2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 9, February 25-March 3, The Holy Spirit and the Church
Tuesday, February 28
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” KJV, Acts 17:10, 11, emphasis added.
“The atmosphere of the church is so frigid, its spirit is of such an order, that men and women cannot sustain or endure the example of primitive and heaven-born piety. The warmth of their first love is frozen up, and unless they are watered over by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, their candlestick will be removed out of its place, except they repent and do their first works. The first works of the church were seen when the believers sought out friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and with hearts overflowing with love told the story of what Jesus was to them and what they were to Jesus. Oh, that the Lord would awaken those who are in responsible positions, lest they undertake to do work, relying upon their own smartness. The work that comes forth from their hands will lack the mold and superscription of Christ.” (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers, 167, 168, emphasis added.)
“It is this baptism of the Holy Spirit that the churches need today. There are backslidden church-members and backslidden ministers who need re-converting, who need the softening, subduing influence of the baptism of the Spirit, that they may rise in newness of life and make thorough work for eternity. I have seen the irreligion and the self-sufficiency cherished, and I have heard the words spoken, ‘Except ye repent and be converted, ye shall never see the kingdom of heaven.’ There are many who will need re-baptizing, but let them never go down into the water until they are dead to sin, cured of selfishness and self-exaltation until they can come up out of the water to live a new life unto God. Faith and repentance are conditions, essential to the forgiveness of sin.” (Ellen White, Bible Training School, April 1, 1906, emphasis added.)
“The Lord gave His Word in just the way He wanted it to come. He gave it through different writers, each having his own individuality, though going over the same history. Their testimonies are brought together in one Book, and are like the testimonies in a social meeting. They do not represent things in just the same style. Each has an experience of his own, and this diversity broadens and deepens the knowledge that is brought out to meet the necessities of varied minds. The thoughts expressed have not a set uniformity, as if cast in an iron mold, making the very hearing monotonous. In such uniformity there would be a loss of grace and distinctive beauty.
“We are not to feel that we must speak the very same things, giving the same representation in the same words, and yet there is to be unity in the diversity. All the different testimonies unite to form one whole, as the books of the Bible are brought together, and bound under one cover…. One must not labor to have everything that comes from his mind entirely different from that which comes from another man’s mind. But he is to follow in the line where the Spirit of the Lord shall direct; then there will be different figures and different ways of presentation that will interest and educate different minds.
“The Creator of all ideas may impress different minds with the same thought, but each may express it in a different way, yet without contradiction. The fact that this difference exists should not perplex or confuse us. It is seldom that two persons will view and express truth in the very same way. Each dwells on particular points which his constitution and education have fitted him to appreciate. The sunlight falling upon different objects gives those objects a different hue.” (Ellen White, Letter 53, 1900, emphasis added.)