Any neglect on the part of those who claim to be followers of Christ, a failure to relieve the necessities of a brother or sister who is bearing the yoke of poverty and oppression, is registered in the books of heaven as shown to Christ in the person of His saints. What a reckoning the Lord will have with many, very many, who present the words of Christ to others, but fail to manifest tender sympathy and regard for a brother in the faith who is less fortunate and successful than themselves. Many will allow a brother to struggle along unaided under adverse circumstances, and in thus doing they give to one precious soul the impression that they are thus representing Christ. It is no such thing; Jesus, who was rich, for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. That he might save the sinner, he withheld not his own life. The heart of Christ is ever touched with human woe.
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You may have the witness of the Spirit that your ways please God. This is obtained by believing in the Word of God, by appropriating that Word to yourown soul. This is eating of the bread of life, and this will bring eternal life. Compare scripture with scripture. Study the representation of the life of a true Christian as delineated in the Word of God.
At Christ’s first advent the angels broke the silence of the night with acclamations of praise, and proclaimed glory to God in the highest peace on earth; good will toward men. He is soon to come again with power and great glory. Those who are not wedded to the world will realize that the time demands something more than a weak, faint, methodical discourse. They will see that there must be earnestness and power accompanying the word which will arouse the powers of hell to oppose the warnings God designs to come to the people to awaken men out of their carnal security, that they may prepare themselves for the great event right upon us. The promise is, “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.” God will accept no sleepy, tame message at this time. In old time “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” and we may expect such teaching in our day.
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The great need of this time of peril is the Holy Spirit; for it will bring to the receiver all other blessings in its train. The truth believed will transform the character. In the light of the truth that is shining in our day, we are reproved for the dearth of the Holy Spirit. This lack is an evidence that there is not an abundance of that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. As long as individuals are content with a theory of truth, and are yet lacking in the daily operation of the Spirit of God upon the heart, which is manifested in outward transformation of character, they are cutting themselves off from the qualification that would fit them for greater efficiency in the Master’s work. Those who are devoid of the Holy Spirit cannot be faithful watchmen upon the walls of Zion; for they are blind to the work that ought to be done, and do not give the trumpet a certain sound.
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A righteous character formed after the likeness of Christ’s character has a value above that of gold or precious stones. Those who co-operate with the Lord Jesus Christ in the formation of a righteous character will become laborers together with God. They will act their part as the human agent through whom God will reach the hearts and minds of men and women who are separated from him by sin, and will win them to Christ. . . We are not to labor merely keeping this short life time in view; but to act as if in sight of eternity, we are to act as if the curtain between us and the universe of heaven was withdrawn, and we could with the eye of faith, see Christ looking upon us, and encouraging us in our work.
The word of God is solid rock, and we may plant our feet securely upon it. Every soul must needs be tested, every faith and doctrine must needs be tried by the law and the testimony. Take heed that no man deceive you. The warnings of Christ on this matter are needed at this time; for delusions and deceptions will come in among us, and will multiply as we near the end. “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch and remember.” Bear in mind that trials of this character are to come upon us, not only from without, but from within our own ranks. Our individual safety is in entire consecration to God. … God alone can keep His people from the snare of putting confidence in self, and of failing to feel their dependence upon Him moment by moment. There are men and women who will exalt the messenger above the message, who will praise and extol the messenger, forgetting that it is God working wondrously through him for His own name’s glory. They should give God praise that many souls are receiving through the human agent instruction that is making them wise unto salvation. They should give glory to God because they see through the interpretation of the word from the lips of the messenger, marvelous things out of the living oracles.
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Those who manifest the attributes that have been manifested by those who have triumphed over a mistake in their brethren, instead of seeking to encourage and heal, and strengthen those who have erred, reveal the fact that they are walking apart from Jesus, and encouraging the companionship of evil angels. We are bound to stand by those who have made a mistake, and who see it, and acknowledge it. The motives which the Lord Jesus Christ recognizes as pure and holy move us to take this position. If we have the Spirit of God, we will think right thoughts, utter right words, and keep the heart with all diligence lest by one unwise impulse, we shall grieve and distress one of the Lord’s chosen messengers. “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
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