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The Vine And The Branches

Ellen G. White

Abide In The Vine Directory

This manuscript was published in four editions of the Review and Herald in November of 1897.

In His lessons Christ did not aspire to high-flown imaginary things. He came to teach, in the simplest manner, truths that were of vital importance, that even the class whom He called babes might understand them. And yet there was a depth in His simplest imagery that the most educated minds could not exhaust. {Ms67-1897.1}

"How is the dry disconnected sapling to become one with the parent vine stock? How is it to be made a partaker of the life and nourishment of the living vine? Only by being grafted into the vine, by being brought into the closest relationship possible. Fiber by fiber, vein by vein, the twig holds fast to the life giving vine until the life of the vine becomes one with the branch, and the branch produces fruit like that of the vine." {Ms67-1897.35}

Manuscript 67, 1897.35

Christ drew His lessons from nature’s vast resources. He taught that though now the earth was sinful, and nature affected by the curse, all would be refined and purified and restored to its first Edenic glory, that in this redemption and restoration through the infinite sacrifice He had come to earth to make for the sins of the world, the great Offering typified for ages by the blood of beasts, the love of God should be made to appear. Thus He impressed upon the minds of His hearers truths that are enduring as eternity. And when He was no longer with them, the precious lessons He had bound up in the things of nature were, through the Holy Spirit’s working, revived in their memory, and every time they looked upon the things of nature around them, they repeated the lessons of their Lord. {Ms67-1897.2}

The lesson that Christ here gave His disciples was drawn from the vine and its branches. Christ might have used the graceful palm tree to represent Himself. The lofty cedar that was towering toward the skies, the strong oak that spreads its branches and lifts them heavenward, He might have used to symbolize the stability and integrity of those who are followers of Christ. But instead of this, He takes the vine with its clinging tendrils to represent the believers in Christ Jesus. He would show them that they do not stand alone. Just as the vine with its clinging tendrils climbs higher and higher on the trellis work toward heaven, [so] will the true believer entwine his tendrils about God, and will have support in connection with Jesus Christ. {Ms67-1897.3}

The vine had often been used as a symbol of Israel; and now Christ sought to impress this lesson upon their minds, that this vine which they so much appreciated would be to them a lesson book. As they passed along the streets, and saw the climbing vine, the lesson of Christ would be repeated: “I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman.” They were to bear in mind that the Father Himself stood in exactly the same relation to His disciples as the husbandman to the vine. Though individually separate, the branches were united in the parent stalk, drawing nourishment from it. Thus there was unity in their diversity, vine stock and branches co-operating together in bearing fruit. {Ms67-1897.4}

“Every branch in me that beareth no fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Every branch connected with the living Vine receives its nourishment from the parent stock. Such branches will bear much fruit. But the fruitless branch will reveal itself to be worthless. It bears no fruit, and will be cut away from the vine. {Ms67-1897.5}

Christ is the source of all true strength. He reveals His grace to every true believer. He imparts to them His own merits in grace and goodness, that they may bear fruit unto holiness. Every branch that beareth fruit is a living representative of the vine, for it is bearing the same fruit as the vine. The branch that seems to be connected with the Vine, that has the appearance of attachment and piety; whose name is registered in the church books as a Christian, but who brings forth no fruit, will be separated from the Vine stock. After a time his ruin will be apparent. He will be as a branch that is dead, and his end is to be consumed with fire. {Ms67-1897.6}

The branch grafted into the living Vine will testify whether it has, fiber by fiber and vein by vein, become one with the parent stock. The fibers of the one will be identically the same as that of the other. There is a communication of the sap vessels with the current flowing through the Vine stock, and they will bear much fruit. {Ms67-1897.7}

