Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 84, 1886

Sermon/At Grimsby, England

Grimsby, England

September 26, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 369; 9MR 259-264.

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.” Revelation 3:7, 8. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 1

Here we have reason to rejoice. Here is One presented before us who has all power in heaven and in earth. And He says, “I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it.” [Verse 7.] Could an angel have done this? Is there any greater being upon our earth that could have done this? Is there any power that could have opened this door for the human race? No man could close it. There is only One, He who is equal to Divinity, the Prince of life. He is the One in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. It is He who left the royal throne, who left His high command, clothed His divinity with humanity, came down to this earth and was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to help those who are tempted. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 2

When He received baptism at the hand of John, the heavens were opened above Him, and the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove and rested upon Him; and there was heard a voice from the highest heaven, saying, “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17. He was then entering upon His mission for which He came to this earth: and God declares His mission for which He came to this earth. The human race is accepted in the Beloved. His human arm encircles the race while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 3

He is the open door. The gates are ajar. The door is open and no man can shut it, so that in our weakness none of us need be discouraged. We need not feel that we are to fight the battles of the Lord in our own strength, because the gates are ajar and the communication that was cut off because of man’s transgression has been renewed. Christ gave Himself as our sacrifice, and it is through this sacrifice that we are accepted in the Beloved. There is an open door for you. The light from heaven descending upon Jesus Christ acknowledges that He is accepted as our Substitute, and through faith in Him and obedience to God’s commandments we shall be brought back again to our Eden home. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 4

Now we want to appreciate the great advantage that is given us through Jesus Christ. We want to know what price He paid for us in order to ransom us from the hands of Satan. In order to know this we must search the Scriptures and place ourselves in right relation to God. We must not transgress God’s law as did Adam and Eve, but we must be obedient to all of God’s requirements. It is when bending our footsteps heavenward that we are pointing others to our Eden home. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 5

We are to overcome as Christ overcame. And how did Christ overcome? It was by perfect obedience to His Father’s commandments. He says, “I have kept My Father’s commandments” [John 15:10], and therefore through obedience we are to be brought back to our Eden home. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 6

Now I appreciate this home. I appreciate it more highly than everything else in this earth, and I am bending my steps heavenward that I may have a home in the city whose builder and maker is God. I want the heavenly home. It is true we have trials and sorrows here: we have disappointments and afflictions here: but what of this? I forget all this in considering the eternal weight of glory. I do not allow my mind to be occupied with the things of this earth, because the glory of heaven has eclipsed the attraction of this earth for me, and I see one object, one crown, and it is for me to gain it. In order to gain it I must put all my reasoning powers and faculties to work. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 7

Now when Christ has made the sacrifice He has for us, would it not be most ungrateful in us if we do not accept it? He came to save us from our sins, not in our sins, but from our sins. He came to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Will we allow the final mold to be placed upon us? A great plan has been devised, and now the question is, Will you serve God or Baal? We know what corruption is around us, and the inquiry comes up, What more could I do for My vineyard than I have done? What more could the Lord have done for His people than He has done? Now it is for us to do. “Behold, I set before thee an open door and no man can shut it.” [Revelation 3:8.] 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 8

Who is denying Jesus Christ? Who is it? It is those who are making a profession of godliness, those who are claiming to believe in Jesus Christ and yet are assimilating to the world. They are following another pattern. But Christ is our example in all things; and if we imitate the life of Christ, we shall be separate from all sin. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 9

Says Paul, I die daily. [1 Corinthians 15:31.] Our natural inclination would be to be like the world, but there is the invitation, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] There is a reformation that we are to make. We are to be as clay in the hands of the potter. We are to be molded and fashioned, and we are to take on the very fashion and mold that God would have us. We are not to take on our own mold, but we must be working to please the God of heaven, working to regain the moral standard. God wants to fit us for a home in His kingdom, and this is the time of our preparation. It is a time of character building, that we may have the right mold of character. God will do His part, angels will do their part, and we are to understand that all heaven is interested in our salvation. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 10

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” [Revelation 3:8.] Our works are laid open before God, and they are written in the books of heaven. There is also another book, the Book of Life—called the Lamb’s Book of Life—and the names of those who have laid hold upon Jesus Christ are written in this book. If they have been trying to do as the world, their works will appear as they are. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 11

