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Hours of Probation

God calls upon us to ELEVATE the STANDARD. It has been left to trail in the dust. We must take an ELEVATED POSITION. But the fashions of the world hold many of God’s professed people in bondage. They so earnestly desire to have friendship with the world that they mangle their feelings and make wretched work of following Christ. They want heaven and this world too, but such will certainly lose both worlds. They can now take their choice in these HOURS of PROBATION. Their fruits will show their choice. For a LIFE of OBEDIENCE God will grant us the RICH REWARD, but He calls for ENTIRE CONSECRATION and nothing short of this will He accept. {Lt16a-1861}
Press into the work; gird the armor about you. You have but a short time to labor; but a short time to lead souls to the TRUTH. Bear the LIVING, POINTED TESTIMONY. FAIL NOT in a single point. God make you a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Rest not until the TRUTH moves you out to LABOR for SOULS EARNESTLY, ZEALOUSLY. It is not a small thing to be a mouthpiece for God. Oh, arouse, I beg of you! The HOURS of PROBATION are passing. Mercy’s sweet voice will soon be no more heard. Oh, save all that you can! Rest not; be at your post. CRY ALOUD and SPARE NOT. {Lt32a-1861}
What can be done for you? Do you design to wait until Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven? Will He make you all over new when He comes? Oh, no. This will not be done then. THE FITTING UP MUST BE DONE HERE; all the hewing and squaring must take place here upon earth, in the HOURS of PROBATION. You MUST be FITTED UP HERE, the last blow must be given here. When Jesus takes His place on the great white cloud, He that is holy will be holy still and he which is filthy will be filthy still. His reward is with Him to give to every one according as his works shall be. Now is your time to get ready, to MAKE HASTE and REPENT, and seek MEEKNESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS, that you may be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. Now is the time to search your heart and to rid yourself of your supreme selfishness and covetousness. It is time for you to possess nobleness of soul. {Lt3-1863}
Although all your lifelong your heart has been in rebellion against God and you have trampled upon His offered mercy, choosing the pleasing things of the world and the service of Satan rather than the service of Christ, yet Jesus in unbounded mercy still invites you to choose Him as your Saviour and become a child of God, an heir of glory. You can choose life and salvation if you will, or you can choose to worship self and devote your PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION to making your person attractive to please the eye of the worldling and the sensualist, to receive flattery from lying lips, and at last reap that harvest which you have been sowing – corruption. The poor mortal body which has been your idol, your god, will be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb. . . . {Lt2-1865}
O that the Lord would give us to feel as we have never felt before. If you knew that you had but one more HOUR of PROBATION, you would change your course. You would not dare to stand in the position you are in today. If you knew that probation would close in one year, you would not continue the course you are now pursuing, and yet you do not know that you will live one day longer. You have not one day to call your own. We know not how soon death may be feeling for the heart-strings of any one of us. We know not how soon the axe may be laid at the root of the tree, and the sentence go forth, “Cut it down. Why cumbereth it the ground?” Will you pass on in your sinful state, with envy and jealousy and hatred in your heart? While you do this, you are no more fit for heaven than Satan himself. {Ms1-1869}
ALL EARTHLY HONOR is PERISHABLE, ALL EARTHLY TREASURES VALUELESS when we are passing from this life. There will be nothing enduring but the heavenly treasure, and the favor of God will be more valuable than choice gold. There is time now to prepare for the FUTURE IMMORTAL LIFE. It will not answer to neglect the preparation essential for our heavenly home. But MANY will be FOUND WANTING in that great day. The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION will have passed by unimproved, and when it is too late the mournful cry will be heard, The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved. When the righteous Judge shall proclaim the destiny of all fixed – “He which is filthy, let him be filthy still: … and he that is holy, let him be holy still” – it will be a time when the most careless, the most trifling, will come to their senses and discern that the TRULY WISE were those who LOVED GOD and KEPT HIS COMMANDMENTS. {Lt27-1871}
It is well to feel your dependence on God. You may feel that you are competent to manage yourself, to lay plans and execute them in your own judgment. This is unsafe for you or for anyone to do. I speak of the things I know. Take God, children, into your counsel. Seek Him for guidance. He will not be sought of in vain. God would have you labor for Him. There is work for you to do in His vineyard. Bring your will into conformity to the WILL of GOD. I entreat of you not to let these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION pass without SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT. In no case allow your MORAL POWERs to become dwarfed. They need cultivating continually, that they may be put to use for the SALVATION of SOULS. {Lt23-1873}
My son, be a wholehearted Christian. Be wholly for God. Our HOURS of PROBATION are but few, and they are exceedingly precious, to be used in FORMING CHARACTER for HEAVEN and SECURING the ETERNAL REWARD, and in SAVING SINNERS. Oh, what a work – to be co-workers with Jesus Christ, to share His self-denial and sacrifice, to bear reproach for His dear name and finally receive from Him the “Well done, good and faithful servant”! The reward is rich and abundant. We deserve it not, but nevertheless, if faithful, the promise of EVERLASTING LIFE is to us. {Lt5-1874}
If you are much in the society of pleasure-lovers, those whose minds are cast in an inferior mold, who have dwarfed the intellect by dwelling too much upon dress and in overindulgence in pleasure, it will be a miracle if your mind does not gradually, and imperceptibly to yourself, sympathize with them, and your soul feel the barrenness occasioned by such associations. Intercourse with the free and careless pleasure-lovers will affect your life and character. Never be a co-worker with any class of levity, pleasure-seekers, in WASTING the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION which were given you and them for HIGHER, HOLIER PURPOSES. Your STUDY should be to EDUCATE YOURSELF, TRAIN the MIND, to bring into EXERCISE the POWERS which GOD has lent you to be EMPLOYED to HIS GLORY. {Lt5-1877}
. . . Cling to the Mighty One, hold fast to the promises. They will never, never fail. Bear your whole weight upon them and test them. Live in God. Our HOURS of PROBATION are short at best. Work in God, put self out of sight, but let Jesus appear as the chiefest among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. {Lt22-1877}
As Christians, we shall fail to accomplish the PURPOSES of GOD unless it is our firm purpose to do good, to live to bless others with our influence. Consider how many PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION have been wasted, and how many talents buried which should have been put out to the exchangers that when the Master comes He might receive His own with usury. {Lt31-1879}
“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge” – knowledge of the TRUTH as it is in Jesus, KNOWLEDGE of the GREAT PLAN of SALVATION. To be ignorant of GOD’S COMMANDMENTS and LAWS will not excuse a soul. He will not dare to plead around the throne of God, “I did not know the TRUTH. I was ignorant.” The Lord has given HIS WORD to be OUR GUIDE, OUR INSTRUCTOR, and with this heavenly enlightening there is no excuse for ignorance. Christ speaks of those who have eyes but see not, ears but they hear not. God has given them PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. He has given them HIS TRUTH. He has said plainly if they do HIS WILL, they shall KNOW of the DOCTRINE. Therefore, those that might be wise in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ but do not choose this wisdom will be banished from His presence when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened. {Ms13-1884}
