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Presence of Christ ( 239 ) In the presence of Christ
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    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
presence  of  Christ
Related phrase:   In the presence of Christ  ( below )
To our physicians and ministers I send the message: Lay hold of the Lord’s work as if you believed the truth for this time. Medical missionary workers and workers in the gospel ministry are to be bound together by indissoluble ties. Their work is to be done with freshness and power. Throughout our churches there is to be a reconversion and a reconsecration to service. Shall we not, in our work in the future and in the gatherings that we hold, be of one accord? Shall we not wrestle with God in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit to come into every heart? The presence of Christ, manifest among us, would cure the leprosy of unbelief that has made our service so weak and inefficient. We need the breath of the divine life breathed into us. We are to be channels through which the Lord can send light and grace to the world. Backsliders are to be reclaimed. We are to put away our sins, by confession and repentance humbling our proud hearts before God. Floods of spiritual power are to be poured forth upon those prepared to receive it. { 8T 46.1} 
 
 
He who bears with him a continual sense of the presence of Christ cannot indulge self-confidence or self-righteousness. None of the prophets or apostles made proud boasts of holiness. The nearer they came to perfection of character, the less worthy and righteous they viewed themselves. But those who have the least sense of the perfection of Jesus, those whose eyes are least directed to Him, are the ones who make the strongest claim to perfection. { FW 54.1} 
 
 
The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour. { COL 419.6 } { MYP 166.1} 
 
The presence of Christ would be positively painful in these gatherings for pleasure. Surely, none could invite Him there, for His countenance is marred with sorrows more than the sons of men, because of these very amusements which put God out of mind and make the broad road attractive to the sinner. The enchantments of these exciting scenes pervert reason and destroy reverence for sacred things. Ministers who profess to be Christ’s representatives frequently take the lead in these frivolous amusements. “Ye are,” says Christ, “the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.” { Con 65.2 } 
 
Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His acknowledged followers in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus in His teachings and in the examples, the facts, which He has given for our instruction. Here was Paul, one whom Christ was to fit for a most important work, one who was to be a chosen vessel unto Him, brought directly into the presence of Christ; yet He does not teach him the lessons of truth. He arrests his course and convicts him; and when he asks, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” the Saviour does not tell him directly, but places him in connection with His church. They will tell thee what thou must do. Jesus is the sinner’s friend, His heart is ever open, ever touched with human woe; He has all power, both in heaven and upon earth; but He respects the means which He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men. He directs Saul to the church, thus acknowledging the power that He has invested in it as a channel of light to the world. It is Christ’s organized body upon the earth, and respect is required to be paid to His ordinances. In the case of Saul, Ananias represents Christ, and he also represents Christ’s ministers upon the earth who are appointed to act in Christ’s stead. { CCh 242.3} 
 
Many of those gathered at the Jordan had been present at the baptism of Jesus; but the sign then given had been manifest to but few among them. During the preceding months of the Baptist’s ministry, many had refused to heed the call to repentance. Thus they had hardened their hearts and darkened their understanding. When Heaven bore testimony to Jesus at His baptism, they perceived it not. Eyes that had never been turned in faith to Him that is invisible beheld not the revelation of the glory of God; ears that had never listened to His voice heard not the words of witness. So it is now. Often the presence of Christ and the ministering angels is manifest in the assemblies of the people, and yet there are many who know it not. They discern nothing unusual. But to some the Saviour’s presence is revealed. Peace and joy animate their hearts. They are comforted, encouraged, and blessed. { DA 136.1} 
 
The priests and rulers, on first coming into the presence of Christ, had felt the same conviction. Their hearts were deeply moved, and the thought was forced upon them, “Never man spake like this Man.” But they had stifled the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Now, enraged that even the instruments of the law should be influenced by the hated Galilean, they cried, “Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” { DA 459.4}
 
There are few who rightly appreciate or improve the precious privilege of prayer. We should go to Jesus and tell Him all our needs. We may bring Him our little cares and perplexities as well as our greater troubles. Whatever arises to disturb or distress us, we should take it to the Lord in prayer. When we feel that we need the presence of Christ at every step, Satan will have little opportunity to intrude his temptations. It is his studied effort to keep us away from our best and most sympathizing friend. We should make no one our confidant but Jesus. We can safely commune with Him of all that is in our hearts.—Testimonies for the Church 5:200, 201 (1882). { 2MCP 776.1 } { Pr 27.1} 
 
Christ is the truth of all that we find in the Father. The definition of heaven is the presence of Christ (Und. Manuscript 58). { 7BC 989.9 } 
 
In  the  presence  of  Christ
 
For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God given by Haggai had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet’s words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah’s glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily —who was God Himself manifest in the flesh. The “Desire of all nations” had indeed come to His temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. But Israel had put from her the proffered Gift of heaven. With the humble Teacher who had that day passed out from its golden gate, the glory had forever departed from the temple. Already were the Saviour’s words fulfilled: “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38.  Great Controversy, page 24.2  Read entire Chapter 1
 
 
Nicodemus had read these scriptures with a clouded mind; but he now began to comprehend their meaning. He saw that the most rigid obedience to the mere letter of the law as applied to the outward life could entitle no man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In the estimation of men, his life had been just and honorable; but in the presence of Christ he felt that his heart was unclean, and his life unholy.   Desire of Ages, page 174.2   Read entire chapter 17
 
 
Fathers and mothers, be on guard. Let your conversation in the home be pleasant and encouraging. Always speak kindly, as if in the presence of Christ. Let there be no faultfinding, no accusing. Words of this kind wound and bruise the soul. It is natural for human beings to speak sharp words. Those who yield to this inclination open the door for Satan to enter their hearts and to make them quick to remember the mistakes and errors of others. Their failings are dwelt upon, their deficiencies noted, and words are spoken that cause a lack of confidence in one who is doing his best to fulfill his duty as a laborer together with God. Often the seeds of distrust are sown because one thinks that he ought to have been favored but was not.— Letter 169, 1904. { 1MCP 178.3 } 
 
The great hereditary and cultivated tendency to evil with Judas was covetousness. And by practice this became a habit which he carried into all his trading. Christlike principles of uprightness and justice had no room in selling and buying. His economical habits developed into a parsimonious spirit and became a fatal snare. Gain was his measurement of a correct religious experience, and all true righteousness became subordinate to this. While he continued a disciple in outward form, while in the very personal presence of Christ, he appropriated to himself means that belonged to the Lord’s treasury.—MS 28, 1897. { 2MCP 598.3 } 
 
Without a doubtful murmur, or question as to his consequent pecuniary loss, Matthew rose up and followed his Master, and united his interest with the few disciples of Jesus. The despised publican felt that the Saviour had bestowed upon him an honor which he did not deserve. He gave no thought to the lucrative business he had exchanged for poverty and fatigue. It was enough that he would be in the presence of Christ, that he could learn wisdom and goodness from his lips, behold his marvelous works, and be a co-laborer with him in his arduous toil. { 2SP 187.2 } 
For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God, given by Haggai, had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet’s words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah’s glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily,—who was God himself manifest in the flesh. The “Desire of all nations” had indeed come to his temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. But Israel had put from her the proffered gift of Heaven. With the humble Teacher who had that day passed out from its golden gate, the glory had forever departed from the temple. Already were fulfilled the Saviour’s words, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” [Matthew 23:38.] { 4SP 24.2 } 
 
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