Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 47, 1886

Sermon/“Keep My Commandments”

Torre Pellice, Italy

November 14, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 5MR 262-267.

“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 1

Here is presented before us the fact that they that love God will keep His commandments. The Spirit of truth “the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him.” [Verse 17.] It should not be surprising to those who keep the commandments of God if they should meet the opposition of the world. The Word tells us to be separated from the disobedient. This will cause a feeling of opposition to arise with those who have a hatred toward the precepts of their Creator. But we cannot afford to be disloyal to God for the friendship of the world. The truth is worldwide, and if we have a knowledge of it, we must not let those who are in darkness lead us from it. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 2

We want to be loved by Heaven, and we have evidence of that love when we look to Calvary. Now it is our duty to love God in return, and we can manifest that love by keeping His sayings. Jesus says that “he that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” “Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying.” John 6:56, 60. “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Vss. 66-68. “And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” John 7:15-17. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 3

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh My blood.” [John 6:56.] How can we explain the meaning of these words? “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; ... the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. So we see the eating of the flesh and drinking the blood is in obeying His Word. “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them.” John 14:21. “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.” John 15:10. Now we want to be in harmony with our Redeemer, and if we are that is evidence that we keep His sayings. The souls of men are of the highest value, and it is our duty to know that we are in harmony with God. We need to cultivate faith in God and His Word. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 4

After the resurrection, the disciples went forth to proclaim to men that Christ had risen, but there were influences that opposed them. The Sadducees were grieved that they taught the people and preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They laid hands upon them and put them in hold. Now had the disciples committed an error in preaching that Christ had risen from the dead? Shall we say that the Sadducees were right and that the disciples were wrong? No, it could not be truthfully said, for they were giving truth for that time; but it did not please the people. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 5

On the morrow the high priest and rulers and elders came together at Jerusalem. There was to be a trial of this matter, and the question was asked, By what name have ye done this? The disciples had wrought a miracle in their midst by healing the impotent man. They boldly declared before the council that this miracle was done through Jesus of Nazareth, and they said, “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders. ... Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:11, 13. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 6

Now we see that here is a people moved by the Holy Ghost. God had given Peter and John a message to give to the people and it was their privilege to accept, but they would not. We can see by the position taken by these professed people of God that they were arrayed against the truth. They said, “What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” But the apostles Peter and John had a truth to present, and they would not be stilled by these wicked counsellors. They “answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” Vss. 16, 17, 19. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 7

So we see that it is important to prize what the Lord says and be persistent in declaring the truth whether it is pleasing or not. If we have a desire to know truth, God will open our hearts to receive it, and it is not safe to resist conviction because of opposition. It is for us to accept the light. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 8

These disciples of Christ continued to teach. Then “the captain with the officers” came upon them [without] violence, and the only reason given was because they were turning the attention of the people away from the rulers to the gospel of Christ. [Acts 5:26.] 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 9

The Lord would have us look to Him and cry for His Holy Spirit, for there are souls to save. We need not only work out our own salvation, but it is our duty to assist others to become acquainted with God. This should be done with fear and trembling. We should accept the Word of God and have His love in our hearts. Christ says, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. If we have the love of God in our hearts, we shall be happy. We may be poor in this world, but we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 10

We want to be rich in faith. This will require diligence in the study of God’s Word. Thus we shall become wise. The rabbis were astonished as they heard from the lips of the disciples the great wisdom that they possessed, knowing that they had not been educated. It was by searching out the hidden treasures of the Lord that they had obtained this knowledge. Even so we, if we search the Scriptures with a desire to understand them, shall know of the doctrine. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 11

Allow no man to hinder you in gaining an understanding of the truth and in keeping the commandments of God. There have been disciples in all ages who did comply with the requirements of God. For so doing they got into trouble, and so it will be in this age. If you find trouble because of your faith, go to Christ. In Him there is help. I decided when the Sabbath was made known to me that I must obey. We have known what it is to suffer hunger, but we would bow before God and ask for His blessing. We knew that we could not be saved in error as long as the Bible was before us, for it is a plain command that we should search the Scriptures. We must not stop to inquire of others what our duty is. The Word of God is sufficient. If it tells us to keep the commandments, it is our duty to obey at any cost. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 12

I remember when we could not get together any more Sabbathkeepers than are present here today, but we loved Jesus and we knew that the angels were in our midst and we had strength and support against the opposition that was raised against us. We had the assurance that God would be with us. We did not know but that we should be thrust into prison because we kept the commandments of God. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 13

We were admonished not to teach the doctrines of the soon coming of Christ and the commandments, but we stated that we had to declare the truth. Windows have been broken because our prayers were heard, but God had a care for us. Officers came to our assistance, and those who wished to see us punished were themselves threatened. God gave us favor. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 14

We must not question whether we shall have trials. It is always best to be on the Lord’s side. More than one scandal has followed me. Should this drive me away from Jesus because I was a partaker with His suffering? We are commanded to take up the cross and follow Him. He suffered reproach that we might be saved from death. Christ says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” [Verse 15.] And if we comply, it is an evidence that we love Him. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they my have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. 4LtMs, Ms 47, 1886, par. 15