RELEVANT QUOTATIONS FROM THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY WRITINGS
Perspective and Objective
2 I speak plainly [wrote Ellen White]. I do not think this will discourage a true Christian; and I do not want any of you to come up to the time of trouble without a well-grounded hope in your Redeemer. -Ibid., vol. I, p. 163.
Willard Saxby and the Laodiceans
4 Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. -Christ's Object Lessons, p. 72.
5 As many are today, so (before his conversion) Paul was very confident in an hereditary piety; but his confidence was founded on falsehood. -Selected Messages, book 1, p. 346.
The Irreducible Minimum
7 Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God. It is narrow, and the gate by which we enter is straight; but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that, in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old, hereditary traits of character must be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed .... The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. -Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 23.
8 Search carefully and see whether the truth which you have accepted has, with you, become a firm principle. Do you take Christ with you when you leave the closet of prayer? Does your religion stand guard at the door of your lips? Is your heart drawn out in sympathy and love for others outside of your own family? Are you diligently seeking a clearer understanding of scriptural truth, that you may let your light shine forth to others? These questions you may answer to your own souls. -Review and Herald, Jan. 8, 1880.
9 [When one is justified] there is nothing in the heart at war with God's requirements. The mind, submissive and obedient, will love to do all His commandments. Evil will be abhorred, and the good will be chosen. There will be no self-denial or self-sacrifice that is grievous, for the heart delights in doing for Christ, and seeking to save souls from error and from the transgression of the holy law of God. When God has control of the affections, the mind will not be selfish, nor shrink from sacrifice. -Ibid., Dec. 2, 1875.
10 When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin . . . . The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. -Christ's Object Lessons, p. 420.
11 Christ's love is deep and earnest, flowing like an irrepressible stream to all who will accept it. There is no selfishness in His love. If this heaven-born love is an abiding principle in the heart, it will make itself known, not only to those we hold most dear in sacred relationship, but to all with whom we come in contact. It will lead us to bestow little acts of attention, to make concessions, to perform deeds of kindness, to speak tender, true, encouraging words. It will lead us to sympathize with those whose hearts hunger for sympathy. -The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, on John 13:34, p. 1140.
12 Many today assert their loyalty to God, but their concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and their eager desire for popularity all testify that they have not obeyed His voice. -Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 88.
13 God requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise. -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 458.
14 By what means shall we determine whose side we are on? Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Upon whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are on the Lord's side, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. We have no friendship with the world; we have consecrated all that we have and are to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His Spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. -Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 262.
15 He who is drawing his life from Christ will have no desire for the frivolous, unsatisfying enjoyments of the world. -Ibid., vol. 5, p. 88.
16 We are to surrender ourselves to Him. When this surrender is entire, Christ can finish the work He began for us by the surrender of Himself. Then He can bring to us complete restoration. -Review and Herald, May 30,1907.
17 Those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ will be dwelling upon the themes of the great salvation. The Bible is the storehouse that supplies their souls with nourishing food. They meditate upon the incarnation of Christ, they contemplate the great sacrifice made to save them from perdition, to bring in pardon, peace, and everlasting righteousness. The soul is aglow with these grand and elevating themes. -Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 87, 88.
18 Sin not only shuts us away from God, but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. All this work of evil it is Christ's mission to undo. The faculties of the soul, paralyzed by sin, the darkened mind, the perverted will, He has power to invigorate and to restore. -Education, pp. 28, 29.
19 The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more closely we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. -The Acts of the Apostles, p. 561.
20 Those who are justified by faith must have a heart to keep the way of the Lord. It is an evidence that a man is not justified by faith when his works do not correspond to his profession. -Selected Messages, book 1, p. 397.
The One Who Helps Us Cope
22 Christ died for all; and we are assured in His word that He is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. -The Sanctified Life, p. 84.
The Heart of the Matter
24 The work of sanctification begins in the heart, and we must come into such a relation with God, that Jesus can put His divine mold upon us. -Review and Herald, Feb. 23, 1892 .
25 Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a patchwork character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This is the condition of the Laodicean church. At first there seems to be some of self and some of Christ. But soon it is all of self and none of Christ. . . . Christ looks with pitying tenderness on all who have combination characters. Those with such a character have a connection with Christ so frail that it is utterly worthless. -The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen White Comments, on 2 Cor. 5:17, p. 1101.
26 Only as we see our utter helplessness and renounce all self-trust, shall we lay hold on divine power. It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. -The Ministry of Healing, p.455.
"If He Does Not Resist"
29 Men want a dignified religion. They desire to walk in a path wide enough to take in their own attributes.-Christ's Object Lessons, p. 162 .