God demands of us that we build a character that will stand the close test of the judgment. We will not have His protection in the time when the flood comes if at that time it is found that we have WASTED the HOURS of PROBATION granted us now to BUILD CHARACTERS for ETERNITY. For the CHARACTER which we now build is not only for time, but FOR ETERNITY. Those that are set forth in this parable as building on the sand are they that feel that they are all right. They come right up before the Lord and say, I have done this, I have done that. “Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” But this goes for nothing to the Lord. “Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity.” What is iniquity? Sin. And what is sin? Sin, says the beloved John, is the transgression of the law. Here is a class that are transgressing the law of God, and at the same time they come to Him, boasting of what they have done, expecting His favor. And it is this class that is here represented as building on the sand. They have erected a standard of their own. What is a perfect standard of character? The ONLY STANDARD ever given to man is the LAW of GOD, HIS HOLY COMMANDMENTS. If we have been building upon this rock, it will stand the test. If we have been erecting a standard of our own, and claim by that standard that we are perfect and that we have reached PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS and HOLINESS, we shall know in the DAY of GOD. No one will claim that he is perfect and holy, if he trembles before the EXALTED STANDARD of GOD. Is it safe to do this, and cast aside the immutable [law] of God, and then to claim to be holy? {Ms5-1885}
In 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 their defects, God expects them while connected with His work to be CONSTANTLY LEARNING and STUDYING how to COPY the PATTERN. {Lt34-1886}
“And He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a branch plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” JOSHUA here REPRESENTS the PEOPLE of GOD; and Satan pointing to their FILTHY GARMENTS claims them as his property over which he has a right to exercise his cruel power. But these very ones have IMPROVED the HOURS of PROBATION to CONFESS THEIR SINS with CONTRITION of SOUL and put them away, and Jesus has written pardon against their names. {Lt51-1886}
Now we are in the workshop of God, and the process is going on in these HOURS of PROBATION to fit us for the glorious temple. We cannot now be indifferent and negligent and careless and refuse to depart from sin, but we must be DYING to our DEFECTS of CHARACTER and expect to become PURE and HOLY and FASHIONED in CHARACTER after the similitude of a palace. When Christ shall come, it is then {Lt60-1886}
Christ identifies Himself with the persons of His saints. We have a HEAVEN to GAIN, and shall we obtain it? Shall we make the BEST USE of our TALENTS while the HOURS of PROBATION last? Shall we gather strength, and be where we can by our lives teach by precept and example? And shall we not walk before the world in such a way that the responsibility of their destruction shall not be charged to our account? Let all who profess the name of Christ scatter blessings by the way. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” {Ms26-1887}
Follow RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY. Do not let your course of action or instruction be such that your children will think that religion is of all things the most disagreeable. Angels are watching to see what spirit we manifest in the home circle. Shut out all prejudices and evil surmisings. A COMPLETE, HARMONIOUS, CHRISTIAN CHARACTER is to be developed and the BRIGHTEST, SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENTS REACHED HERE in our PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. But your characters may well be represented by a vine lying prone upon the earth, fastening its tendrils about rubbish and anything that it can grasp. You need to be converted. Let the SPIRIT of GOD come into your hearts and cut loose their tendrils and fasten them upon God. Then you will know what it is to have a HOLY, SANCTIFIED INDEPENDENCE STAID upon GOD. HE is PURE, and HE is HOLY. {Lt43-1888}
You are now in the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, and you may, by the grace given you, go on step by step, GROWING UP in the LIKENESS of CHRIST. You may and will become a PARTAKER of the DIVINE NATURE if you will do your part of the work. In the measure of man’s limited abilities, the POWERS can be PURE, HOLY, AND UNDEFILED. You can, through the GRACE of CHRIST, reproduce this TRUTH. And you will find in Christ Jesus, who is the Source of all power, a SUPPLY of GRACE for EVERY EMERGENCY. {Ms12-1888}
You do not correctly represent the TRUTH. If we are to be the INHABITANTS of a PURE, HOLY HEAVEN, where there is not one taint of impurity, we must be obtaining an experience in this line here, DURING the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. If your tastes and your habits are so unlike the PURE SOCIETY of HEAVENLY BEINGS, how can you expect to join that heavenly company? You cannot be excusable for being coarse and uncultured, with GOD’S WORD before you as your guide. You are required to OBEY EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the MOUTH of GOD. STUDY your BIBLE with REVERENTIAL AWE. {Lt18-1889}
When you assemble together, do not dishonor God by criticizing the worshippers and picking flaws in the characters of your brethren. Your work is between GOD and YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL SOUL. What are you thinking of, my brethren? There is work to do in the saving of souls around you, and precious time is passing. The HOURS of PROBATION will soon close. Is your work for the Master of that character that you will hear the “Well done, good and faithful servant”? Remember that every soul making efforts in the divine life finds every inch of ground disputed by an antagonistic force and [that] he must gird himself for the conflict by EARNEST PRAYER and fight the good fight of FAITH. He is called to “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” There is no strength to be invested in warring against each other. If individually we MAKE PROGRESS in SPIRITUALITY, the loins must be girt about with TRUTH, we must have on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, we must take the HELMET of SALVATION and the SWORD of the SPIRIT. Brethren, SEEK GOD. “Seek Him while He is to be found, call upon Him while He is near.” {Lt29-1889}
The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION were employed by these men in the gratification of perverted appetite and lust. What pain of heart I have when I behold men drinking until they lose all decency of speech, making themselves brutish with poisoned liquor. {Ms43-1891}
There are many whom the Lord of heaven is ashamed to call His brethren: yet, notwithstanding their base minds and offensive characters, they have the form of GODLINESS. If the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are spent by them in gratifying fleshly lusts, the offerings they present to God are polluted and will in no case be accepted. How are those earthly, sensual beings in any sense laborers together with God? Everything they touch is defiled by their impurity. {Lt19a-1892}
The man who gives way to folly in speaking passionate words bears false witness, for he is never just. He exaggerates every defect he thinks he sees; he is too blind and unreasonable to be convinced of his madness. He transgresses the COMMANDMENTS of GOD, and his imagination is perverted by the inspiration of Satan. He knows not what he is doing. Blind and deaf, he permits Satan to take the helm and guide him wherever he pleases. The door is then thrown open to malice, to envy, and to evil surmisings, and the poor victim is borne helplessly on, because passion has so long had sway that he is governed and controlled by an evil temper. But there is HOPE while the HOURS of PROBATION LINGER through the GRACE of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. {Lt38-1893}
