My mind has been burdened over the matter of writing on Old Testament history. I am troubled to see my brethren and sisters bringing into the daily life so little Bible truth. In order for us to be overcomers we must realize that there is a battle to be fought. We rejoice to know that through the strengthening power of God’s grace we are sure to win. God is stronger than all the powers of the fallen foe.
The apostle Paul says: And now abideth faith, hope, and charity [love]. In all our words and acts these three Christian graces are to be interwoven. “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). If we will cultivate Christlike love, we can have this grace in large measure.
The early Christian church left their first love. To John on the Isle of Patmos was given the message: “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, 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 labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has 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” (Revelation 2:1–5).
As members of God’s remnant church, we must pray with firm faith for the gift of the grace of love. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and is manifested altogether too little among those upon whom has been shining great light. Genuine religion is life and light to every believer.
The Christian graces are given not as ornaments to win admiration, but as talents to be used in accomplishing a work for God. We are to heed the words of Paul, “Quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:10–18).
If it was impossible for us to meet these requirements, they would never have been given. In divine grace there is a wonderful power. It can subdue the outbursts of passion in professing believers.
No one should ever permit his mind to get into such a state that he will speak the words prompted by Satan. To accuse the brethren, to discourage them in their work, is to personify Satan and to be his helping hand by putting into the minds of others the evil leaven of criticism, as leaven is put into meal. This evil leaven, so thoughtlessly introduced, leavens the whole lump. The apostle Paul says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14, 15).
How long will those who claim to be Christians tolerate the evil of listening to the criticisms of their brethren, and, in turn, communicate these criticisms to others, thus strengthening one another in an evil work? How long will they question the good work that is being done by a few, and stand in the way as hindrances? To clear the pathway of the accumulated rubbish placed there by accusers of the brethren takes precious time, and robs faithful workers of their strength and hope and faith. God’s work can be carried on among unbelievers with far greater success than among those who, like the Pharisees, desire to have all things shaped and carried on in accordance with their ideas and preferences.
Bible Training School, June 1, 1903.