Unity in diversity is a principle that pervades the whole creation. While there is an individuality and variety in nature, there is a oneness in their diversity; for all receive their beauty and usefulness from the same source. The human family are dependent upon God for their life and breath and sustenance. God has designed the web, and all are individual threads to compose the pattern. The Creator is one, and He reveals Himself as the great Reservoir of all that is essential for every separate life. The great Master Artist writes His name on all His created works from the loftiest cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop upon the wall. The firmament showeth His handiwork, from the loftiest mountain and the grand ocean to the tiniest shell upon the seashore. {Ms67-1897.8}

In Christ is God; and yet He—the Alpha—the beginning—the Omega—the ending—, came as man. On the hills of Palestine our Heavenly Father planted a goodly Vine, and He Himself was the Husbandman. It had no remarkable form that would at first sight give an impression of its value. It appeared to come up as a root out of a dry ground, and attracted but little observation. When attention was called to the Plant, it was by some declared to be of heavenly origin. At first the men of Nazareth stood entranced as they saw its beauty; but when they received the idea that it would stand more gracefully and attract more attention than themselves, they wrestled to uproot the precious Plant, and cast it over the wall. The men of Jerusalem took the Plant and bruised it, and rejected it, and trampled it under their unholy feet. Their thought was to destroy it forever. {Ms67-1897.9}

But the heavenly Husbandman never lost sight of His Plant. After they thought they had killed it, He took it and replanted it on the other side of the wall. He hid it from the view of men. The branches of this Vine were seen by the world; but its root was not visible. Grafts might be introduced into it; fruit might be obtained from it; but the parent stock itself was hidden from the rude assaults of wicked people. The dry sapless branches chosen and grafted into the Vine stock have represented the Vine; the fruit has appeared; and there has been a harvest which the passers by have plucked. {Ms67-1897.10}

“Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” This is no casual touch, no off and on connection; but an abiding in Christ, and Christ abiding in the believing receiving agent. Thus he becomes one with Christ. {Ms67-1897.11}

“I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch; and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will (in accordance with that word), and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Here is seen the sure result to every human being who receives Christ and believes in him. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” {Ms67-1897.12}

In the sixth chapter of John we find the same lesson given by another illustration: “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that hateth me, even he shall live by me.” {Ms67-1897.13}

These two chapters given by the great Teacher contain the very mystery of godliness. No one need be left in darkness. It is the truth that is to be received, and its reception will be revealed in the life of every true believer. In John we can see and understand more clearly who the real believer is and who the spurious. A large number of those who followed Christ were not grafted into the True Vine, and they revealed the fact when Christ gave this lesson. Many of the Jews who claimed to be Christ’s disciples had murmured among themselves because Christ had said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he sayeth, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. {Ms67-1897.14}

“No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” {Ms67-1897.15}

But the priests and rulers strove among themselves saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” This is the same union that is represented by the graft of the parent vine stock. When by faith the believer takes hold of Christ, there comes a turning point in his life. He absorbs the spirit and mind of Christ, and represents His character. {Ms67-1897.16}

All who heard might have interpreted correctly the words spoken by Jesus if they had searched the Scriptures, for He explained: “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” {Ms67-1897.17}

Temptation is as a weight cast into the scale of evil, which requires firm decision on the scale of faith, based on evidence that has been seen and experienced, to counterweight the balance. Jesus holds up the scale of deep spiritual truth to teach that vital relation with Him is the only means provided for the saving of the soul. Natural propensities, if cherished, are forever dividing the soul from Christ. But these lessons were designed to reveal to all a knowledge of self, to show them the true position they sustained toward Christ. Here He brought to light a temptation that was hidden, which, working in darkness, was causing the weak and tempted ones to lose faith in Christ because they could not understand the spiritual meaning of His words. These truths spoken so decidedly, dwelt upon and repeated, would be better understood by His disciples after the resurrection. {Ms67-1897.18}

