I have chosen the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. Ps. 119:30, 31
There are two great principles, one of loyalty, the other of disloyalty. We all need greater Christian courage, that we may uplift the standard on which is inscribed the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. . . . The line of demarcation between the obedient and the disobedient must be plain and distinct. We must have a firm determination to do the Lord’s will at all times and in all places. . . .
Christian strength is obtained by serving the Lord faithfully. Young men and young women should realize that to be one with Christ is the highest honor to which they can attain. By the strictest fidelity they should strive for moral independence, and this independence they should maintain against every influence that may try to turn them from righteous principles. Stronger minds may, yes, they will, make assertions that have no foundation in truth. Let the heavenly eyesalve be applied to the eyes of your understanding, that you may distinguish between truth and error. Search the Word; and when you find a “Thus saith the Lord,” take your stand. . . .
In Pilgrim’s Progress there is a character called Pliable. Youth, shun this character. Those represented by it are very accommodating, but they are as a reed shaken by the wind. They possess no will power. Every youth needs to cultivate decision. A divided state of the will is a snare, and will be the ruin of many youth. Be firm, else you will be left with your house, or character, built upon a sandy foundation.
The Lord’s philosophy is the rule of the Christian’s life. The entire being should be imbued with the life-giving principles of heaven. The busy nothings which consume the time of so many shrink into their proper position before a healthy, sanctifying Bible piety.
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Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. Ps. 24:3, 4
The safeguards of our purity must be watchfulness and prayer.
We are living in an atmosphere of satanic witchery. The enemy will weave a spell of licentiousness around every soul that is not barricaded by the grace of Christ. Temptations will come; but if we watch against the enemy, and maintain the balance of self-control and purity, the seducing spirits will have no influence over us. Those who do nothing to encourage temptation will have strength to withstand it when it comes.
If they do not willfully rush into danger, and needlessly place themselves in the way of temptation, if they shun evil influences and vicious society, and then are unavoidably compelled to be in dangerous company, they will have strength of character to stand for the right and to preserve principle, and come forth in the strength of God with their morals untainted. If youth who have been properly educated make God their trust, their moral powers will stand the most powerful test.
God’s elect must stand untainted amid the corruptions teeming around them in these last days. . . . The Spirit of God should have perfect control, influencing every action.
Those who enter upon active life with firm principles will be prepared to stand unsullied amid the moral pollutions of this corrupt age.
“Who, O Lord, shall stand when thou appearest?” Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart shall abide in the day of His coming. . . . As you hope to be finally exalted to join the society of sinless angels and to live in an atmosphere where there is not the least taint of sin, seek purity; for nothing else will abide the searching test of the day of God and be received into a pure and holy heaven.
From My Life Today – Page 77
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Prov. 16:32
He has conquered self–the strongest foe man has to meet. The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. He who can stand unmoved amid a storm of abuse is one of God’s heroes. . . .
He who has learned to rule his spirit will rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances to which we are daily exposed, and these will cease to cast a gloom over his spirit.
It is God’s purpose that the kingly power of sanctified reason, controlled by divine grace, shall bear sway in the lives of human beings. He who rules his spirit is in possession of this power.
The man or woman who preserves the balance of the mind when tempted to indulge passion, stands higher in the sight of God and heavenly angels than the most renowned general that ever led an army to battle and to victory.
What young men and women need is Christian heroism. God’s Word declares that he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city. To rule the spirit means to keep self under discipline. . . . They need to seek earnestly to bring into their lives the perfection that is seen in the life of the Saviour, so that when Christ shall come, they will be prepared to enter in through the gates into the city of God. God’s abounding love and presence in the heart will give the power of self-control and will mold and fashion the mind and character. The grace of Christ in the life will direct the aims and purposes and capabilities into channels that will give moral and spiritual power–power which the youth will not have to leave in this world, but which they can carry with them into the future life and retain through the eternal ages.
