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Perfection of Character

A man who has the true idea of what constitutes PERFECTION of CHARACTER will reveal the SAME FRUIT which he desires to see in others. He will by PRECEPT and EXAMPLE give evidence that he is endowed with a KINDLY, GENIAL DISPOSITION, imbued with REFINEMENT and TENDERNESS. He will have the finest touch in seeking to cure the wounds and bruises of the soul. He will be a CO-WORKER with CHRIST and HIS HOLY SPIRIT to renew and strengthen, to beautify and bring into conformity to the perfect model. {Lt78-1893}
A single unrighteous act of will or bitterness, envy, jealousy or evil surmising will quench the SPIRIT of GOD and banish from your heart true happiness. One emotion of hatred or ill will or of revenge, or an evil act or word towards one of whom Christ calls “the least of these my brethren,” gives Satan the advantage over you, makes you a transgressor of GOD’S LAW, and will surely destroy the peace of the soul and will stand as an act done to Jesus Christ in the person of His saints. Even hatred to an evil worker will place you in a position where your judgment will be warped and you will not be a doer of the work of Christ to render good for evil. While you despise the sin, you should love the souls of those for whom Christ has paid the price of His own blood. The desire for revenge or any emotion but that of tender, pitying love as Jesus exercises toward us, fallen sinful humanity, injuries the soul and is registered against us in heaven. Nothing short of PERFECTION of CHARACTER will MEET the STANDARD of GOD’S LAW. The great power of God will surely come to His people if they re obedient children and are LIVING in ACCORDANCE with the CHARACTER of CHRIST. {Lt16-1888}
Adam was created full of light and knowledge of PURITY and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The signature of God was upon him. He loved his Creator. He was permitted to hold personal communion with God. He was made only a little lower than the angels, the heavenly family who shouted for joy at the display of God’s power, His goodness and His glory. But Adam and Eve revolted from their Maker. {Ms110-1893}
All through this sermon on the mount is a line of advancement for Christian experience. The angels of darkness are to stand back, that the soul purchased by the infinite sacrifice of Christ may attain unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER. If the soul is not drawn to Christ, it is because the will is not on the side of God’s will, but on the side of the enemy. If man will but co-operate with God, God will work in him to will and to do of his good pleasure, and man will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The reason you do not realize the help of the Lord to a far greater degree, is that you are so self-centred; your will is not on the side of God’s will. . . . {BEcho, June 15, 1892 par. 2}
All who compose our family of workers are to bear in life and character the testimony that the truths which they handle have an influence which corrects harsh judgment. They are to feel a deep and tender interest in the young, and are to seek to benefit them by wise counsel. They are not to bruise the soul by harsh words or by speaking in a harsh tone. They can do no good by charging their errors upon them. Let them persuade and educate kindly, carefully leading the mind upward to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms61-1900}
Ample provision has been made that the people of God may ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The apostle says, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” Let every individual draw for himself from the inexhaustible source of all moral and intellectual power, in order that he may work the works of righteousness. Through the cross of Calvary every facility is furnished whereby man may be in union with his fellow men, and in harmony with Christ in God. The Father says that he will love those who believe that Christ died for them, even as he loves His Only Begotten Son. The cross of Christ is the assurance that we may be complete in him. “God so loved the world, that he gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In Christ is excellence, in him is intellectual greatness and moral efficiency. {RH, November 30, 1897 par. 9}
An eternal weight of glory and a life that measures with the life of God await the overcomer. Our minds should be constantly dwelling on the goodness of God and the future home of the saints, and we should ever be STRIVING for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, that at last we may be given entrance into the city of God. Outside of the city there will be those who love and make a lie, and with them there will be those who have distrusted God. How important, then, that we have the love of Christ in our hearts and cherish constantly the Spirit that will lead us to obey our Creator. {Ms30-1886}
And I would say to all who are interested in this matter, whether you have met with loss or not, say from the heart, “Lord, the debt I owe Thee is very large. I have not loved Thee with the whole heart. I have loved self and have served my own selfish purposes. I have robbed Thee, in that I have not served Thee with heart and mind and soul and strength, and have withheld help from my neighbor, who needed the benefit of every jot of ability I have received from the Lord, that the divine image might be restored in him. My unconsecrated life has led to unconsecration in my fellow men. Had I earnestly sought for that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which the Word shows me I must have in order to see God’s face, how many souls I might have brought as sheaves to the Master. But I have served self far more than I have served the Lord. I have failed when if I had surrendered my way and will to God, I might have had complete success. {Ms79-1899}
“And the glory (character) which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know (by this heavenly attribute of unity, which is divested from all worldly policy and sentiment, and which represents a PERFECTION of CHARACTER) that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” {Ms46-1902}
“And the young man said unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” He had been flattered for his amiable traits of character. He was willing to do good things, and he flattered himself that by his strict integrity in dealing with his fellow men he was fulfilling the law. The PERFECTION of CHARACTER which he thought he possessed ranked him in the same state spiritually as was Paul, when, touching the letter of the law, he thought he was blameless. But no human standard can save a soul from death. God’s standard must be seen, acknowledged, and followed. {Ms150-1899}
. . . I often feel agony of spirit as I look over the wide field, and see so few to do the missionary work and open the WORD of GOD to those who are in darkness. The very work that is essential for every one who receives the PRESENT TRUTH, is to AIM at PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and thoroughness in winning souls to Christ. Be determined that you will ADVANCE and IMPROVE in your work, and then you will be CONTINUALLY PROGRESSING; for those who have received this light feel that they must bring more of the Spirit of Christ into their own life and character as they advance, else they cannot bring it into the lives of others. And you can make the most of every opportunity while in conversation with your friends, to make your words a blessing to them. Set your mind to task, that you may present the truth in a manner to interest them. Seize the most interesting portions of Scripture that you can bring before them, come right to the point, and seek to fasten their attention, and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. {RH, July 26, 1887 par. 5}
“And to knowledge, temperance.” This is the third step in the path toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER. On every side there is indulgence and dissipation, and the result is degeneration and corruption. The inhabitants of our earth are depreciating in mental, moral, and physical power, because of the intemperate habits of society. Appetite, passion, and love of display are carrying the multitudes into the greatest excesses and extravagance. Temptations present themselves on every hand, not only in places of vice, but also in the homes of our land. Our tables are spread with little regard for health or morality, and the cravings of perverted appetite are indulged, to the detriment of physical and mental strength. The people of God must take an opposite course from the world. They must take up the WARFARE AGAINST these SINFUL PRACTICES, DENY APPETITE, and KEEP the LOWER NATURE in SUBJECTION. Said the great apostle, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” {RH, February 21, 1888 par. 8}
As stewards of God’s grace, have you not a personal interest in the work of saving your fellow-men? Shall Christ have died in vain for them because he does not have the co-operation of his professed followers? GOD REQUIRES that you shall be filled with the HOLY SPIRIT. The work of Christ is sacred, and the command is, “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” He requires PERFECTION of CHARACTER in HIS AGENTS. The influence of HIS CHURCH must all tend toward the building up of his cause in the earth. {RH, January 27, 1891 par. 9}
As you make advances in the Christian life, you will be constantly growing up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. In your experience, you will be proving what is the length and breadth, the depth and height, of the love of God, which passeth knowledge. You will feel your unworthiness. You will have no disposition to claim PERFECTION of CHARACTER, but only to EXALT the PERFECTION of your REDEEMER. The more thorough and rich your experience in the KNOWLEDGE of JESUS, the more humble will be your views of self. The lower you lie at the foot of the cross, the clearer and more exalted will be your conceptions of your Redeemer. To love God supremely, and your neighbor as yourself, is true sanctification. BIBLE conversion will lead to constant and abiding activity, which will be free from all selfishness, all self-exaltation, and all boastful claims of holiness. If you are truly converted to God, you will exert a strong and telling influence on the side of truth. An intelligent knowledge of what it means to be a Christian will make you a blessing wherever you go. Whether you have one, two, or five talents, all will be devoted to the service of Him who has committed them to you in trust, that you may not receive the grace of God in vain. According to the light and knowledge given to us, we are to be examples to others. We are to have such a hold upon truth, and the Author of truth, as to make us a power for good in the world, to bless and to elevate those around us. {RH, October 16, 1888 par. 3}
As you stand here today, and see the defects of your characters in the light of God’s great moral standard, will you not say, “I will redeem the past; I will go to work in the Lord’s vineyard”? By living faith will you not grasp the promises of God, and appropriate Christ’s righteousness, and find the light of heaven shining in your life? You are to bring Christ into your every thought and action. A defective link in a chain makes it worthless, and a defect in your character will unfit you to enter the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. You must set everything in order. But you cannot do this great work without divine aid. Are you ready to accept the promises of God, and to make them your own by living faith in his immutable word? You should walk by faith, not by feeling. We do not want a sensational religion; but we want a religion founded on intelligent faith. This faith plants its feet on the eternal rock of God’s word. Those who WALK by FAITH are ALL the time SEEKING for PERFECTION of CHARACTER by CONSTANT OBEDIENCE to CHRIST. The Captain of our salvation has given us his orders, and we are to yield implicit obedience; but if we close the Book that reveals his will, and do not inquire, or search, or seek to understand, how can we fulfill its obligation? We shall be found wanting at last, if we pursue this course. {RH, April 9, 1889 par. 9}
At this time in the history of the world, we should have but one object in view – to GAIN ETERNAL LIFE. Every other desire should be subordinated to this. The WORK of REGENERATION must go on in every soul until PERFECTION of CHARACTER is reached, for nothing short of this will meet the MIND of GOD. Parents and teachers, do not leave for some future time the work that should be done today. The present time is the golden opportunity. Your every word and look and act should be a living sermon to the youth, for these will be reproduced in their lives. Children are the heritage of the Lord. Christ has purchased them; they are His property. They are to be educated, not to please themselves, but to please God. They are to be brought to Christ, trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. {Ms119-1899}
“Be ye perfect,” said Christ, “even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” There cannot be a complete, harmonious development of Christian character when Christians exclude themselves from the world; for in this they are not following the example of Christ. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” Not in the closet alone is PERFECTION of CHARACTER reached, nor solely in the public assembly; it should be our first work to seek the Lord with humble hearts, to learn his way; then we are to take him with us into the public assembly. Thought and action, prayer and work, are all essential. “Ye are laborers together with God.” It is our privilege to be so closely connected with God that we shall know his will. {RH, September 29, 1891 par. 5}
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Wonderful are the possibilities placed before us, and to these possibilities we may attain by studying and practicing the WORD of GOD. But if we do not lay hold of Christ, if we do not daily gain an experimental knowledge of Him as our sufficiency, we are constantly losing ground. Many professed Christians have not yet reached the HEIGHT and BREADTH of CHRIST-LIKENESS. BEHOLD CHRIST by FAITH as the One whose PERFECTION of CHARACTER we are to OBTAIN. With an INTENSE, PRAYERFUL DESIRE to be like Him, we are to behold Him, full of tenderness and love. Then, as we behold, we shall be changed into His likeness. He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH. {Ms73-1901}
“Be ye therefore prefect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” God has made His followers co-partners with Himself to build up, to strengthen, and [to] advance His kingdom in the world. Those who would be workers together with God MUST STRIVE not only for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, but also for PERFECTION of EVERY ORGAN of the BODY, and [for] QUALITY of the MIND. God designs that every movement shall adorn [not sure that is correct word] the DOCTRINE of JESUS CHRIST, and recommend to others the TRUTH that has had its SANCTIFYING INFLUENCE upon our own lives. {Ms188-1897}
Before the world, God is developing us as living witnesses to what men and women may become through the GRACE of CHRIST. We are enjoined to STRIVE for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The divine Teacher says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Would Christ tantalize us by requiring of us an impossibility? – Never, never! What an honor He confers upon us in urging us to be holy in our sphere, as the Father is holy in His sphere! He can enable us to do this, for He declares, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” This UNLIMITED POWER it is our privilege to claim. {ST, September 3, 1902 par. 5}
Believe me when I tell you that it is your privilege and duty to possess your soul in PATIENCE under insult and provocation. You can do this only through Christ Jesus. Why, He is your STAFF, your WISDOM, your SANCTIFICATION and your RIGHTEOUSNESS. Your character cannot be divided into parts, one made of great and noble things and regulated by the LAW of GOD, and the other made of little things and subjected to nervous irritations, to variations and caprices of natural traits of character that obtain the ascendency. Such a course would cut off a large part of your service for the Master. The want of self-control, a calm spirit, robs God of His proper right to REVEAL HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER in you, and produces new difficulties for you. However any one may deserve chastisement, withhold your words, for that which you reflect upon others will in a ten-fold degree be reflected upon you. {Lt20-1892}
“Blessed are the meek.” The difficulties we have to encounter may be very much lessened by that MEEKNESS which hides itself in Christ. If we possess the HUMILITY of our Master, we shall rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances, to which we are daily exposed, and they will cease to cast a gloom over the spirit. The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is SELF-CONTROL. He who under abuse or cruelty fails to maintain a calm and trustful spirit robs God of His right to reveal in him His own PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ; it is the token of their connection with the courts above. {DA 301.3}
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” All through this sermon on the mount is a line of advancement for Christian experience. The angels of darkness are to stand back, that the soul purchased by the infinite sacrifice of Christ may attain unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The word is sounded: “Stand back, this soul is not yours, it has been purchased by the precious BLOOD of CHRIST. Stand back, I and my Father are one, and we have come to draw this soul to righteousness.” If the soul is not drawn to Christ, it is because the will is not on the side of God’s will, but on the side of the enemy. If man will but cooperate with God, God will work in him to will and to do of his good pleasure, and man will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The reason you do not realize the help of the Lord to a far greater degree is that you are so self-centered, your will is not on the side of God’s will. The Lord would have you make it manifest in your manners, in your dress, in your spirit, that you are blessed. He would have you show that the line of demarkation between the world and the followers of Christ is a distinct line, so decided that the difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not is always discernible. If the people of the world do not see that you are different from those around them, they will not be influenced by your profession of religion; for you will not be a savor of Christ, and you will win no soul to the service of God. {ST, June 6, 1892 par. 1}
Both THOUGHT and ACTION will be necessary if you would ATTAIN to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. While brought in contact with the world, you should be on your guard that you do not seek too ardently for the applause of men and live for their opinion. WALK CAREFULLY if you would walk safely; cultivate the GRACE of HUMILITY, and hang your helpless souls upon Christ. You may be, in every sense, men of God. In the midst of confusion and temptation in the worldly crowd you may, with PERFECT SWEETNESS, keep the independence of the soul. {4T 568.1}
Brethren who are associated together in the Review and Herald Office, you may inquire, How may I know that I am a child of God, how may I know that I am an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ? When you walk in all humility of mind before Him, when you are habitually studying HIS WORD with a view to gain a set purpose, to have a knowledge of the ONLY TRUE GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom He hath sent, you may know this. By beholding Jesus, by DWELLING upon HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER and STRIVING to be like Him, PURE, TENDER FEELINGS will take the place of hardheartedness. The soul will be stirred to its very depths with intense desire to be like Jesus and to be led by HIS SPIRIT. Then the fruit will appear, and you will walk in love. You will love God with your whole heart, and will listen to every whisper of HIS HOLY SPIRIT. {Lt9-1896}
Brethren, be no longer slothful servants. Every soul must battle against inclination. Christ came not to save men in their sins, but from their sins. He has made it possible for us to POSSESS a HOLY CHARACTER; do not, then, be content with defects and deformities. But while we are to SEEK EARNESTLY for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, we must remember that SANCTIFICATION is not the WORK of a moment, but of a LIFETIME. Said Paul, “I die daily.” Day by day the work of overcoming must go forward. Every day we are to RESIST TEMPTATION, and gain the VICTORY OVER SELFISHNESS in all its forms. Day by day we should cherish love and humility, and cultivate in ourselves all those excellencies of character which will please God and fit us for the blessed society of heaven. To all who are seeking to accomplish this work, the promise is very precious, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” {HS 181.2}
Brethren, let us have an eye single to the GLORY of GOD. Let us not allow anything to interpose between us and him. “If we follow on to know the Lord,” we shall know that “his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” If we are partakers of the divine nature, we shall reflect in life and character the image of our divine Lord. We cannot be indolent in seeking this PERFECTION of CHARACTER. We cannot yield passively to our surroundings, and think that others will do the work for us, “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” We must be workers together with God. Life must become to us a HUMBLE, EARNEST WORKING OUT of SALVATION with FEAR and TREMBLING; and then FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE will abide in our hearts, giving us an earnest of the reward that awaits the overcomer. {HS 135.6}
