How Readest Thou? Part II

The title of this article comes from the reply Jesus gave to a certain lawyer when he queried: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25. Jesus responded: “How readest thou?” Verse 26. The same can be asked of each of us. Do we study just to gain knowledge to settle theological questions or win arguments? Or do we study to be truly converted, having our eyes on Jesus? We must focus on specific things that are necessary to be converted and saved as individuals and as a people. We need to be focused on Jesus and learn of Him.

Our Greatest Need

Our greatest need is to get en-rolled in the school of Christ, to study His life as we have never before studied it.

“Heaven is a school; its field of study, the universe; its teacher, the Infinite One. A branch of this school was established in Eden; and, the plan of redemption accomplished, education will again be taken up in the Eden school.

“ ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9. Only through His word can a knowledge of these things be gained; and even this affords but a partial revelation.” Education, 301.

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

“But such a character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man.” Ibid., 57.

Brothers and sisters, the highest and greatest education that man can obtain will be found in the Bible—Genesis to Revelation—and in the little books written by Ellen White. These are the greatest textbooks that have ever been written, yet they are the books that are collecting the most dust. They contain information for eternal life.

Steps of Repentance

“Christ must be revealed to the sinner as the Saviour dying for the sins of the world; and as we behold the Lamb of God upon the cross of Calvary, the mystery of redemption begins to unfold to our minds and the goodness of God leads us to repentance. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is incomprehensible; and as the sinner beholds this love, it softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition in the soul.” Steps to Christ, 26, 27.

“Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” Ibid., 23.

We Own Not Ourselves

Somehow Satan has given us the idea that we are complete owners of ourselves, that we can think, do, act, and worship the way we want. But consider this food for thought: “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23.

“How natural it is to regard ourselves as complete owners of ourselves! But the Inspired Word declares, ‘Ye are not your own.’ ‘Ye are bought with a price.’ 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. . . . In our relation to our fellow men we are owners of our entrusted mental and physical capabilities. In our relation to God, we are borrowers, stewards of His grace. . . .

“It is your privilege to obey the living Word of God as a truly converted and transformed soul, to perform the highest service as a free, heaven-born spirit, to give evidence that you are worthy of the sacred trust that God has given you by sending His only begotten Son to die for you. If you believe in Christ as your personal Saviour, you receive every grace, every spiritual endowment, necessary for the perfecting of the Christian character.” Our High Calling, 40.

Hunger and Thirst

Have you and I come to that real hunger and thirst for righteousness?

“[God] has promised, ‘I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.’ Isaiah 44:3. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who long after God, may be sure that they will be filled. The heart must be open to the Spirit’s influence, or God’s blessing cannot be received.” Steps to Christ, 95. That quote should not be too difficult to understand, should it?

Let me ask you a question, Which has more faith, birds or man? Mrs. White explains this: “The swallow and the crane observe the changes of the seasons. They migrate from one country to another to find a climate suitable to their convenience and happiness, as the Lord designed they should. But God’s people sacrifice life and health by seeking to gratify appetite. In their desire to accumulate treasure, they forget the Giver of all their blessings. Their health is abused, and their God-given powers are used to carry out their unsanctified, ambitious projects. Their days are filled with pain of body and disquietude of mind because they are determined to follow wrong habits and practices. They will not reason from cause to effect, and they sacrifice health, peace, and happiness to their ignorance.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 335, 336.

Rejection of Truth

“Rejection of truth has produced [the] present condition. ‘The prevalence of sin is alarming; the world is being filled with violence as in the days of Noah. Would the world be in its present condition if those who claim to be the people of God had reverenced and obeyed the law of the Lord? It is the rejection of the truth, man’s dispensing with the commandments of God, that has produced the condition of things which now exists. God’s Word is made of none effect by false shepherds. The decided opposition of the shepherds of the flock to the law of the Lord reveals that they have rejected the Word of the Lord, and have put their own words in its place. In their interpretation of the Scriptures they teach for doctrines the commandments of men. In their apostasy from the truth they have encouraged wickedness, saying, “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us.” [Jeremiah 8:8.] The words of Christ to the Pharisees are applicable to them. Christ said to these teachers, Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. [See Matthew 22:29.] . . .

“ ‘The condition of our world today is just as the prophet has represented that it would be near the close of this earth’s history.’ ” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1155.

