The Gospel Herald -- Promoting the fundamentals of the 1888 message.

Gospel Truth #4

Christ is a Good Shepherd who is seeking His lost sheep even though we have not sought Him. A misunderstanding of God's character causes us to think He is trying to hide from us. There is no parable of a lost sheep that must seek and find its Shepherd.

What the Bible Says

E. J. Waggoner

E. G. White

Gospel Truth Index

Jones Had the Same Idea

"O, it has always been Satan's deception to get people to think that Christ is as far away as it is possible to put Him. The farther away men put Christ, even those who profess to believe in Him, the better the devil is satisfied; and then he will stir up the enmity that is in the natural heart, and set it to work in building up ceremonialism, and putting this in the place of Christ" (General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p. 478, condensed).

"God's mind concerning human nature is never fulfilled until He finds us at His own right hand, glorified. There is revivifying power in that blessed truth. We have been content to have our minds too far from what God has for us. But now, as He comes and calls us into this, let us go where He will lead us. It is faith that does it; it is not presumption; it is the only right thing to do. Here the heavenly Shepherd is leading us; He is leading us into green pastures and by the still waters that flow from the throne of God. Let us drink deep and live. . . .

"'Whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified,'—He glorified. He cannot glorify them until He has justified them. What means then this special message of justification that God has been sending these [seven] years to the church and to the world? It means that God is preparing to glorify His people. But we are glorified only at the coming of the Lord; therefore this special [1888] message of justification which God has been sending us is to prepare us for glorification at the coming of the Lord. In this, God is giving to us the strongest sign that it is possible for Him to give, that the next thing is the coming of the Lord.

The Good Shepherd takes the initiative.

"He will prepare us; we cannot prepare ourselves. We tried a long while to justify ourselves, to make ourselves just right, and thus get ready for the coming of the Lord. But we were never satisfied; it is not done that way. No master workman looks at a piece of work he is doing as it is half finished, and begins to find fault with that. It is not finished yet. It would be an awful thing if the wondrous Master Workman were to look at us as we are half finished, and say, That is good for nothing. He goes on with His wondrous work. You and I may say, 'I don't see how the Lord is ever going to make a Christian out of me, and make me fit for heaven.' Although we may appear all rough, marred, and scarred now, He sees us as we are yonder in Christ.

"As we have confidence in Him, we will let Him carry on the work. Now He says to us, 'Let Me work, and you watch and see what I am going to do.' It is not our task at all. You can go outside of this Tabernacle and look up at that window. It looks like only a mess of melted glass thrown together, black and unsightly. But come inside and look from within, and you will see it as a beautiful piece of workmanship. Likewise you and I can look at ourselves and all looks awry, dark, and ungainly, only a tangled mass. God looks at it as it is in Jesus. When we look from the inside as we are in Jesus, we shall also see written in clear texts by the Spirit of God: 'Justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' We shall see the whole law of God written in the heart and shining in the life. That light is reflected and shines in Jesus Christ.

"In Him God has perfected His plan concerning us. Let us take it, brethren. Let us receive it in the fullness of that self-abandoned faith that Jesus Christ has brought to us. Let the power of it work in us, raise us from the dead, and set us at God's right hand in the heavenly places in Jesus Christ, where He sits" (ibid., pp. 366-368, condensed). (Ellen White's Idea)

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