Ye seek me, not because - The miracles which Jesus performed were proofs that he came from God. To seek him because they had seen them, and were convinced by them that he was the Messiah, would have been proper; but to follow him simply because their wants were supplied was mere selfishness of a gross kind. Yet, alas! many seek religion from no better motive than this. They suppose that it will add to their earthly happiness, or they seek only to escape from suffering or from the convictions of conscience, or they seek for heaven only as a place of enjoyment, and regard religion as valuable only for this. All this is mere selfishness. Religion does not forbid our regarding our own happiness, or seeking it in any proper way; but when this is the only or the prevailing motive, it is evident that we have never yet sought God aright. We are aiming at the loaves and fishes, and not at the honor of God and the good of his kingdom; and if this is the only or the main motive of our entering the church, we cannot be Christians.
Ye seek me, not because ye saw, etc. - Though the miracle of the loaves was one of the most astonishing that ever was wrought upon earth; and though this people had, by the testimony of all their senses, the most convincing proof of its reality; yet we find many of them paid little attention to it, and regarded the omnipotent hand of God in it no farther than it went to satisfy the demands of their appetite! Most men are willing to receive temporal good from the hands of God; but there are few, very few, who are willing to receive spiritual blessings.
I saw that if any held on to their property and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. I heard some mourn like this: “The cause was languishing, God's people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack; now our property is useless. Oh, that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven!” I saw that a sacrifice did not increase, but it decreased and was consumed. I also saw that God had not required all of His people to dispose of their property at the same time; but if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell. Some have been required to dispose of their property in times past to sustain the Advent cause, while others have been permitted to keep theirs until a time of need. Then, as the cause needs it, their duty is to sell. EW 57.1
I saw that the message, “Sell that ye have, and give alms,” has not been given, by some, in its clear light, and the object of the words of our Saviour has not been clearly presented. The object of selling is not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves, but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge in idleness those who are able to labor. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings, not to glorify God, but for the “loaves and fishes.” Such would much better have been at home laboring with their hands, “the thing that is good,” to supply the wants of their families and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause of present truth. Now is the time to lay up treasure in heaven and to set our hearts in order, ready for the time of trouble. Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts. EW 57.2
The Lord has shown me the danger of letting our minds be filled with worldly thoughts and cares. I saw that some minds are led away from present truth and a love of the Holy Bible by reading other exciting books; others are filled with perplexity and care for what they shall eat, drink, and wear. Some are looking too far off for the coming of the Lord. Time has continued a few years longer than they expected; therefore they think it may continue a few years more, and in this way their minds are being led from present truth, out after the world. In these things I saw great danger; for if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God. I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished and that time can last but a very little longer. What leisure time we have should be spent in searching the Bible, which is to judge us in the last day. EW 58.1Read in context »
I would here call special attention to the view of this subject given on page 57. Here is a short extract: “The object of the words of our Saviour [in Luke 12:33] has not been clearly presented.” I saw that “the object of selling is not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves, but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge in idleness those who are able to labor. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings, not to glorify God, but for the ‘loaves and fishes.’ Such would much better have been at home laboring with their hands, ‘the thing that is good,’ to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause.” It has been Satan's design in times past to push out some with a hurried spirit to make a too free use of means, and influence the brethren to rashly dispose of their property, that through an abundance of means thrown out carelessly and hastily, souls might be injured and lost, and that now, when the truth is to be spread more extensively, the lack might be felt. His design has, in some degree, been accomplished. EW 95.1
The Lord has shown the error of many in looking to those only who have property to support the publication of the paper and tracts. All should act their part. Those who have strength to labor with their hands, and earn means to help sustain the cause, are as accountable for it as others are for their property. Every child of God who professes to believe the present truth, should be zealous to act his part in this cause. EW 95.2
July, 1853, I saw that it was not as it should be that the paper, owned and approved by God, should come out so seldom. The cause, in the time in which we are living, demands the paper weekly, [The Review and Herald previous to this time had been published quite irregularly and was now issued semimonthly.] and the publication of many more tracts to expose the increasing errors of this time; but the work is hindered for want of means. I saw that the truth must go and that we must not be too fearful, that tracts and papers might better go to three where they were not needed than to have one deprived of them who prizes them and can be benefited by them. I saw that the last-day signs should be brought out clearly, for the manifestations of Satan are on the increase. The publications of Satan and his agents are increasing, their power is growing, and what we do to get the truth before others must be done quickly. EW 95.3Read in context »
Said the angel. “Ye have been picking at straws—dwelling upon little trials—and sinners must be lost as a consequence.” God is willing to work for us in our meetings, and it is His pleasure to work. But Satan says, “I will hinder the work.” His agents say, “Amen.” Professed believers in the truth dwell upon their petty trials and difficulties which Satan has magnified before them. Time is wasted that can never be recalled. The enemies of the truth have seen our weakness, God has been grieved, Christ wounded. Satan's object is accomplished, his plans have succeeded, and he triumphs. EW 121.1
*****Read in context »
Christ's disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God. One day after a short absence from their Lord, they found Him absorbed in supplication. Seeming unconscious of their presence, He continued praying aloud. The hearts of the disciples were deeply moved. As He ceased praying, they exclaimed, “Lord, teach us to pray.” COL 140.1
In answer, Christ repeated the Lord's prayer, as He had given it in the sermon on the mount. Then in a parable He illustrated the lesson He desired to teach them. COL 140.2
“Which of you,” He said, “shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed: I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” COL 140.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 6:22-71.
When Christ forbade the people to declare Him king, He knew that a turning point in His history was reached. Multitudes who desired to exalt Him to the throne today would turn from Him tomorrow. The disappointment of their selfish ambition would turn their love to hatred, and their praise to curses. Yet knowing this, He took no measures to avert the crisis. From the first He had held out to His followers no hope of earthly rewards. To one who came desiring to become His disciple He had said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. If men could have had the world with Christ, multitudes would have proffered Him their allegiance; but such service He could not accept. Of those now connected with Him there were many who had been attracted by the hope of a worldly kingdom. These must be undeceived. The deep spiritual teaching in the miracle of the loaves had not been comprehended. This was to be made plain. And this new revelation would bring with it a closer test. DA 383.1Read in context »