A Skeptic’s Understanding

“How readest thou?” A choice example of the knowledge of the Bible possessed by skeptics is here related: Once a skeptic was at a dinner and sat next to a Bible teacher who engaged him in conversation and opened to him the subject of faith in Christ. The skeptic said that he had once been a reader of the Bible. He related, “I came across the story of Noah and the ark. I am a lumberman, and it interested me. I began to figure out its dimensions and how many feet of lumber went into it. I was astonished and impressed at its size. A few days later, I opened the Bible again and saw that the Levites took the ark on their shoulders and carried it around the wilderness. Such foolishness made me angry. I have never looked inside the Bible again.”

This is a sample of some people’s understanding of the Bible and the arguments used against authenticity of the Bible! The Bible needs to be studied prayerfully and earnestly to find the gospel plan of salvation. Oh, friend, how do you study the Bible?

“It is not by looking away from Him that we imitate the life of Jesus, but by talking of Him, by dwelling upon His perfections, by seeking to refine the taste and elevate the character, by trying, through faith and love, and by earnest, persevering effort, to approach the perfect Pattern. By having a knowledge of Christ—His words, His habits and His lessons of instruction—we borrow the virtues of the character we have so closely studied, and become imbued with the spirit we have so much admired. Jesus becomes to us ‘the chiefest among ten thousand,’ the One ‘altogether lovely.’ [The Song of Solomon 5:1, 16.]” Our High Calling, 58.

“The character of Christ was one of unexampled excellence, embracing everything pure, true, lovely, and of good report. . . . Not one of His hours from childhood to manhood was misspent, none were misappropriated. . . .

“Jesus was sinless and had no dread of the consequences of sin. With this exception His condition was as yours. You have not a difficulty that did not press with equal weight upon Him, not a sorrow that His heart has not experienced. His feelings could be hurt with neglect, with indifference of professed friends, as easily as yours. Is your path thorny? Christ’s was so in a tenfold sense. . . .

“Take Jesus as your standard. Imitate His life. Fall in love with His character. Walk as Christ walked.” Ibid., 59.

“For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:26.

“How readest thou?”

Would You Deny Christ?

Would we even think of denying (crucifying) Christ today? Hastily we might respond with a definite “No way!” But let us take a serious look at this question.

“He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. And ‘whosoever shall deny Me before men,’ He says, ‘him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.’ [Matthew 10:33.]” The Desire of Ages, 357.

“True, saving faith is a precious treasure of inestimable value. It is not superficial. The just lives by faith a truly spiritual, Christlike life. It is through faith that the steps are taken one at a time up the ladder of progress. Faith must be cultivated. . . .

“The life of obedience to all of God’s commandments is a life of progression, a life of constant advancement. . . .

“ ‘Grace and peace’ will be multiplied ‘through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.’ [11 Peter 1:2.] Here is the Source of all spiritual power, and faith must be in constant exercise, for all spiritual life is from Christ.” Our High Calling, 67.

Ladder to Heaven

How are you and I going to get to heaven? The only way is by the ladder that we must climb. You may ask what ladder that may be. Genesis 28:12 says, “And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”

“Let us consider this ladder which was presented to Jacob. . . . The sin of Adam cut off all intercourse between heaven and earth. Up to the moment of man’s transgression of God’s law there had been free communion between earth and heaven. They were connected by a path which Deity could traverse. But the transgression of God’s law broke up this path and man was separated from God. . . .

“Every link which bound earth to heaven and man to the infinite God seemed broken. Man might look to heaven, but how could he attain it? But joy to the world! The Son of God, the Sinless One, the One perfect in obedience, becomes the channel through which the lost communion may be renewed, the way through which the lost paradise may be regained. Through Christ, man’s substitute and surety, man may keep the commandments of God. He may return to his allegiance and God will accept him. Christ is the ladder. ‘By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.’ John 10:9. . . .

“The ladder is the medium of communication between God and man. Through the mystic ladder the gospel was preached to Jacob. As the ladder stretched from earth, reaching to the highest heavens, and the glory of God was seen above the ladder, so Christ in His divine nature reached immensity and was one with the Father. As the ladder, though its top penetrated into heaven, had its base upon the earth, so Christ, though God, clothed His divinity with humanity and was in the world ‘found in fashion as a man’ (Philippians 2:8). The ladder would be useless if it rested not on the earth or if it reached not to the heavens.