Christ says, “I stand at the door and knock.” [Verse 20.] Then He says, “Be zealous therefore and repent.” [Verse 19.] We must manifest a zeal in this matter. We need not wait for any special exercise of feeling before we surrender to God. We want Him at the very commencement of the work, and therefore, just as soon as we see that we have been rejecting God, we must come to Him and acknowledge that we have rejected Him and we now want to redeem the time. A great and infinite sacrifice has been made in our behalf, and now we want to show what we will do for ourselves. There is not one of us who will be placed in heaven with the mold of our own will. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 12

Now what time will you set to do this work? You are not your own; you are bought with a price. What time have you set to give yourselves to the Lord? Some think if they have entered the college and come out graduates that they know too much to give themselves to Jesus Christ. Who was Jesus Christ? He was the Redeemer of the world, and He is willing to do great things for us. We are weak in our strength, but Christ says, I know thy works. There is a way that is open to receive us. He will work with us, He is waiting to help us. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 13

I have thought of the mothers. What a work there is before them! Here are children entrusted to their care. In educating them they educate themselves. If they have a patient temperament, the children will manifest the same, and therefore they should feel the need of representing the meekness and love of Christ in their families. These families can be representatives of the family above, but there is work for the mother. It is to be kind and patient and educate her children to become acquainted with Christ from their very babyhood. In doing this work the mother is doing the work God has given her to do. And she is doing her work for time and for eternity. The greatest power that is seen is a well-ordered and well-disciplined family; and when brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, this family will tell upon those around them. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 14

I have said that if God would accept my work in training my children for the future immortal life, I will say I have not lived in vain. But this cost me labor and tears. I have had no time to put on the extra dress, to decorate myself. My time must be spent to prepare these children for the future life, to so fashion them that peace may be in their hearts, and to fit them for usefulness in this life. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 15

This is our work, mothers, but not that they should go out into the pleasures of the world. I have had people say to me, “Why, Mrs. White, your children will not know how to act in society.” Said I, “I am educating them for the society of heaven. I want them to be educated to do right because it is right and well pleasing to God.” 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 16

In America we have by the lakes a beautiful white lily, and how anxious every child is that he can secure those lilies. You can teach your children a beautiful lesson from these lilies. Their tiny stems strike down into the pure white sand. They leave everything that would stain or corrupt their purity. And just so should our children seek the pure in this crooked and perverse generation. They ought to be educated by their fathers and mothers that they shall gather all that is pure and lovely. Shall they be allowed to receive those things that will stain and spot them? 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 17

We read of a company that stands before the throne, pure and white. [Revelation 7:9.] Now this is what we want our children to be. As Christ has given us the perfect example, the parents must give it to their children. What we want is more of Jesus and a great deal less of self. Self grows very large in our esteem, and we think that after all we are doing all right and will have an entrance into the kingdom of God. But we will not if we do not follow the Pattern. And here is the Pattern, Christ Jesus. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 18

Nothing enters into that city that defileth. “I have set before thee an open door.” [Revelation 3:8.] 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 19

Will you become acquainted with Jesus Christ? He is your best friend. Educate your children to become acquainted with Jesus. In their very youth is the time to impress this lesson upon them. How much time are you spending in this work? If you are neglecting this work your children will not stand around the great white throne of God as subjects of Christ. Now here is the open door; fathers and mothers, you can do this work yourself. I have wrestled day and night with God in prayer, Give me my children. I cannot give my children to the powers of the enemy, but I have felt that I must have their influence in this work of saving souls and thus we could be missionaries for God. And they stand by my side in this great work; I feel grateful to God for this. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 20

Now I know something about that door that no man can open or shut. I know as I come to God and offer my prayer as Christ upon the banks of Jordan I will have the blessing of God resting upon me. I know something of this world; and although Satan may thrust his temptations into my mind, I look beyond to One who is mighty to save, and He says, “I know thy works.” Every effort we make to bless humanity around us is recognized in heaven. But we frequently neglect the work and serve God with a divided mind. If we ask God for anything, we must not have our minds one half of the time on God and the other half on our own selves. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 21

