Greetings MOL Family!
Sadly, we have come to the final class of our study on God’s beautiful way! But, we praise the Lord that every lesson of Christ’s is beautiful; as we understand the beauty of His plan… All of these a reflection and glimpse of – the beauty of the MAN!
In Ecclesiastes, the wise man says:
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. – Ecclesiastes 11:7
Is light sweet to you? Well, dear friends, if it is, take it to your heart and rejoice in it. Never fight off the rays of light. Never duck the head and close the eyes. You remember those priests in Ezekiel 22:26? God says, they have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths. Is there light in the Sabbath question? Yes, for those who will open their eyes to see it. And so with every other beautiful truth in the beautiful way. Oh, that God may help us to have open eyes that say, “Truly the light is sweet.”
This principle of dawning light – of following light as it comes to us, not worrying about the things that are not clear, but proceeding with what is clear and then believing that God will help us see tomorrow’s duties when tomorrow comes – that same principle of gradual progress applies very definitely to our efforts to help others. This is so important in teaching all of God’s truth, whether regarding the Sabbath or tithe-paying or any of our doctrines or any of these precious standards and reforms. Notice how the principle is applied here in this book Counsels on Diet and Foods:
The Lord desires every minister, every physician, every church member…
That takes us all in doesn’t it? What does He want every one of us to do?
… to be careful not to urge those who are ignorant of our faith to make sudden changes in diet, thus bringing them to a premature test. – Counsels on Diet and Foods, pg. 465
Did you ever see a premature baby? It is a wonderful thing, isn’t it, to get a baby born early? Well, is it sometimes not so wonderful, dear friends? I am reminded of another illustration that I heard about. A little girl ran into the kitchen; she had been outside. She said, “Oh, mommy, I have been out in the garden helping God.” “Why,” she said, “What do you mean, darling, helping God?” “Oh,” she said, “Some of the buds weren’t open and I flowered them.”
She was helping God, all right. Did you ever get tempted to do some of that? Here is a beautiful bud. But, oh, how we are tempted sometimes to get into the inner workings of the mind and soul and open people up.
What shall we do, then? The next sentence tells us:
“Hold up the principles of health reform, and let the Lord lead the honest in heart.” – Counsels on Diet and Foods, pg. 465
Oh, how beautiful is the beautiful way!
They will hear and believe. The Lord does not require His messengers to present the beautiful truths of health reform in a way that will prejudice the minds of others. Let no one place stumbling blocks before those who are walking in the dark paths of ignorance. Even in praising a good thing, it is well not to be too enthusiastic, lest you turn out of the way those who come to hear. Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form. – Counsels on Diet and Foods, pg. 465
Oh, what a paragraph! What do you say, friends? What does it all mean? Just what we are studying:
‘His going forth is prepared as the morning.’ Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth … waking the world. … So did the Sun of Righteousness arise, ‘with healing in His wings’. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 32
Oh, I want to be like that. What do you say?
We must not move presumptuously. The laborers who enter new territory to raise up churches must not create difficulties by attempting to make prominent the question of diet. They should be careful not to draw the lines too closely. – Counsels on Diet and Foods, pg. 465
Now notice, this is on other people. You can draw them close on yourself, if you keep within what the Lord says. But be careful when you deal with other people, not to draw the lines too closely:
Do not drive the people. Lead them. Preach the word as it is in Christ Jesus. – Counsels on Diet and Foods, pg. 465
Now, how did Jesus do this? Here is a beautiful statement from the book Evangelism:
Satan is constantly seeking to produce effects by rude and violent thrusts; but Jesus found access to minds by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He disturbed as little as possible their accustomed train of thought, by abrupt actions or prescribed rules. – Evangelism, pg. 140
Think of it, friends, when Jesus came into a family, He didn’t upset everything. He didn’t put everybody on a tension. He didn’t turn the house upside down, even if it needed it; He studied. Jesus, the Master Teacher, studied to disturb as little as possible their accustomed train of thought. Can we improve on His methods? No, but we can improve on our own by following His, can’t we?
Now, watch, that doesn’t mean He didn’t do anything. Oh, no, friends. Every home He visited was left brighter for His presence. Is that right? Every person that talked with Him was inspired to do something to be more like Him.
Do you know what the most important step in the beautiful way is? It is your next step. Do you know what the most important step in the pathway of the person you are trying to help is? His next step. For unless he takes that, he will never be able to take any of the others. Is that right? There is no skipping steps in this pathway.