“God appeared in glory above the ladder, looking down with compassion on erring, sinful Jacob. . . . It is through Christ that the Father beholds sinful man. . . . The broken links have been repaired. A highway has been thrown up along which the weary and heavy laden may pass. They may enter heaven and find rest.” Our High Calling, 66.

Thank God that ladder, Jesus Christ, has been provided for mankind to have an escape to a better land through obedience to His Word.

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5.

Are You Enrolled?

Are you getting your education? Are you getting the right education? Are you enrolled in the preparatory school?

“Those who in this earth become sons of God sit together with Christ in the preparatory school, getting ready to be received into the higher school. Day by day we are to make an individual preparation; for in the courts above no one will be represented by proxy. Each one must heed for himself the call, ‘Come unto me, . . . and I will give you rest. . . .’ [Matthew 11:28.]

“The Lord Jesus has paid your tuition fees. All that you have to do is to learn of Him. The Christlike politeness practiced in the higher school is to be practiced in this lower school, by both old and young believers. All who learn in Christ’s school are under the training of heavenly agencies; and they are never to forget that they are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.

“They are to represent Christ. They are to help one another to become worthy of admission into the higher school. They are to help one another to be pure and noble, and to cherish a true idea of what it means to be a child of God. They are to speak encouraging words. They are to lift up the feeble hands and strengthen the feeble knees. Upon every heart there is to be inscribed the words, as with the point of a diamond, ‘There is nothing that I fear, save that I shall not know my duty, or shall fail to do it.’ . . .

“A self-controlled spirit, words of love and tenderness, honor the Saviour. Those who speak kind, loving words, words that make for peace, will be richly rewarded. . . . We are to let His spirit shine forth in the meekness and lowliness learned of Him.

“Jesus is the great Teacher. . . . He is so willing, so ready to take you into a closer fellowship with Himself. He is willing to teach you how to pray with the believing confidence and assurance of a little child. . . . Enroll your name anew as a student in His school. Learn to pray in faith. Receive the knowledge of Jesus. . . .

“Will you not sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him?” Our High Calling, 102.

“How readest thou?” Are you learning of Christ? Are you making sure you are not denying or crucifying Christ afresh? What is your answer today?

[All emphasis supplied.]

An ordained minister of the gospel, Howard Anderson, now retired, lives in Zellwood Station, Florida. He may be contacted by telephone at: 407-886-1951.

“How Readest Thou?” Part I

As you read and study this article, I encourage you to ask yourself the question, How do I read God’s Word? Do you read to be able to win a biblical argument or to really know and understand what truth is? Do you let the Word of God speak for itself that you may be saved when Jesus comes?

We are saved individually, not in groups. Not understanding real truth can cost us eternal life.

The Question

The question was asked by a certain lawyer years ago, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The answer came by way of a question, “How readest thou?”

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him [Jesus], saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:25–27.

We need to ask the question again: “What must I do to have eternal life?” The answer to the question is the same: “How readest thou?”

Do we just study the Word of God to gain knowledge of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy until we develop an “Excedrin headache”? Do we study to settle a theological question or to win an argument? On the other hand, do we study to have a converted knowledge of the saving power of God and Jesus Christ? Have we come to the point that we know Jesus personally? Have we come to know that, as The Song of Solomon 2:1 states, Jesus is “the rose of Sharon, [and] the lily of the valleys”?

In Revelation 22:16, Jesus states that He is “the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.” Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords, Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, Intercessor, and Friend—our only Hope. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6. This same Saviour who ascended to heaven and is now sitting on the right hand of God, making intercession for us and preparing a place for you and me, is coming back soon! (Mark 16:19; Romans 8:34; John 14:1–3.) Oh! how we need to take a new look at the cross and fall in love with the wonderful Saviour.

Stop Playing Religion

We need to have a Damascus road experience, as did Saul, who had an experience with Jesus and became a true, converted worker for God. Saul became totally God’s man. We, as individuals, need the scales lifted from our eyes, so we can really see the lovely Jesus, our precious Redeemer.

“The Lord requires of all who profess to be his people, far more than they give him. He expects believers in Christ Jesus to reveal to the world, in word and deed, the Christianity that was exemplified in the life and character of the Redeemer. If the word of God is enshrined in their hearts, they will give a practical demonstration of the power and purity of the gospel. The testimony thus borne to the world is of much more value than sermons, or professions of godliness that do not reveal good works. Let those who name the name of Christ remember that individually they are making an impression favorable or unfavorable to Bible religion, on the minds of all with whom they come in contact.” The Southern Watchman, January 17, 1905.