We know in whom we believe. Men may talk about our having our minds fixed too much upon heaven, but we know better. We have been in the work nearly forty-eight years, and we know something about God’s service. I know best what bereavement is when I stand here alone, when he who stood by my side, and on whose large affections I have leaned for thirty years, is gone, and yet I am not alone, for Christ is my helper. Oh, I wish the curtains could be rolled back and we could see Christ in His glory. We are to be members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Now it is our privilege to know that Christ is by our side as our helper. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 22

Christ says, “I know thy works.” He knows whether you are living a life of perfection, and if you love to talk and think of Him, and whether it is your joy to praise Him. Do we expect to get to heaven at last and join the heavenly choir? Just as we go into the grave we will come up, as far as the character is concerned. “For this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruptible shall put on incorruption.” [1 Corinthians 15:53.] It is the body that will be changed then, but now is the time for washing and ironing. It is the time to wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 23

When the lawyer came to Christ and asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” the answer was, “Keep the commandments.” [Luke 10:25-28; Matthew 19:16, 17.] Here a positive question is asked by the lawyer, and he receives just as positive an answer. You must give your powers to God. “Well,” said a doctor who was trying to bring my mind down to earth, “you will be unfitted for this earth if you try to put all your strength into the service of God.” “Is that so, Doctor? Since I was sixteen I have been traveling east and west and north and south and have seen hundreds converted, and does this unfit me for a connection with the earth? When we have a right hold upon heaven we shall represent the love of Christ to the perishing sinner.” The doctor said, “It is those who are in the dance hall that have called for Mrs. White to come and pray for them.” They don’t call for those who are pleasure lovers, but for those who know what it is to offer up their prayers in faith to God; and when we have an intelligent knowledge of Jesus Christ and His religion, then it is that we can be a blessing to those around us. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 24

Parents want to teach their children of Jesus and fit them, not for the pleasures of this world, but for the future, immortal life. And what are we doing? Are we fitting them for the future, immortal home, or are the pleasures of this world of more value? He will ask you soon, “Where are the children that I have given you? Have you fitted them for the world above?” What will you say then? Every mouth will be closed. God has given us reason and intellect. Give them to Him. Our affections are to be given to God. Your time belongs to God; He has bought it. Soon the question will come to us, What have you done with the blessings I have given you? What you want is to grasp every ray of light which is given you from heaven and live by that light. Then you will be happy. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 25

All these terrible losses and difficulties and crimes need not be. Do not charge them to my God. He is not chargeable for them. We would think by the appearance of many professed Christians that they had an idea that those who loved Christ were the most unhappy. But Christ requires nothing of us that would deprive us of one blessing. He requires of us obedience. He wants us to be happy, and He wants us to live with Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 26

We read here that John saw the throne of God and around that throne a company, and he inquired, Who are these? The answer came, “These are they which ... have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14. Christ leads them to the fountains of living waters, and there is the tree of life and there is the precious Saviour. Here is presented to us a life that measures with the life of God. There is no pain, sorrow, sickness or death there. All is peace and harmony and love. We want you to be in that heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 27

Christ has died that we might keep God’s commandments. Will you have your names registered on the Lamb’s book of life? Then be careful and zealous to repent of every sin. He says, I will not blot out your name from the Book of Life, but I will confess it before My Father and His angels. [Revelation 3:5.] We want you to be happy here in order to be happy in the heaven above, and in order to be happy here you must make an entire surrender to God. And then ask God to come into your heart and abide there, and by your example seek to glorify God. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 28

The religion of Christ never discourages the receiver. It is fitting him for the society of angels in heaven, and that is where we want to be. We want to be in that position where His light and love will shine upon us, that we can gather rays of light from glory and scatter them upon those around us. We are to repress evil, control self, and seek to build up a character which God will approve. Now is the time of character building. Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts, that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth, and they will enter in. The conflict is ended. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 29

“Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Matthew 25:34.] Do we want this benediction? I do, and I believe you do. May God help you that you may fight the battles of this life and gain a victory day by day and at last be among the number that shall cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet and touch the golden harps and fill all heaven with sweetest music. I want you to love my Jesus. Give that to Jesus which He has bought with His own blood. Do not reject my Saviour, for He has paid an infinite price for you. I see in Jesus matchless charms, and I want you to see these charms. May God bless this congregation, is my prayer. 4LtMs, Ms 84, 1886, par. 30