. . . Let all who have been given the opportunity and privilege of being living stones in the spiritual house, depart from all evil, and let them reveal to the world that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which they expect others to reveal. Let them show that they are living stones, emitting light to all with whom they come in contact. {Lt98-1896}
But Christ has given us no assurance that to ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and GRACE of CHRIST. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected. {COL 331.1}
Christ calls upon every human agency to co-operate with Him in His work of restoration. The express image of the Father, He came to earth that He might restore the moral image of God in man. Through Him, fallen man may take hold of divinity, cultivate HIS GRACE and perfection, and through Him become partaker of the divine nature. Learning OBEDIENCE to the LAW of GOD, man may be stamped with PERFECTION of CHARACTER, the image of the divine. Behold Christ in His earthly life, raising up the fallen, bringing hope to the hopeless, and placing the feet of the straying ones in sure paths. This is He whom we are to copy and serve. He will imbue every sincere worker with HIS GRACE; for He knows the needs of every soul; and He is a pitying Elder Brother. {Ms11-1908}
Christ came to our world to die for the sins of the world, to testify to every son and daughter of Adam the immutability of the LAW of GOD, and to proclaim the holy indignation of God against sin which is “the transgression of the law.” The LAW of GOD is the STANDARD of PERFECTION of CHARACTER. After the fall of our first parents, it was written upon stone by the finger of God and given to man. The LAW of GOD was broken by the transgression of the inhabitants of the earth, and Christ alone could be a propitiation for our sins. The guiltless suffered for the guilty. The wrath of God against sin fell upon the Substitute who was innocent of any disloyalty. But He suffered at the hands of man imbued by the spirit of demons. The people became agents of the enemy and through them, God allowed the prince of hell to bruise His only beloved Son, and the words were fulfilled, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow.” {Ms56-1894}
Christ came to our world to set His followers an example of PERFECTION of CHARACTER, that in HIS STRENGTH they might become Christlike, building for time and for eternity. I am bidden to give all our workers, men and women, a most solemn charge: If you are not truly converted, God cannot use you. In word, in spirit, and in all your works you are to bear TESTIMONY to the TRUTH, making straight paths for your feet lest the lame be turned out of the way by your walking in strange paths. {Lt77-1910}
Christ came to this world to live a life of PERFECT OBEDIENCE to the LAWS of GOD’S KINGDOM. He came to uplift and ennoble human beings, to work out an enduring righteousness for them. He came as a medium through which truth was to be imparted. In him are found all the excellencies necessary to absolute PERFECTION of CHARACTER. To those who receive him, he gives power to become the sons of God. “The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth. . . . And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” {RH, July 4, 1912 par. 1}
Christ died in order to open the way so that those who are transgressors of his law might, through his merits, become obedient children. It was to this end that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. He endured humiliation, ignominy, and shame in order that through HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, the sinner might be lifted up, this has been Christ’s interest in you and yet you have been so unconcerned in regard to your eternal interests, that you have had no relish for heavenly things. Christ was punished for your sins, in order that you might not perish eternally; but how lightly you have esteemed his sufferings! He who knew no sin was made a sin bearer for us that we through his shame and suffering in our behalf might be made righteous. . . . {Ms105-1894}
Christ has given us no assurance that to ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER is an easy matter. It is a CONFLICT, a BATTLE, a MARCH day after day. It is through MUCH TRIBULATION that we enter the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. If we sit with Christ on his throne, we must first be partakers with him in his suffering. Individually we must experience that which was spoken of Christ. It became him, “in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Shall we then be timid and cowardly because of the trials we must meet as we advance? Shall we not meet them without repining or complaint? In this world we shall have tribulation; but the Lord Jesus will give us all the help that we ask, and believe that he will bestow. {RH, June 20, 1907 par. 3}
CHRIST is OUR PATTERN. In HIM was PERFECTION of CHARACTER – of outward manner and inward grace. He never spoke a discourteous word; He was meek and lowly in heart. When He saw the hypocrisy, the deception, and the wicked devising of the priests and rulers, when He saw them misleading the people by false interpretation of the Scriptures, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, He was indignant at their boldness and their false statements. He could discern in all this the working of Satanic agencies. It was Satan and his angels whom He had to meet in the specious, deceptive reasonings of priests and rulers. Keen and searching were His denunciations of sin. He had a holy wrath against the prince of darkness; but He manifested no irritated temper. {HM, March 1, 1898 par. 7}
Christ is the Captain of our salvation. “It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” The suffering that poured in upon the Son of God is beyond anything that man will be called to endure; yet Christ overcame, and perfected a spotless character. By his suffering and resistance he made plain to man that PERFECTION of CHARACTER can be obtained and maintained by humanity. {YI, December 28, 1899 par. 7}
Christ revealed in the gospel was the propitiation for man’s sins, the transgression of the law. HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER was placed in man’s behalf. The curse of the law Christ took upon Himself. It was the seeing to the end of that which was to be abolished, that which brought to light the plan of salvation in Christ – it was this that illuminated the face of Moses. If the typical sacrifices, which were done away, were to be done away were glorious because Christ was revealed by them as the sin-pardoning Saviour, much more that which remains is glorious. {Ms58-1900}
Christ says, “I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Through knowledge of Christ we may be brought into union with the Father. Oh, that our dull comprehension might be enlarged, that we might realize what there is in this thought of oneness with Christ! PERFECTION of CHARACTER is offered to fallen man through the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST. The repentant sinner may be robed in the robe of righteousness, and God will behold in him only the unspotted purity of his Son. Then we shall be loved by the Father as he loves his Son. Jesus declares that nothing less than oneness with him and his Father will ever satisfy the divine requirement; but when we are united with Christ, our life is hid with Christ in God, and we are represented as members of the body of Christ. {ST, May 18, 1891 par. 3}
Christ was crucified for our sins, and was raised from the rent sepulcher for our justification; and he proclaims in triumph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus lives as our intercessor to plead before the Father. He has carried the sins of the whole world, and has not made one mortal man a sin-bearer for others. No man can bear the weight of his own sins. The crucified One bore them all, and every soul who believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. The disciple of Christ will be fitted by his grace for every trial and test as he STRIVES for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. By looking away from Jesus to some other one, or to something else, he may sometimes make mistakes; but as soon as he is warned of his danger, he again fastens his eyes upon Jesus, in whom his hope of ETERNAL LIFE is centered, and he plants his feet in the footprints of his Lord, and travels on securely. He rejoices, saying, “He is my living intercessor before God. He prays in my behalf. He is my advocate, and clothes me with the perfection of his own righteousness. This is all I require to enable me to bear shame and reproach for his dear name’s sake. If he permits me to endure persecution, he will give me grace and the comfort of his presence, so that his name shall be thereby glorified.” {RH, May 12, 1896 par. 4}
Clear spiritual eyesight is needed to distinguish between the chaff and the wheat, between the science of Satan and the science of the Word of truth. Christ, the great Physician, came to our world to give HEALTH and PEACE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER to all who will receive Him. His gospel does not consist of outward methods and performances through which the science of an evil work may be introduced as a great blessing, afterward to prove a great curse. {Lt130-1901}
Do not be led astray with the error of the wicked. The tempter’s voice will be heard on every side, telling you that you are not now required to keep the LAW of GOD. This is a device of Satan. God has a law, and men must keep it. If they disregard these rules, they will not have that PERFECTION of CHARACTER that will give them an entrance into the mansions above. None need to make a mistake in regard to the character required to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King; for God wrote these ten holy rules on tables of stone and kept them in the ark made for them, called the ark of God’s testimony. The cover of this ark of pure gold, was called the mercy-seat, to signify that although death was the penalty for transgressing the law, mercy came through Jesus Christ to pardon the repentant, believing sinner. {YI, August 18, 1886 par. 3}
Earnest workers have no time for dwelling upon the faults of others. We cannot afford to live on the husks of others’ faults or failings. Evil-speaking is a twofold curse, falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. The very act of looking for evil in others develops evil in those who look. By dwelling upon the faults of others, we are changed into the same image. But by beholding Jesus, talking of HIS LOVE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, we become changed into His image. By contemplating the lofty ideal He has placed before us, we shall be uplifted into a pure and holy atmosphere, even the presence of God. When we abide here, there goes forth from us a light that irradiates all who are connected with us. {MH 492.2}
Every week counts one week less, every day one day nearer to the appointed time of the judgment. Alas that so many have only a spasmodic religion, – a religion dependent upon feeling and governed by emotion. “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Then see that you have the oil of grace in your hearts. The possession of this will make every difference with you in the judgment. Those who say, Lord, Lord, and outwardly appear to rejoice in the Saviour, while they do not the works of Christ, are not what they appear to be, and unless they are truly converted, will be numbered with the foolish virgins. “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” The Lord will not save men in disobedience. HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER binds him to deal justly, and the penalty will certainly fall upon all who are found guilty of the transgression of the law in thought, word, or action. {RH, March 27, 1894 par. 16}
Everything must be viewed in the light of the example of Christ. He is the truth. He is the true Light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world. Listen to his words, copy his example in self-denial and self-sacrifice, and look to the merits of Christ for the glory in character which he possesses to be bestowed on you. Those who follow Christ live not to please themselves. Human standards are like feeble reeds. The LORD’S STANDARD is PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {SpTA09 52.2}
Everything not comprehended in truth is the guess work of man. Professedly high and learned men may be fools in the sight of God, and if so, the high and learned statements of their doctrines, however they may please and humor the senses, and though they may have been handed down from age to age [and] rocked in the cradle of popular faith, are a delusion and a falsehood if not found in the inspired lessons of Christ. He is the source of all wisdom, for He placed Himself directly on a level with the eternal God. In His humanity the glory of heavenly illumination fell directly upon Him, and from Him to the world, to be reflected back by all who receive and believe on Him, mingled with HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER and the luster of His own character. While Christ stood forth distinctly in His human personality and appealed in striking but simple language to humanity, He was in such perfect oneness with God that His voice came with authority, as the voice of God from the center of glory. {Ms8-1896}
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.” (Verse 14), first part. Yes, just as a child, Christ came into our world to represent a PERFECTION of CHARACTER ACTED, and we must represent a CHARACTER ACTED. {Ms112-1909}
From the sacred desk men have taught that GOD’S LAW has been done away. Were this the case we would have no standard of character, and would have nothing to show us God’s righteous claims. We should be adrift upon an ocean of uncertainty, and have no guide in dealing with the solemn responsibilities of the family relation. But it is in the family relation that we receive our training in dealing with our fellow men in general. If God had no law by which to govern human intelligences, nothing by which His character could be represented as a sample to which the human family could shape their characters, then what impression could possibly be made upon our children as to what constitutes rectitude of life and PERFECTION of CHARACTER? Casting away the LAW of GOD, men erect a lower human standard. In the estimation and measurement of God a man is just what he is in his home life. {Lt34-1894}
. . . We must all STRIVE earnestly for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. {Lt78-1898}
Giving up the life to Christ means much more than many suppose. God calls for an entire surrender. We can not receive the HOLY SPIRIT until we break every yoke that binds us to our objectionable traits of character. These are the great hindrances to wearing Christ’s yoke and learning of him. There is no one who has not much to learn. All must be TRAINED by CHRIST. When we fall upon the living Rock, our wrong traits of character are taken away as HINDRANCES to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. When self dies, Christ lives in the human agent. Acquaintance with Christ makes us long to abide in him, and to have him abide in us. {RH, April 25, 1899 par. 9}
God calls for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Christ wants to blend our lives with His life. Let those who are determined to be BIBLE CHRISTIANS STRIVE LAWFULLY for the crown of life. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” {Lt200-1902}
God calls upon His people to be bright lights in the world, shining amid the darkness of sin. Living the life of the Life-giver brings its reward. He went about doing good. This every true follower of His will do, filled with a sacred sense of his loyalty to God and his duty to his fellow beings. Through the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, Christians are to GROW in GRACE, CONSTANTLY DRAWING nearer PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms156b-1901}
God cooperates with human effort. Daniel might have said, Of course, I must eat as the king commands. But instead, he resolved to obey God, and God began at once to help him. So when you are determined that you will obey the divine command, God will cooperate with you, making you witnesses of which heaven approves. Christ says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” This is your work – to GAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Set your mark high, and then be determined to reach it. If a fellow student asks you to go contrary to the rules of the school, answer him with a decided no. Say, I will have no part in this matter. The FEAR of GOD is before me. I love God, and I will keep His commandments. Act in this way, and you will receive brain-power. God will strengthen you as He strengthened Daniel. {Ms13-1900}
God has a spiritual church on this sinful world. He has a work for each and all to do. It is pleasing to Him who gave His life a sacrifice for the world that His power, His purity, His perfect obedience, His efficiency may become our power and our efficiency; and it will if we do not fail or become discouraged. The great Master-Teacher has been and ever will continue to be the Light of the world. The Sun of Righteousness, He is prepared to quicken every soul that opens the door of the heart and invites His presence. He has been drawing the world by the golden cords of HIS LOVE, and everything essential for PERFECTION of CHARACTER He has made available for those who will come to Him in faith, accepting Him as their personal Saviour. {Lt135-1900}
God has a work for each to do. It is no part of His plan that souls shall be sustained in the battle of life by human sympathy and praise; but He means that they shall go without the camp, bearing the reproach, fighting the good fight of faith, and standing in His strength under every difficulty. God has opened to us all the treasures of heaven through the precious gift of His Son, who is fully able to uplift, ennoble, and fit us, through HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, for usefulness in this life and for a holy heaven. He came to our world and lived as He requires His followers to live. His was a life of self-denial and constant self-sacrifice. If we encourage selfishness and ease and the gratification of inclination, and do not put forth our best efforts to co-operate with God in the wonderful work of elevating, ennobling, and purifying us, that we may become sons and daughters of God, then we do not meet His requirements; we sustain a continual loss in this life, and we shall eventually lose the future, immortal life. God wants you to work, not with self-disparagement nor in discouragement, but with the STRONGEST FAITH and HOPE, with CHEERFULNESS and JOY, representing Christ to the world. The religion of Jesus is joy, peace, and happiness. As we search the Scriptures, and see the infinite condescension of the Father in giving Jesus to the world that all who believe in Him may have everlasting life, every power of our being should be called into activity, to give praise and honor and glory to Him for His unspeakable love to the children of men. {5T 579.1}
God has invited Brother Prismall to look upon CHRIST’S PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and by beholding become changed into His divine similitude, as all will be who are built upon Him. Being built upon Christ implies actual, personal contact with the Lord Jesus. This makes the human agent a living stone, and imparts to it a lustre which has the power of emitting light and attracting others to the great center. “Ye also, as lively (living) stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.” {Lt98-1896}
God justly condemns all who do not make Christ their personal Saviour; but he pardons every soul who comes to him in faith, and enables him to work the works of God, and through faith to be one with Christ. Jesus says of these, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made PERFECT IN ONE [this UNITY brings PERFECTION of CHARACTER]; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” The Lord has made every provision whereby man may have full and free salvation, and be complete in him. God designs that his children shall have the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness, that all may have the light of truth. God has provided salvation for the world at infinite cost, even through the gift of His Only Begotten Son. The apostle asks, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Then if we are not saved, the fault will not be on the part of God, but on our part, that we have failed to co-operate with the divine agencies. Our will has not coincided with God’s will. {RH, November 1, 1892 par. 4}
God requires PERFECTION of CHARACTER from his children. He demands that his law be remembered and meditated upon, that unswerving obedience be rendered to its requirements. “And now, Israel,” he asks, “what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes.” But sin entered this world, and by yielding to the temptations of the enemy, man became degraded and sinful. His ability to distinguish between right and wrong was lost; his power to obey was weakened. Full of sin, he was of himself unable to meet God’s standard of righteousness. {ST, March 4, 1897 par. 4}
God will give wisdom and understanding and knowledge to the youth who seek him with sincerity of heart. He will help the student to be a power for good in the schoolroom, and outside the school to live so true a life that the world will take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus and learned of him. He will enable the older members of the family to set a true example before the younger members, and will teach them how to seek together for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {YI, April 28, 1908 par. 3}