“In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. Just such a work as that which John did, is to be carried on in these last days. The Lord is giving messages to his people, through the instruments he has chosen, and he would have all heed the admonitions and warnings he sends. The message preceding the public ministry of Christ was, Repent, publicans and sinners; repent, Pharisees and Sadducees; ‘for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Our message is not to be one of peace and safety. As a people who believe in Christ’s soon appearing, we have a definite message to bear,—‘Prepare to meet thy God.’ ” Ibid., March 21, 1905.

Our message must be as direct as was that of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. Notwithstanding the peril his life was in, he never allowed truth to languish on his lips. Our work in this age must be as faithfully done.

It is time to stop playing religion, time to stop having merely a form or profession. Rather, we need to have a genuine, Damascus road, converted experience. It is time to get rid of pride, selfishness, and every other sin.

Our Need

“It is written, Man”—each person individually—“shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.

What the world needs is Jesus; and we, as Seventh-day Adventists, need Him more than ever. Satan is, and will be, attacking you and me—the church—more than ever to get us to join his camp. We need to look at and study the cross. Jesus loved you and me so much He died for us. If we would just take time to capture the scene of the cross and understand the suffering He went through for each of us, we would see a revival and reformation, and our characters would be developed into the image of Christ. Oh, friend, let us become children of God.

A New Creature

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 11 Corinthians 5:14– 17.

Now, what does that mean?

“The love of Christ in the heart is what is needed. Self is in need of being crucified. When self is submerged in Christ, true love springs forth spontaneously. It is not an emotion or an impulse, but a decision of a sanctified will. It consists not in feeling, but in the transformation of the whole heart, soul, and character, which is dead to self and alive unto God. Our Lord and Saviour asks us to give ourselves to Him. Surrendering self to God is all He requires, giving ourselves to Him to be employed as He sees fit. Until we come to this point of surrender, we shall not work happily, usefully, or successfully anywhere (Letter 97, 1898).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1100, 1101.

“When the soul is brought into close relationship with the great Author of light and truth, impressions are made upon it revealing its true position before God. Then self will die, pride will be laid low, and Christ will draw His own image in deeper lines upon the soul (MS 1a, 1890).” Ibid., 1099.

What Should We Do?

“How readest thou?” Do you read and study to be obedient overcomers, grateful for what Christ has done, so you can inherit a place in heaven? Or do you read to gain knowledge to establish opinionated, religious theologies or to win an argument?

Oh, how we need to look to the cross of Calvary and listen for the echoes of those who hated him and cried out, “Crucify Him; Crucify Him!”

In Matthew 22:29, we read, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” And Colossians 2:6–10 tells us, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

We need to note the meaning of verse 9 as explained by Ellen White: “ ‘In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.’ Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth (MS 153, 1898).” Ibid., vol. 7, 907.

“Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:6. Mrs. White gives a very good explanation of this verse: “As you arose from the watery grave at the time of your baptism, you professed to be dead, and declared that your life was changed—hid with Christ in God. You claimed to be dead to sin, and cleansed from your hereditary and cultivated traits of evil. In going forward in the rite of baptism, you pledged yourselves before God to remain dead to sin. Your mouth was to remain a sanctified mouth, your tongue a converted tongue. You were to speak of God’s goodness, and to praise His holy name. Thus you were to be a great help and blessing to the church (MS 95, 1906).” Ibid., 908.

“We are to lift the cross, and follow the steps of Christ. Those who lift the cross will find that as they do this, the cross lifts them, giving them fortitude and courage, and pointing them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1905.

Jesus “said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23. “These words are spoken to every one who desires to be a Christian. He who shuns the cross shuns the reward promised to the faithful (Letter 144, 1901).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1120.