30 Every act of resistance makes it harder to yield. -Testimonies to Ministers, p. 74.
The Substance and Keynote of Jesus' Teaching
32 We are not God's children unless we are such entirely. There are those who profess to serve God, while they rely upon their own efforts to obey His law, to form a right character, and secure salvation. Their hearts are not moved by any deep sense of the love of Christ, but they seek to perform the duties of the Christian life as that which God requires of them in order to gain heaven. Such religion is worth nothing. When Christ dwells in the heart, the soul will be so filled with His love, with the joy of communion with Him, that it will cleave to Him; and in the contemplation of Him, self will be forgotten. Love to Christ will be the spring of action.... A profession of Christ without this deep love is mere talk, dry formality, and heavy drudgery. -Steps to Christ, pp. 44, 45 .
33 Many who profess to be Christ's followers have an anxious, troubled heart because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him, for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender they cannot find peace. -The Ministry of Healing, pp. 480, 481.
34 God will not accept your offerings if you withhold yourself. He asks not only for that which is His own in the means intrusted to you, but for his own property in your body, soul, and spirit, purchased at the infinite price of the blood of the Son of God. -Review and Herald, Oct. 31, 1878 .
35 In heaven it is said by the ministering angels: The ministry which we have been commissioned to perform we have done .... [There follows a description of the angel's ministry.] Their [the sinners'] hearts were deeply moved by a sense of the sin that crucified the Son of God. They were convicted. They saw the steps to be taken in conversion; they felt the power of the gospel; their hearts were made tender as they saw the sweetness of the love of God. They beheld the beauty of the character of Christ. But with the many it was all in vain. They would not surrender their own habits and character. They would not put off the garments of earth in order to be clothed with the robe of heaven. Their hearts were given to covetousness. They loved the associations of the world more than they loved their God. -Christ's Object Lessons, p. 318 .
36 Not one nook or corner of the soul is to be a hiding place for selfishness. -Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 139, 140.
37 You cannot reach the full measure of the stature of Christ in a day, and you would sink in despair could you behold all the difficulties that must be met and overcome. -Messages to Young People, pp. 45, 46 .
38 All the elements of character which helped to make him successful and honored in the world,--the irrepressible desire for some greater good, the indomitable will, the strenuous exertion, the untiring perseverance,-are not to be crushed out. These are to remain, and through the grace of God received into the heart, to be turned into another channel. These valuable traits of character may be exercised on objects as much higher and nobler than worldly pursuits as the heavens are higher than the earth. -Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1881.
39 While self is unsubdued we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control -The Desire of Ages, p. 336 .
40 But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! -Steps to Christ, p. 46.
41Every taxing duty becomes easy, and every sacrifice becomes a pleasure, to those whom the truth makes free. What a victory is gained when the carnal life ceases, and the spiritual life begins .... The mind, submissive and obedient, will love to do all His commandments. Evil will be abhorred, and the good will be chosen. There will be no selfdenial ... that is grievous, for the heart delights in doing for Christ, and seeking to save souls from error and from the transgression of the holy law of God. When God has control of the affections, the mind will not be selfish, nor shrink from sacrifices.-Review and Herald, Dec. 2, 1875.
But I Don't Want to Surrender!
43 Repentance is thought to be a work the sinner must do for himself in order that he may come to Christ. They think that the sinner must procure for himself a fitness in order to obtain the blessing of God's grace. But while it is true that repentance must precede forgiveness, ... the sinner cannot bring himself to repentance, or prepare himself to come to Christ. ... The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent. -Selected Messages, book I, p. 390.
44 I was shown God's people waiting for some change to take place,--a compelling power to take hold of them. But they will be disappointed, for they are wrong. They must act; they must take hold of the work themselves, and earnestly cry to God for a true knowledge of themselves. The scenes which are passing before us are of sufficient magnitude to cause us to arouse. -Christian Service, p. 43.
45 It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. -The Desire of Ages, p. 389 .
46 The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power. -Gospel Workers, p. 250.
47 The reason that many professed Christians do not have a clear, well-defined experience, is that they do not think it is their privilege to understand what God has spoken through His word. -Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 189 .
48 Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word .... All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know truth. A heavenly light will shine into the soul temple, and will be revealed to others as the bright shining of a lamp on a dark path. -Christ's Object Lessons, p. 36 .
49 The appreciation of the Bible grows with its study. Whichever way the student may turn, he will find displayed the infinite wisdom and love of God. -Ibid., p. 132 .
50 It is a law both of the intellectual and spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. It becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. -The Great Controversy, p.555.
The Soul's Controlling Faculty
52 The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man's experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. -Education, p. 29 .
53 No man can be forced to transgress. His own consent must be first gained; the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never an excuse for sin .... Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation. -Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 177.
Faith and an Orange
A Question of Feelings
56 Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer. -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 421.
57 When the grace of meekness is cherished by those who are naturally sour or hasty in disposition, they will put forth the most earnest efforts to subdue their unhappy temper. Every day they will gain self-control, until that which is unlovely and unlike Jesus is conquered. They become assimilated to the Divine Pattern, until they can obey the inspired injunction, "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." -Review and Herald, Jan. 18, 1881.
