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62. FIELDS OF COLOR
February 1, 2012
By Ernie Knoll
www.formypeople.org

 

As the sunbeam imparts to the flowers their varied and delicate tints, so does God impart to the soul the beauty of His own character. {The Desire of Ages, p. 313}

 

Through the flowers of the field God would call our attention to the loveliness of Christlike character. Jesus says, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow…. {The Signs of the Times, June 19, 1893}

 

In my dream, I see an individual walking with Jesus through a beautiful valley.1 This individual represents all who are striving to be like Jesus. At the foot of the hills, many trees grow into a thick forest. Each tree aspires to grow as high as possible and has been created with a noble design. The limbs of each tree grow outward and the leaves face upward to gather all the sunlight possible.2 I notice there are no clouds in the rich blue sky.

 

Jesus says to notice the valley floor and how all the flowers are white as snow. I notice the green stalks of the flowers and how these represent life, growth, and support. As Jesus and this individual walk through the field of flowers, each flower moves its petals toward them, as if striving to show their beauty that God created. I also notice that after the flowers are walked on, they immediately spring back up, unbroken and perfect, but more beautiful than before. Jesus explains that the white flowers represent His righteousness and encouragement. Each of His people will need encouragement along the short path that lies just ahead. They will need encouragement for the events that are about to transpire on the earth. As each walks a path of trials, they are to remember God’s words.

 

As Jesus walks along with this individual, He explains that we cannot be like Him while wearing our own garments.3 He hands the individual a white shirt to wear and says that it symbolizes His righteousness, which we must possess to be like Him.4

Suddenly all the flowers turn yellow. Now Jesus gives the individual a yellow shirt to wear. This color is to represent courage. Even though yellow on this earth has represented cowardice, Jesus declares that it stands for courage and boldness. The yellow flowers are a testament to the courage needed by God’s faithful that will enable them to stand with their faces lifted up toward the Sun of Righteousness.5 Each of them will experience a walk as if alone. However, each is to know that they will never be alone.6

 

Next the flowers become red, and Jesus hands the individual a red shirt. This color symbolizes the burning love that Jesus has for each of His people and how He will walk beside them and the many times He will hold each one in His arms.7 He is asking that we each show a character of love.

 

Again the flowers change color. This time they are blue. Jesus gives the individual a blue shirt to wear. This color represents God’s laws which He gave because of His burning love for His people. He asks that we know and keep His laws.8 Jesus says to notice that after the blue flowers are stepped on, they immediately spring back up, stronger than before, just as God’s laws stand forever. Psalm 111:7-8 says that “all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”

 

Jesus asks that we wear all His garments of color which symbolize His character. He desires that we acquire all His character traits to perfectly reflect His image. Only then can we be among those who are they.9

 

Note: Please see “Heavenly Character Traits” chart at end of footnotes below.

 

  1. Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

  2. Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 214 God's purpose toward His people, and the glorious possibilities before them, had been set forth in the beautiful words, "That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified," Isaiah 61:3.

    Our High Calling, p. 170 If we reach the standard of perfection, our peculiar traits of disposition must be molded in harmony with Christ's will. Then we shall sit together in heavenly places in Christ. . . . Let us keep drawing near to God, and He will draw near to us. Then, as one, we shall reach upward to Him. The churches will be as gardens of the Lord, under His cultivation. God's people will be trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord, and watered with the river of life.

  3. Isaiah 64:6 And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

  4. Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 205-206 Do not listen to the enemy's suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of Jesus, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Tell the enemy that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Make the prayer of David your own, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7.

    Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that is working upon the human soul.

    Your heavenly Father will take from you the garments defiled by sin. In the beautiful parabolic prophecy of Zechariah, the high priest Joshua, standing clothed in filthy garments before the angel of the Lord, represents the sinner. And the word is spoken by the Lord, "Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. . . . So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments." Zechariah 3:4, 5. Even so God will clothe you with "the garments of salvation," and cover you with "the robe of righteousness." Isaiah 61:10.

  5. Psalm 68:13 Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

    Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 136 When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few--this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.

    The Review and Herald, November 29, 1881 Now is the time for the friends of Jesus to be decided, faithful, and valiant for the Captain of their salvation. Now is the time to show who are the true Calebs, who will not deny that the walls are high, the giants mighty, but who believe that this very fact will make the victory more glorious. There are great difficulties and trials before us. It will require strong courage and persevering effort to go forward. But all now depends on our faith in the Captain who has led us safely thus far.