God will permit DISAPPOINTMENT to COME, to TEST and PROVE us. PERFECTION of CHARACTER cannot be secured without the TESTING and PROVING of GOD. God makes it necessary for us to call faith into exercise, that this faith may bring the needed results. But unless our souls are constantly guarded, high-mindedness will creep in. The thought will intrude, “We will make a high record. We will exalt others,” when really, it is for ourselves that we are planning to get glory. Thus self- deception comes upon us. {Lt13-1897}
God would have his ministering servants come up to the standard which in their sermons they set for others. The principles of self-sacrifice which they lay down for others, they should exemplify in their own lives. The SPIRIT of GOD can enable them to reach this PERFECTION of CHARACTER. It is possible for all who believe in Christ to reveal in their lives the grace of humility, of liberality, of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Christ is our example in all things. He laid aside the glory that he had with the Father, that he might live on earth the life of a poor man, and reveal to all classes of society, rich and poor alike, the principles of the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. His perfect life, in which were so fully revealed the attributes of mercy and compassion, enabled him to say to men and women, “Be ye therefore merciful;” “Do good unto all men;” “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” {RH, October 7, 1909 par. 4}
GOD’S LAW is eternal, unchangeable, immutable. It is an expression of His high authority. Upon us rests the responsibility of obeying the word of the highest Potentate in heaven. “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep,” He declares; “for it is a sign between Me and you through out your generations forever.” Human beings are to bring themselves into entire conformity to GOD’S HOLY LAW. The cross of Calvary is to be to them a perpetual memorial of the nobler world. By FAITH they are to see Him who is invisible. They have enlisted in Christ’s army, and they are to come out from the world, and be separate, loving not the world, neither the things of the world. They are to set their affections on things above. They are to represent Christ in character. This is the special charge that has been given them. They are to live in this world as men and women waiting only for that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which will enable them fully to represent the Saviour. How important, then, that they should stand out in bold relief from the world, beseeching men to be reconciled to God. {Lt247-1904}
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of GOD and of JESUS our Lord. (There are the TWO PERSONALITIES, but GOD and CHRIST are one in PERFECTION of CHARACTER.) {Ms116-1905}
Had he not been fully human, Christ could not have been our substitute. He could not have worked out in humanity that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which it is the privilege of all to reach. He was the light and the life of the world. He came to this earth to work in behalf of men, that they might no longer be under the control of Satanic agencies. But while bearing human nature, he was dependent upon the Omnipotent for his life. In his humanity, he laid hold of the divinity of God; and this every member of the human family has the privilege of doing. Christ did nothing that human nature may not do if it partakes of the divine nature. {ST, June 17, 1897 par. 8}
Here is an education that is of highest value. [For] those who are laboring to secure an education, the very first step is to give their hearts to God and make the BIBLE their chief study. Let all the other branches come under this – [as] secondary. As in the case of Daniel, in opening the heart to the entrance of the Word, they have light, heaven’s light, shining from the throne of God, and that Word treasured in the heart gives understanding of the highest value to the simple. They who are simple of heart prize the WORD of GOD as above rubies. They make that Word their guide and form their CHARACTER OF HONESTY and TRUTHFULNESS, of TEMPERANCE, INTEGRITY, UPRIGHTNESS, and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, according to its high, elevating, ennobling principles. {Ms65-1890}
Here the Lord has plainly revealed His will concerning the salvation of the sinner. And the attitude which many assume in expressing doubts and unbelief as to whether the Lord will save them is a reflection upon the character of God. Those who complain of His severity are virtually saying: “The way of the Lord is not equal.” But He distinctly throws back the imputation upon the sinner: “‘Are not your ways unequal?’ Can I pardon your transgressions when you do not repent and turn from your sins?” The character of God is fully vindicated in the words of Scripture I have placed before you. The Lord will receive the sinner when he repents and forsakes his sins so that God can work with his efforts in SEEKING PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The promises are not yea and nay, but if man complies with the conditions, they are, in Christ, “yea, and in Him Amen, unto the GLORY of GOD by us.” The whole purpose in giving His Son for the sins of the world is that man may be saved, not in transgression and unrighteousness, but in forsaking sin, washing his robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. He proposes to remove from man the offensive thing that He hates, but man must co-operate with God in the work. Sin must be given up, hated, and the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST must be accepted by faith. Thus will the divine co-operate with the human. {5T 631.1}
Holiness to God is glorifying Him by the entire conformity of the human will to the divine. There is a clean, pure mind. The soul and the body, as Christ’s purchased possession, is to be presented to God without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. This will prove the counteracting of Satan’s ingenious work to ruin man. This is the re-creation of the human agent through Jesus Christ’s merits; a clean thing is brought out of an unclean, restoring the image of God in man. The human agent is to go forward to reach the HIGHEST STANDARD of PERFECTION of CHARACTER by beholding the CHARACTER of JESUS CHRIST. {Lt17a-1893}
How can we reach the perfection specified by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – -our Great Teacher? Can we meet His requirement and attain to so lofty a standard? – We can, else Christ would not have enjoined us to do so. He is our righteousness. In His humanity He has gone before us and wrought out for us PERFECTION of CHARACTER. We are to have the faith in Him that works by love and purifies the soul. PERFECTION of CHARACTER is based upon that which Christ is to us. If we have constant dependence on the merits of our Saviour, and walk in His footsteps, we shall be like Him, pure and undefiled. {Ms148-1902}
How can we rightly consider the infinite sacrifice made in our behalf to serve us individually? Each one should realize that his salvation was purchased at an infinite cost, and then should appreciate the value of his own soul as costing the life of the Son of God. It is work, earnest work, that all are called upon to do. They are to cooperate with God in the salvation of their own souls. If they give up the work, leaving God to do it all, they will never know what it means to be co-laborers with Christ. God demands of all what all owe to Him – PERFECTION of CHARACTER, a LIFE MOLDED after the DIVINE SIMILITUDE. {Lt42-1898}
How do men regard the work of the Lord when they feel themselves at liberty to be disobedient, unthankful, unholy, condemnatory, and harsh, loving to serve themselves rather than the Lord? Those who hold sacred trusts are forming their own destiny by the spirit and character they reveal, and do they ever stop to think how their works will appear in the judgment? If the important truth for this time was an abiding principle in the souls of those who minister in the work of the Lord, how earnestly they would STRIVE to OBTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER, that they might surround the souls of those with whom they came in contact with a life giving holy atmosphere that would revive the hearts of the humble and contrite. {Lt78-1896}
How hard it is for Christ to get the correct idea of the spiritual nature of His kingdom into the minds of His disciples. How hard for them to realize the necessity of constant prayer, of sincere repentance, of ATTAINING to MORE and MORE PERFECTION of CHARACTER, which is the salt of Christian experience and the evidence of the operation of the HOLY SPIRIT on the heart. The HOLY SPIRIT is to enlighten, renew, and sanctify the soul. {Lt93-1892}
Husband and wife are to be faithful to each other so long as life shall last, ever revealing the self-sacrifice that leads to the TRUEST HAPPINESS and the HIGHEST PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The husband is to be the house-band of the family, the priest of his home. The wife is to respect and love her husband, and he is to love and cherish his wife. {Ms161-1902}
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city.” Is not this worth STRIVING for? IF WE LOSE HEAVEN, WE LOSE EVERYTHING, and there are none of us who can afford to do that. If we keep in view the eternal joys awaiting the overcomer, and TRUST in CHRIST as we STRIVE for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, do you think we shall be unhappy? Should it make us unhappy to imitate Christ’s example of self-denial and ministry? God gave His Son that the world through Him might understand the terms of man’s salvation. Let us study the works of Christ and His sufferings in our behalf. He will quicken the understanding of all who follow on to know the Lord. {Ms87-1909}
I am instructed to say to those who are faithfully heeding the words that God is sending them: All those who follow on in OBEDIENCE unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER, until the last conflict between Christ and the enemy of truth has been fought, will have truth so manifest in their lives that they will stand before the world a kingdom of priests unto God. That people who will determine to SERVE GOD in RIGHTEOUSNESS He will make a special people unto Himself. {Lt50-1909}
I am thankful to see so many of my brethren here today – brethren whom I have not seen for a long time. The Lord will surely reveal Himself to His people in this place, that they may communicate the precious truth to all parts of the world. Let us bear in mind that it is FAITH that leads to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. I want to be in that position where I can hear the words of my Saviour to me. Let us each endeavor to keep our minds stayed upon God, and prove the Lord whether He will not give us wisdom and guidance at every step. {Ms13-1912}
I am very much interested in your work as it now stands in Mountain View. I have this message to present to you: Look to God for your orders. Do not shape your cause in conformity to the views of worldly businessmen. We are living in the great day of atonement, when every case is being decided by the Judge of all. Those who are preparing for entrance into the heavenly courts cannot afford to be careless now. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” is the word that comes to us. We are to be CONSTANTLY REACHING FORWARD toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER, STRIVING CONTINUALLY for CONFORMITY to the WILL of GOD. Daily we are to make earnest efforts to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the FEAR of GOD. {Lt9-1905}
I must tell you, brethren, you are far from being what the Lord would have you be. The attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in your spirit and attitude toward one another. You hurt one another because you are not partakers of the divine nature. And you work against your own PERFECTION of CHARACTER; you bring trouble to yourselves, make your work hard and toilsome, because you regard your own spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered. {Ms44-1894}
I present the word of the Lord: Let EVERY SOUL AIM at PERFECTION of CHARACTER in all the works and walks of life. This will cost us something that we may not have anticipated. It may empty our purse, but it will keep the soul fortified with clean principles. Our financial resources may be seriously affected, but it will enlarge our Christian experience and place us on vantage ground with the faithful of all ages. We shall be in fellowship with God and with those who in body, soul, and spirit are serving Him. Is not this worth everything to us? {Ms104-1905}
I should much rather see you than write to you, but you are far away. Sometimes I wish that you were in America, and then again, when I think of the work that there is to be done in Australia, I am glad that you are there. You are the Lord’s evangelist, and He will surely be your comfort and your helper and your guide and your exceeding great reward. Let not your hearts be at all discouraged. I am glad that you have not written to me of any faintheartedness or depressing trials. I hope that you will both be full of comfort and hope and light and joy in the Lord. We shall see much that will cause sadness of heart, but let us not become downcast or discouraged. Let us bend our energies to expel sin from our souls, and then the SPIRIT of GOD will enter to work out for us poor, weak, fallible mortals PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Lt22-1903}
If Christ is abiding in the soul, the religious character is symmetrically developed, sound, pure, wholesome, and vigorous. One selfish deed, one deception practiced in social relation to others will do more to mar and perpetuate evil than a thousand discourses can accomplish for good and the salvation of others. ALL OUR WORKS, ALL OUR WORDS should be of a character to IMPLANT TRUE, DEEP PRINCIPLES in HEARTS and CHARACTERS, which will rule them during their whole lives, and balance their characters and reveal in them CHRISTLIKE PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Lt51d-1887}
If Paul, troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, could call his trials light afflictions, of what has the Christian of today to complain? How trifling are our trials in comparison with Paul’s many afflictions! They are not worthy to be compared with the eternal weight of glory awaiting the overcomer. They are God’s workmen, ordained for the PERFECTION of CHARACTER. However great the deprivation and suffering of the Christian, however dark and inscrutable may seem the way of providence, he is to rejoice in the Lord, knowing that all is working for his good. {RH, May 6, 1902 par. 9}
If the frivolous and pleasure-seeking will allow their minds to dwell upon the real and true, the heart cannot but be filled with reverence, and they will adore the God of nature. The contemplation and study of God’s character as revealed in His created works will open a field of thought that will draw the mind away from low, debasing, enervating amusements. The knowledge of God’s works and ways we can only begin to obtain in this world; the study will be continued throughout eternity. God has provided for man subjects of thought which will bring into activity every faculty of the mind. We may read the character of the Creator in the heavens above and the earth beneath, filling the heart with gratitude and thanksgiving. Every nerve and sense will respond to the expressions of God’s love in His marvelous works. Satan invents earthly allurements, that the carnal mind may be placed on those things which cannot elevate and refine and ennoble; its powers are thus dwarfed and crippled, and men and women who might attain to PERFECTION of CHARACTER become narrow, weak, and defective. {4T 581.2}
In CHRIST’S PERFECTION of CHARACTER was found the ransom for the sinner, the way in which the rebel against God might be reconciled to God. Those who will submit to the drawing power of Christ, may be justified by a just God. Jesus is the ladder which Jacob saw. The base of this ladder rests upon the earth, in the human nature of our Lord, and its top reaches the throne of God, in his divinity. The light of the GLORY of GOD illuminates the whole ladder, and that light shines into every believing heart, enlightening, strengthening, encouraging. Angels of shining brightness ascend and descend upon this ladder, and minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Through the merit of Christ, intercourse between heaven and earth has been opened, and the system of sacrifices instituted at Adam’s fall had no virtue except as they showed forth the great Mediator between God and man. Jesus was the true Sacrifice, who was to die for man’s transgression. The sacrifice of Cain was rejected because it was not an offering that acknowledged the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world. In Cain’s offering there was no confession of sin, no acknowledgment that he was in need of a Saviour. Today there are thousands and tens of thousands who are making the same mistake as did Cain, and as did the Pharisees in the days of Christ. They are trusting in self, and depending upon their own wisdom, and do not realize their own spiritual poverty. To them comes the Laodicean message: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” {ST, December 11, 1893 par. 5}
In co-partnership with Christ, we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling by doing the works He bids us do. We are to be meek and lowly. Trials sometimes come to lead us to humble ourselves before Him and to depend wholly upon Him for grace and guidance. We cannot afford to live without Christ’s presence; for PERFECTION of CHARACTER comes only through the GIFT of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. When we are in trouble, let us go to Him instead of to some defective human being. We have a Friend in Jesus, and we are without excuse for placing upon our brethren and sisters the burdens that our Saviour alone is able to bear for us. {Ms106-1904}
In every human agent is wrapped up wonderful possibilities, and they may attempt much in their dependence upon a power higher than human. Some have reached a high stage of usefulness, not because they were specially favored with qualities of mind, and not because they had capabilities above others, but because they were determined to do their best and make the most of every advantage; to [show] in their advancement that they may REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER to grow into able workmen. [They must] not be satisfied with a cheap preparation for usefulness and think superficial engagement of their brain, heart, and strength will answer, or that studious, determined efforts are not required – that it costs too much persevering effort. If the physical taxation is made equal to the mental, double efficiency is gained for the soundness of the mental, as with the physical. The injunction of God is to shine as lights in the world. Society has a right to expect of every Christian superior work in every line. God expects it if you are to shine as lights in the world amid the moral darkness of error and satanic delusions. {Ms113-1894}
In his teachings, Christ showed how far-reaching are the principles of the law spoken from Sinai. He made a living application of that law whose principles remain forever the great standard of righteousness, – the standard by which all shall be judged in that great day when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened. He came to fulfil all righteousness, and, as the head of humanity, to show man that he can do the same work, meeting every specification of the requirements of God. Through the measure of his grace furnished to the human agent, not one need miss heaven. PERFECTION of CHARACTER is attainable by every one who STRIVES for it. This is made the very foundation of the new covenant of the gospel. The law of JEHOVAH is the tree; the gospel is the fragrant blossoms and fruit which it bears. {RH, April 5, 1898 par. 2}
In no way are we to unite with the world in wrongdoing. The systems of commercial life, the money-making schemes, even the profound study of commercial investments – all these are alike undesirable. The theater, the concert, the ballroom, the billiard room, the card table, the race course, the drinking saloon, and numerous other places and forms of amusement that might be mentioned, divert the attention of many men and women from the Lord’s service. But such persons are not seeking for those things that would give peace to the soul. Thousands and tens of thousands are making no special effort to ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER. They seem to reason that since mere pleasurable gratification is denied them by the teachings of GOD’S WORD, this WORD has been written in vain. {Ms68-1903}
In so far as we lack PERFECTION of CHARACTER, thus far do we fail of attaining that which God has provided for us through Jesus Christ. If we do not lay hold upon the provisions of HIS GRACE, we shall have a cheap experience governed by our own impetuous, changeable disposition. We cannot glorify God by our own efforts. We must become partakers of the divine nature, abiding in Him as the branches abide in the vine. {Ms37-1908}
In summer, as we look upon the trees of the distant forest, all clothed with a beautiful mantle of green, we may not be able to distinguish between the evergreens and the other trees. But as winter approaches, and the frost king encloses them in his icy embrace, stripping the other trees of their beautiful foliage, the evergreens are readily discerned. Thus it will be with all who are walking in humility, distrustful of self, but clinging tremblingly to the hand of Christ. While those who are self-confident, and trust in their own PERFECTION of CHARACTER, lose their false robe of righteousness when subjected to the storms of trial, the truly righteous, who sincerely love and fear God, wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness in prosperity and adversity alike. {SL 11.1}