The feeding of the five thousand with the five barley loaves and the two small fishes had been a wonderful miracle to these Jews. The word given by the Master, “Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost,” was obeyed; and it was found that the five loaves and two small fishes had increased in the hands of the disciples, so that five thousand men besides women and children had partaken of the feast thus blessed of God. The food was as heavenly manna to the taste of the hungry multitude. And they “filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” Many of the disciples were ready to crown Him king at once; but because Christ did not concede to their wishes, they harbored the temptation [to think], He is not the Messiah. But Christ knew that those who would now force Him to take the throne of David, and who would have cried, Behold your King, in a short time would choose Barabbas in the place of Christ, and their voices be raised in the cry, “Crucify him; crucify him.” {Ms67-1897.19}

“When Christ therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” Christ dismissed the multitude, and bade His disciples depart in their ship. Afterward He appeared to them on the boisterous waters, walking on the snowcapped billows. The whole transaction was made known by the disciples to all with whom they came in contact. But not content with this, the people sought Jesus with the question, “Rabbi, how camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” {Ms67-1897.20}

These disciples were not receiving Christ and believing in Him, and the Saviour knew that it was time, for their healthful, spiritual growth in the truth, that they should understand their true relation to Himself. {Ms67-1897.21}

Every temptation is one of the Lord’s means of establishing His people in the faith. They will obtain an experience if they will seek unto the Lord; or they may, through the wiles of Satan, almost yield their faith. But if they shall refuse to make any move until they shall seek counsel of God; if they will open the Word to understand what is written, they will see where they are standing, and where is their peril. Contentions and unbelief had been entertained by the disciples, which had not been decidedly met. Unbelief had grown into a habit, and now had come a more distinct and startling opportunity to demonstrate that they were offended. The strife of the Jews over Christ’s words meeting their questioning and doubt gathered about them its dark clouds of unbelief. Their faith had not been genuine, and the test, proving the true and false disciple, developed the weakness and unreliable position of many of the disciples. {Ms67-1897.22}

Christ utters sayings that have power to obtain a place in every heart that is seeking to know the will of God. He declared, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ... All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Those who will to do his will shall know of its doctrine. But if their human ideas, received through tradition and maxims and customs of men, are still retained as of value, they may be convicted that the words of Christ will satisfy their highest wants; they may be frank enough to express their wish, “Lord, evermore give us this bread;” they may be impressed by the Holy Spirit that the words of Christ can comfort, encourage, strengthen, and settle them, and remove from them their unrest, their weariness and uncertainty; they may feel a most earnest desire for the results following the partaking of the Bread of heaven, yet they will reject Christ, and lose His proffered blessings. {Ms67-1897.23}

“Many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who there were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, That no man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father.” {Ms67-1897.24}

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” What then? They spake against Him. These disciples had turned away from the priests and rulers to Christ. But the lesson here given was to test and prove them. Christ revealed His true relation to His believing disciples. Have they genuine faith in Him, or are they of the number of whom Christ said, “Ye also have seen me, and believe not.” {Ms67-1897.25}

“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” {Ms67-1897.26}

Here we have an explanation of the statement made in (John 15:6): “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Christ had come to the time when the truth must be spoken decidedly, that the disciples who were indeed in the Vine might be distinguished from those who had no vital connection with Christ. And here was a branch who apparently was one with the vine; but after living with the disciples, and listening to the words of Christ, he gave evidence that he was not abiding in the Vine. “Have not I chosen you twelve,” said Christ, “and one of you is a devil?” {Ms67-1897.27}

Judas was one who exerted a large influence over the disciples. He was of commanding appearance, and had excellent qualifications. But these endowments had not been sanctified to God. Judas had opened the chambers of his mind, the door of his heart, to the temptations of Satan. His energies were devoted to self-serving, self-exaltation, and the love of money. He revealed that he was the graft that did not bear fruit, the graft that did not fiber by fiber and vein by vein, become knit with its Vine, and partake of the life of the Vine. This dry sapling adhered not to the Vine until it grew into a living, fruitful branch. {Ms67-1897.28}

