You have every reason to cherish gratitude and thanksgiving; because Jesus lives to make intercession for us. His blood alone can purify us, his blood alone can cleanse our sin, and wash us white from transgression. His righteousness alone will the Father look upon and accept in our behalf; for with his righteousness we shall be righteous as he is righteous. We shall not have our own righteousness, it is worthless. It is of no use to go about to establish our own righteousness, for we have none to establish.
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The times and the 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 live upon time excitement. 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.
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In completing the work of rebellion, Satan is represented as a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may devour. Those who are self-sufficient, who do not feel the necessity of constant prayer and watchfulness, will be ensnared. Through living faith and earnest prayer the sentinels of God must become partakers of the divine nature, or they will be found professedly working for God, but in reality giving their service to the prince of darkness. Because their eyes are not anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, their understanding will be blinded, and they will be ignorant of the wonderfully specious devices of the enemy. Their vision will be perverted through their dependence on human wisdom, which is foolishness in the sight of God.
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The true life in Jesus Christ alone is the true religion of the Bible. The Holy Spirit of God is to be an active, working principle in the religious character. The love of Christ must become an abiding principle to make the soul fruitful unto good works. It should be the force and power of every message that falls from human lips.
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Ridicule and witticisms are poor arguments. Ridicule cheapens the mind of any one who engages in it, for it separates his soul from God. No confidence should be placed in the judgment of those who do this thing, no weight attached to their advice or resolutions. Caviling and criticism are not in God’s order. They leave the soul without dew or grace, as dry as the hills of Gilboa.
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Every sharp transaction in deal, every bargain made to advantage yourselves to the disadvantage of another, is a violation of God’s law. You do not love your neighbor as you love yourself and you are registered—even you that handle sacred things—as transgressors of the law of God. Those who are doing the work of God cannot dishonor His name more decidedly than by being sharp and dishonest in deal. You may not call these sharp, keen transactions dishonest; but God calls them so. You can never gain respect as Christians unless you represent Christ in spirit, in temper, in deportment, in all your business transactions. In order to do good to those connected with you in the work, you must inspire them with sound confidence in your piety and the purity of your principles. If they see you stern, iron-hearted, unfeeling, cold, unloving, they know you are not Christians. Christ says, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
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All this history (story of Saul being chosen king ) is written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. I have had presented before me again and again that the people of God in these last days could not be safe by trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. By the mighty cleaver of truth God has taken them out of the quarry of the world as rough stones, and brought them into His workshop that He might, by axe and hammer and chisel, work off their rough, unshapely edges, and fit them for a place in His building. But they must be hewed and squared by His prophets. Reproofs, warnings, admonitions, and advice must come to their hearts and make them after Christ’s pattern. They must become changed in heart and in character, and must keep the way of the Lord.
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