    The Desire of Ages, p. 251 Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character. Through a connection with Christ he will have clearer and broader views. His discernment will be more penetrative, his judgment better balanced. He who longs to be of service to Christ is so quickened by the life-giving power of the Sun of Righteousness that he is enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God.

  6. John 16:32-33 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 172 Often those who suffer reproach or persecution for their faith are tempted to think themselves forsaken by God. In the eyes of men they are in the minority. To all appearance their enemies triumph over them. But let them not violate their conscience. He who has suffered in their behalf, and has borne their sorrows and afflictions, has not forsaken them.

    The children of God are not left alone and defenseless. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. Prayer has "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire"--we shall know what it means when we hear the reports of the martyrs who died for their faith--"turneth to flight the armies of the aliens." Hebrews 11:33, 34.

  7. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 516 Jesus says to you, "Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest." The joy of Christ in the soul is worth everything. "Then are they glad," because they are privileged to rest in the arms of everlasting love.

    Ibid., p. 519 Christ's love for His children is as tender as it is strong. And it is stronger than death; for He died to purchase our salvation, and to make us one with Him. . . . So strong is His love that it controls all His powers, and employs the vast resources of heaven in doing His people good.

  8. Exodus 20:3-17 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

    Psalms 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

    Numbers 15:37-41 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

    Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 49-50 Love must be the principle of action. Love is the underlying principle of God's government in heaven and earth, and it must be the foundation of the Christian's character. This alone can make and keep him steadfast. This alone can enable him to withstand trial and temptation.

    And love will be revealed in sacrifice. The plan of redemption was laid in sacrifice--a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. Christ gave all for us, and those who receive Christ will be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of their Redeemer. The thought of His honor and glory will come before anything else.

    If we love Jesus, we shall love to live for Him, to present our thank offerings to Him, to labor for Him. The very labor will be light. For His sake we shall covet pain and toil and sacrifice. We shall sympathize with His longing for the salvation of men. We shall feel the same tender craving for souls that He has felt.

    This is the religion of Christ. Anything short of it is a deception. No mere theory of truth or profession of discipleship will save any soul. We do not belong to Christ unless we are His wholly. It is by halfheartedness in the Christian life that men become feeble in purpose and changeable in desire. The effort to serve both self and Christ makes one a stony-ground hearer, and he will not endure when the test comes upon him.

  9. Revelation 14:1-5 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

    2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

    Genesis 5:24 Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

    Conflict and Courage, p. 29 Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted. He was a representative of the saints who live amid the perils and corruptions of the last days. For his faithful obedience to God he was translated. So, also, the faithful, who are alive and remain, will be translated. They will be removed from a sinful and corrupt world to the pure joys of heaven.

    Our present work is to come out from the world and be separate. This is the only way we can walk with God, as did Enoch.

    Our High Calling, p. 312 The refining furnace is to remove the dross. When the Refiner sees His image reflected in you perfectly, He will remove you from the furnace. You will not be left to be consumed or to endure the fiery ordeal any longer than is necessary for your purification. But it is necessary for you, in order to reflect the divine image, to submit to the process the Refiner chooses for you, that you may be cleansed, purified, and every spot and blemish removed--not even a wrinkle left in your Christian character. May the Lord help you . . . to choose to have the will and work of God accomplished in you. . . . Look up! Jesus lives. Jesus loves. Jesus pities, and He will receive you with all your burden of care and trouble if you will come to Him and lay your burden upon Him. He has promised He will never leave or forsake those who put their trust in Him.

    Acts of the Apostles, pp. 467-468 He whose heart is fixed to serve God will find opportunity to witness for Him. Difficulties will be powerless to hinder him who is determined to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the strength gained by prayer and a study of the word, he will seek virtue and forsake vice. Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the faith, who endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, the believer will willingly brave contempt and derision. And help and grace sufficient for every circumstance are promised by Him whose word is truth. His everlasting arms encircle the soul that turns to Him for aid. In His care we may rest safely, saying, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." Psalm 56:3. To all who put their trust in Him, God will fulfill His promise.

    By His own example the Saviour has shown that His followers can be in the world and yet not of the world. He came not to partake of its delusive pleasures, to be swayed by its customs, and to follow its practices, but to do His Father's will, to seek and save the lost. With this object before him the Christian may stand uncontaminated in any surroundings. Whatever his station or circumstances, exalted or humble, he will manifest the power of true religion in the faithful performance of duty.

    Not in freedom from trial, but in the midst of it, is Christian character developed. Exposure to rebuffs and opposition leads the follower of Christ to greater watchfulness and more earnest prayer to the mighty Helper. Severe trial endured by the grace of God develops patience, vigilance, fortitude, and a deep and abiding trust in God. It is the triumph of the Christian faith that it enables its followers to suffer and be strong; to submit, and thus to conquer; to be killed all the day long, and yet to live; to bear the cross, and thus to win the crown of glory.