In the church militant the children of men will be ever in need of restoration from the results of sin. Words are easily spoken and often are of little value; but MERCY practiced in the daily relations of man with his fellow man is one of the principal means of ATTAINING PERFECTION of CHARACTER; for only those who WALK with CHRIST can be TRULY MERCIFUL. {Lt202-1901}
In the providence of God, every good and great enterprise is subjected to trials, to test the purity and the strength of the principles of those who are standing in positions of responsibility, and to mold and substantiate the individual human character after God’s model. This is the highest order of education. PERFECTION of CHARACTER is attained through exercise of the FACULTIES of the MIND, in times of supreme test, by OBEDIENCE to every requirement of GOD’S LAW. Men in positions of trust are to be instrumentalities in the hands of God for promoting His glory; and in performing their duties with the utmost faithfulness, they may ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER. In the lives of those who are true to right principles, there will be a continual growth in knowledge. They will have the privilege of being acknowledged as co-laborers with the great Masterworker in behalf of the human family and will act a glorious part in carrying out the purposes of God. Thus, by precept and example, as laborers together with God, they will glorify their Creator. {Ms85-1906}
In their habits the people of God should be SIMPLE, HONEST, PURE, FREE from ALL INIQUITY. God requires PERFECT OBEDIENCE, PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Great injury is brought upon His cause by those who, while claiming to be His followers, deny Him in character. The religion of Jesus Christ never degrades the receiver, but makes him pure, that he may see God. It gives him an intensity of desire to be like Jesus Christ, the One altogether lovely, the Chiefest among ten thousand. {PH151 49.3}
In these hours of probation we are to SEEK for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. We must LEARN DAILY of CHRIST. We are connected with the cause of Christ, not because we are perfect and unerring, but notwithstanding these defects; and God expects those connected with His work to be constantly studying how to copy the Pattern. {Lt34a-1886}
In view of the foregoing truthful statement, can parents be too careful in presenting precept and example before those watchful little eyes and sharp senses? Our religion should be made practical. It is needed in our homes as much as in the house of worship. There should be nothing cold, stern, and forbidding in our demeanor; but we should show, by kindness and sympathy, that we possess warm, loving hearts. Jesus should be the honored guest in the family circle. We should TALK with HIM, BRING ALL OUR BURDENS to HIM, and CONVERSE of HIS LOVE, HIS GRACE, and HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER. What a lesson may be daily given by godly parents in taking all their troubles to Jesus, the burden-bearer, instead of fretting and scolding over cares and perplexities they cannot help. The minds of the little ones may be taught to turn to Jesus as the flower turns its opening petals to the sun. {HR, January 1, 1880 par. 9}
In view of these things, God calls upon His people to be bright lights in the world, shining amid the darkness of sin. Living the life of the Life-giver brings its reward. He went about doing good. This every true follower of His will do, filled with a sacred sense of his loyalty to God and his duty to his fellow beings. Through the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, Christians are to GROW in GRACE, CONSTANTLY DRAWING NEARER PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms156-1901}
Into this world came our Lord Jesus Christ as the unwearied Servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. He came to remove the burden of disease and wretchedness and sin. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them HEALTH and PEACE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {ST, October 30, 1907 par. 1}
It crops out every little while because they have not that PERFECTION of CHARACTER that Christ wants them to have, so that wherever they may go, they will have the name of Jesus on their lips and will try to reach those that are around them. They will be working for the salvation of others. Here is the great inducement. He will give us a higher realization of truth, and that is what we want; then we cannot hold our peace. I speak it before these young students because I want them to have a sense of what the Lord can do for them. He expects them to have the truth as it is in Jesus, and He expects them to reach a high standard. {Ms72-1910}
It is by the fruit of that the character of the tree is known, and we need only compare the fruit of your ideas with the BIBLE standard to see that you have not a right conception of what constitutes PERFECTION of CHARACTER. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. {Lt48-1893}
It is important that all who are STRIVING for PERFECTION of CHARACTER shall STRIVE LAWFULLY. “The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light.” This says, “thine eye,” not some other person’s eye. The rich experience that it is our privilege to have, we lose when we expect some one else to do our seeing for us, and guide us in our spiritual experience as if we were blind. We must have a single eye to God’s glory, a single and persistent purpose to leave self and the preferences of others out of the question, not asking, “If I take this course, shall I increase my personal possessions, or shall I decrease them?” {Lt128-1897}
It is when we realize that we must individually form a character for the future life that we comprehend that a true religious life necessitates growth in grace. When the heart is illuminated by the Sun of Righteousness, we shall see the necessity of taking ourselves in hand. We shall weed from the garden of the heart the evils that make the character defective. We shall deal sternly with self. With the closest introspection we shall make a careful examination of our temperament and our weaknesses of character. We should deal with our perverse dispositions decidedly and bravely, so that we shall not dishonor God. We need not carry the defects of early life into the manhood and womanhood of our Christian experience. We should leave childish things behind. “Ye are God’s building.” He is working upon you. And in order to GROW in GRACE and ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER, you must co-operate with Him. {Ms128-1901}
It requires fortitude to trust in God. Our Captain was made perfect through sufferings. Shall finite man expect PERFECTION of CHARACTER without trial of every sort that Satan can invent? “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Precious words to every son and daughter of God! How I prize these words, they are precious to me, more precious than fine gold. I meditate upon them. They guide me when I am overwhelmed with perplexities and lead [me] to fasten my hope upon the world’s Redeemer, and in Him will I be confident. {Lt12-1892}
It should be impressed on all who have decided to become workers for God, that they must give evidence that they are converted men. A young man without a sound, virtuous character will be no honor to the truth. Every worker should be pure in heart; in his mouth should be found no guile. He should bear in mind that in order to be successful he must have Christ by his side, and that every sinful practice, however secret, is open to the view of Him with whom we have to do. Sin has marred the divine image in man, but through Christ this may be restored. But it is only through earnest prayer and the conquest of self that we can become partakers of the divine nature. Many do not rise high enough to meet the standard. Their faith is weak, they expect but little from God, and they receive according to their faith. They NEED FAR MORE FAITH in GOD, and far less confidence in self. When they have this, they will be more successful in ATTAINING PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {GW92 289.1}
It will not do to lay down an iron rule by which every member of the family is forced into the same discipline. It is better to exert a milder sway, and, when any special lesson is required, to reach the consciences of the youth through their individual tastes, and marked points of character. While there should be a uniformity in the family discipline, it should be varied to meet the wants of different members of the family. It should be the parents’ study not to arouse the combativeness of their children, not to excite them to anger and rebellion, but to interest them, and inspire them with a desire to attain to the HIGHEST INTELLIGENCE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. This can be done in a spirit of Christian sympathy and forbearance, the parents realizing the peculiar dangers of their children, and firmly, yet kindly, restraining their propensities to sin. {HR, October 1, 1877 par. 8}
Jesus could not express in words to the understanding of man the love of the Father; he could only say, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But he did express the love of God in his actions. Never can we equal the goodness and the love of Jesus, but he calls upon every man and woman, youth and child, to behold him, and by beholding HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, to become changed into his image. Call every talent into exercise to copy the Pattern. Christ died to save man, and he calls upon us to live as seeing Him who is invisible, that we may save souls. Then seek the Lord most earnestly. ETERNAL LIFE at the right hand of God is worth a LIFELONG, PERSEVERING, UNTIRING EFFORT. Look to the cross of Calvary, and be no longer half-hearted. It is either life or death with every one of us; and when we surrender all, then Jesus will open ways that we may serve him with every power of our being. The Lord would have us gather up the rays of light, and be witnesses for Christ. {ST, November 28, 1892 par. 7}
Jesus has given us instruction as to what we should do. He says, “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.” What do these words mean? They mean that our lives must be fashioned after the pattern of Christ’s life. We MUST REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER, or we can NEVER INHERIT the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. There is a work for each one of us to do in God’s great moral vineyard. Christ has given to every man his work. How many become so interested in the work of some other person, that they neglect their own work altogether! You are to do your work. God does not expect that the man with one talent, will do as much as the man who has five talents. Let every soul see to it that his work is done to the very best of his ability. If you grow fearful in doing the Lord’s work, just stop where you are, and ask God to show you his goodness, for you have lost sight of his mercy and faithfulness. You have become separated from Christ. You have gone so far away from him, that you can scarcely hear the sound of his voice, and cannot distinguish the words of comfort that come from his lips. {RH, June 11, 1889 par. 8}
Jesus humbled himself to become man and to associate with sinful man and leave them a bright example to copy in his own PERFECTION of CHARACTER. He does not leave his people in darkness. He shows them the way. He travels the road himself, and invites us to follow. What condescension in the Majesty of Heaven! What amazing love for sinful man, that God’s dear Son should leave the heavenly courts and come to a world polluted with sin, to save from ruin the guilty sinner! {YI, February 1, 1874 par. 1}
Jesus is the light of the world, and you are to fashion your life after his. You will find help in Christ to form a strong, symmetrical, beautiful character. Satan cannot make of none effect the light shining forth from such a character. The Lord has a work for each of us to do. He does not provide that we shall be sustained by the influence of human praise and petting; he means that every soul shall stand in the strength of the Lord. God has given us his best gift, even His Only Begotten Son, to uplift, ennoble and fit us, by putting on us his own PERFECTION of CHARACTER, for a home in his kingdom. Jesus came to our world and lived as he expects his followers to live. If we are self-indulgent, and too lazy to put forth earnest effort to co-operate with the wonderful work of God, we shall meet with loss in this life, and loss in the future, immortal life. {RH, April 8, 1890 par. 6}
Jesus loved children, and ever influenced them for good. He cared for the poor and needy even in his childhood. In every gentle, tender, and submissive way he sought to please those with whom he came in contact; but though so gentle and submissive, no one could lead him to do anything that was contrary to the WORD of GOD. Some admired HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and often sought to be with him; but others who regarded the sayings of men more than the WORD of GOD, turned away from him, and avoided his company. Throughout his childhood and youth, he manifested the same PERFECTION of CHARACTER as marked his after life. {YI, December 12, 1895 par. 1}
Jesus loved the society of children, and he exerted a great influence over them. The poor and the needy were objects of his special attention. In every gentle, tender, and submissive way, he sought to please those with whom he came in contact. But tho so gentle and submissive, nothing could induce him to practice ceremonies, to follow maxims and customs, that led away from the WORD of GOD. Some admired HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER and often sought his company. But those who accepted the sayings of men as the WORD of GOD, when they saw his non-conformity to the traditions of men, turned away from him, and avoided his presence. {ST, August 6, 1896 par. 6}
Jesus says, “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me.” How did He do this? By HIS SPOTLESS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, by His life of unselfish service for an unchanging compassion. “Therefore doth My Father love Me,” He declares, “because I lay down My life for the sheep.” “My Father loves you with a love so great that He loves Me the more for dying for you.” {Ms31-1911}
Joseph did not complain at his lot, nor question why the Lord permitted him to suffer for righteousness’ sake. He did not allow any cloud of despondency to settle upon his heart. He believed in God, and patiently waited for his salvation. He determined that this affliction should serve as an occasion to glorify God and benefit his associates. He did not cease his efforts toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER. He forgot his sorrow in seeking to lighten the sorrows of others, and the prisoners saw that the Lord was with Joseph. When he had borne the proving of the furnace, the Lord brought him out of the gloomy cell, and exalted him to a position next to the king of Egypt. Those who honor God will be honored by him. {RH, February 21, 1888 par. 5}
Let every one entrusted with the precious grace of God go forth to the work, putting every spiritual and physical organ in training by doing every day and every hour the best possible service. The HEAVENLY INTELLIGENCES will co-operate with the human agent in SEEKING with DETERMINED FAITH that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which will reach out to perfection in action. So shall ye be vessels of honor, meet for the Master’s use. To every one engaged in this work of perfecting the character Jesus says, I will be at your right hand in every effort you make. Every soul is to be a temple for God, kept refined and cleansed with heaven’s sweet odors, polished after the similitude of a palace. {Ms4-1897}
Let nothing come in to separate you from Brother Palmer; keep in harmony. Where there is union there is strength. No place can be given to any alienation by the enemy. No despondency should come in to weaken your efforts. Had I allowed the things every occurring to weaken or affect my faith, I should have been useless. I see human imperfections everywhere; but I look by faith through the hellish shadow of Satan to the PERFECTION of CHARACTER in my Redeemer. I cling to God more firmly and press on. My face is set as a flint Zionward. Our warfare will soon be ended. No place can be found for discouragement, or weakening of hope or courage. {Lt93-1895}
Let the church become united in Christ Jesus in working for PURITY and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. There needs to be a PRACTICAL DAILY SANCTIFICATION of the spirit. Before one is prepared for Christ’s coming there must be seen in the life the FRUITS of the SPIRIT. There must be a SELF-DISCIPLINE, a WRESTLING with GOD for VICTORY till the victory is gained. Then will ascend a shout of PRAISE to GOD. {RH, September 12, 1907 par. 18}
Let us individually study what manner of spirit we are of, and be very careful that we do not misrepresent Jesus. God requires that every one who believes in Jesus shall AIM at PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Ample provision has been made, that the fallen sons and daughters of Adam may fulfill the Saviour’s injunction, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” The wise man says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.” Be sure that the effort will cost us something; it will require strict watchfulness over ourselves. {Lt17-1894}
Let us keep the heart full of God’s precious promises, that we may speak words that will be a comfort and strength to others. Thus we may LEARN the LANGUAGE of the HEAVENLY ANGELS, who, if we are faithful, will be our companions through the eternal ages. Every day we should make ADVANCEMENT in GAINING PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and this we shall certainly do if we press toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. Let us not talk of the great power of Satan, but of the GREAT POWER of GOD. We are to speak even as Christ spoke, allowing no harsh, impatient words to fall from our lips. Thus we shall be a savor of life to all with whom we come in contact. {YI, January 10, 1901 par. 3}
Many of those who claim to believe the truth are not STRIVING as they should for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms103-1902}
Many of those who have responsibilities laid upon them, who are chosen to be presidents of conferences, are not selected because of their PERFECTION of CHARACTER, or because of their superior knowledge, but because the Lord signified that if they would be humble enough to learn and not think they were all ready to graduate, He would teach them His way. There is much for men in responsible positions to learn. When men feel that their ideas are without a flaw, it is time for them to change their position from president to that of a learner. When they think that their ideas, their judgment, should be accepted without question, they show that they are unfit for their position. God sees not as man sees. Whatever position a man may be called to fill, his judgment is not to be regarded as unerring. His entrusted responsibility makes it far more needful than it otherwise would be for him to be free from all egotism, and willing to receive counsel. {Ms55-1897}
Money is not our saviour. It is a talent lent us by God. This talent is not to be used for self- gratification, to dishonor God’s name and misrepresent His character, but to honor Him by wisely trading on His goods. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is not a slavish fear, but a fear to dishonor His name. God says, I will show him my covenant. The Lord will become wisdom, sanctification, and righteousness to all who fear and serve Him. The knowledge and wisdom of man becomes foolishness when he takes himself into his own keeping, but when he puts his trust in God, the Lord can and will make him His instrument for the promotion of the sacredness of His pure and holy character, to the highest ends of His divine ministration. God designs every man to reach the PERFECTION of CHARACTER revealed in Christ’s humanity. He desires to communicate His attributes in the manifestation of HIS GRACE, with which the gospel will enrich and beautify His disciples. {Lt173-1899}
“Much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.” Verses 9, 10. It is the province of the law to condemn, but there is no power in the law to pardon. The glory that shone upon the face of Moses was the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST in the LAW. He saw to the end of that which was to be abolished when type should meet antitype in Jesus Christ. In consequence of the transgression of the LAW of GOD, death was introduced into the world. The slain lamb typified the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world. The full significance of the typical offerings pointing to Christ was unfolded to Moses. Death came in consequence of sin. Sin was the transgression of the law. Christ revealed in the gospel was the propitiation for men’s sins, the transgression of the law. HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER was placed in man’s behalf. The curse of the law Christ took upon Himself. It was the seeing to the end of that which was to be abolished, that which brought to light the plan of salvation in Christ, – it was this that illuminated the face of Moses. {BEcho, August 4, 1902 par. 3}
Never forget that you are not your own, that you have been bought with a price, and that you are, therefore, to glorify God in all that you say and do. You dishonor your Creator when you allow the powers He has entrusted to you to be overtaxed. You may have much enthusiasm. You may have a strong desire to see the work advancing; but because of this you are not to treat yourself as you have done. Seek wisdom from God. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and it shall be given him.” Your work is to GAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER by RECEIVING and IMPARTING the GRACE of CHRIST. But with many other laborers, you have overdrawn your bank account of strength. Then you are obliged to pay the penalty in a wearied brain and feeble nerve power. {Lt123-1904}