. . . ETERNAL LIFE is worth a LIFELONG, PERSEVERING, UNTIRING EFFORT, and you both want to shine as lights in the world. You must have an experience in religious things, if you [will] have happiness in this life or in the future life. You can have this now in the HOURS of PROBATION. You have been in spiritual sickness, but the Lord would have you in SPIRITUAL HEALTH. {Lt93-1893}
Let none now venture to tamper with sin, the source of every misery that has come upon our world. No longer remain in a state of lethargy and stupid indifference. Let not the DESTINY of YOUR SOUL hang upon an uncertainty. Know for yourselves that you are FULLY on the LORD’S SIDE. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, “Who shall be able to stand?” Have you, in the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION mercifully granted you, been putting the very BEST MATERIAL into your CHARACTER-BUILDING? Have you been PURIFYING YOUR SOULS from every stain? Have you FOLLOWED the LIGHT? Have your WORKS corresponded to your PROFESSION of FAITH? {Ms100-1893}
For the return of this great, this matchless love, will you join the rebel leader to be an adversary of God? Now is your day, your hour, of grace. Mercy has long hovered as a guardian angel around you. Shall the angel depart? Shall your HOUR of PROBATION close? The Lord, your Father in heaven, has given the LIFE of HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON to DIE that your FAITH should center in Him and you should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE. {Lt116-1894}
The religion of Jesus Christ makes us better men and better women. It takes right hold of our youth and transforms them in character. Christ came to our world to reshape the deformed character of man. It was a very crooked character. God wants us to be His sons and His daughters. He wants us during the HOURS of PROBATION here to be fitting up with all these graces that He has presented, “according as His divine power hath given unto us all things.” Nothing is withheld that pertains unto LIFE and GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to GLORY and VIRTUE. Then the rich promise is that we shall be PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE. Why this means everything to us, to be a PARTAKER of the DIVINE NATURE. {Ms49-1894}
We are in the LAST PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, and are deciding our ETERNAL DESTINY by the COURSE of ACTIONS WE PURSUE. Those who take their stand in the ranks of those who are transgressors of God’s law, are making a perilous decision. By their deliberate choice, they show to the world, to the angels and to men, that they have little desire for spiritual and eternal realities. Christ clothed his divinity with humanity and came to our world that was all seared and marred with the curse in order to redeem men from the transgressions of the law of God. He came to bring to men MORAL POWER to endow them with the VIRTUE of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS in order that they might be ELEVATED in the SCALE of MORAL VALUE with GOD. Who then will return to their loyalty, who will be on the Lord’s side, FREELY and WILLINGLY CHOOSING to OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS? Who will show that they have an APPRECIATION of CHRIST’S HUMILIATION who stood as our SUBSTITUTE and SURETY and was recognized as such by God and the whole universe of heaven? He became a spectacle unto the world, to angels and to men, and shall we not follow in his footsteps, receiving him as our PERSONAL SAVIOUR? Shall we not consecrate every faculty to his service, and form a CHARACTER AFTER CHRIST’S LIKENESS, becoming OBEDIENT MEMBERS of the Lord’s family? {Ms105-1894}
WEARING the YOKE with CHRIST means to WORK in HIS LINES, to be a CO-PARTNER with HIM in HIS SUFFERINGS and TOILS for LOST HUMANITY. It means to be a WISE INSTRUCTOR of SOULS. We shall be what we are willing to be made by Christ in these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. We shall be the sort of a vessel that we allow ourselves to be molded into. We must UNITE WITH GOD in the molding and fashioning work, having our wills submitted to the DIVINE WILL. Christ has promised an inheritance to those who are thus submissive. He says, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” {Lt71-1895}
GOD gives the HOLY SPIRIT and supplies OPPORTUNITIES and PRIVILEGES. God has given MORAL SENSIBILITIES for the uplifting of the human agent. The Lord has given HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish by have EVERLASTING LIFE.” If we will work with God and Christ, being in every sense laborers together with God, we will not fight as one who beateth the air. Our MENTAL and SPIRITUAL POWERS must be called into action. Christ is the Light, the TRUTH, and the Way. Children, when I get upon this subject, I am overwhelmed with amazement at the marvelous love of God. We must appreciate and use every help offered, and then we will never fail nor be discouraged. CHRISTIAN DUTIES are to be FAITHFULLY DONE, and this gives the heavenly agencies channels through which they can work in these HOURS of PROBATION. God expects us to DEVELOP MORAL IMPROVEMENT. His grace is bestowed without limit, full and broad and deep. {Lt88a-1895}
Let no one think that he can trifle with the privileges that have been bought with the blood of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of the INFINITE GOD. We are responsible as SERVANTS of JESUS to be all that we may be by becoming DOERS of HIS WORDS. In the day of final account, we shall be judged by the standard of what we ought to have been, and what we ought to have done. God is speaking to the . . . church by His word, by the message which He is sending; and will anyone venture to say, as did Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” The Word of God will judge everyone. I present the fact to the . . . church that many of you have not walked in the light as Christ is in the light; you have not represented Christ to the world. What are you going to do about it? God has appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS. In these HOURS of PROBATION you are individually deciding your own destiny. We read that we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. {Ms3-1895}
Many know very little of God’s dealings with His people, but the most hopeless part of their experience is that they do not try to understand His dealings in these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. It is their privilege to know that His afflictions come for the object of purifying them from all evil. The LORD PERMITS TRIALS to come in order that we may LOOK to HIM as the SOURCE of our STRENGTH, and be CLEANSED FROM EARTHLINESS, from SELFISHNESS, from HARSHNESS, from SHARP UN-CHRISTLIKE TRAITS of CHARACTER. He suffers the DEEP WATERS of AFFLICTION to go over our souls, in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, in order that we may have deep heart-longings to be CLEANSED from DEFILEMENT and to come forth from the TRIAL PURER, HOLIER, and HAPPIER. We enter the furnace of trial with our souls darkened with selfishness, and, if PATIENT under the CRUCIAL TEST, we shall come forth REFLECTING the DIVINE CHARACTER. The Lord is able to deliver the godly out of temptation. {Ms38-1895}
In these HOURS of PROBATION, we are deciding our FUTURE ETERNAL DESTINY. We have opportunity furnished us to CULTIVATE EARNEST, REFINED PIETY, and UNRESERVED SELF-SACRIFICE, because nothing less than this will make us complete in the SIMILITUDE of CHRIST’S IMAGE, and constitute us the lights of the world. We are honored with the privilege of becoming CO-PARTNERS with Jesus Christ in the great firm of heaven, HEIRS of God and JOINT HEIRS with Jesus, anointed with the Anointed One, MINISTERS appointed to hold forth the WORD of LIFE for the salvation of a perishing world. We are to bind up all our interests with CHRIST’S INTERESTS. We are to unite with Him in order to obtain qualifications requisite for the fulfillment of our appointed mission. {Lt55-1896}
You enjoy associating with young people, and having a high time in lightness, cheap talk, jesting, and joking. This is to the detriment of the soul. It is a grief to your guardian angels to see the members of your mother’s family given to so much lightness and frivolity. During these HOURS of PROBATION, you and they are deciding your own destiny. All lightness, all trifling phrases, all vanity and cheapness of deportment, dishonor God. {Lt106a-1896}