 

 

HEAVENLY CHARACTER TRAITS
(not a complete list)

DEFINITIONS

BIBLE REFERENCES

LOVE

Spiritual, selfless agape love for God and mankind; praise, revere, and respect God (glorifying Him, not self); have concern and appreciation for others

1 Cor. 13:13
Ps. 119:6, 15
1 Jn. 3:18; 4:7, 11

FAITH, TRUST

Believe in God; rely on Him

Heb. 11:6; Prov. 3:5
Job 13:15; Ps. 56:3

OBEDIENCE, LOYALTY

Obey God and those in authority (parents, teachers, etc.) who are in the Lord; render allegiance to laws of the land if they do not go against God’s laws

Deut. 11:27; 27:10
Matt. 22:21
Eph. 6:1
Titus 2:14
Rev. 3:19

COURAGE, DILIGENCE

Bold, ready to dare for God, determined, careful, zealous

Josh. 1:7, 9
Prov. 28:1; 6:6
Heb. 6:11-12

HUMILITY

Not proud, arrogant, or hypocritical

Matt. 5:5
Jam. 4:6

HEALTH

Not sick in mind or body

1 Cor. 10:31
3 John 2

INTEGRITY, PURITY,
TRUTHFULNESS

Moral, righteous; clean, free from sin; honest, transparent, sincere

Prov. 11:3
Ps. 25:21; Matt. 5:8
1 Jn. 3:2-3
Ps. 15:1-2
Zech. 8:16

KNOWLEDGE, DISCERNMENT,
WATCHFULNESS

Knowing God’s Word; insightful, understanding, having good judgment; aware, alert

2 Tim. 2:15
Jn. 7:24
Ezek. 44:23
Matt. 7:20
Matt. 25:13; 26:41
Luke 21:36
1 Thess. 5:6

KINDNESS, GENTLENESS,
FAIRNESS

Considerate, polite; tender (not harsh); just, equitable

Prov. 19:22; 31:26
2 Tim. 2:24
Titus 3:2
Deut. 16:20
Prov. 4:18
Ezek. 18:5, 9

FRIENDLINESS, COMPASSION

Attentive, hospitable; sympathetic, good listener

Prov. 18:24
Heb. 13:2; Isa. 1:17
Jn. 15:13; 1 Pet. 3:8

UNSELFISHNESS, GENEROSITY

Yielding to God, considerate of others; provide or help with talents, time, or possessions, as able

Prov. 22:9
Matt. 16:24
Matt. 10:8
Rom. 12:13

PATIENCE, ENDURANCE

Experiencing problems calmly, without complaining; persevering

1 Thess. 5:14
Jam. 1:3-4
Rev. 14:12
Gal. 6:9
Rev. 2:3

CONTENTMENT, PEACE

Joyful, satisfied (no self-pity); serene

Ex. 20:17; Phil. 4:11
Heb. 13:5
1 Tim. 6:8; Isa. 26:3
Ps. 34:14; 119:165


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. {Galatians 5:22-23}

 

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. {2 Peter 1:5-7}

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. {Philippians 4:8}

 

There is an individual work for us to do in union with Christ. We are to put on Christ, put on His qualities of character, to represent Him in all our words and actions. When we are willing thus to follow on to know the Lord, walking in humility before Him, and being taught of Him daily, the Holy Spirit will work through us, giving us power to represent to the world a better way. {Pamphlet 014, p. 9 by Ellen G. White}

 

The only way in which we can distinguish between the true Christian and the pretender to Christianity is by the fruit of the life. The works will testify whether or not Christ, the hope of glory, is formed within. Everyone who enters the kingdom of heaven will have been tested and proved. {The Signs of the Times, December 18, 1893}

 

Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. {Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 214}

 

I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of "refreshing" and the "latter rain" to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. {Early Writings, p. 71}

 

The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character. {Last Day Events, p. 221}

 

What we make of ourselves in probationary time, that we must remain to all eternity. Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond all change. {Ibid., p. 236}

 

If you would be a saint in heaven you must first be a saint on earth. The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny. Defects of character must be repented of and overcome through the grace of Christ, and a symmetrical character must be formed while in this probationary state, that we may be fitted for the mansions above. {Ibid., p. 295}

 

As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command, may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings. {Christ's Object Lessons, p. 333}

 

(If possible, read the two volumes by Ellen White entitled, Mind, Character, and Personality.)