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Unity Among the Different Nationalities
[Would Ellen G White support TOSC position 3?]
Ellen G. White
“That they all may be one.” John 17:21. Address delivered at the European Union Council, Basel, Switzerland, September 24, 1885.
“If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 7:37; 4:14.
If, with these promises before us, we choose to remain parched and withered for want of the water of life, it is our own fault. If we would come to Christ with the simplicity of a child coming to its earthly parents, and ask for the things that He has promised, believing that we receive them, we should have them. If all of us had exercised the faith we should we would have been blessed with far more of the Spirit of God in our meetings than we have yet received. I am glad that a few days of the meeting still remain. Now the question is: Will we come to the fountain and drink? Will the teachers of truth set the example? God will do great things for us if we by faith take Him at His word. Oh, that we might see here a general humbling of the heart before God!
Since these meetings began, I have felt urged to dwell much upon love and faith. This is because you need this testimony. Some who have entered these missionary fields have said: “You do not understand the French people; you do not understand the Germans. They have to be met in just such a way.”
But I inquire: Does not God understand them? Is it not He who gives His servants a message for the people? He knows just what they need; and if the message comes directly from Him through His servants to the people, it will accomplish the work whereunto it is sent; it will make all one in Christ. Though some are decidedly French, others decidedly German, and others decidedly American, they will be just as decidedly Christlike.
The Jewish temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains; and every stone was fitted for its place in the temple, hewed, polished, and tested before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of ax or hammer. This building represents God’s spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation, and tongue, and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. These are not dead substances to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones, quarried out from the world by the truth; and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them, and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men; for its Builder and Maker is God.
Let no one think that there need not be a stroke placed upon him. There is no person, no nation, that is perfect in every habit and thought. One must learn of another. Therefore God wants the different nationalities to mingle together, to be one in judgment, one in purpose. Then the union that there is in Christ will be exemplified.
I was almost afraid to come to this country because I heard so many say that the different nationalities of Europe were peculiar and had to be reached in a certain way. But the wisdom of God is promised to those who feel their need and who ask for it. God can bring the people where they will receive the truth. Let the Lord take possession of the mind and mold it as the clay is molded in the hands of the potter, and these differences will not exist. Look to Jesus, brethren; copy His manners and spirit, and you will have no trouble in reaching these different classes. We have not six patterns to follow, nor five; we have only one, and that is Christ Jesus. If the Italian brethren, the French brethren, and the German brethren try to be like Him, they will plant their feet upon the same foundation of truth; the same spirit that dwells in one will dwell in the other—Christ in them, the hope of glory. I warn you, brethren and sisters, not to build up a wall of partition between different nationalities. On the contrary, seek to break it down wherever it exists. We should endeavor to bring all into the harmony that there is in Jesus, laboring for the one object, the salvation of our fellow men.
Will you, my ministering brethren, grasp the rich promises of God? Will you put self out of sight and let Jesus appear? Self must die before God can work through you. I feel alarmed as I see self cropping out in one and another here and there. I tell you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, your wills must die; they must become as God’s will. He wants to melt you over and to cleanse you from every defilement. There is a great work to be done for you before you can be filled with the power of God. I beseech you to draw nigh to Him, that you may realize His rich blessing before this meeting closes.
There are those here upon whom great light in warnings and reproofs has shone. Whenever reproofs are given, the enemy seeks to create in those reproved a desire for human sympathy. Therefore I would warn you to beware lest in appealing to the sympathy of others and going back over your past trials, you again err on the same points in seeking to build yourselves up. The Lord brings His erring children over the same ground again and again; but if they continually fail to heed the admonitions of His Spirit, if they fail to reform on every point where they have erred, He will finally leave them to their own weakness.
I entreat you, brethren, to come to Christ and drink; drink freely of the water of salvation. Do not appeal to your own feelings. Do not think that sentimentalism is religion. Shake yourself from every human prop and lean heavily upon Christ. You need a new fitting up before you are prepared to engage in the work of saving souls. Your words, your actions, have an influence upon others, and you must meet that influence in the day of God. Jesus says: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:8. Light is shining from that door, and it is our privilege to receive it if we will. Let us direct our eyes within that open door and try to receive all that Christ is willing to bestow.
Each one will have a close struggle to overcome sin in his own heart. This is at times a very painful and discouraging work; because, as we see the deformities in our character, we keep looking at them, when we should look to Jesus and put on the robe of His righteousness. Everyone who enters the pearly gates of the city of God will enter there as a conqueror, and his greatest conquest will have been the conquest of self.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19.
As workers together for God, brethren and sisters, lean heavily upon the arm of the Mighty One. Labor for unity, labor for love, and you will become a power in the world. [Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 179-183]
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Ellen G. White (1827 – 1915) was a prolific writer in time of the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. More than this, Seventh-day Adventists believe that the biblical gift of prophecy was manifest in her life and ministry.