From My Life Today – Page 75
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13
Christ told His disciples that in the world they should have tribulation. They would be brought before kings and rulers for His sake; all manner of evil would be spoken against them falsely, and those who destroyed their lives would think they did God service. And all, in every age, who have lived godly lives have suffered persecution in some form. . . . They have suffered every indignity, outrage, and cruelty which Satan could move upon minds to invent.
The world is as much opposed to genuine religion today as it ever has been. . . .
The spirit of persecution will . . . be aroused against the faithful ones, who make no concessions to the world, and will not be swayed by its opinions, its favor, or its opposition. A religion that bears a living testimony in favor of holiness and that rebukes pride, selfishness, avarice, and fashionable sins will be hated by the world and by superficial Christians. Marvel not, then, my youthful Christian friends, if the world hates you; for it hated your Master before you. When you suffer reproach and persecution, you are in excellent company; for Jesus endured it all, and much more. If you are faithful sentinels for God, these things are a compliment to you. It is the heroic souls, who will be true if they stand alone, who will win the imperishable crown. . . .
The way to eternal life is straight and narrow, and you will have to press through many difficulties; but by persevering effort you may win eternal life–the future, immortal inheritance. And the rest, the peace, the glory at the end of the journey, will a thousand times repay every exertion and sacrifice that you can make.
From My Life Today – Page 74
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Dan 3:17,18
A severe test came to . . . these youth when Nebuchadnezzar issued a proclamation, calling upon all the officers of the kingdom to assemble at the dedication of the great image, and at the sound of the musical instruments, to bow down and worship it. Should any fail of doing this, they were immediately to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. The worship of this image had been brought about by the wise men of Babylon in order to make the Hebrew youth join in their idolatrous worship. They were beautiful singers, and the Chaldeans wanted them to forget their God and accept the worship of the Babylonian idols.
The appointed day came, and at the sound of the music, the vast company that had assembled at the king’s command “fell down and worshiped the golden image.” But these faithful young men would not bow down . . . .
Then the king commanded the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated; and when this was done, the three Hebrews were cast in. So furious were the flames that the men who cast the Hebrews in were burned to death.
Suddenly the countenance of the king paled with terror. . . . His voice trembling with excitement, the monarch exclaimed, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
From age to age the heroes of faith have been marked by their fidelity to God, and they have been brought conspicuously before the world that their light might shine to those in darkness. Daniel and his three companions are illustrious examples of Christian heroism. . . . From their experience in the court of Babylon we may learn what God will do for those who serve Him with full purpose of heart.
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And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. Gen. 41:38-40
From the dungeon Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt. It was a position of high honor, yet it was beset with difficulty and peril. One cannot stand upon a lofty height without danger. As the tempest leaves unharmed the lowly flower of the valley, while it uproots the stately tree upon the mountaintop, so those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down to the pit by the temptations that assail worldly success and honor. But Joseph’s character bore the test alike of adversity and prosperity. The same fidelity to God was manifested when he stood in the palace of the Pharaohs as when in a prisoner’s cell. He was still a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his kindred, the worshipers of God; but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his steps, and in constant reliance upon God he faithfully discharged the duties of his position. Through Joseph the attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God; and . . . they learned to respect the principles revealed in the life and character of the worshiper of Jehovah.
How was Joseph enabled to make such a record of firmness of character, uprightness, and wisdom?–In his early years he had consulted duty rather than inclination; and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature, of the youth, bore fruit in the deeds of the man. . . . Faithful attention to duty in every station, from the lowliest to the most exalted, had been training every power for its highest service. He who lives in accordance with the Creator’s will is securing to himself the truest and noblest development of character.
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At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. . . . Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear. 2 Tim. 4:16, 17
Paul before Nero–how striking the contrast! . . . In power and greatness Nero stood unrivaled. . . . Without money, without friends, without counsel, Paul had been brought forth from a dungeon to be tried for his life. . . .