The law of God is being trampled under foot; the blood of the covenant is being despised; and can we fold our hands and say we have nothing to do? Let us arouse! The battle is raging. TRUTH and error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors, for the TRUTH will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are closing. Let us make sure work for ETERNAL LIFE, that we may GLORIFY our HEAVENLY FATHER, and be the means of SAVING SOULS for whom Christ died. {Ms69-1896}
Be very sure that you are not, by precept and example, in any way placing yourself in the ranks of those who are transgressors of God’s law. You are deciding in these last PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION your own ETERNAL DESTINY. You are evidencing to the world, to angels, and to men your choice. With your family you are taking the very side that is your deliberate choice, and the decision you make in this important matter may be for eternity. You are evidencing to the world, to angels, and to men in just what measure you have decided to show your respect to spiritual and eternal realities. Christ would not have clothed His divinity with humanity and come to our world, all seared and marred with the curse, if it was not to redeem the world from transgression of the law of God. He came to bring MORAL POWER to man – the virtue of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS – that he might be elevated in the scale of moral value with God so that the Lord would accept the human family if they would return to their loyalty. {Ms69a-1896}
. . . We feel constrained by the Spirit of God to urge every one to dig deep, and lay their foundation sure, to teach, by precept and example, temperance in all things, to endow the hours with such a sanctity that it will be regarded as a sin to waste them. My heart goes out for the young men and women who waste so many precious minutes and hours in indolence and apathy. Every HOUR of PROBATION granted is God’s gift, to improve as He shall direct, that you may give back to God all His gifts with additions. {Lt60-1897}
This is to be an individual work. The talents returned are to be proportionate to the talents received. And bear in mind that the rewards of the future kingdom will be proportionate to the work done in the HOURS of PROBATION. “Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” {Lt79-1897}
Through disobedience Adam fell. The divine government had been dishonored, and justice demanded that the penalty of transgression be paid. To save the race from eternal death, the Son of God volunteered to bear the punishment of disobedience. Only by the humiliation of the Prince of heaven could the dishonor be removed, justice satisfied, and man restored to that which he had forfeited by disobedience. There was no other way. Christ, equal with God, “the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person,” clothed His divinity with humanity and came to this earth to suffer and die for man. For every one of the angels in heaven to have come to this earth to pass over the ground where Adam fell would not have sufficed. They could not have removed the stain of one sin nor brought to man one HOUR of PROBATION. {Lt6-1903}
I am thankful to the Lord, my brother, that He put it into your heart to give this money to His cause. The Lord will move upon the hearts of His people who have means, and they will give of their means to prepare the way for the publications containing the light of present TRUTH to be carried to the world. God will open ways whereby the gospel messages shall be given to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. In this great work we have a part to act. We must be wide-awake. We have no time to loiter. The terrible disasters that have recently taken place in different parts of America speak in solemn warning, saying, “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Time is golden. The HOURS of PROBATION are fast passing. We can not afford to be found sleeping on guard. {Lt110-1903}
It rests with you, young men and women, to decide whether you will become trustworthy and faithful, ready and resolute to take your stand for the right under all circumstances. Do you desire to form correct habits? Then seek the company of those who are sound in morals, and whose aim tends to that which is good. The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are granted that you may REMOVE EVERY DEFECT from the CHARACTER, and this you should seek to do, not only that you may obtain the future life, but that you may be useful in this life. A good character is a capital of more value than gold or silver. It is unaffected by panics or failures, and in that day when earthly possessions shall be swept away, it will bring rich returns. Integrity, firmness, and PERSEVERANCE are qualities that all should seek earnestly to cultivate; for they clothe the possessor with a power which is irresistible – a power which makes him STRONG to DO GOOD, strong to RESIST EVIL, strong to BEAR ADVERSITY. {CT 225.3}
Ministers should become BIBLE students. Are the truths which they handle mighty? Then they should seek to handle them skillfully. Their ideas should be clear and strong, and their spirits fervent, or they will weaken the force of the TRUTH which they handle. By tamely presenting the TRUTH, merely repeating the theory without being stirred by it themselves, they can never convert men. If they should live as long as did Noah, their efforts would be without effect. Their love for souls must be intense, and their zeal fervent. A listless, unfeeling manner of presenting the TRUTH will never arouse men and women from their deathlike slumber. They must show by their manners, by their acts and words, and by their preaching and praying, that they believe that Christ is at the door. Men and women are in the last HOURS of PROBATION, and yet are careless and stupid, and preachers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping ministers preaching to a sleeping people! {GW92 121.2}
The youth have their hearts filled with the love of self. This is manifested in their desire to see their faces daguerreotyped by the artist; and they are not satisfied with being once represented, but sit again and again for their picture, each time hoping that the last will excel all their previous efforts and appear really more beautiful than the original. Their Lord’s money is squandered in this way, and what is gained? Merely their poor shadow upon paper. The hours that should have been devoted to PRAYER are occupied upon their own poor selves; PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are thus wasted. {1T 500.2}
The young generally conduct themselves as though the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, while mercy lingers, were one grand holiday, and they were placed in this world merely for their own amusement, to be gratified with a continued round of excitement. Satan has been making special efforts to lead them to find happiness in worldly amusements and to justify themselves by endeavoring to show that these amusements are harmless, innocent, and even important for health. The impression has been given by some physicians that spirituality and devotion to God are detrimental to health. This suits the adversary of souls. There are persons with diseased imaginations who do not rightly represent the RELIGION of CHRIST; such have not the PURE RELIGION of the BIBLE. Some are scourging themselves all through life because of their sins; all they can see is an offended God of justice. Christ and His redeeming power through the merits of His blood they fail to see. Such have not faith. This class are generally those who have not well-balanced minds. Through disease transmitted to them from their parents, and an erroneous education in youth, they have contracted wrong habits which injure the constitution and the brain, causing the moral organs to become diseased and making it impossible for them to think and act rationally upon all points. They have not well-balanced minds. GODLINESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS are not destructive to health, but are HEALTH to the BODY and STRENGTH to the SOUL. Says Peter: “He that will love life, and see good days, …let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it: for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” {1T 501.2}
