A. T. Jones
THE message is advancing so rapidly that constant watching and diligent attention are required to keep pace with it. And sad it is for the one who falls behind now, whether he is a layman, or one who must bear the burden and responsibility of acting in public capacity. In order to stand, all must have a constant consecration; indeed, consecration, to be consecration, must be constant.
In 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2, we read that Amaziah reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and that during that time “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal [perfect] heart.” There are Amaziah’s today, and they find it an easy matter so to conduct themselves that men judge their acts as “right in the sight of the Lord,” but God does not accept their service. The Lord is soon coming. In that day only the “pure in heart” will see God unto salvation. Is there any one who knows these truths, and yet delays to pray, from the very depths of his soul: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23, 24)?
“THE time has come when all who work in Christ’s lines will have the mark of God, in words, in spirit, in character, in their honor of Immanuel.”
But God will never set His mark upon words that are not true and pure, nor upon a spirit that is not right. He will never set His seal upon a character that is not perfect, nor upon an honor of Immanuel which is not genuine.
God cannot put His seal upon anything that is in any respect short of perfection. Then as the time has come when all who work in Christ’s lines will have the mark of God, this says that we are in the time when God will bring to perfection all who work in Christ’s lines. Thank the Lord! What a precious promise! What a cheering thought!
But without the Holy Spirit, no one can have this mark; because it is only “the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”
Again: none can receive this mark who are in any point short of perfection; and none can have the mark, without the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is the work of the Holy Spirit now to bring to perfection all who work in Christ’s lines.
The Holy Spirit is now given without measure; and the Lord is calling upon all to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, when given, is to impart gifts “to every man severally as he will.” The object of these gifts is the perfecting of the saints. And this object will be accomplished in bringing all “in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Therefore “receive the Holy Spirit,” and “covet earnestly the best gifts,” that thus you may be brought to perfection, and may receive the seal of God, in words, in spirit, in character, and in your honor of Immanuel.
“In words;” because “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (1 Cor. 2:12, 13).
“In spirit;” because “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His;” and if any man have the Spirit of Christ, this “is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:9, 10).
“In character;” because “the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4); and “here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
“In their honor of Immanuel;” because they will not worship the beast or his image, neither will they receive his mark in their foreheads, or in their hands.
How good the Lord is, to give us his Holy Spirit to bring us to perfection, that we may have the mark of God in words, in actions, in character, in our honor of Immanuel; and so be sealed with the seal of the living God!
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you COMPLETE [PERFECT] in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20, 21).
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” “Be filled with” “the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” For behold “it is near, even at the doors.”
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, December 6, 1898