2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 5, January 28-February 3, The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit
Friday, February 3
“Everything in our outward world shows that an important crisis is about to open upon us. Are we ready for it? Have we, by working when and where we could, prepared ourselves and others for the momentous future? Can we, in our present state of inaction, take in the great ideas and the truth for this time? We need faith, more faith; we must believe in Jesus as our personal Saviour. Do we believe the word of God or the traditions of men? Who of us believe that men can be saved without having practical working faith in Christ? If we are working mind, heart, and soul, as in the light of the judgment day, we are laborers together with God. Divine and human efforts must be combined. The Lord gives the rain and the sunshine, the clouds and the dew; these are Heaven-bestowed gifts; yet there is a work for man to do, or these blessings will prove of little worth to him. Painstaking effort is required in the tilling of the soil; all the conditions must be fulfilled on man’s part in sowing the seed and gathering the harvest, or the benefits of Heaven will fail of their designed purpose.
“Whenever man accomplishes anything, it is by co-operation with his Maker; but in the saving of the souls of men, God does all the work, making man his instrument. Man cannot manage the work of God in his own way, for the outward work is vain unless God works with it. Divine power must mingle with human effort, or we cannot be laborers together with God. Man must use the faculties which God has given him, and co-operate with all the saving agencies placed at his command. He must pray, he must search the Scriptures, he must believe the word of God, he must know that Christ is the propitiation for his sins, and for the sins of the whole world.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, May 6, 1890, emphasis added.)
“The children of Israel forfeited the divine favor by their disobedience. Had they submitted to the authority of God, as a nation being governed by his judgments, and as individuals walking in his ordinances, they would have been a prosperous, holy, happy people. By their own perversity of spirit, the Israelites made it impossible for God to manifest his power in protecting them from the nations that opposed their passage to Canaan. When those who had been chosen of God as his peculiar people, who had witnessed so many displays of his greatness and the majesty of his power, imitated the iniquities of the heathen, their guilt was as much greater than that of the idolatrous nations as were their privileges. Not one of the good things that God had promised to his people would have failed, had they complied with the conditions upon which these blessings were to be bestowed; but God could not sanction sin, nor protect iniquity.” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, July 22, 1886, emphasis added.)