No unlikeness to Christ will be permitted in the holy city. The PROCESS of GAINING PERFECTION of CHARACTER is to be carried on in this life, that we may be prepared for the future immortal life. It is GOD’S PURPOSE that HIS CHURCH on earth shall REACH PERFECTION. It is essential that His directions be strictly obeyed. The members are to help and strengthen one another. No self-exaltation or accusing or harshness are to be shown in our dealings with one another. We MUST PURIFY OUR SOULS through LOVE and OBEDIENCE to the TRUTH. We must ACT LIKE SAINTS TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, preparing ourselves, drilling ourselves, to be WITHOUT FAULT in CHARACTER, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. {Lt67-1905}
None of the prophets or apostles made proud boasts of HOLINESS. The nearer they came to PERFECTION of CHARACTER, the less worthy and righteous they viewed themselves. But those who have the least sense of the PERFECTION of JESUS, those whose eyes are least directed to him, are the ones who make the strongest claims to perfection. Daniel was a man greatly beloved of God, yet he is presented on one occasion as confessing his sins and the sins of his people. If poor, fallen men would walk carefully and humbly with God, distrusting self and confiding wholly in Jesus, such a light and power would be revealed in our world as would be convincing to unbelievers. Jesus is our only hope; let us cling to him. The promise of ETERNAL LIFE is on condition of obedience. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Now is the time to wash our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. {RH, December 1, 1885 par. 13}
Now, temperance is to bring us in right relation so that we shall reason from cause to effect. What do we need of the tobacco? What do we need of tea and coffee and all these things that becloud the brain faculty? We do not need them. They are only weakening the brain nerves, and placing man where he cannot appreciate the necessity of working by this sum of addition. He cannot appreciate that he has got to work that sum of addition if he expects that God will work in his behalf to give him the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD. And if you think that you can arise to any PERFECTION of CHARACTER without the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, you will be mistaken, and you will be left behind. {Ms183-1907}
OBEDIENCE through Jesus Christ gives to man PERFECTION of CHARACTER and a right to that tree of life. The conditions of again partaking of the fruit of the tree are plainly stated in the TESTIMONY of JESUS CHRIST to John: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” {Ms72-1901}
Oh, how little has God been glorified by your association one with another. We are safe only in seeking sympathy of that quality which exists in the bosom of Him who values men so much that He gave His life for them. He loves us with an everlasting love. If you will make Him your trust, the same God who formed you in the beginning and who created you anew in Christ Jesus, will through HIS GRACE work day after day a change in you. He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Christ’s second appearing. In all who follow Him, GOD DEMANDS PERFECTION of CHARACTER. If you will receive Christ and believe in Him as your personal Saviour, you are members of His body, a part of His living, working agency; and if you follow on to know the Lord, then shall you know His going forth is prepared as the morning. {Lt70-1895}
Oh, how my heart longs to see the workers place themselves in positions where the Lord can pour out HIS HOLY SPIRIT abundantly upon them, that they may give God all the glory of the increase, and not take any credit to themselves. Here is where the SPIRIT of GOD is quenched. Man is placed where God should be if any good is accomplished. God has not received the glory, and man has been exalted as the One who gave the increase. I am ashamed that it is so. My heart aches; because our prosperity as a people depends wholly upon our dependence upon God for our SUFFICIENCY, GRACE, and PERFECTION of CHARACTER in and through our Saviour, who has paid the ransom for us with His own glorious merits. Had He not done this, we should have perished in our sins. {Lt150-1897}
One brother said that when he listened to the sermon impressing upon them the necessity of PURITY and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, he felt that he could not be saved; that his case was hopeless. But when it was stated that SANCTIFICATION was not the WORK of a moment, but of a LIFETIME, he was encouraged, and determined that day by day he would pray and watch, and search the Scriptures; he would be an overcomer, gaining an experience daily, until he should become strong, and be able to be a blessing to others. With many tears, some expressed their gratitude for the interest the American brethren had taken in them in this far-off country. {HS 183.1}
One thing makes me feel very sad, and that is that there is not always harmony among the workers in our institutions. I have thought, Is it possible that there is any one who will find fault with those connected with them in the work? Is there any one who will suggest to patients or to visitors or fellow workers that there are many things which ought to be done that are not done, and many other things which are not done right? If they do this, they are not doing the work of Christians. Men who have been appointed to different positions of trust are to be respected. We do not expect to find men who are perfect in every respect. They may be seeking for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, but they are finite, and liable to err. Those who are engaged in our institutions should feel it their duty jealously to guard both the work and the workers from unjust criticism. They should not readily accept or speak words of censure against any who are connected with the work of God; for in thus doing God himself may be reproached, and the work that he is doing through instrumentalities may be greatly hindered. The wheels of progress may be blocked when God says, “Go forward.” {PH066 24.3}
Our ministers need a transformation of character. They should feel that if their works are not wrought in God, if they are left to their own imperfect efforts, they are of all men the most miserable. Christ will be with every minister who, although he may not have attained to PERFECTION of CHARACTER, is seeking most earnestly to become Christ-like. Such a minister will pray. He will weep between the porch and the altar, crying in soul-anguish for the Lord’s presence to be with him; else he cannot stand before the people, with all heaven looking upon him, and the angel’s pen taking note of his words, his deportment, and his spirit. {SpTA01a 2.2}
Our strength and help is in God. Christ is the head of the church, and He expects every Christian to surrender to His will and live for His glory. The influence of each is to result in bringing many sons and daughters to God. We meet a great number of unconverted people every day, and we have an individual work to do in leading these souls to Christ. The people who shall compose the family of God above are to be united as a family here on earth. All power in heaven and earth will combine with their efforts for the conversion of souls. The Ruler of the universe, through the gift of His Son, has reconciled all things unto Himself, and has organized companies, that they may ATTAIN to PERFECTION of CHARACTER through OBEDIENCE to the TRUTH and by becoming CO-WORKERS with HIS CHURCH in HEAVEN. {Lt150-1907}
Our success in PERFECTING CHRISTIAN CHARACTERS will be proportionate to the zeal and earnestness with which we seek for godliness. Every soul who enters the gates of the city of God will be like Jesus. Being good and doing good are indispensable to the PERFECTION of CHARACTER. No man lives to himself. All who gain the precious boon of immortality will follow the example of Christ, who went about doing good, who cheerfully gave up his life to ransom those ready to perish. {YI, October 25, 1900 par. 11}
Paul describes the work of God’s ambassadors as that by which every man shall be presented perfect in Christ Jesus. Those who embrace the truth of heavenly origin should be refined, ennobled, sanctified through it. It will require much painstaking effort to reach God’s standard of true manhood. The irregular stones hewed from the quarry must be chiseled, their rough sides must be polished. This is an age famous for surface work, for easy methods, for boasted holiness aside from the standard of character that God has erected. All short routes, all cutoff tracks, all teaching which fails to exalt the LAW of GOD as the standard of religious character, is spurious. PERFECTION of CHARACTER is a LIFELONG WORK, unattainable by those who are not willing to STRIVE for it in God’s appointed way, by slow and toilsome steps. We cannot afford to make any mistake in this matter, but we want day by day to be GROWING UP INTO CHRIST, OUR LIVING HEAD. {5T 500.2}
Paul was of the number who had left positions of honor, set aside worldly inducements, and gone from his friends in order that he might do the will of God. He would not allow any worldly attraction to influence him; but he made it the purpose of his life to follow Jesus, and pressed and urged his way against every obstacle in order that he might reach the mark for the prize of his high calling in Christ Jesus. But if there was any one who could hope to be justified in claiming PERFECTION of CHARACTER, it was Paul; but we hear from his lips no presumptuous boasting. He says rather that he does not count himself as one that has attained, but only as one who is following after, pressing on toward the mark for the prize of his high calling in God through Christ Jesus. Christ arrested him in his blind course of self-righteousness, when he was persecuting the saints of God, and turned him from a life of sin in ignorance to a life of faithfulness, in order that through divine grace he might be cleansed and sanctified, and wear at last the conqueror’s crown. {ST, May 23, 1895 par. 8}
PERFECTION of CHARACTER can be ATTAINED ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. He alone is able to dispel the darkness that has gathered about the souls of men. He will lift fallen humanity into a PURE and HOLY ATMOSPHERE, if men will believe on him as their personal Saviour. He will inspire in their hearts and minds an enthusiasm that will make them noble, and mould them after the divine similitude. {ST, January 28, 1897 par. 10}
PERFECTION of CHARACTER CANNOT be ATTAINED when the LAWS of NATURE are DISREGARDED; for this is TRANSGRESSION of the LAW of GOD. HIS LAW is WRITTEN by HIS OWN FINGER upon every nerve, every muscle, every fiber of our being, upon every faculty which has been intrusted to man. These gifts are bestowed, not to be abused and corrupted, but to be used to HIS HONOR and GLORY in the uplifting of humanity. {RH, November 12, 1901 par. 4}
PERFECTION of CHARACTER is REQUIRED by GOD, and this is kept before us in HIS WORD from Genesis to Revelation. “When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” To Israel God said, “I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy for I am holy…. For I am the Lord your God that bringeth you out of the land of Egypt, to by your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” {Ms54-1898}
Quite a large congregation was before me, and I had much freedom in speaking of the responsibilities resting upon each and every one to do his best to REACH the PERFECTION of CHARACTER it was the privilege of each one to reach, and now was our opportunity to receive the things we ask for from Christ Jesus, and receiving to impart. All seemed deeply interested. I read to them at the commencement of my remarks (Revelation 21:1-11), and my remarks were upon the great science of the plan of salvation. If all would study the plan of God for the saving of the world through Jesus Christ, who gave His whole being to achieve this; if we study that which Christ has made it possible for every soul, from the highest nobleman to the poorest servant, to obtain the eternal riches, such as cannot be obtained in the earthly region, all would be intensely interested in this heavenly science of making their investments in that blessed world where nothing is at discount. All, all is the highest science for any mortal to obtain – the far more, the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. {Lt389-1904}
Sabbath forenoon, we assembled in the sanitarium parlors, and I spoke to the patients and helpers on the first chapter of Second Peter. I dwelt upon the thought that Christ in his humanity, perfected by a life of holiness, revealed that humanity may in this world attain unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER, through cooperation with divinity. Abundant provision has been made for us. Within the reach of every human being God has placed “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. {RH, June 14, 1906 par. 9}
Says the prophet, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” We must SEARCH as DILIGENTLY in the WORD of GOD as did the noble Bereans, who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so.” We should dig as for hid treasure in the mines of truth. Christ has warned us that false prophets would arise and would deceive many. There are many who profess to have great faith. They make great claims to holiness, but do they speak according to the law and the testimony? If they do not, it is because there is no light in them. Men fold the garments of their self-righteousness around them, and claim PERFECTION of CHARACTER; but they have only measured themselves with a standard of their own creating, and with sacrilegious hands they have torn down the true standard of all righteousness. The law of JEHOVAH is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The sinner wants to get it out of the way because it condemns him. It is thought burdensome by the transgressor, but the obedient can say with David, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward.” {ST, May 27, 1889 par. 2}
Says the WORD of GOD, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” If you desire that your children should be refined in manners, noble in character, pure in heart, and elevated in mind, you must teach them the fear of the Lord. The best method for acquiring the mold of character which our heavenly Father can approve, must be employed if success is to be attained. The parents’ words should be select, well-chosen. No impure word, no common, coarse expression, should escape the lips of father or mother. While you should not be severe, stern, and set, in dealing with your children, you should be decided, firm, and patient, learning from day to day to EXHIBIT that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which you desire to see in them. {HR, May 1, 1889 par. 5}
Some souls respond to the drawing of Christ, and become learners in his school. They keep their eye fixed upon the Pattern, and seek to reproduce the characteristics of Christ in their practical life; for whoever believes in Christ must do the works of Christ. The Lord has been presented before them as one who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, and these are the fruits that are borne by the genuine Christian. The characteristics of Christ are to be manifested by every true believer; for those who are sanctified through the truth, are as bright, shining lights, giving light to all that are in the house. Good works will be revealed in every true believer. The LORD can ACCEPT of NOTHING SHORT of PERFECTION of CHARACTER, WHOLENESS to GOD. Any half-hearted service will testify before the heavenly intelligences that you have failed to copy the Pattern. {YI, October 13, 1892 par. 3}
Speech is a precious talent. Use it for Christ. Let your words be loving and sympathetic and the tones of your voice pleasant. Let the sweetness of Christ soften and subdue all that is harsh in your nature. Try to help others over hard places. Thus you will gain help. In imparting to others the blessings God has given you, you are yourself MAKING ADVANCEMENT toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms113-1902}
Such love is without a parallel. Jesus requires that those who have been bought by the price of His own life shall make the best use of the talents which He has given them. They are to increase in the KNOWLEDGE of the DIVINE WILL, and CONSTANTLY IMPROVE in intellect and morals, until they shall ATTAIN to a PERFECTION of CHARACTER but little lower than that of the angels. {4T 563.3}
Teachers should ever bear in mind that in their lives, and characters, they should represent Christ’s character, exemplifying his meekness, lowliness, and purity. They should always have one aim, one object in life, – the PERFECTION of CHARACTER according to the DIVINE MODEL, and the purpose to so teach, so educate, so labor, that they will, through the Mighty Helper, present every youth under their charge perfect in Christ Jesus. They may fail in some instances; for not all the youth will be subordinate. Some have so long chosen their own wills, that they will act without reference to God or man, they will not bring their lives within the line of law or duty. Self, undisciplined, rough, coarse and untamable, will seek for the mastery; and when the will is crossed they will lose self-control, and take the bit in their own mouth. Persuasion, counsel, prayers, entreaties are of no account with them. They are as unreasonable as the inebriate, and Satan controls their thoughts and their actions. The demon within them is enraged and they are as verily under his control as the person whose reason is dethroned by the intoxicating glass. {ST, August 12, 1886 par. 11}
Temptations come in of courtship and marriage. Everyone will be exposed to temptation, and if the youth are not patiently instructed on this point, [exercising] great caution whom they accept, they will have great trouble in their future life. Their whole life may be changed by allowing their minds to be filled with plans and methods how they may gain their object. This interferes with their study and with their PROGRESS [toward] PERFECTION of CHARACTER and acquisition of knowledge. The youth are to feel it a positive duty to let this subject alone until they have completed the term of their school life. To advance, constantly learning, is to be their aim and purpose. Young men and women will have no danger in binding up their heart affections with Jesus Christ, to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength while at school. {Ms113-1894}
That PERFECTION of CHARACTER which the Lord requires is the fitting up of the WHOLE BEING as a TEMPLE for the INDWELLING of the HOLY SPIRIT. God will accept of nothing less than the service of the entire human organism. It is not enough to bring into action certain parts of the living machinery. ALL PARTS MUST WORK in PERFECT HARMONY, or the service will be deficient. It is thus that man is qualified to co-operate with God in representing Christ to the world. Thus God desires to PREPARE a PEOPLE to STAND BEFORE HIM PURE and HOLY, that He may INTRODUCE THEM into the SOCIETY of HEAVENLY ANGELS. {RH, November 12, 1901 par. 3}
The affections should center upon God. Contemplate his greatness, his mercy and excellences. LET HIS GOODNESS and LOVE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER CAPTIVATE YOUR HEART. Converse upon his divine charms, and the heavenly mansions he is preparing for the faithful. He whose conversation is in Heaven, is the most profitable Christian to all around him. His words are useful and refreshing. They have a transforming power upon those who hear them, and will melt and subdue the soul. {RH, March 29, 1870 par. 23}
The apostle exhorts us, “As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” The GRACE of CHRIST changes the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. It controls the temper and the voice. Its outworking is seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words and unselfish actions. An angel-presence is in the home. The life breathes forth a sweet perfume, which as holy incense ascends to God. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering. The expression of the countenance is changed. The peace of heaven is revealed. There is seen a habitual gentleness, a more than human love. Humanity becomes a partaker of divinity. Christ is honored by PERFECTION of CHARACTER. As these changes are perfected, ANGELS break forth in rapturous song, and GOD and CHRIST rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude. {Ms69-1902}
The apostle Paul declares, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” The material for the building is plainly specified in the words, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we are shown how we may co-operate with God. Man is to work constantly upon the plan of addition, while God works on the plan of multiplication. Thus man grows in spirituality, until he presents to the world, to angels, and to men such PERFECTION of CHARACTER that in the heavenly courts the words are spoken, “Ye are complete in him.” {Ms16a-1899}
The apostle Paul says to his Corinthian brethren, “Ye are. . . the epistle of Christ. . . . written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” For the disciples of Christ are his representatives upon the earth. If they obey the teachings of Christ in his sermon on the mount, they will be SEEKING CONTINUALLY for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and they will become mediums through whom God will COMMUNICATE HIS DIVINE WILL, the TRUTH of heavenly origin, to those who have no knowledge of the way of life and salvation. {SW, June 30, 1908 par. 1}