Cease all contention, and try to be a peacemaker. Love not in word, but in deed and in TRUTH. Your works are to bear the inspection of the judgment. Will you deal truly with your own soul? Do not deceive yourself. Oh, remember that God is not mocked! Those who possess EVERLASTING LIFE will have all they can do to set their houses in order. They must commence at their own hearts and follow up the work until victories, earnest victories, are gained. Self must die, and Christ must live in you and be in you a well of water springing up into EVERLASTING LIFE. You now have PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION granted you to form a right character even at your advanced age. You now have a period allotted you in which to redeem the time. You cannot in your own strength put away your errors and wrongs; they have been increasing upon you for years, because you have not seen them in their hideousness and in the strength of God resolutely put them away. By LIVING FAITH you must lay hold on an arm that is mighty to save. HUMBLE your poor, proud, self-righteous heart before God; get low, very low, all broken in your sinfulness at His feet. Devote yourself to the work of preparation. Rest not until you can truly say: My Redeemer liveth, and, because He lives, I shall live also. {2T 88.1}
GOD’S SPIRIT is striving with this entire family. He will save them if they are willing to be saved in His appointed way. Now is the HOUR of PROBATION. Now is the DAY of SALVATION. Now, now, is God’s time. In Christ’s stead we beseech them to become RECONCILED to GOD while they may, and in humility, with fear and trembling, work out their salvation. I was shown that it was the work of Satan to keep the church in a state of insensibility, that the youth may be secured in his own ranks. I saw that the youth were susceptible of the influence of the TRUTH. If the parents would consecrate themselves to God and labor with interest for the conversion of their children, God would reveal Himself to them and magnify His name among them. {2T 102.1}
I was shown that Brother V should seek for more spirituality. You do not possess that CALM TRUST in God which He requires you to have. You do not train the mind to run in the channel of spirituality. You indulge in too much vain, unnecessary talk, which injures your own soul and injures your influence. You must encourage CALMNESS and FORTITUDE of MIND. You are easily excited; you have strong feelings, and express in strong terms your likes and dislikes. You need more good religion to have a soothing influence upon you. You have been invited to learn of Christ, who is meek and lowly of heart. Precious lesson! If well learned, it will transform the whole life. Lightness and cheap talk are injurious to your spiritual advancement. You should SEEK after PERFECTION of CHARACTER and let your influence tell for God in your WORDS and ACTS. You need to earnestly seek the Lord and to take a deeper draught at the FOUNTAIN of TRUTH, that its influence may SANCTIFY your LIFE. Your mind is too much on the world. You should have your interest in the better life than this. You have no time to lose; make haste and improve the few HOURS of PROBATION. {2T 188.1}
Never was there greater need of earnest, self-sacrificing labor in the cause of Christ than now, when the HOURS of PROBATION are fast closing and the LAST MESSAGE of MERCY is to be given to the world. My soul is stirred within me as the Macedonian cry comes from every direction, from the cities and villages of our own land, from across the Atlantic and the broad Pacific, and from the islands of the sea: “Come over, . . . and help us.” Brethren and sisters, will you answer the cry? saying: “We will do our best, both in sending you missionaries and money. We will deny ourselves in the embellishment of our houses, in the adornment of our persons, and in the gratification of appetite. We will give the means entrusted to us into the cause of God, and we will devote ourselves also unreservedly to His work.” The wants of the cause are laid before us; the empty treasuries appeal to us most pathetically for help. One dollar now is of more value to the work than ten dollars will be at some future period. {5T 732.1}
Some Sabbath-keepers so earnestly desire to have friendship with the world, that they mangle their feelings and make wretched work of following Christ. They desire the approval of God and the friendship of the world too. Such, I saw, would certainly lose heaven. They do not enjoy this world, therefore they lose both. In these HOURS of PROBATION all can choose life if they will. Their fruits will show their choice. For a LIFE of HUMBLE OBEDIENCE here, God will grant the rich reward hereafter. He will accept of nothing but ENTIRE CONSECRATION. A dreadful deception is upon many minds, even of Sabbath-keepers. They have neglected to cherish and follow the light God has given them, and have been left completely deceived. Please read Matthew 7:21-23. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” {RH, November 26, 1861 par. 7}
The HOUR of PROBATION is fast passing; the cup of God’s indignation is fast filling. Will those who profess to be waiting for the appearing of their Lord from heaven be found wanting in that day, or will they awake from their carnal security, repent of their indifference and hardness of heart, and in this their day give most diligent heed to the things which belong to their peace? Must the fast westering sun of merciful probation set, and the sentence be pronounced, “but now they are hid from thine eyes”? {RH, July 10, 1879 par. 17}
Many of the youth have their hearts filled with love of self, which is manifested in the desire to see their faces portrayed by the artist; and they will not be satisfied with being once represented, but will sit again and again for their picture, hoping to appear more beautiful than they really are. Their Lord’s money is squandered in this way, and what is gained? Merely their poor shadow upon paper. Hours that should be spent in PRAYER are devoted to their own poor selves, – PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are thus wasted. The adversary of souls is gratified to have the attention of youth diverted from the right object, so that he may steal a march upon them, and ensnare them in his devices. They are not aware that the great Heavenly Artist is taking cognizance of every act, every word; and that even the thoughts and intents of the heart are faithfully recorded. Oh that the young might realize that every defect in the moral character is not only revealed to the gaze of the pure and sinless angels, but that they themselves will have the faithful picture presented to them in all its deformity at the execution of the Judgment. Those vain, frivolous words are all written in the book. Those selfish acts, the motives of which may be concealed from human eyes, are discerned by the ALL-SEEING EYE of JEHOVAH, and are written in living characters. {RH, March 11, 1880 par. 7}
Will the followers of Christ seek to obtain the inward adorning, the MEEK and QUIET SPIRIT which God pronounces of great price, or will they squander the few short HOURS of PROBATION in needless labor for display? The Lord would have woman seek constantly to improve both in mind and heart, gaining intellectual and moral strength that she may lead a useful and happy life, – a blessing to the world and an honor to her Creator. {RH, December 6, 1881 par. 7}
The path to freedom from sin is through crucifixion of self, and conflict with the powers of darkness. Let none be discouraged in view of the severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob’s trouble, which is yet before them. They are to work earnestly, anxiously, not for that time, but for today. What we want is to have a KNOWLEDGE of the TRUTH as it is in Christ now, and a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE now. In these PRECIOUS CLOSING HOURS of PROBATION, we have a deep and living experience to gain. We shall thus form characters that will insure our deliverance in the time of trouble. {RH, August 12, 1884 par. 10}