There is no jumping from 1st to 4th grade. Every step must be taken. Therefore, pray for grace to make it as clear as possible and as desirable as possible. Oh, that God may teach us this beautiful lesson. What do you say, friends?
This is the dawning light. This is indeed the beautiful way. John 13:17, Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples. It is The Last Supper. If you were studying with people for the last time before you died, could you say what Jesus said? Read it with me:
Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. – John 13:7
Could you say, “There are some things that you don’t understand yet, that you will understand later”? That is what Jesus told them. Again, in the 16th chapter, this is to the same group, the same occasion:
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. – John 16:12
Oh, friends, Christ’s love is revealed not only in what He said, but in what He left unsaid – not only in the subjects he presented, but the ones that He kept back, held back. His going forth is prepared (nothing haphazard about it), and it is prepared as the morning. Thank God, friends, for the glorious promise of eternal day into which we are entering:
Beyond the war clouds, and the reddened ways, I see the promise of the coming days; I see His Son arise, new charged with grace, Earth’s tears to dry, and all her woes efface.
Christ lives, Christ loves, Christ rules. No more shall might. Though leagued with all the forces of the night. Ride over right.
No more shall wrong. The world’s gross agonies prolong. Who wait His time shall surely see. The triumph of His constancy; When without lead or bar or stay, The coming of His perfect day. Shall sweep the powers of night away.
And faith re-plumed for nobler flight. And hope aglow with radiance bright. And love, in loveliness bedight. Shall greet the morning light.
Now turn to 1 John 1:7, and I want you to see that this beautiful truth, this beautiful lesson, this beautiful experience, is the basis of the sweetest thing on earth or in Heaven – and that is fellowship:
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7
This is the basis of fellowship. If you are walking in the light, you have fellowship with Jesus. His blood cleanses you from every sin. And if you are walking in the light, you have fellowship with every other brother and sister that is walking in the light. And you don’t have to inquire just where they are in this progress. If they are walking in the light and you are walking in the light, you have fellowship. There is something in your heart that answers to the joy in their heart, and there is something in their heart that answers to the peace in your heart.
Now, there is a substitute for all that, dear friends. You will find the story of it over there in the book of Judges. There were some men of the tribe of Ephraim; they got into fighting with some of the other tribes, and a war developed. And during the war, as refugees were fleeing across, one of the armies took the pass, the ford.
And as the different people would come through, they said, “What are you?” “Oh, I am so and so.” “What are you?” “I am so and so.” But the people of the tribe of Ephraim knew that if they were caught there, they would get killed, because they were the enemy. And those who were guarding the passes, no matter what that fellow would say, he didn’t belong to the tribe of Ephraim. If they were suspicious, they said, “Say Shibboleth.” And if he belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, you know what he said? “Sibboleth.” The Bible says, he couldn’t frame to pronounce it right. And so they would kill him. Just over one sound, you understand.
And there are souls, God pity them, that one of the first things they want to know is (and I could name a list of various things), “Have you quit milk and eggs yet? Well, if you have, you and I have fellowship. But if you haven’t, I want to get out my references and my books and start to work on you.”
And I could go on with a long list of things in doctrines or diet or dress or education or, you know, a long list of things. And my dear friends, every ray of light is precious. There is a time for all things. Oh, let us ask Jesus to help us walk in the light we have, and let others do the same. What do you say?
In the “Review and Herald” of January 18, 1962, one of the editors of the Review, dear Elder Cottrell, writes an editorial on “A More Excellent Way.” He says, from time to time, people write the editors of the Review, wanting to know what “the official position of the church” on various things is; such as wedding rings, certain styles of dress, the use of flesh foods, and so forth. And then he presents the fact that the church gives us minimum standards, not maximum. The standards for baptism, for admission in the church, are not the end of the Christian life; they mark the beginning of church membership, and we are to go on from there. He says:
“Beyond the minimum requirements there is infinite opportunity for the perfection of a character in harmony with His infinite purpose for us.” – Elder Cottrell, Review and Herald, January 18, 1962
We thank you for joining us along the course of the past several weeks; as we learned some of God’s heavenly principles, in search of His beautiful way. Please feel free to review these studies, and stay posted for much more in the future. Share these classes with a friend, and (by God’s grace) we’ll study with you again… Maranatha!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.