God was still unknown to Judas as a living God, a loving Father. His life was not hid with Christ in God. That poor, independent soul, separate from the spirit and the life of Christ, had a hard time. He was ever under condemnation, because the lessons of Christ were always cutting him. Yet he did not become transformed and converted into a living branch through connection with the True Vine. O, if Judas had only humbled his heart before God under this divine instruction that pointed so plainly to himself in the principles set forth. Then he would no longer have remained a tempter to his brother disciples expressing his unbelief and thus sowing the seed of unbelief in their hearts. {Ms67-1897.29}

Satan sowed in the heart and mind of Judas the seed which he communicated to his brethren. The questioning doubts, that were passed from the devil into the mind of Judas, he passed on to the minds of his brethren. He presented so much accusation of his brethren, that he was counterworking the lessons of Christ. This is why Jesus called Judas a devil. {Ms67-1897.30}

Christ was ever presenting before them the privileges bestowed upon [the] feeble, finite sinful nature of man, and that only through union with Christ could it be restored to healthful growth. The life of the Vine was to become the life of the adopted sapling. He sought to impress upon them that it was a positive necessity for them to understand spiritual things; yes, all mysteries and all knowledge. No longer were they to see through a glass darkly, but face to face. They were to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height; and to know the love of God that passeth knowledge. The same God who had given Jesus to our world is able to perfect them for whom so great a sacrifice has been made, that through His grace they may be complete in Him. “He that hath begun a good work in you, will perform it unto the day of Christ Jesus,” is His promise. The work of Christ is concerned in the perfection of all His chosen ones, for they are members of His body, a part of Himself. {Ms67-1897.31}

In taking upon Himself humanity, Christ is connected by relationship to the whole human family; but to any church this relation is of no avail without a personal faith—the identification of heart and mind and soul and strength with Jesus Christ. In thoughts and desires, in words and actions, there must be an identity with Christ, a constant imparting of His spiritual life. And it is in thus constantly receiving and constantly imparting that which we receive that makes us elements of light. {Ms67-1897.32}

“And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of sleep, and said unto me, What seeth thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof. ... So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” {Ms67-1897.33}

“Then answered I and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” {Ms67-1897.34}

How is the dry disconnected sapling to become one with the parent vine stock? How is it to be made a partaker of the life and nourishment of the living vine? Only by being grafted into the vine, by being brought into the closest relationship possible. Fiber by fiber, vein by vein, the twig holds fast to the life giving vine until the life of the vine becomes one with the branch, and the branch produces fruit like that of the vine. {Ms67-1897.35}

When this is so, Christ’s followers will no longer be irreceptive. They will no longer be like the disciples who were offended because their own minds were not spiritual. They saw the truths that pleased them; but when they came to hear something which they could not explain or reason out, because they were not in vital connection with Christ, they were offended. They turned away and walked no more with Him. It were better that these fruitless branches should turn away and reveal themselves as unbelievers while Christ was with them. {Ms67-1897.36}

It was for this reason that the words of Christ were spoken, that they might be proved to be just what they were, not of the faith, but among those that believe not. Just as long as they were with the disciples, they were revealing a spirit of unbelief. They were forever finding the words of Christ objectionable to their ideas and maxims, and they bore no fruit as branches of the living Vine. They were accusers. One man, professing to be a follower of Christ, while not wearing the yoke of Christ, nor bearing the precious fruit revealed in the life of Christ, would be a channel of darkness to the other disciples in the test and trial that was soon to come, and that was even then upon them. {Ms67-1897.37}