Men in Colorado may be interested in mines which yield rich profit in silver and gold. They may devote a lifetime to securing earthly treasures; but they die, and leave it all behind. They cannot take one dollar with them to enrich them in the great beyond. Are these men wise? Are they not insane, to let the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION pass without making a preparation for the future life? Those who are wise will lay up a “treasure in the heavens, that faileth not,” – “a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on ETERNAL LIFE.” If we would secure enduring riches, let us begin now to transfer our treasure to the other side, and our hearts will be where our treasure is. {RH, October 7, 1884 par. 14}
Jesus wept over impenitent Jerusalem, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now are they hid from thine eyes.” It was an INFINITE BLESSING that was granted to the world in the presence of Jesus, in his life of benevolence, his teachings, and his example; but how little appreciation was manifested on the part of those he came to save. The labors of his embassadors will be no more highly appreciated by the men of this generation. The TRUTHS taught in the INSPIRED WORD will be regarded by them as idle tales. Our hearts may go out in yearning love for souls ensnared through the deceitfulness of sin; we may warn and entreat; but we cannot make them obey; we can only PRAY and WAIT. But how fearful is the risk they are running! The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are passing, and the little time remaining should be treasured as grains of gold. {RH, January 13, 1885 par. 9}
Not one of us can afford to dishonor God by living in transgression of his law. To NEGLECT the BIBLE and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a LOSS which is BEYOND ESTIMATE. Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honor and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches. They might have had that life which measures with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity. None who have had the LIGHT of TRUTH will enter the city of God as commandment-breakers. His law lies at the foundation of his government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised his law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The CHARACTER BUILDING is to go on during the HOURS of PROBATION. Day by day their actions are registered in the BOOKS of HEAVEN, and they will, in the great DAY of GOD, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. “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.” {RH, August 25, 1885 par. 5}
The Lord understands all about your TRIALS; and however impossible it may seem to LIVE for GOD, you will find that the way will appear. When your FAITH has been TESTED, as the Lord opened the Red Sea, so the waters will divide, and his providence will make a path for your feet. It is safe to serve God. It may not be to your worldly advantage to keep God’s ways; but the transgressor will be at an eternal loss. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of RIGHTEOUSNESS arise with healing in his wings.” We must WALK CAREFULLY and HUMBLY before the Lord in these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. We must DRAW CLOSE to JESUS till his light is shed upon us. It is the desire of our Saviour that we should be the light of the world, reflecting every ray that shines upon us. What straight paths should we make for our feet, so that the lame may not be turned out of the way! This is an age of light. The Lord of heaven is sending the rays of light into the homes of the world. A special light is shining upon the COMMANDMENTS of GOD. The door of the MOST HOLY PLACE of the heavenly Sanctuary stands ajar, and within, as in the MOST HOLY PLACE of the ancient sanctuary, is the ARK of the TESTIMONY. The LAW of the MOST HIGH is beneath the mercy-seat. The light of this LAW is shining upon the world, penetrating the moral darkness that has covered the people. {RH, January 31, 1888 par. 11}
We have a sacred message to bear to the world. The THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE is not a theory of man’s inventing, a speculation of the imagination; but it is the SOLEMN TRUTH of God for these last days. It is the final warning to the perishing souls of men. It is not a system of TRUTH simply to gratify and please the intellect; it means diligent and sacrificing labor to all who accept its holy teaching. The COMMANDMENTS of GOD and the TESTIMONY of JESUS must be brought to the attention of the world. The tidings of the coming of the Saviour must be proclaimed. The Judgment scenes must be portrayed before the unenlightened minds of men, and hearts must be aroused to realize the solemnity of the closing HOURS of PROBATION, and prepare to meet their God. {RH, March 13, 1888 par. 1}
How many feel as did the servant with the one talent, that the Lord is an austere man, reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewn. This view of the matter is a delusion of the wicked one; for what have we that we did not receive? “All things come of Thee, and of thine own have we given Thee,” should be the language of our grateful hearts. Those who are engrossed in the service of self and the world, feel a spirit of grudging when they are urged to devote their service to the God of love. They give to the world their best thought, their tact, their talents, their means, their influence. When self is served, they do not withhold anything, but give their lives for the passing pleasures of earth. But when it comes to the service of God, do men manifest the same zeal for his work as they formerly manifested in the service of the world? Do they put the tact and talent and aptness into the work of saving souls, that they displayed in the selfish work of the past, and yet does not reason tell us that the work for God is as far above the service of the world, as the heaven is higher than the earth? God would have every one of us feel that now is the time of golden opportunity and privilege. Heaven’s blessings are showered upon us. The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are still prolonged. The Lord has waited long for us to prepare for the eternal world. We must SEEK the SPIRIT of CHRIST who gave himself for us. We must go out and seek to win others, as he has won us. Every word you speak, every action you perform, has an influence for good or evil upon those who associate with you; and, oh! how necessary it is that you have Christ dwelling in your heart by faith, that your words may be words of life, and your works, the works of love. The WORDS and DEEDS of the Christian are ordained to form a part of the great plan that God has devised for the salvation of lost man. The Lord has directed the world to his professed followers, and he has declared, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If we would work from the high standpoint of pleasing our HEAVENLY FATHER, we would be in harmony with the spirit of heaven; we would express to the world the love of Jesus in our lives and characters. {RH, June 12, 1888 par. 7}
If men and women and youth could only realize the part that it is their privilege to act in connection with Jesus Christ, they would make far greater effort than they are making now. God forbid that any who are made partakers of the mercy and the grace of Christ, should devote their thoughts and their energies to serving themselves in these precious golden HOURS of PROBATION. What answer can you give to the Master when he shall call for an account of your stewardship, if you have not been the means of saving souls for Jesus Christ? If your tithes and offerings, and even yourselves, have been withheld from his service; if the precious talents intrusted to your stewardship, either in property, in physical strength, in mental ability, or in all united, are not wisely improved; if they are turned to selfish gratification, you imperil your soul, and dishonor God, your Creator. {RH, December 11, 1888 par. 6}
We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is rapidly fulfilling. The HOURS of PROBATION are fast passing. We have no time – not a moment – to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent, and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation; for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields. They will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the FORGOTTEN TRUTHS of the BIBLE. They will find those who will accept the TRUTH, and who will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ. {RH, July 14, 1903 par. 19}