Beware of False Doctrine

The following quote from Mrs. White is especially powerful: “Satan has wrought with deceiving power, bringing in a multiplicity of errors that obscure truth. Error could not stand alone, and would soon become extinct, if it did not fasten itself like a parasite upon the tree of truth. Error draws its life from the truth of God. The traditions of men, like floating germs, attach themselves to the truth of God, and men regard them as a part of the truth. Through false doctrines Satan gains a foothold, and captivates the minds of men, causing them to hold theories that have no foundation in truth. Men boldly teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and as traditions pass on from age to age, they acquire a power over the human mind. But age does not make error truth, neither does its burdensome weight cause the plant of truth to become a parasite. The tree of truth bears its own genuine fruit, showing its true origin and nature. The parasite of error also bears its own fruit, and makes manifest that its character is diverse from the plant of heavenly origin (Letter 43, 1895).” Ibid., 1094, 1095.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26.

Converted, Christ-based Religion

To only develop a form of religion is very dangerous, when we need a converted, Christ-based religion. Consider the following statements penned by Ellen White:

“The young man [the rich young ruler; see Matthew 19:16–22] . . . had cherished an idol in the soul; the world was his god. He professed to have kept the commandments, but he was destitute of the principle which is the very spirit and life of them all. He did not possess true love for God or man.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 392.

“He chose his riches before Jesus. He wanted eternal life, but would not receive into the soul that unselfish love which alone is life, and with sorrowful heart he turned away from Christ.” Ibid., 393.

“In the parable [Matthew 25:1–13], all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ’s second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ’s near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,’ [verse 6] many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid., 408.

“The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. They . . . have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form. . . . The apostle Paul points out that this will be the special characteristic of those who live just before Christ’s second coming.” Ibid., 411.

“Saddest of all words that ever fell on mortal ear are those words of doom, ‘I know you not.’ [Matthew 25:12.]” Ibid., 413.

The Bottom Line

“Why cannot those who claim to understand the Scriptures, see that God’s requirement under grace is just the same he made in Eden,—perfect obedience to his law. In the Judgment, God will ask those who profess to be Christians, Why did you claim to believe in my Son, and continue to transgress my law? Who required this at your hands—to trample upon my rules of righteousness?” Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.

“How readest thou?” Are you sure where you will spend eternity? Have you made your election sure? What is the bottom line to be ready for Jesus’ soon return? We need a new spiritual vision. We need a new converted goal. We need a new conviction. We need a full conversion. We need a true, personal relationship with Jesus. We need to get ready for His soon coming.

I do not know of a better quote with which to close this study than the following:

“Many who profess sanctification are entirely ignorant of the work of grace upon the heart. When proved and tested, they are found to be like the self-righteous Pharisee. They will bear no contradiction. They lay aside reason and judgment, and depend wholly upon their feelings, basing their claims to sanctification upon emotions which they have at some time experienced. They are stubborn and perverse in urging their tenacious claims of holiness, giving many words, but bearing no precious fruit as proof. These professedly sanctified persons are not only deluding their own souls by their pretensions, but are exerting an influence to lead astray many who earnestly desire to conform to the will of God. They may be heard to reiterate again and again, ‘God leads me! God teaches me! I am living without sin!’ Many who come in contact with this spirit encounter a dark, mysterious something which they cannot comprehend. But it is that which is altogether unlike Christ, the only true pattern.

“Bible sanctification does not consist in strong emotion. Here is where many are led into error. They make feelings their criterion.” The Sanctified Life, 9, 10.

The Center of My Hope

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14.

“Remove the cross from the Christian and it is like blotting out the sun which illumines the day, and dropping the moon and the stars out of the firmament of the heavens at night. The cross of Christ brings us nigh to God, reconciling man to God, and God to man. The Father looks upon the cross, upon the suffering He has given His Son to endure in order to save the race from hopeless misery and to draw man to Himself. He looks upon it with the relenting compassion of a Father’s love. The cross has been almost lost sight of, but without the cross there is no connection with the Father, no unity with the Lamb in the midst of the throne in heaven, no welcome reception of the wandering who would return to the forsaken path of righteousness and truth, no hope for the transgressor in the day of judgment. Without the cross there is no means provided for overcoming the power of our strong foe. Every hope of the race hangs upon the cross. . . .

“Through the cross we learn that our heavenly Father loves us with an infinite and everlasting love, and draws us to Him with more than a mother’s yearning sympathy for a wayward child. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’? It is our privilege also to glory in the cross of Calvary, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then with the light of love that shines from His face on ours, we shall go forth to reflect it to those in darkness.” Our High Calling, 46.

To be continued . . .

[All emphasis supplied.]

An ordained minister of the gospel, Howard Anderson, now retired, lives in Zellwood Station, Florida. He may be contacted by telephone at: 407-886-1951.