The countenance of the monarch bearing the shameful record of the passions that raged within; the countenance of the prisoner telling the story of a heart at peace with God and man. The results of opposite systems of education stood that day contrasted–a life of unbounded self-indulgence and a life of entire self-sacrifice. Here were the representatives of two theories of life–all-absorbing selfishness, which counts nothing too valuable to be sacrificed for momentary gratification, and self-denying endurance, ready to give up life itself, if need be, for the good of others. . . .
The people and the judges . . . had been present at many trials, and had looked upon many a criminal; but never had they seen a man wear a look of such holy calmness. . . . His words struck a chord that vibrated in the hearts even of the most hardened. Truth, clear and convincing, overthrew error. Light shone into the minds of many who afterward gladly followed its rays. . . . He pointed his hearers to the sacrifice made for the fallen race. . . .
Thus pleads the advocate of truth; faithful among the faithless, loyal among the disloyal, he stands as God’s representative, and his voice is as a voice from heaven. There is no fear, no sadness, no discouragement, in word or look. . . . His words are as a shout of victory above the roar of battle.
Let this hero of faith speak for himself. He says, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ’s sake.”
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And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
A certain day was appointed on which the Jews were to be destroyed and their property confiscated. Little did the king realize the far-reaching results that would have accompanied the complete carrying out of this decree. Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was trying to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. . . .
But the plots of the enemy were defeated by a Power that reigns among the children of men. In the providence of God, Esther, a Jewess who feared the Most High, had been made queen of the Medo-Persian kingdom. Mordecai was a near relative of hers. In their extremity they decided to appeal to Xerxes in behalf of their people. Esther was to venture into his presence as an intercessor. “Who knoweth,” said Mordecai, “whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
The crisis that Esther faced demanded quick, earnest action; but both she and Mordecai realized that unless God should work mightily in their behalf, their own efforts would be unavailing. So Esther took time for communion with God, the source of her strength. “Go,” she directed Mordecai, “gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
To every household and every school, to every parent, teacher, and child upon whom has shone the light of the gospel, comes at this crisis the question put to Esther the queen at that momentous crisis in Israel’s history, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
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And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Rev. 18:1
The end of all things is at hand. God is moving upon every mind that is open to receive the impressions of His Holy Spirit. He is sending our messengers that they may give the warning in every locality. God is testing the devotion of His churches and their willingness to render obedience to the Spirit’s guidance. Knowledge is to be increased. The messengers of Heaven are to be seen running to and fro, seeking in every possible way to warn the people of the coming judgments and presenting the glad tidings of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The standard of righteousness is to be exalted. The Spirit of God is moving upon men’s hearts, and those who respond to its influence will become lights in the world. Everywhere they are seen going forth to communicate to others the light they have received as they did after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And as they let their light shine, they receive more and more of the Spirit’s power. The earth is lighted with the glory of God.
This message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry. Servants of God, endowed with power from on high, with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven.
Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.
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And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28, 29
We are living in the last days, in a time when we may expect much from the Lord. These words should bring us to the throne of grace to claim great things of Him. Here the promise is given that on the men and women and on our sons and daughters the Holy Spirit is to come; and “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This brings to view a wonderful work to be done, for which we need the converting power of God in our hearts every day. It is our privilege to experience this. Heaven is full of blessings, and it is our privilege to claim the rich promises of God for our individual selves. We need to seek the Lord day and night that we may know just what steps to take and just what we ought to do.
The Lord has a special work to do for us individually. As we see the wickedness of the world brought to light in the courts of justice and published in the daily papers, let us draw near to God, and by living faith lay hold of His promises, that the grace of Christ may be manifest in us. We may have an influence, a powerful influence, in the world. If the convicting power of God is in us, we shall be enabled to lead souls that are in sin to conversion.
In the closing scenes of this earth’s history, many . . . children and youth [who receive a true Christian education] will astonish people by their witness to the truth, which will be borne in simplicity, yet with spirit and power. They have been taught the fear of the Lord, and their hearts have been softened by a careful and prayerful study of the Bible. In the near future many children will be endued with the Spirit of God, and will do a work proclaiming the truth to the world. . . . They will do a work in the world that not all the powers of evil can counteract.
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