The believers, though many, are MADE PERFECT in ONENESS of ACTION. PERFECTION of CHARACTER will be revealed through their UNITY with one another and with Christ. But men and women cannot attain the spiritual union with Christ and with God that will make them perfect in one, and yet continue to have their own way, to continue to act out their own imperfect, unsanctified dispositions. {Lt52-1906}
The case of Daniel may be studied with profit by all who desire PERFECTION of CHARACTER. He and his companions were SINCERE, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS. To them the WILL of GOD was the SUPREME LAW of LIFE. They knew that in order to GLORIFY GOD all their faculties must be developed, and they sought to gain knowledge, that they might PERFECT a CHRISTIAN CHARACTER, and stand in that heathen nation as fitting representatives of the true religion. In order to PRESERVE HEALTH, they resolved to avoid the luxuries of the king’s table, they REFUSED to partake of any stimulating drink, but PRACTICED STRICT TEMPERANCE in all things, that they might not enfeeble brain or muscle. They exerted all their powers to work out their own salvation, and God worked in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Under his training, their faculties were able to do the highest service for him; and of them it is written: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” {ST, November 5, 1896 par. 4}
The change from PERFECTION of CHARACTER to sin and defection did come even in heaven. Lucifer’s heart was lifted up because of his beauty, his wisdom was corrupted by reason of his brightness. Self-exaltation is the key to his rebellion, and it unlocks the modern theme of sanctification. Satan declared that he had no need of the restraints of law, that he was holy, sinless, and incapable of doing evil; and those who boast of holiness and a state of sinlessness, while transgressing the LAW of GOD, while willfully trampling under-foot the Sabbath of the Lord, are allied on the side of the first great rebel. If the sanctified, holy angels became unsanctified and unholy by disobedience to GOD’S LAW, and their place was no longer found in heaven, think you that men, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, will be received into glory who break the precepts of that law which Christ came to magnify and make honorable by his death upon the cross? Adam and Eve were in possession of Eden, and they fell from their high and holy estate by TRANSGRESSION of GOD’S LAW, and forfeited their right to the tree of life and to the joys of Eden. {ST, April 28, 1890 par. 3}
The character of God is fully vindicated in the words of Scripture I have placed before you. The Lord will receive the sinner when he repents and forsakes his sins so that the Lord can work with his efforts in seeking PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The promises are not yea and nay, but if man complies with the conditions, they are yea and amen. The whole purpose of God in giving His Son for the sins of the world is that man might be saved, not in transgression and unrighteousness, but in forsaking sin, washing his robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. [He proposes to remove] from man the offensive thing that He hates; [but man must co-operate] with God in the work. Sin must be given [up, left, hated,] and the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST must be accepted by faith, [thus] the divine will cooperate with the human. {Lt20-1889}
The CHARACTERS WE FORM HERE will decide our ETERNAL DESTINY. What kind of material are we using in our character building? We must guard well every point, seeking to gain that purity which will make our lives harmonize with the saving truth we profess to believe. Our part is to PUT AWAY SIN, to SEEK WITH DETERMINATION for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. As we thus work, God co-operates with us, fitting us for a place in His kingdom. {RH, June 11, 1901 par. 4}
The DISCIPLE of CHRIST will be FITTED by HIS GRACE for EVERY TRIAL and TEST as he STRIVES for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. By looking away from Jesus to some other one or to something else, he may sometimes make mistakes, but as soon as he is warned of his danger, he again fastens his eyes upon Jesus in whom his hope of ETERNAL LIFE is centered, and he plants his feet in the footprints of his Lord and travels on securely. He rejoices, saying, “He is my living intercessor before God. He prays in my behalf. He is my advocate, and clothes me with the perfection of His own righteousness. He is all I need to enable me to bear the cross, to endure shame and reproach for His dear name’s sake. If He permits me to endure persecution, He will give me more grace and the comfort of His presence, so that His name shall thereby be glorified.” {Lt54-1894}
The divine picture of Christ must be kept before the people. He is that Angel standing in the sun of heaven. He reflects no shadows. Clothed in the attributes of Deity, shrouded in the glories of Deity, and in the likeness of the infinite God, He is to be lifted up before men. When this is kept before the people, creature merit sinks into insignificance. The more the eye looks upon Him, the more HIS LIFE, HIS LESSONS, HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER are STUDIED, the more sinful and abhorrent will sin appear. By beholding, man can but admire and become more attracted to Him, more charmed, and more desirous to be like Jesus until he ASSIMILATES to HIS IMAGE and has the MIND OF CHRIST. LIKE ENOCH HE WALKS WITH GOD. HIS MIND is FULL of THOUGHTS of JESUS. HE is his BEST FRIEND. {Ms24-1888}
The DIVINE SON of GOD was the only one of sufficient value to satisfy the claims of GOD’S PERFECT LAW. The angels were sinless, but of LESS VALUE than the LAW of GOD. They were amenable to law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow. They were created beings, and probationers. Upon Christ no requirements were laid, as upon created beings. He had power to lay down his life, and to take it again. No obligation was laid upon him to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice that he made. His life was of sufficient value to rescue man from his fallen condition. The Son of God was in the form of God, and he thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He was the only one, who as a man walked the earth, who could say to all men, Who of you convinceth me of sin? He had united with the Father in the creation of man, and he had power through HIS OWN DIVINE PERFECTION of CHARACTER to atone for man’s sin, and to elevate him, and bring him back to his first estate. {1Red 9.3}
The doctrines that Christ taught are essential for the salvation of the soul; for PERFECTION of CHARACTER is the result of WILLING OBEDIENCE to the TRUTH as it is in JESUS. This is the FAITH that works by LOVE and PURIFIES the SOUL. It is self-exaltation that results in the rejection of Christ, and this proved the ruin of the Jews. They felt no need of a Saviour, they realized no weakness, they desired no plan of atonement. For many years they had been going through a round of service which had been instituted by Christ, and which typified Christ, yet when the Messiah walked among them in the habiliments of humanity, offering them his grace and pardoning mercy if they would forsake their sins and turn unto God, they did not discern him. Many were loaded with deception and hypocrisy. When the Pharisees and the Sadducees came to the baptism of John, he exclaimed: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” He presented to the Jewish leaders the fact that they must be transformed in character. He said to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” {RH, July 7, 1896 par. 8}
The easy position so pleasing to the carnal heart is, that Christ has done all, that PERSONAL STRIVING is unnecessary, and would be an evidence of unbelief. But the BIBLE tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Self-complacency will never save us. Those who imagine that because Christ has done all that is necessary in the way of merit, there remains nothing for them to do in the way of complying with the conditions, are deceiving their own souls. There are higher attainments for us. Are we indeed channels of light to the world? Then how important that we SEEK PERFECTION of CHARACTER. Said Christ, “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” {RH, December 22, 1885 par. 10}
The end is near, and students should make most diligent effort to carry forward the work of acquiring knowledge that they may impart to others. If the converting power of God should come upon these souls, if they should come to realize that they need a power out of and far above themselves, they would not remain a day longer like mere machines, but would have a desire to work for God. Has the truth been lodged in the soul? Has the love of souls for whom Christ died become a living principle in their hearts? Unless they become vitally connected with God, they can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love and self-indulgence and temptation to sin. If they were soundly converted to God, they would experience the love that dwells in the heart of Jesus; and under the INSPIRATION of the HOLY SPIRIT, it would well up like an irrepressible stream, refreshing their own sterile lives, and refreshing all those who are connected with them. I long to address the young men and women who are so willing to reach only cheap standards. O that the Lord might influence their minds to see what PERFECTION of CHARACTER is! O that they might know the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul! We are living in days of peril. Christ alone can help us and give us the victory. Christ must be all in all to us; he must dwell in the heart; his life must circulate through us, as the blood circulates through the veins. HIS SPIRIT must be a VITALIZING POWER that will cause us to influence others to become CHRISTLIKE and HOLY. {YI, October 31, 1895 par. 6}
The GLORY of CHRIST is HIS CHARACTER, and HIS CHARACTER is an expression of the LAW of GOD. He fulfilled the law in its every specification, and gave to the world in his life a perfect pattern of what it is possible for humanity to attain unto by cooperation with divinity. In his humanity Christ was dependent upon the Father, even as humanity is now DEPENDENT upon GOD for DIVINE POWER in ATTAINING unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER. GOD’S LAW is an exponent of HIS CHARACTER, an expression of his holiness; but, viewed by him who has fallen through sin, it is a voice of condemnation, a ministration of death. It is not in the province of law to pardon the transgressor; for “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” “By the law shall no flesh be justified.” No ray of hope shines forth from the law to the sinner, and its transgressor can find no answer from the law to his anxious inquiry, “What shall I do to be saved?” “How shall I be just with God?” {ST, December 12, 1895 par. 2}
“The glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” There is not, cannot be, PERFECTION of CHARACTER in those who are at variance, who stand ready to catch up anything which will give a chance to show that they are really not one, but divided, criticising and drawing away from one another. {Lt30a-1892}
The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ. And what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him to reach? “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” AS GOD IS PERFECT in HIS HIGH SPHERE OF ACTION, so MAN MAY BE PERFECT in HIS HUMAN SPHERE. The ideal of CHRISTIAN CHARACTER is CHRIST-LIKENESS. There is opened before us a path of continual advancement. We have an object to reach, a standard to gain, which includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be CONTINUAL STRIVING and CONSTANT PROGRESS ONWARD and UPWARD toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER. See 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Romans 15:4; Colossians 2:8-10. {Ms16-1896}
The knowledge of God and Christ lies at the foundation of all knowledge. Through the study of the BIBLE, moral power is developed; and while the mind is put to the task of comprehending its truths, the intellect expands; as the image of Christ, the Author of all truth, brightens to the vision, the understanding becomes enlarged to comprehend more fully the elevated character of the standard of perfection. Those who STUDY the BIBLE in the right manner, drink from a fountain which is inexhaustible. The teaching of Christ is simple, and yet the greatest and best disciplined minds are charmed with his profound and comprehensive utterances. In all his lessons, Jesus presented to men the worthlessness of ceremonial obedience. He sought to impress men with the spirituality of the law, unveiling its vital principles, and making plain its eternal obligations. The righteousness of the law was presented to the world in the CHARACTER of CHRIST, and the holy, benevolent, and paternal attributes of God were revealed in his dealings with mankind. He explained the solemn relation which existed between man and God, between man and his fellow-man. He taught the necessity of prayer, repentance, faith, virtue, and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {ST, June 9, 1890 par. 9}
The LAW is our teacher, instructing us as to what is rectitude and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, in order that through the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST we may have a LIVING CONNECTION with GOD. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” {ST, October 22, 1894 par. 5}
The LIVING GOD has given us in HIS LAW a TRANSCRIPT of HIS CHARACTER, and this LAW he calls upon us to obey, . . . {ST, November 5, 1896 par. 3}
The Lord has a great work to be done, and He will bequeath the most in the future to those who have done the most in the present. The Lord chooses His own agents, and each day under different circumstances gives them a trial in His plan of operations. In each wholehearted, true endeavor to work out His plans, HE CHOOSES HIS AGENTS, not because they are perfect, but that they MAY GAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER through connection with HIS WORK. Those in responsible positions who have the least conscientious scruples in reference to their own course of action are the ones who watch most jealously for the mistakes of others. Position does not make the man. Only by a LIVING CONNECTION WITH GOD is the HOLY SPIRIT IMPLANTED in the HEART. Those who have this connection are FAITHFUL and TRUE and will not betray HOLY TRUST. {Lt77-1898}
The Lord has given to the youth abundant privileges whereby they may become laborers together with God. They are to be living witnesses for Christ. Their lives and characters should bear decided testimony concerning the riches of Christ; for they should represent the Master, and make manifest the power of the truth upon the soul. But O, how many in life and character show that they are not consecrated to the service of Christ! They live to please themselves. They do not strengthen the church by their efficient efforts, but are rather a burden than burden-bearers. The church is what its members make it, and if names only are added to its records, and there is in the members no zeal, no purity, no intelligence in spiritual things, the church does not have increased power. Those who REMAIN STATIONARY in their RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, who do not GROW UP INTO CHRIST, their LIVING HEAD, SEEKING for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, are dead weights upon the church. They do not follow Jesus, the light of the world, and therefore have no light to diffuse to those who are sitting in darkness, and the world is no better because of their profession of godliness. Without an accession of spiritual power with its members, the church will fail to meet the expectation of the heavenly intelligences. {YI, December 22, 1892 par. 5}
The Lord has instructed us that in our institution of education, we should ever be STRIVING for the PERFECTION of CHARACTER to be found in the LIFE of CHRIST, and in His instruction to His disciples. Having received our commission from the highest authority, we are to educate, educate, educate in the simplicity of Christ. Our aim must be to reach the highest standard in every feature of our work. He who healed thousands with a touch and a word is our physician. The precious truths contained in His teachings are to be our front guard and our rereward. {Lt61-1910}
The LORD JESUS acts through the HOLY SPIRIT; for it is HIS REPRESENTATIVE. Through IT he infuses spiritual life into the soul, quickening its energies for good, cleansing from moral defilement, and giving it a fitness for his kingdom. Jesus has large blessings to bestow, rich gifts to distribute among men. He is the wonderful Counselor, infinite in wisdom and strength; and if we will acknowledge the power of his Spirit, and submit to be molded by it, we shall stand complete in him. What a thought is this! In Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.” Never will the human heart know happiness until it is submitted to be molded by the SPIRIT of GOD. The Spirit conforms the renewed soul to the model, Jesus Christ. Through its influence, enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility. The soul perceives the beauty of truth, and Christ is HONORED in EXCELLENCE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER. . . . {RH, August 25, 1896 par. 6}
The Lord looks with deepest interest upon each soul. He loves each one. Did He not, He never would have given His only begotten Son to die for us. By His amazing sacrifice He has made it possible for all who will to have that life that measures with the life of God. We shall appreciate more fully all that God has made possible for us if we will study more faithfully what great things heaven has already done. The blessed Christ who was crucified for us has shed HIS LOVE through the heavenly courts in behalf of those who are seeking to overcome. We are called to REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and WE CAN REACH this ONLY as we STUDY the LIFE of CHRIST and COPY HIS PERFECT EXAMPLE. {Ms11-1911}
The love of the truth as it is in Jesus means the love of all that is comprised in the truth Christ taught. The Son of God came to our world, humbling Himself to take human nature, that He might give us an example of what human nature may be if we will follow the TEACHINGS of HIS WORD. He was tempted in all points as we are tempted, yet He was not overcome by sin. He is our pattern in all things. We are to express to the world HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER in ALL OUR EXPERIENCES. {Lt16-1909}
The material for the building is plainly specified in the first chapter of Second Peter. Man is to WORK CONSTANTLY on the PLAN of ADDITION, and God works on the PLAN of MULTIPLICATION. Thus man grows in spirituality, in experience, until he presents to the world, to angels, and to men, such a PERFECTION of CHARACTER that in the heavenly courts the words are spoken, “Ye are complete in him.” God has originated and proclaimed the principles on which both divine and human agencies are to combine in all spiritual achievements as well as temporal matters. They are to be linked together in all human pursuits, in mechanical and agricultural labors, in mercantile and scientific enterprises. {Lt20-1899}
The ministers who teach the people that GOD’S LAW is no longer of force, are leading them to security in their life of disobedience and transgression. This LAW of GOD is so exceeding broad that we cannot measure it. It is HOLY, JUST, and GOOD and we can in no way evade its claims. It will be the RULE of MAN’S CONDUCT as long as time shall last, and the rule of the future JUDGMENT of GOD. The Lord cannot consistent with HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, the sacredness and honor of his throne and government, and with reference to the happiness of the beings he has created, reverse or release one precept of his law, or repeal one jot or tittle of it, for it is PERFECT, HOLY, JUST, and GOOD, in harmony with HIS CHARACTER. {ST, May 20, 1880 par. 10}
The note of warning has been given, “Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” God accepts no divided service. Not one jot of the claims of the law can be abated to meet man in his fallen condition. Man must reach the HIGHEST STANDARD. He must show a DESIRE for PERFECTION of CHARACTER proportionate to the value of the object of which he is in pursuit. {Ms150-1899}
“The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the HAND of FAITH in us to direct it to LAY FAST HOLD UPON the DIVINITY of CHRIST, that we may ATTAIN to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {DA 123.3}
The questions for each one to settle are, What is truth? and, What is your aim in life? If your object is to meet the world’s standard, to accept the world’s maxims and practices, the words of truth will have little weight with you. But if you have an earnest desire to answer the claims that God has upon you, if your desire is to be connected with God, and to reach the highest round of the ladder of progress in the divine life, then, when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. But it is your own efforts, through the GRACE of CHRIST, that will bring you PERFECTION of CHARACTER. When the path of duty is opened before you, you are not at liberty to consult your own convenience; you are required to walk in the path of humble obedience. All who enter Heaven will do so as conquerors. You will have battles to fight; you will have difficulties to meet that can only be overcome by strong, determined resistance. But ETERNAL LIFE is worth a life-long, persevering effort. {ST, May 5, 1887 par. 10}
The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that his life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the EXPRESS IMAGE of HIS FATHER, NOT in FEATURES ALONE, but in PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {2SP 9.1}
The THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE is infallible. It is to UNITE a PEOPLE to do a special work, preparing them with PERFECTION of CHARACTER to unite in ONE GREAT FAMILY in the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. And all the laborers are God’s workmen to present INFALLIBLE TRUTH, to do the work of blending hearts in one. Never let your words or your efforts be directed to the end to disunite that which God would have united. You should influence France to work for the upbuilding of the cause in Switzerland. Do not encourage a one-sided interest, but all labor to cement together, that they may have a molding influence on one another; that if any of the nationalities are encouraging peculiar ideas, that one may have a reformatory influence upon the other. Urge upon all to receive Christ’s mold and imitate Christ’s character. The apostle states, “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Christ in the German believer will recognize Christ in the French believer. {Lt23-1885}
The true follower of Christ will make no boastful claims to holiness. It is by the LAW of GOD that the sinner is convicted. He sees his own sinfulness in contrast with the PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS which it enjoins, and this leads him to HUMILITY and REPENTANCE. He becomes RECONCILED to GOD through the BLOOD of CHRIST, and as he continues to walk with him he will be gaining a clearer sense of the HOLINESS of GOD’S CHARACTER and the far-reaching nature of HIS REQUIREMENTS. He will see more clearly his own defects, and will feel the need of continual repentance, and faith in the BLOOD of CHRIST. He who bears with him a continual sense of the presence of Christ, cannot indulge self-confidence or self-righteousness. None of the prophets or apostles made proud boasts of holiness. The nearer they came to PERFECTION of CHARACTER, the less worthy and righteous they viewed themselves. But those who have the least sense of the PERFECTION of JESUS, those whose eyes are least directed to him, are the ones who make the strongest claim to perfection. {RH, October 5, 1886 par. 24}
The TRUTH, HOLINESS, and PERFECTION of CHARACTER are ATTAINABLE to EVERYONE who STRIVES for it. This is made the very FOUNDATION of the NEW COVENANT of the GOSPEL. There has been no substitution of a changed law. The LAW spoken of on the Mount of Blessings to the people was the same LAW have had from the beginning. In His teachings Christ showed how far-reaching are the principles of the LAW spoken from Sinai, and He made a living application of that same LAW whose principles remain forever the GREAT STANDARD of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the standard by which all shall be judged in that great day when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened. The LAW of JEHOVAH is the tree, the GOSPEL is the fragrant blossoms and fruit which it bears. {Lt119-1897}
The types and shadows of the sacrificial service, with the prophecies, gave the Israelites a veiled, indistinct view of the mercy and grace to be brought to the world by the revelation of Christ. To Moses was unfolded the significance of the types and shadows pointing to Christ. He saw to the end of that which was to be done away when, at the death of Christ, type met antitype. He saw that only though Christ can man keep the moral law. By transgression of this law man brought sin into the world, and with sin came death. Christ became the propitiation for man’s sin. He proffered HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER in the place of man’s sinfulness. He took upon himself the curse of disobedience . The sacrifices and offerings pointed forward to the sacrifice he was to make. The slain lamb typified the Lamb that was to take away the sin of the world. {RH, April 22, 1902 par. 6}
The words of our lesson are from the lips of no other than the MAJESTY of HEAVEN; of him who was equal with the Father, one with God. “Blessed are” – those who are filled with joyful emotion? who are highly elated? who feel that they are rich in spiritual attainment? – No. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the KINGDOM of HEAVEN.” To be poor in spirit is to feel our deficiency and need because we have sinned and come short of the GLORY of GOD. It is this that causes us to mourn. But are we to conclude that Jesus would have us always lamenting our poverty of spirit, our lack of spiritual grace? – No; for by beholding we become changed, and if we talk of our poverty and weakness, we shall only become more poverty stricken, more feeble in spiritual things. To be POOR in SPIRIT is to be never satisfied with present attainments in the Christian life, but to be ever reaching up for more and more of the GRACE of CHRIST. The POOR in SPIRIT is one who looks upon the PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and is ever responding to the DRAWINGS of CHRIST, and who, in obtaining nearer and nearer views of CHRIST’S PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS, sees in contrast his own unworthiness and unlikeness to Him who is glorious in holiness. {BEcho, May 15, 1892 par. 2}
The work of evangelizing the world has been greatly hindered by personal selfishness. Some, even among professed Christians, are shortsighted, unable to see that the work of the gospel is to be supported by the goods that Christ has entrusted to them. Are we obeying the Saviour’s instructions? Are we following his example? If we are truly converted, we shall regard ourselves as God’s almoners, and will dispense for the advancement of his work the means that he has placed in our hands. Money is needed in order that the work waiting to be done all over our world may be carried forward. If Christ’s words were obeyed, there would be thousands where there are hundreds willing to carry out his directions to the ruler. The Lord has entrusted to men and women an abundance of means for the carrying forward of his plan of mercy and benevolence. He bids his stewards of means to invest their money in the work of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and preaching the gospel to the poor. PERFECTION of CHARACTER can not possibly be attained without SELF-SACRIFICE. {RH, January 12, 1905 par. 14}
“The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” He had been flattered for his amiable traits of character. He was willing to do good things, and he flattered himself that by his integrity in dealing with his fellow men he was fulfilling the law. The PERFECTION of CHARACTER he thought he possessed, ranked him in the same state spiritually as was Paul when, touching the letter of the law, he thought himself blameless. But no human standard can save a soul from death. GOD’S STANDARD must be seen, acknowledged, and followed. {RH, September 11, 1900 par. 2}
The youth cannot afford to float carelessly along, exposed to the many influences that are ready to draw them away from the truth, from religion, from peace, and happiness, receiving any impression that Satan may choose to make upon the mind. There are stern battles to fight against hereditary and cultivated faults of character and disposition. Satan watches every opportunity to divert the mind from thoughts of God. He seeks to prevent us from searching the heart, from STUDYING the LAW of GOD and comparing our life and character with its PERFECT STANDARD. We must guard against his wiles. We should ever remember that LIFE IS SHORT, and if we would ATTAIN to that PERFECTION of CHARACTER which Christ requires of us, EVERY HOUR of our PROBATION must be WISELY IMPROVED as a treasure more precious than gold. {ST, August 23, 1883 par. 6}
There are many who come to the Saviour in a feeble way. They receive baptism and yet there is no apparent change in their character. We would invite all to come, all to abide in Christ, to ADVANCE DAILY in the PERFECTION of CHARACTER by ABIDING in CHRIST. As they do this, they find that rest that can come only through PERFECT OBEDIENCE. {Ms194-1898}
There is a work to be done for the young by which their minds will be impressed and molded by the SANCTIFYING TRUTH of GOD. It is my sincere wish for our young people that they find the TRUE MEANING of JUSTIFICATION by FAITH, and the PERFECTION of CHARACTER that will prepare them for ETERNAL LIFE. I do not expect to live long, and I leave this message for the young, that the aim which they make shall not miscarry. {RH, April 15, 1915 par. 8}
There is also a lesson for us to learn in the demand the king of Babylon made for PERFECTION in the youth who should stand in his courts. They must be without blemish, well favored, skilful in wisdom, cunning in knowledge, and understanding science. If an idolatrous king should demand such excellence in those who were to stand before him, should not those who have a KNOWLEDGE of the TRUE GOD REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER and capability in his service? Those who expect one day to stand before the throne of the God of gods and Lord of kings, should live each day in such a way that the APPROVAL of GOD can rest upon them. They should SEEK DAILY to remove the BLEMISHES in CHARACTER that lead to sin, and bring into their lives the PERFECTION of CHARACTER that ALL MUST REVEAL who have a part in the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. {YI, October 29, 1907 par. 12}
There is opened before all Christians a PATH of CONTINUAL ADVANCEMENT. They have an object to reach, a standard to gain, which includes everything good, and pure, and noble, and elevating; and they should MAKE CONSTANT PROGRESS toward PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The ideal of CHRISTIAN CHARACTER is CHRIST-LIKENESS. The religion of Jesus Christ never degrades the receiver, never makes him coarse or rough, discourteous or self-important, passionate or hard-hearted. On the contrary, it refines the taste, sanctifies the judgment, and softens the heart. It purifies and elevates the thoughts, bringing them into captivity to Christ. {ST, November 5, 1896 par. 2}
There should be a thorough reformation on the part of the men who are now connected with our important institutions. They possess some valuable traits of character, while they are sadly lacking in others. Their character needs to have a different mold, one after the likeness of Christ. They must all remember that they have not yet attained unto perfection, that the work of character building is not yet finished. If they will walk in every ray of light that God has given; if they will compare themselves with Christ’s life and character, they will discern where they have failed to meet the requirements of GOD’S HOLY LAW and will seek to make themselves perfect in their sphere, even as God in heaven is perfect in His sphere. If these men had realized the importance of these things, they would today be far in advance of their present condition, far better qualified to fill places of trust. During these HOURS of PROBATION they are to SEEK for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. They must LEARN DAILY of CHRIST. They are connected with the work of God, not because they are perfect, unerring men, without defects of character, but notwithstanding these defects. God expects them, while connected with His work, to be CONSTANTLY STUDYING and LEARNING how to COPY the PATTERN. {5T 556.3}
There will be an effort made on the part of many pretended friends of education to divorce religion from the sciences, in our schools. They would spare no pains or expense to impart secular knowledge; but they would not mingle with it a knowledge of what God has revealed as constituting PERFECTION of CHARACTER. And yet a TRAINING in the TRUTH of GOD would develop the mind, and impart secular knowledge as well; for the VERY FOUNDATION of TRUE EDUCATION is in the FEAR of the LORD. Says the psalmist, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The living oracles of God reveal the deceptions of the father of lies. . . . [Hebrews 12:14.] {CE 113.1}
These words of Christ are not only to be read, but are to be obeyed to the letter. Those who meekly and humbly pursue their course of duty, not to be praised, petted, and honored of men, but to glorify God, will receive as their reward glory, honor, and ETERNAL LIFE. But many are so lifted up in spiritual pride that they act as though it were not enjoined upon them to live in harmony with the instruction of Christ. We are to WALK in HUMILITY BEFORE GOD, and we can do this as the clear light of heaven reveals CHRIST’S PERFECTION of CHARACTER and we see in contrast the weakness and imperfection of our own. Those who have a view of Christ in contrast with self will not feel like boasting. They will not lift up self, but will appreciate the value of souls for whom Christ died. You will see, brethren, by the writing dated October 24, 1887, that I have called your attention to certain rules that the Lord requires us to observe. I have great sorrow of heart that THESE RULES have been so STRANGELY NEGLECTED by those who profess to be followers of Christ. Merely reading the BIBLE, believing the BIBLE, will not save any of us, for it is ONLY DOERS of the WORD that shall be JUSTIFIED. {Lt19-1887}
This is a grand and noble work. It is what we need. We cannot afford to cover up one sin, for it is at the risk of our own souls’ salvation. We want the richest blessings here; for trouble is coming upon the whole world. Only a little while, only a short time, and every one will be severely tried. But God is our Strength, our Deliverer. We want the DAILY RENEWAL of the GRACE of GOD in our hearts, that we may CLIMB the LADDER of PERFECTION of CHARACTER step by step, rising higher and higher in the way that leads to HEAVEN, to HOLINESS, and to GOD. {Ms52-1905}
This message I am given to bear, as the Lord’s messenger. The UNITY for which Christ prayed is a SACRED PLEDGE of DISCIPLESHIP. Those who ENTER HEAVEN must be ONE WITH CHRIST. Unless they should bear the SAME PERFECTION of CHARACTER that He bore while on this earth, they would SPOIL HEAVEN. The TRIAL and TEST is to come here in this world. Here we are to be STAMPED with the IMAGE and SUPERSCRIPTION of GOD. The virtue of the GRACE of CHRIST will PERFECT the CHARACTER of every believer who truly accepts Him. ALL TRUE DISCIPLES are made MEMBERS of the ROYAL FAMILY. All have the NEW HEART, and all BLEND in PERFECT HARMONY. They speak the same thing, though in this world their language may differ. Their manner of expression may not be the same, but their one desire is for the highest end in this life – the SANCTIFICATION of the SAME SPIRIT. They LOVE as BRETHREN. {Ms9-1906}
This Scripture is to be understood: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” These different workers [are] each to do a special work, but are they to separate themselves, confining their labors to a few whom they have succeeded in bringing to a knowledge of the truth? Shall one say to another of the instrumentalities of God, “Leave these souls to me to work with and to bring along to a profession of the faith? Let me work for, and train, and educate them to PERFECTION of CHARACTER.” No, this is not the way the Lord works. {Ms21a-1894}
Those who are determined to carry out the true principles of Christ’s teaching in all things, increasing in spiritual knowledge, piety, and discernment, will wear under circumstances of trial. All who are connected with the service of God must be true to Him at whatever cost to themselves, else they will surely show the unmistakable signs of a divided heart. Then God cannot use them to His name’s glory. They are weak in discerning their own failings. God calls for PERFECTION of CHARACTER in those who claim to be HIS CHILDREN. He will not leave them to be destroyed if they will TRUST IN HIM and follow every ray of light He permits to shine upon their pathway. The CHARACTER of those who claim to be Christians will be revealed, for the more a man or woman looks to Jesus and beholds HIS LOVELINESS of CHARACTER, the more sensitive will they become to their own disposition and development of character. {Lt124-1900}
Those who are poor and needy, and whose LIVES ARE FILLED with HARDSHIPS and DISTRESS, may be SUSTAINED and COMFORTED by the thought that their Saviour can sympathize with their sorrows. In all points He was tempted like as we are, and yet without sin. In His humanity, PERFECTED by a LIFE of HOLINESS, He revealed that through co-operation with divinity, humanity may in this world attain unto PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {Ms49-1906}
Those who have experienced the CLEANSING EFFICACY of the BLOOD of CHRIST upon their hearts will be like their MASTER, PURE, PEACEABLE, and LOWLY of HEART. No matter how bold and earnest one may be in his claims of spiritual soundness, and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, if he lacks Christian grace and humility, the dregs of the disease of sin is in his nature, and, unless it is purged from him, he cannot enter the KINGDOM of HEAVEN. The TRULY HOLY, who WALK WITH GOD LIKE ENOCH of old, will not be boastful of their purity, but be courteous, humble, unselfish, free from spiritual pride and exaltation. Those who know most of God, and KEEP their EYE FIXED on the AUTHOR and FINISHER of their FAITH will see nothing good or great in themselves. They will feel, after doing all in their power to be faithful, that they are yet unprofitable servants. {LS80 211.3}
Those who have low habits must overcome them. God has no use in His cause for men who have defects, and think it will not pay to SEEK for PERFECTION of CHARACTER and REFINEMENT of MANNERS. If your life is disfigured with blemishes, and you do not want to be CORRECTED; if you make little effort to OVERCOME DEFECTS and reach a HIGH MORAL STANDARD, engage in some other work, I beseech you. The work of battling with objectionable traits of character, inherited and cultivated, is far from pleasant. It is the warring of the spirit against the flesh. But this must be a daily and hourly work, else our offerings will not be acceptable to a PURE and HOLY GOD. He will not approve our course in accepting the responsibilities of preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. {Ms37-1885}
Those who submit to the solemn rite of baptism pledge themselves, before the heavenly universe, to come out from the world. They have taken their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, to be laborers together with God, and, as such, to make known His will to those who are perishing in sin. They are to SEARCH the SCRIPTURES DILIGENTLY, feeling that it is of the HIGHEST IMPORTANCE for them to understand what saith the Lord. Having LEARNED HIS WILL, they are to do it heartily, remembering that the TRUTH is the seed they must sow in order to reap a harvest for God. But many of those who claim to believe the truth are not STRIVING as they should for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. {AUCR, September 15, 1902 par. 1}
Those who take their eyes from self to behold JESUS, the PERFECT PATTERN, in order to ascertain the divine will concerning themselves, will be led to STRIVE for the same PERFECTION of CHARACTER that they behold. This perfection can only be attained by LOOKING STEADFASTLY unto JESUS, by SINCERE SELF-EXAMINATION, cutting away from the life practice everything that is unlike Jesus. There must be a DILIGENT PERUSAL of the WORD. Men and women must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. This is LIFE ETERNAL. {Ms60-1898}
Those who would be soldiers for Christ should closely estimate what will be the influence of accepting positions of trust in advancing worldly enterprises. They should consult the Lord Jesus, and at every step ask him, Will this work serve to advance, to save, my spiritual interest, or will it hinder me from attaining PERFECTION of CHARACTER? If large gain is presented as an inducement to entangle you and imperil your soul, you have but one answer to give; “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Satan presented this inducement to the world’s Redeemer, knowing that if he accepted it, the world would never be ransomed. Under different guises, Satan presents this temptation, knowing that those who are beguiled by it, will never stand among those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We would suppose that those who yield to one temptation and are disappointed in their expectations, would see that they have chosen a work which would continually draw them into evil, and bind them away from Christ. But instead of seeing their delusion, many go on in their blindness, and Satan has his bait all ready, and entangles them more deeply in the world, binding them up with an interest that will lead them away from the service of the Master. They cannot see afar off, but are blinded by the glamour of the flattering prospect that the world presents before them. They do not follow the light of the world, but another leader, and they walk in darkness, and they know not at what they stumble. {RH, June 16, 1896 par. 9}
Those who would REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER must have a LIVING CONNECTION with CHRIST. They will be united to Him as the graft is united to the parent stock. The sap that flows through the stock nourishes the graft, and the branch bears fruit of the same character as that of the vine. Jesus says, “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. 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.” {Lt48-1893}
Throughout his childhood and youth, he manifested the PERFECTION of CHARACTER that marked his after life. He grew in WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. As he witnessed the sacrificial offerings, the HOLY SPIRIT taught him that HIS LIFE was to be SACRIFICED for the life of the world. He grew up as a tender plant, not in the large and noisy city, that is full of confusion and strife, but in the retired valleys among the hills. He was GUARDED from his earliest years by HEAVENLY ANGELS, yet his life was ONE LONG STRUGGLE against the POWERS of DARKNESS. Satanic agencies combined with human instrumentalities to make his life one of TEMPTATION and TRIAL. Through supernatural agencies, his words, which were life and salvation to all who received and practiced them, were perverted and misinterpreted. {ST, August 6, 1896 par. 7}
