you set in which you have determined to give your heart to God without reserve? What time have you set for seeking for perfection of character through faith in the righteousness of Christ? Is it tomorrow? Tomorrow you may be cold in death. Is it next week? Next week your hands may be folded across your breast, and your eyes may be sealed in their last sleep, and it may be too late for you to perfect a character for heaven. I want to ask our ministers, What kind of character do you think the Lord will accept in his kingdom? Do you know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent? Is the love of God abiding in your souls? Are you dwelling in Christ, and Christ in you? If you are, you are safe; but if you are not, there is no safety for you. Do not allow your minds to be diverted from the all-important theme of the righteousness of Christ by the study of theories. Do not imagine that the performance of ceremonies, the observance of outward forms, will make you an heir of heaven. We want to keep the mind steadfastly to the point for which we are working; for it is now the day of the Lord’s preparation, and we should yield our hearts to God, that they may be softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 1}

“Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” But when the Holy Spirit is in the heart, the minister will manifest it to others by his godly life and holy conversation. Do you think that the minister who has no burden for souls is fit for the sacred office to which he has been ordained?–No; he does not know what it means to keep his own soul in the love of God. The minister should realize that souls are the purchase of the blood of Christ, ransomed at an infinite cost. Can the minister who is standing under the shadow of Calvary engage in jesting and joking, and indulge his carnal propensities? Would such a one be a safe guide for the flock of God? Would he not cause them to stumble? He would cause them to stumble; for he would not discern between the sacred and the common, and eternity would be lost out of his reckoning.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 2}

We should all realize that an angel is writing every word and action in the book of record, and the things done in secret are to be proclaimed upon the housetop. What we need in this time of peril is a converted ministry. We need men who realize their soul poverty, and who will earnestly seek for the endowment of the Holy Spirit. A preparation of heart is necessary that God may give us his blessing, but this heart work is not done. O, when will the ministry awake to the solemn responsibilities that are laid upon them, and earnestly plead for heavenly power? It is the Holy Spirit that must give edge and power to the discourse of the minister, or his preaching will be as destitute of the righteousness of Christ as was the offering of Cain. Both ministers and people need to open the door to Christ. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Thank God for that promise, for it is given to those who have made mistakes and failures. Jesus says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” May God help us to do this work in sincerity and in contrition of soul.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 3}

When ministers enter the desk, they should do so feeling their dependence upon God, that they may work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and all the glory should be given to God; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. This is the co-operation that God requires. What is the trouble that the flock of the Lord is sickly and ready to die? Why is it that spiritual food is not supplied? Are the ministers of the Lord eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God? Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. . . . It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” My heart is drawn out to the hungry flock in Michigan, and you who have not fed on the living Bread, who have not drank of the healing streams of salvation, and do not know where to lead the flock of God that they may find refreshment, for Christ’s sake, do not try to minister in the sacred desk, until you have an experience in the things of God. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” When the word of God is in the heart, it exerts a sanctifying influence over the character, and men are brought into harmony with God. If truth and light are in the heart, you will bring love and light and blessing to the churches. You will not be as shadows casting the gloom of unbelief and darkness upon the people. Jesus wants to take your hand, and lead you, and will you not give yourselves to him? Talk of what Jesus did, how he left his glory, and came to seek and to save that which was lost.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 4}

If God has sent you to preach, he has provided that you shall go weighted with the graces of the Spirit of God, and with a message of truth that will be as meat in due season to the hungry flock of God. You will realize that you are standing between the living and the dead, and that you are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. The minister is to reveal Christ, not to exhibit himself to the people. Youth is not to be urged as an excuse for lightness and trifling; for the apostle exhorts that young men be sober-minded, and remember that they are to render an account to God for the influence they exert. Young men, if you have had no special sense of sin, if you are possessed of a spirit of trifling, do not seek to minister in the sacred desk, and jeopardize your own soul and the souls of others, and leave the impression on the world that you are representatives of the solemn truth for this time. Unless Jesus is formed within, the hope of glory, you will be a curse and not a blessing to the congregation, for the minister cannot bring the people to a higher standard than that which he himself reaches. But those who sincerely repent and turn to the Lord, will find in him a personal Saviour. He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. He will save you from yourself, from every defilement, from all your foolishness. You are to believe in him, to “trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” When you love Jesus, you will not grieve him by indulging sin in yourself; for you will realize that he came not to save you in your sins, but from your sins. John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 5}

Those whom God has called to the ministry are to give evidence by the influence they exert, that they are fit for the holy calling in which they are found. Paul writes, “Be thou an example of the believers.” Then shall young ministers be excused for their lightness and trifling? Shall the church be expected to listen to their words, to receive their testimony, when their example misrepresents the character of Christ, and leads away from the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in? What can we think of churches that will listen to the testimony of men who have no power in prayer, no fervency in their devotion, no freedom in personal labor for souls? The Lord has commanded, “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” The proof of the minister’s call to preach the gospel is seen in his example and work. God desires men in the ministry who will esteem highly the things which he esteems, and preserve the sanctity of truth, and not do as did Nadab and Abihu. They discerned not the difference between the sacred and the common. Their senses were blunted with indulgence in wine, and they offered strange fire before the Lord. They did not realize the sacredness of the work in which they were engaged. There are some now who profess to be ministers of the Lord who talk of the things of God as they would talk of some business transaction. O, we need the heavenly enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The churches will never become the light of the world unless they turn unto the Lord to serve him with full purpose of heart.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 6}

The people of God are called to be the light of the world, a city that is set upon a hill, not to be hidden; and if the church is ever to fulfill its divine mission, we must be filled with the love of Jesus. Our hearts must be so full of his matchless grace that when we meet each other, we shall take our brethren by the hand, and say, “Hear what the Lord hath done for my soul.” Our minds must be stayed upon God until, by beholding, we shall become changed into the same image. Then we shall talk of the power of God, of the goodness and mercy and love of our heavenly Father; and as we talk of the matchless charms of our divine Redeemer, our hearts will be melted and subdued by the Holy Spirit, and those around us will behold us, and know that we have been with Jesus and learned of him.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 7}

Then if one comes among you professing to be a preacher of righteousness, who mingles with the truth words of foolishness and jesting, who carries no burden for souls, take him aside, and in the spirit of love and meekness, tell him that he cannot feed the church of God when he himself does not know what it means to feed on the bread of life. Let the father plead that he is seeking to follow the example of Abraham, and commanding his children and his household to keep the way of the Lord. Let the mother urge that a right example be given to her children. Let trifling and joking be banished from the conversation of the minister, but let his speech be seasoned with grace; let the light and love of Jesus shine in his example and precept, that souls may be won for the Master.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 8}

Follow the instruction of the word of God, in dealing with your ministering brethren. Paul says, “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren.” There may be occasion to speak of their errors to those who have long been in the ministry, but let it be done as a matter of entreaty, and not rebuke. The younger ministers are to be treated as brethren, and may God help us that we may help one another. We must have a living connection with God. We must be clothed with power from on high by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that we may reach a higher standard; for there is help for us in no other way.  {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 9}

 

 

Empower Missions is run on a voluntary basis, with the aim to bring God’s Message to every soul. Our vision is to enlighten, equip and empower people in this generation. We strive to help others to healthy and meaningful lives.