All the way from the first disciple to the present time there will be those who profess to believe in the same way that many in Christ’s day professed to believe in Him. These receive the name of disciples, but they have not dug deep and laid their foundation upon the Rock. The lessons that Christ gave in the synagogue to all who were there congregated come down through the ages to our own time. His words come impressively to every heart, and we are to take heed to them. We are not to give them casual, but special, attention. Comparatively little anxiety should be given to the subject of temporal food, to satisfy temporal hunger, but that food which comes down from heaven is of the highest consequence to us. The Bread of life comes to satisfy our highest spiritual demands—the hunger of the soul. It is God’s truth that is the Bread of life. It is the truth that confronts the devil’s lie. {Ms67-1897.38}

The Lord requires true, wholehearted service. Spiritual things are to be the aim and object of the life work. Christ’s disciples must not look for a temporal kingdom. Christ is hungering and thirsting for spiritual service, wholehearted, devoted soul love. His followers will not be like the scribes and Pharisees, apparently zealous for God, yet having their affections and works after the pattern of the world, striving for temporal advancement and worldly pre-eminence. All who would come after Him must deny self, lift the cross, and follow wherever He shall lead the way. If men would accept Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, all their hungering of soul would be satisfied. {Ms67-1897.39}

How shall we follow Christ and serve Him in the home life, in the missionary work abroad if He bids us go? The cross will have to be lifted if the Lord bids anyone in His service to leave their family and relatives, and [his] large circle of friends that would interfere with the true service that God requires both at home and abroad. There must be self-sacrifice on the part of some because of the dear wife and children; but God requires just this of some. Others may act in accordance with the will of God and take their families with them. But it is wholehearted, self-sacrificing service which the Lord demands. Love for God and devotion in His work will not diminish in the least the love for wife and children and home. And because of his love for those dear to him, the true missionary will pray for wisdom to do the work as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. And the wife and children may unite in missionary work at home, all bound upon the altar with golden cords, all united to do and suffer for Christ’s sake if need be, committing all to God as to a faithful Creator. The one who loves God supremely find his heart overflowing with love for his dear ones. And he knows that the God he serves will bless and hallow that love, for they are holding up his hands, and strengthening his soul. {Ms67-1897.40}

The prayers of wife and children who love God will go with him as sharp sickles in the harvest field. Then ever let the dears ones in the home be missionaries. Let this education be given them: Because your heart loves God, who has the first claim to your affections, you will love them more. Your work in God’s service will not be blessed if you allow any human calculations in relatives and friends to make the will of God secondary. All must know that you are subordinate to the love and will of God, whose you are and whom you serve. {Ms67-1897.41}

The Saviour read the heart of each one who joined himself to Him as His disciple. He knew that there were many who thought themselves His disciples, who were not. And He knew that their bitterness of spirit would be displayed if any word spoken by Christ did not harmonize with their preconceived opinions. He knew that prejudices and jealousies would be aroused at the slightest reference to their peculiar principles. And understanding, as He did, the heart and all its working, He would present the plain facts concerning His relation to humanity, His mission, and His work, that there might be no misapplication of His words when His true followers should be left alone. He would heal every soul who would come to Him as his Fountainhead. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” {Ms67-1897.42}

Christianity must be brought into the life service, as a light kept ever shining, full of vital force. There is no such thing as occupying a neutral position. Each will have given him his work according to his ability. And all will, through faith in Christ, have a sense of their privilege in being connected with him. Self-righteous Pharisaism Christ would have all of us see as it is. The disciple whose religion is a profession only, is distinguished from the true. {Ms67-1897.43}

Christ requires strict fidelity to truth and righteousness. There can be no lawless deviation from right. Evil passions, envy, evil surmisings, jealousy, accusing of the brethren, cannot be indulged without denying Christ. The thoughts, the ideas, change of circumstances, depend largely upon outward relationship. {Ms67-1897.44}

The transgression of physical laws will surely bring in its train evil disposition, suffering, inefficiency, and an unhealthy experience. And the moral law violated will surely bring its punishment. Any indulgence of the appetite brings on a change of feeling, a fit of indigestion, making the moral experience accord with the treatment of the body. {Ms67-1897.45}