Throughout the ages, riches and honor have been attended with much peril to humility and spirituality. It is when a man is prospered, when all his fellow men speak well of him, that he is in special danger. Man is human. SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY continues only so long as MAN DEPENDS WHOLLY UPON GOD for WISDOM and for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. And those who feel most their need of dependence upon God are usually those who have the least amount of earthly treasure and human honor on which to depend. {RH, December 14, 1905 par. 2}
To bring the sinner to CHRIST is the WORK of the COMFORTER, the HOLY SPIRIT. The SAVIOUR is the DIVINE EXAMPLE, the PERFECTION of HOLINESS; and He fashions the soul anew. We are privileged to receive from Christ all the excellence necessary for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. But in order for us to obtain this excellence, we must show MORE SELF-DENIAL, MORE SELF-SACRIFICE. {Lt155-1902}
To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet he was a perfect man. In his humanity he was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied his own attributes in his Son, – his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his purity, his truthfulness, his spirituality, and his benevolence. In him, though human, ALL PERFECTION of CHARACTER, ALL DIVINE EXCELLENCE, dwelt. And to the request of his disciple, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” he could reply, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” “I and my Father are one.” {YI, September 16, 1897 par. 7}
TRUE SANCTIFICATION is carried into all the business of life. PURE THOUGHTS, NOBLE ASPIRATIONS, CLEAR PERCEPTIONS of TRUTH, ELEVATED PURPOSES of ACTION, YEARNINGS to ATTAIN to PERFECTION, will be the experience of every real Christian. These have fellowship with the Father and with the Son. They are constantly increasing in the KNOWLEDGE of GOD. They grow in reverence and trust and love; but while they are coming nearer and nearer to PERFECTION of CHARACTER, they will feel more and more deeply their unlikeness to Christ, and have greater distrust of themselves and GREATER DEPENDENCE upon GOD. As these are growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, they will be sought by others, and will be a help and blessing to all with whom they associate. The most Christlike professors are those who are the most KIND, PITIFUL, and COURTEOUS; their CONVICTIONS ARE FIRM and their CHARACTERS STRONG; nothing can swerve them from their FAITH or allure them from their DUTY. {RH, September 8, 1885 par. 16}
UNITEDLY we are to take hold in a daily effort to help one another GAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER. To this end we are to CEASE ALL CRITICISM. Let us CRITICIZE OURSELVES and learn to hate the things of this world that once we loved. Onward and still onward we may advance TOWARD PERFECTION, until at last there will be ministered unto us an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. {Ms108-1904}
We are all to be individual toilers. I would have all who read these lines understand that character cannot be bought or sold. CHARACTER is FORMED by patient, CONTINUOUS EFFORT. MUCH PATIENCE is required in the STRIVING for that life which is to come. We may all STRIVE for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, but all who come into possession of it will earn it step by step, by the cultivation of the virtues which God commends. Let none seek to make over the character of some one else. If they will themselves set a right example, God will bless them and make them channels of light. The RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. Let there be no divisions among you. The Lord would have His ministers WALK HUMBLY before Him. {Lt36-1899}
We cannot afford to sin. We cannot afford to indulge appetite and passions at the expense of HEALTH and SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. We must aim for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, HOLINESS of HEART, without which no man shall see God. {Ms5-1874}
“We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? and this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” The will of God is expressed in these words in a most decided manner, and the question is, Are we obeying the voice of God to the very letter? We can never ATTAIN PERFECTION of CHARACTER if we do not hear the VOICE of GOD and OBEY HIS COUNSEL. This instruction does not apply simply to those who have had no trials to meet which would create dislike to their brethren; but it applies to those who have been injured, who have suffered from financial wrong, from reproach and criticism, from misapprehension and misjudgment. These must NOT ALLOW HATRED to ENTER the HEART, or PERMIT UNKIND FEELINGS to arise when they look upon those who have injured them. {YI, January 13, 1898 par. 1}
We need to come up to a higher standard, to go forward and claim our exalted privileges. We should walk humbly with God, make no proud boasts of PERFECTION of CHARACTER, but in SIMPLE FAITH claim every promise in the WORD of GOD; for they are for the obedient, not for the transgressors of GOD’S LAW. We are simply to BELIEVE the TESTIMONY of GOD, and have entire dependence on him, and all possibility of self-glory or pride will be removed. We are indeed saved by faith, not by a passive faith, but by the FAITH which works by LOVE, and PURIFIES the SOUL. The hand of Christ can reach the veriest sinner, and bring him back from transgression to obedience; but no Christianity is so lofty that it can soar above the requirements of GOD’S HOLY LAW. This would be beyond Christ’s power to help, it would be outside of his teachings and his example; for he says, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love,” and all who follow Christ will render obedience to GOD’S HOLY LAW. {ST, March 31, 1890 par. 7}
We need to know GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. Read John 17:2, 3. Have we become satisfied with the things we already know of Jesus? Who can comprehend the capabilities of the human mind? Who can measure its power to obtain a knowledge of divine things, to grasp unseen realities? We do not eat and drink the flesh and blood of the world’s Redeemer. The MIND should be [used] for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. The mind destitute of cultivation, of proper training and discipline, will be perverted. It will become demoralized. It reaches only a low worldly, earthly standard. It becomes overgrown with weeds that disqualify [it] for usefulness and [for] earnest, solemn work for time and for eternity. {Ms67-1890}
We need to make great changes. We need to hold the pure principles in reverence for Christ and respect for the purchase of His blood. This we may do through PRACTICAL OBEDIENCE to HEAVEN’S LAW. There must be a CONTINUAL GROWTH in those attributes which tend to PERFECTION of CHARACTER. When divine grace has opened our hearts, we shall impart to others of the grace we have received. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” {Ms40-1899}
We profess to be the depositaries of GOD’S LAW; we claim to have greater light and to aim at a higher standard than any other people upon the earth; therefore we should show GREATER PERFECTION of CHARACTER and more earnest devotion. A most solemn message has been entrusted to those who have received the light of truth. Our light should shine forth to brighten the pathway of those who are in darkness. As members of the visible church, and workers in the vineyard of the Lord, all professed Christians should do their utmost to preserve peace, harmony, and love in the church. Mark the prayer of Christ: “That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” The unity of the church is the convincing evidence that God has sent Jesus into the world as its Redeemer. This is an argument which worldlings can neither withstand nor controvert. Therefore Satan is constantly working to prevent this union and harmony, that unbelievers, by witnessing backbiting, dissension, and strife among professed Christians, may become disgusted with religion and be confirmed in their impenitence. God is dishonored by those who profess the truth while they are at variance and enmity with one another. Satan is the great accuser of the brethren, and all who engage in this work are enlisted in his service. {Ms1-1878}
We want heaven, and we want all around us to be impressed with the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD to seek that precious Saviour, full of mercy and love, never turning away a soul that comes to Him. There He was kneeling in prayer before His crucifixion; and He would get up to see if His disciples realized what He was passing through, and He found them asleep. Are we asleep? We that are entrusted with great capabilities for looking after souls, are we asleep? Every one of us has a responsibility to carry through the PERFECTION of CHARACTER, that no one shall fall under the temptation of Satan if you can help them. And we are each to live upon the PLAN of ADDITION. {Ms78-1910}
We would ask you what time have you set in which you have determined to give your heart to God without reserve? What time have you set for SEEKING for PERFECTION of CHARACTER through FAITH in the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST? Is it tomorrow? Tomorrow you may be cold in death. Is it next week? Next week your hands may be folded across your breast, and your eyes may be sealed in their last sleep, and it may be too late for you to perfect a character for heaven. I want to ask our ministers, What kind of character do you think the Lord will accept in his kingdom? Do you know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent? Is the love of God abiding in your souls? Are you dwelling in Christ, and Christ in you? If you are, you are safe; but if you are not, there is no safety for you. Do not allow your minds to be diverted from the all-important theme of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST by the study of theories. Do not imagine that the performance of ceremonies, the observance of outward forms, will make you an heir of heaven. We want to keep the mind steadfastly to the point for which we are working; for it is now the day of the Lord’s preparation, and we should yield our hearts to God, that they may be softened and subdued by the HOLY SPIRIT. {RH, April 5, 1892 par. 1}
We would not, with pen or voice, discourage the acquisition of knowledge in literature and in the trades and arts, but first secure the KNOWLEDGE of GOD and His will concerning your own individual selves. Then there will be acquirements in PERFECTION of CHARACTER that will make every study an acquisition for the GLORY of GOD. There will be a constant enlarging of the mind, an expanding, a broadening in sentiment. The KNOWLEDGE of GOD is everything. Connected with God, eternal and imperishable influences are going forth from the receiver to enrich others and GLORIFY GOD. {Lt141-1896}
What a God is our God! He rules over His kingdom with diligence and care, and He has built a hedge – the TEN COMMANDMENTS – about His subjects, to preserve them from transgression. In requiring OBEDIENCE to the LAWS of HIS KINGDOM, God gives His people health and happiness, peace and joy. He teaches them that the PERFECTION of CHARACTER He requires can only be attained by becoming FAMILIAR with HIS WORD. The psalmist declares, “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” {Ms96-1899}
When I think of the family above, and that we can be fitting for it here, I feel that we must improve every opportunity. Why, Jesus will fashion you just as the clay is fashioned in the hands of the potter if you will let Him. You will find LOVE, JOY, and SYMPATHY; and everything appears in perfection. That is what we want. PERFECTION of CHARACTER. But you are not to do it yourself. Heaven is open before us. Bring love right into your lifework here, and you will see of the workings of God. {Ms13-1886}
When one who claims to be a Christian is unforgiving, harsh and critical, accusing and denunciatory, he is doing the very same work that Satan is doing; he is denying Christ under the pretense of representing HIS GRACE. God calls for the HIGHEST CAPABILITIES and TALENTS to be PURIFIED, REFINED, SOFTENED by the GRACE of CHRIST, that the whole being may convey to the world the CHARACTER of GOD. Jesus Himself could not express in words to the understanding of man the love of the Father; He could only say, “God so loved the world, that he gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But He did express the love of God in His actions. Never can we equal the goodness and the love of Jesus, but He calls upon every man and woman and youth and child to behold Him, and by beholding HIS PERFECTION of CHARACTER, to become changed into His image. Call every talent into exercise to copy the Pattern. As Christ died to save man, He calls upon us to live as seeing Him who is invisible, that we may save souls. In all our business calling, we should LET CHRIST PRESIDE, LET HIS SPIRIT and HIS MERCY and HIS LOVE be PROMINENT. {Lt27-1892}
When the Pharisees asked the disciples why their Master ate with publicans and sinners, Christ, overhearing the question, turned to His accusers, and, in the dignity of His mission, said: “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” In His life He has given us a representation of what repentant sinners may become. He was pure and undefiled. From His lips escaped no word that could leave a stain upon His character. All through the Scriptures He has given us assurances that through HIS GRACE we may ATTAIN the SAME PERFECTION of CHARACTER that He attained. {ST, June 10, 1903 par. 5}
When the services of the Passover were ended, Jesus lingered in the temple courts; and when the worshipers departed from Jerusalem, He was left behind. It was then that He found the learned rabbis and plied them with questions regarding the coming of the Messiah. He presented Himself before them in the attitude of a humble learner, and yet the doctors of the law were astonished at His questions. They could not always answer Him. In reality He REVEALED PERFECTION of CHARACTER; and although He had not been taught by the rabbis, He was more learned than they. {Ms85-1906}
While I have been staying at the school in Melbourne, I have been witnessing the scenes in the life of the Redeemer, and I see that we have great changes to make if we would REACH PERFECTION of CHARACTER. God calls for a complete surrender of self. “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but peace and righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost.” We must guard diligently our lips, lest they speak guile. {Ms49-1895}
Who will be on the Lord’s side from their own free willing obedience to His commandments? Who will have appreciation of this great humiliation on the part of Christ and stand with our Substitute and Surety, recognized of God and the whole universe of heaven? [They are] a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men, distinctly and definitely God’s chosen, because they have received Christ fully as their Saviour and set every faculty of their being [to be] consecrated to His service, forming a character after Christ’s likeness, that they may be obedient members of the Lord’s family. Christ died for you to open a way,that you who are transgressors of His law shall BECOME OBEDIENT CHILDREN through His own merits, for to this end Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. He subjected Himself to humiliating ignominy to lift up you, a sinner, through HIS OWN PERFECTION of CHARACTER, and yet you have been so unconcerned in regard to your eternal interest that you do not relish heavenly things. {Ms69a-1896}
Will not the students in this school bring joy to the heart of Christ by striving to make themselves worthy of His commendation? Do you not desire to be counted worthy to walk and talk with the Prince of light and life? Will you not endeavor to reach the high standard of perfection? Thus you honor God. And you honor your parents, filling their hearts with gladness. As you SEEK for PERFECTION of CHARACTER, revealing this in word and deed, men and angels see that you love and serve God. It is by striving for the mastery over temptation that God’s children witness for Him. {Lt144-1901}
Without PERFECTION of CHARACTER, no one can enter the pearly gates of the city of God; for if, with all our imperfections, we were permitted to enter that city, there would soon be in heaven a second rebellion. We must first be TRIED and CHOSEN, and FOUND FAITHFUL and TRUE. Upon the PURIFICATION of our CHARACTER rests our ONLY HOPE of ETERNAL LIFE. {Ms37-1908}
Yesterday I spoke upon the necessity of our standing in right relation to God in regard to our own PERFECTION of CHARACTER; and also on the example we should give to those around us. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” You are not to be swayed to the right hand, and to the left – one day on the mount, and the next day in the valley filled with despondency. You are to think reasonably. Consider that “as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” {Ms180-1901}
Yielding to a desire for diversity has placed the church where God cannot glorify His name through His people. The question is asked, Why are not the sick among us healed? It is because of the lack of unity and love that exists in the church. PERFECTION of CHARACTER means PERFECTION in UNITY. “That they may be one,” Christ said, “as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee.” What possibilities are before us! Shall not our faith grasp them? It is this fitful, careless, indifferent spirit, expressed more loudly by words than by actions, that wounds the heart of Christ. “O righteous Father,” Christ prayed, “the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” {Ms158-1898}
You are carrying out your own way, and when you do this, you lose sight of the Lord’s way, the only way that is pleasant and satisfying. Give to those who know you an evidence of the transforming power of the SPIRIT of GOD upon your heart and mind. Walk as intelligent, humble human beings who are saved by the GRACE of GOD alone and who are WHOLLY DEPENDENT upon HIS MATCHLESS GRACE for their PERFECTION of CHARACTER. When you stop wrestling for your own way, the Lord will teach you how much better is HIS WAY and WILL. Then you will manifest a greater desire to show yourself approved by God, workmen that need not to be ashamed. {Lt29-1897}
You have an impetuous spirit, you are ambitious and love to be constantly in active service; but your brain needs consideration. “Come apart, and rest a while,” is the word from the lips of the great Teacher. In harmony with God there is peace. Whatever others may think of us or may do to us, it need not disturb this oneness with Christ, this fellowship of the Spirit. You know we cannot find rest anywhere but in Christ. We can ABIDE in HIS LOVE. We cannot afford to live on the husks of other’s defects of failings. There is no contentment here, no peace, no rest. But by beholding Jesus, talking of HIS LOVE and PERFECTION of CHARACTER, you may become changed into the same image. By contemplating the lofty ideal He has placed before you, you will be uplifted into a PURE and HOLY ATMOSPHERE, even the PRESENCE of GOD. When you abide here, there goes forth from you a light which irradiates all who are connected with you. Your home may be a symbol of heaven. {Lt10-1894}
You have no time to lose. You need to STRIVE CONTINUALLY for PERFECTION of CHARACTER. And when you obtain a victory, when the blessing of God rests upon you, when you have an interesting experience, write a report of it for our papers, that others may be encouraged. {Ms18a-1901}
You were enlightened, and had you HUMBLED your heart before God, He would lead you. I was shown that it was nothing in your favor to be regarded perfect by men who had no true knowledge of what constituted PERFECTION of CHARACTER, for the only true standards of character they trampled under their feet. {Lt47-1891}
Young men and young women while you are attending school you may be gathering to yourselves only those things which shall tend to the PERFECTION of CHARACTER, or you may gather to yourselves the habits, customs and practices of the world; love the things which they love, which shall have a corrupting influence upon the life and character, and you will forfeit your right to ETERNAL LIFE. Which shall it be? Our heavenly Father, the Giver of life, would draw us from the artificial to the natural simplicities. “Consider,” says Christ, “the lilies of the field, how they grow;” and again he says, “If God so clothed the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If our heavenly Father has taken such special care for that which has to be cut down and cast into the oven, then how much greater is his care, his love and his attention for those who are formed in his image! {ST, February 7, 1878 par. 8}
Young men and young women you may make any thing of yourselves that you please. You may attain to excellence and PERFECTION of CHARACTER; you may go through this world without being stained and blackened with the sins that taint and corrupt it; and when you are brought in contact with the evil of this world, you may escape them if you choose. Christ will be to you a special help in every time of need. But in order for you to develop characters which Heaven shall approve; it is necessary that you CONNECT WITH GOD. Will you consider these lilies which I hold in my hand, emblem of purity and loveliness? Here in this flower is an expression of the love of God. Satan is never at rest; he is an interested spectator of all your actions. He will present before the inexperienced youth, things which on the surface appear attractive, to allure them from their integrity, and corrupt their morals. Christ’s voice is heard saying to them, Consider the lilies of the field, learn from them the value of natural simplicity. God speaks to you through his created works. Will you listen to his voice? Will you become acquainted with God in nature? {ST, February 7, 1878 par. 9}