58 When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. -Our High Calling, p. 324 .
59 Many make a serious mistake in their religious life by keeping the attention fixed upon their feelings and thus judging of their advancement or decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are not to look within for evidence of our acceptance with God. We shall find there nothing but that which will discourage us. Our only hope is in "looking unto Jesus." ... There is everything in Him to inspire with hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing. -Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 199,200.
Is Your Soul Breathing Properly?
61 The life of the true Christian is a life of constant prayer. He knows that the light and strength of one day is not sufficient for the trials and conflicts of the next. Satan is continually changing his temptations. Every day we shall be placed in different circumstances .... It is only through the strength and grace gained from heaven that we can hope to meet the temptations and perform the duties before us. -Gospel Workers, pp. 257, 258 .
62 It is a lamentable fact that the erring heart is unwilling to be criticised, or to subject itself to humiliation by the confession of sin. Some see their faults, but thinking confession will detract from their dignity, they excuse their wrong, and shield themselves from the discipline that confession would give to the soul. -Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 239, 240 .
63 To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need. The prayers you offer in loneliness, in weariness, in trial, God answers, not always according to your expectations, but always for your good. -Gospel Workers p. 258 .
64 God does not say, Ask once, and you shall receive. He bids us ask. Unwearyingly persist in prayer. The persistent asking brings the petitioner into a more earnest attitude, and gives him an increased desire to receive the things for which he asks. -Christ's Object Lessons, p. 145.
The Fourth Japanese Monkey
66 An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled. -Ibid., vol. 5, p. 177.
67 Satan tempted the first Adam in Eden, and Adam reasoned with the enemy, thus giving him the advantage.-The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, on Matt. 4:1-11, p. 1081.
68 There are thoughts and feelings suggested ... by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. -Review and Herald, March 27, 1888 .
69 When the mind has been long permitted to dwell only on earthly things, it is a difficult matter to change the habits of thought. That which the eye sees and the ear hears, too often attracts the attention and absorbs the interest .... The words and the character of Christ should be often the subject of our thoughts and of our conversation; and each day some time should be especially devoted to prayerful meditation upon these sacred themes. -Ibid., May 3, 1881.
70 If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. -Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 187.
Two Fundamental Lessons
72 All power is given into His [Christ's] hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. -Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92. (Italics supplied.)
Was Satan Right?
74 Let not anyone be afraid of going to extremes while he is a close student of the Word, humbling the soul at every step. -Selected Messages, book 2, p. 22.
Proving Satan Wrong
76 When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent. Nothing can take so strong a hold on the heart as the abiding sense of our responsibility to God. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. ... While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. -The Desire of Ages, p. 493.
77 It is the Holy Spirit ... that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His, that one looking at him sees Christ's own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image. -Review and Herald, April 28, 1891.
78 None can walk safely unless they are distrustful of self, and are constantly looking to the Word of God, studying it with willing heart to see their own errors, and to learn the will of Christ, and praying that it may be done in and by and through them. They show that their confidence is not in themselves, but in Christ. -Our High Calling, p.212.
79 He [man] ... may progress in mental and moral dignity, until he reaches a perfection of intelligence and a purity of character but little lower than the perfection and purity of angels. -Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 93 .
80 Day by day he [Enoch] was growing away from his own way into Christ's way. -Review and Herald, April 28, 1891.
81 Every moment that we are not on our watch we are liable to be beset by the enemy and are in great danger of being overcome by the powers of darkness. Satan commissions his angels to be vigilant and overthrow all they can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, and bring sorrow upon the church. -Early Writings, p. 105.
82 There will be a people who hold so fast to the divine strength that they will be proof against every temptation. -Sons and Daughters of God, p. 143.
83 This work [sanctification] can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God .... The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. -The Great Controversy, pp. 469, 470.
When the Christian "Misses the Mark"
85 If we will trust Him, and commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps in the very path that will result in our obtaining the victory over every evil passion, and every trait of character that is unlike the character of our divine Pattern. -Our High Calling, p. 316.
86 The servants of Christ are not to act out the dictates of the natural heart. They need to have close communion with God, lest, under provocation, self rise up, and they pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. This is what Satan wants them to do; for these are his methods. It is the dragon that is wroth; it is the spirit of Satan that is revealed in anger and accusing. -The Desire of Ages, p. 353.
Focus on Victory
88 We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. -Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 45 .
89 Let those who have committed wrong give proof of their repentance by seeking to make full restitution, let them in their after-life give evidence of a genuine reformation, and they will assuredly enjoy the peace of Heaven. -Review and Herald, Jan. 3, 1882.
90 The work of salvation is not child's play, to be taken hold of at will and let alone at pleasure. It is the steady purpose, the untiring effort, that will gain the victory at last. It is he who endureth to the end that shall be saved.-Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 101, 102.
Ere the Gates Close