As these thoughts were dwelt upon before the great congregation Sabbath morning, my heart was moved with an intense desire that not one soul in that vast assembly should fail of appropriating the rich promises of the gospel. I appealed to the parents to unite with their children in making sure work for eternity. In these closing HOURS of PROBATION, none can afford to be listless or half-hearted. A world is to be warned. To every Christian God has given some work to do for the saving of souls. O that every one who claims to be a follower of Jesus, would labor as the Saviour labored for mankind! This would bring untold blessing both to the laborers and to those whom they would be able to lead to the foot of the cross. {RH, October 4, 1906 par. 11}
There are only two roads; one leads to heaven, the other to death and hell. Every one has a work to do. Every one of us, that have reasoning powers, knows that there is a God. As we look at the heavens above, upon the earth beneath with its stately trees, shrubs and every opening bud and blooming flower we know there is a God, a Creator. The glories of the moon and stars in the firmament, the clouds tinted with gold and silver, and the heavens spanned with the beautiful rainbow, speak to us of the goodness, mercy and love of God. All these things are evidences of his care for us. He loves us, oh! so dearly. That love is incomprehensible. It is as high as the heavens, and as broad as the world. A love that is immeasurable. This love that we can trace in every cloud, in every tree, shrub, and vernal branch, in everything our eyes behold, is seeking a place in our hearts. God is love; and oh! what love he has revealed to us in giving his Son to die for us. How can we be indifferent to the claims God has upon us? How can we devote our GOD-GIVEN TIME, the HOURS of PROBATION granted us here in which to PREPARE for a HIGHER and IMMORTAL LIFE, to thinking of ourselves, of our appearance, in allowing pride to take possession of our hearts when we consider the INFINITE PRICE that has been PAID for our REDEMPTION? {ST, January 31, 1878 par. 8}
We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us. It is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present TRUTH, and that we are preparing for the Judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who is to appear in the clouds of heaven with the holy retinue of angels, to escort Him on his way, to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When he comes he is not to cleanse us of our sins. He is not then to remove from us the defects in our characters. He will not then cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. He will not do this work then. Before that time this work will all be accomplished, if wrought for us at all. Then those who are holy will be holy still. They are not to be made holy when the Lord comes. THOSE WHO HAVE PRESERVED THEIR BODIES, and THEIR SPIRITS, in HOLINESS, and in SANCTIFICATION, and HONOR, will then RECEIVE the FINISHING TOUCH OF IMMORTALITY. And when he comes, those who are unjust, and unsanctified, and filthy, will remain so forever. There is then no work to be done for them which shall remove their defects, and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue his refining process, and remove their sins, and their corruption. This is all to be done in these HOURS of PROBATION. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us. {ST, September 18, 1879 par. 5}
The spiritual welfare of the young is a subject in which all should feel a deep interest. Now, in the closing HOURS of PROBATION, they should be obtaining an experience in the things of God. They need to be DAILY BUILDING UP a FIRM, PURE, SYMMETRICAL CHARACTER, one that God can approve, or Satan will take advantage of their weakness to ruin them, and they will fall an easy prey to his temptations. For every young man who lacks FAITH and CONSECRATION, and is weak in MORAL POWER, Satan has temptations prepared. Perhaps there is a pleasing associate, who, like himself, thinks it manly to be entirely unconcerned in regard to his soul’s salvation, and they strengthen each other in a wrong course. {ST, September 11, 1884 par. 1}
Let us change our course of action. GOD’S STANDARD must be OUR STANDARD, or we shall fail of EVERLASTING LIFE. We are still in the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, “and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.” He worked out the wonderful plan of redemption, and united fallen and finite man with the HOLY and INFINITE GOD. The world that Satan had claimed and ruled over with cruel tyranny, the Son of God, by one vast achievement, encircled in his love, and connected again with the THRONE of JEHOVAH. Cherubim and seraphim, and the unnumbered hosts of Heaven, sang anthems of praise to God and to the Lamb, when this triumph was assured. The worlds rejoiced that the way of salvation had been opened for rebellious man, and that earth would be redeemed from the curse of sin; and shall we, who are the objects of his unmerited favor, be unappreciative of the love of God? How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? {ST, March 9, 1888 par. 14}
I would urge upon fathers and mothers the importance of their home missionary work. The PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION are fast passing. Parents must be changed, children must be changed, in heart and character here in this life, or they will never be permitted to enter Heaven. It should be your very first burden to see that your own souls are right before God, and to labor for the salvation of your children. Every member of the family should be the subject of special, wisely-directed effort, that the enemy of Christ may not have possession of the heart, and control the character. {ST, May 4, 1888 par. 3}
With correct views of Jesus, we cannot allow our affections to be placed upon earth and earthly things, but we shall center them upon HEAVEN and HEAVENLY THINGS. The HOURS of PROBATION that are granted us here, are VERY PRECIOUS HOURS; and we are to take heed unto ourselves, lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and the DAY of GOD come upon us unawares. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we shall ever keep in view the fact that he is soon coming; and when we consider the INFINITE SACRIFICE that has been made in our behalf, we shall have respect unto the recompense of reward. {ST, October 28, 1889 par. 4}
The children of God profess to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth, seeking a better country. It is not for them to set their affections on things below. They are not to conform to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. They are to learn daily in the school of Christ, so profiting by the lessons of the divine Teacher that they shall be able to serve God better and better, better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today. This is the HOUR of PROBATION, when opportunity is given us to PERFECT such CHARACTERS as will fit us for a place in the mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love him. In order to PERFECT CHRISTIAN CHARACTER, we must dwell upon the PERFECTION of CHRIST, and as we behold his matchless charms, we shall desire to be like him, and become changed, reflecting more and more of HIS SPIRIT of LOVE. {ST, January 26, 1891 par. 7}
It is for our well-being, for our eternal interest, to heed the words of Christ, “Abide in me, and I in you.” This work is mutual. You must CHOOSE to abide in Christ, and then Christ will choose to abide in you. The soul must feel its dependence on Christ, and that only in entire dependence can we receive strength to work the works of Christ. All who have lived to themselves, self-centered, should know that they are not abiding in Christ, and that Christ is not abiding in them. Let these souls, so full of self and self-esteem, determine now, in these last HOURS of PROBATION, that they will take Christ as all and in all, and then in and through him they may exclaim, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” {ST, December 21, 1891 par. 6}