The living Christ demands self-denial and strong faith. Circumstances cannot rule the life. The child of God, the heir of heaven, cannot drift hither and thither. There must be a fastening to Christ, a believing in Him. “Let him take hold of my strength,” says Christ, “and make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Then no evil sentiments will be cherished. Then the child of God will not be as a ship at sea without an anchor, tossed about by the winds and waves. Nothing can make a man of sin if by faith he lays hold of Christ and clings to Him. {Ms67-1897.46}

Passion manifested by a professed Christian is a denial of Christ; it gives a victory to Satan, and enthrones him in the heart. Such a man gives testimony to the world that the devil has more power over him than has Christ. His words, spirit, and character testify that the molding and fashioning hand of Satan is upon him, making of him a vessel that will dishonor God. {Ms67-1897.47}

Christ was dishonored by the disciples who were offended at His words, and walked no more with Him. But the words spoken by the Saviour were the truth. The ax was laid at the root of the tree. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” He declares. The physical, mental, and moral power are the endowments of God, and are to be appreciated and cultivated. As members of the human family we are to reach the highest standard. We are here on probation, in training for the higher life. The human agent is the property of God, by creation and by redemption, and God requires the full and harmonious development of all the God-given faculties. {Ms67-1897.48}

Man has no right to the name of Christian unless he will become Christlike, in words, in spirit, and in action. To be a Christian means culture after the divine character of Christ. And that mind which was in Christ Jesus cannot be correctly represented by untrained powers, and as a result, and unfurnished mind. All heaven is waiting to cooperate with the human agent who will be subordinate to the ways and will of God. The untrained powers of those who claim to be the followers of Christ dishonor Him who has paid the price for their redemption. A narrow mind and dwarfed character cannot meet the mind of God. {Ms67-1897.49}

The constant belief in Christ as your personal Saviour will make you one with Him as the branch is one with the vine. Every branch will evidence whether or not it has life, for where there is life, there is sure to be growth. There is a continual communication of the lifegiving properties of the vine, and this is demonstrated by the fruit which the branches bear. {Ms67-1897.50}

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Every provision has been made in behalf of humanity. Christ came to teach that, through living faith in Him, we may become one with Him. His promise is, “Whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out” as branches that are withered and bear no fruit. As the representative of the human family He came to save whoever would make application, with prayer and supplication, to God in His name. {Ms67-1897.51}

Man is appointed to eat and masticate the Word; but unless his heart is opened to the entrance of that Word, unless he drinks in the Word, unless he is taught of God, there will be misconception, misapplication, and misinterpretation of that Word. The hearing of the Word of God is not enough. Unless taught of God, the truth will not be accepted to the saving of the soul. It must be brought into the life practice. The human agent will reveal whether or not he is taught of God. And if not, it is not because God is not willing to teach; but because man is not willing to receive his teaching, and eat of the Bread of life. {Ms67-1897.52}

Every one that doeth evil hateth the light that God sends; neither cometh to the light lest his deeds shall be reproved. He hates reproof. But God declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” The self-righteous will not search for light. They love darkness rather than light, because they do not want to see themselves as God sees them. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. {Ms67-1897.53}

In His mercy and love for His people, God sends them reproof and warnings. This is kindness and benevolence on His part. It is an expression of the great love wherewith He hath loved us that He reveals to us our misconception of His character. He does not want man to spoil himself and make shipwreck of his faith. He has set before every one who is striving for an immortal crown the example he is to follow. Every soul must enter as a learner in the school of Christ. We shall profit by the searching of the Scriptures, by wearing Christ’s yoke, and lifting His burdens. But those who learn of Christ will never be anything else but meek and lowly in heart. They will learn their lessons, and give definite expression of them from lips that have no guile. In faith, hope, and charity, they will seek to serve Christ and one another, united in one by holy cords, and fully in harmony with the spirit and mind of Christ. {Ms67-1897.54}

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