“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” It is those that have done good who will come forth to the RESURRECTION of LIFE. The question of most importance to us is, How can we do good? The greatest good that we can do is to HELP ONE ANOTHER to become EARNEST FOLLOWERS of CHRIST, and in the DAY of GOD we shall be able to render no excuse for not doing good to those around us. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, and the Lord Jesus Christ has provided means by which we may fulfill the conditions upon which we may obtain ETERNAL LIFE. We cannot do evil, and work wickedness, and yet stand justified before God at last. Now is our DAY of PROBATION, and we are now to PERFECT CHARACTERS that will stand the TEST of the JUDGMENT. When Christ comes, there is to be no change of character; this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption; and those who are alive and remain upon the earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, if their characters are blameless and pure. TRANSFORMATION of CHARACTER must take place during the PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION. {ST, August 29, 1892 par. 1}
But Christ PLEDGED HIS OWN LIFE in order that the transgressor might be spared, that man might have ANOTHER TRIAL. He would himself stand in man’s place; he would clothe himself in the garb of humanity, and live the life of man from the very beginning. He would pass through the stages of infancy, childhood, youth, and manhood, that he might show man how to live, how to employ his HOURS of PROBATION. {ST, July 22, 1897 par. 6}
LIFE is TOO SHORT, the HOURS of PROBATION too PRECIOUS, for us to make a MISTAKE in our RELIGIOUS LIFE. Earnest men and women, filled with COURAGE and DEVOTION, are needed in the Master’s service. The call comes to us, “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As we obey this command, the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT will come upon mind and body, bringing us into conformity to the WILL of CHRIST, and renewing us in His likeness. The HEREDITARY and CULTIVATED TENDENCIES to wrong will die, and Christ will be formed within, the hope of glory. It will be seen that we are indeed FOLLOWERS of CHRIST. {ST, June 21, 1905 par. 5}
SELF-DENIAL is one of the conditions not only of admission into the service of Christ, but of continuance therein. Christ himself declared, in unmistakable language, the conditions of discipleship: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Yet how often, even in the case of those who call themselves Christians, the love for some pernicious indulgence is stronger than the desire for a sound mind in a sound body. Precious HOURS of PROBATION are spent, God-given means squandered, to please the eye or to gratify the appetite. Custom holds thousands in bondage to the earthly and the sensual. Many are willing captives; they desire no better portion. {SW, October 20, 1908 par. 3}
Dear Young Friends: – How are you spending your precious moments? Are you filling up the HOURS of PROBATION, that God has allotted you here, in STUDYING HIS WORD, to learn how you can best show yourselves approved unto him? Or is your mind, which should be turned to SERVE the LORD PERFECTLY, and KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, occupied by reading exciting stories and idle tales? Are not the golden moments which God has given you to prepare for heaven, misspent and abused, while you are filling your mind with worthless stories, which will not tend to make you holy and pure like your Saviour; but serve to corrupt your mind and fill it with pride, vanity and selfishness. {YI, January 1, 1854 par. 1}
Mercy’s sweet call is now sounding; but it will soon die away. PROBATION’S HOUR will soon be ended. The SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will fall, and then those who have chosen the pleasures of the world and rebelled against God, will cry for mercy when there will be none to answer their prayers. But a voice will be heard, – “Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” And as they realize that they have no shelter from the dreadful storm of God’s wrath, they will plead for one little HOUR of PROBATION that they may again hear the sweet voice, inviting “every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” It will then fall upon the ear, in that dreadful hour. “Too late! too late!” “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh.” {YI, January 1, 1854 par. 5}
Now in these HOURS of PROBATION I hope that our youth will receive the TRUTH in the heart, that they may be SANCTIFIED through it. The more you KNOW of the LIFE, TEACHINGS, and CHARACTER of JESUS, the more you will LOVE HIM. The better you understand the SELF-DENIAL and SELF-SACRIFICE of CHRIST in behalf of fallen man, the more in earnest you will be to identify yourself and all your interests with Jesus Christ. Every excuse to do otherwise than this is a device of the enemy. Do not rest satisfied unless your heart is drawn out after Christ more and more. If you will READ the SCRIPTURES, and try to understand the utterances of God, that you may OBEY HIS WILL, you will have divine enlightenment. Then you will want to TELL OTHERS of this love that animates your soul; and the more your conversation is upon CHRIST and HIS LIFE of SELF-DENIAL and SELF-SACRIFICE, the more you will have of the LIGHT and LOVE of JESUS to talk about. You will have a FRESH and LIVING EXPERIENCE DAILY, which you cannot keep shut up to yourself. You will feel the deepest grief to see others neglect this great salvation. {YI, August 18, 1886 par. 5}
Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are PROBATIONERS here, on TEST and TRIAL, and that everything is at stake, to be LOST or WON. Individually we are daily deciding our own destiny either for ETERNAL LIFE or ETERNAL DEATH. If we would have ETERNAL LIFE, we must cooperate with God, and thus reach the BIBLE STANDARD, conforming our characters to the CHARACTER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. All the heavenly intelligences are interested in the great strife that is going on, and angels long to have us earnestly seek for the crown of immortal glory. Let every soul STRIVE most zealously during these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, to form the very CHARACTER that he would wish to have COMPLETED and PERFECTED when our LORD COMES in power and great glory. {YI, September 7, 1893 par. 1}
We are now living in a most perilous time, and not one of us should be tardy in seeking a PREPARATION for the coming of Christ. Let none follow the example of the foolish virgins, and think that it will be safe to wait until the crisis comes before gaining a PREPARATION of CHARACTER to stand in that time. It will be too late to SEEK for the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST when the guests are called in and examined. Now is the time to put on the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST, – the wedding garment that will fit you to enter into the MARRIAGE SUPPER of the LAMB. In the parable, the foolish virgins are represented as begging for oil, and failing to receive it at their request. This is symbolic of those who have not prepared themselves by developing a character to stand in a time of crisis. It is as if they should go to their neighbors and say, Give me your character, or I shall be lost. Those that were wise could not impart their oil to the flickering lamps of the foolish virgins. CHARACTER is NOT TRANSFERABLE. It is not to be bought or sold; it is to be ACQUIRED. The Lord has given to every individual an opportunity to OBTAIN a RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER through the HOURS of PROBATION; but he has not provided a way by which one human agent may impart to another the character which he has developed by going through hard experiences, by learning lessons from the great Teacher, so that he can manifest patience under trial, and exercise faith so that he can remove mountains of impossibility. It is impossible to impart the fragrance of love, – to give to another gentleness, tact, and perseverance. It is impossible for one human heart to pour into another the love of God and humanity. {YI, January 16, 1896 par. 2}
As the children of God, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are here on TRIAL, and that we are ourselves DECIDING OUR OWN DESTINY, for EVERLASTING HAPPINESS or for eternal death. We have EVERYTHING to GAIN or to lose. We each have a work before us. We must CO-OPERATE with GOD in REACHING the BIBLE STANDARD, in CONFORMING to HIS WILL. In these PRECIOUS HOURS of PROBATION, God desires that we shall form such characters as we shall wish we had perfected, when Christ shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation. {YI, January 28, 1897 par. 1}