Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

95/345

Ms 5, 1891

Sermon/Thoughts on Isaiah 58

Pine Creek, Michigan

January 10, 1891

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 244; 1BC 1095; CTr 86; 5MR 34-35. +Note

Isaiah 58:1. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” [Verses 1-7.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 1

Now we can see what the Lord delights in their doing. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 2

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning.” [Verse 8.] Well, this is what we wanted to know, Where we can find the light? It will break forth as the morning! What is it that will give us the light? By getting out from ourselves and seeing what good we can do for others that are around us. We may feel that it is too great a task upon us, but in doing good to others it reacts back upon us, and if we comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted, the blessing will come back to us. And how? “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 3

You see, we are drawing in the same line with Jehovah, and all of the heavenly intelligences are interested in the work going on here in this earth. If there had not been that interest, none of us could be saved. And notwithstanding man transgressed God’s holy law, Jesus Christ steps forward and says, I will die that they may have life; I will take the penalty of the law upon Myself, and give man another trial. Now, while this is granted, it is our time to work. Not merely the ministers, but every soul who claims to know God and Jesus Christ are under obligation to God. How? Why, He has bought us by the infinite price of His own blood, therefore we are to be engaged in laboring for fallen humanity. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 4

We are not here in this world to glorify and amuse ourselves; we are not here to be butterflies, but we are bought of Christ and every power of the mind and intellect, yes, every power of the being has been purchased by the Son of God to be employed by the Master. “Ye are laborers together with God.” [Verse 9.] Do you want any higher business? Do you want any greater honor? Do you want any better pay? Ah, say they, I don’t see as I am getting any pay for it. That is what they are saying here in Malachi. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 5

But is this the way to talk? No, indeed! We want to catch sight of the heavenly attraction. We want to see the glory and attraction there is for those who seek for glory and heavenly honor and immortal life—a life that measures with the life of God. And what more? An inheritance which fadeth not away reserved in heaven for you. Is there anyone here who has had his expectations fade away? Are there any here who have had their plans vanish? Are there any here who know what it is to lose earthly possessions? But the possessions granted by God “fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” [1 Peter 1:4.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 6

Jacob in his dream saw the ladder, the base of which rested upon the earth and the topmost round reaching into the highest heaven while the angels of God were ascending and descending upon this mystic Ladder, and when he awoke he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” [Genesis 28:16.] Thus it is with us. If our eyes could be opened, we would see the angels of God all around us, and the evil angels are here also trying to destroy us, but the good angels are pressing them back. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 7

Jacob thought to gain a right to the birthright through deception, but he found himself disappointed. He thought he had lost everything, his connection with God, his home, and all; and there he was a disappointed fugitive. But what did God do? He looked upon him in his hopeless condition, He saw his disappointment, and He saw there was material there that would render back glory to God. No sooner does He see his condition than He presents the mystic ladder which represents who? Jesus Christ. And here is a man who had lost all connection with God, and the God of heaven looks upon him and consents that Christ shall bridge the gulf which sin has made. We might have looked and said, I long for heaven but how can I reach it? I see no way. That is what Jacob thought, and so God shows him the vision of the ladder, and that ladder connects earth with heaven, with Jesus Christ. A man can climb it, for the base rests upon the earth, and the top-most round reaches into heaven. Then he climbs right away from the customs, practices, and fashions of earth right towards heaven, and the light and glory of God is upon every round of this mystic ladder, and man climbs upon who? Jesus Christ. Clings to what? Jesus Christ. Made one with whom? Jesus Christ. There he is holding to the ladder, climbing the ladder round by round, and it is his work to get every one to come. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 8

Now we find that the battlements can be reached and that God is above the ladder and is waiting with arms outstretched to help every soul that will come into the everlasting kingdom of our God. Praise His holy name! Ye inhabitants of the earth, praise Him! And why? Because through Jesus Christ, whose long human arm encircles the race while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Almighty, the gulf is bridged with His own body; and this atom of a world which was separated from the continent of heaven by sin and became an island, is again reinstated, because Christ bridged the gulf—Christ has bridged it! 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 9

Here is a soul in danger; well, God stands ready to help that soul. All the heavenly angels will be sent to assist that soul. There are those who still wait for the messenger of God to come to their assistance, but if they could only appreciate it they could be kept from evil as God kept the children of Israel in the wilderness. They did not appreciate the fact that God was protecting them from the fiery serpents that were all around them, but when God withdrew His protection and they were bitten by these serpents, then it was that they could understand it and acknowledged God. But did God leave them when they were bitten? No, His hand was stretched forth to save them. There was a brazen serpent made and raised up on a pole, and those who were bitten could look at that and were healed. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 10

But they must look if they would live. So it is with us, it is our work to look to Jesus Christ and live. But Satan has instituted everything that he can to keep man from looking. To look to Jesus upon the cross of Calvary is to live. Everything has been done by Satan to divert our attention away from Christ and away from Heaven that we shall not look. Now we want to look to Jesus Christ upon the cross, and in looking to Him we live. It is the very work the enemy is doing constantly to intercept our view, that we shall not see a lifted up Saviour, that we shall not discern One who has Himself been lifted upon the cross, that we cannot behold Him. But we must not let anything intercept our view. We want to have bright and clear views of Jesus Christ. Here we see the very work we are to do. There is to be a people to take their stand for God, to love and obey Him. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 11

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] Oh, then, there are sins in the house of Jacob! There are transgressions among the professed people of God! Well, what is it? “Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinance of justice; they take delight in approaching unto God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul and thou takest no knowledge? Behold in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 12

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 13

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 14

“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer.” [Verses 2-9.] He will answer, What will you have? What shall I do for you? “thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” [Verses 9, 10.] That is just what we want—we want light as the noonday. We want the cloud that comes from the world rolled back, and we want the revealings of God to us. “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verse 11.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 15

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Verse 12.] “And they that shall be of thee,” now mark these words, “shall build the old waste places.” What is that? Why, somebody has been trampling on the law of God. They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places. What next? They shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and they shall be called, what? The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. What is that? It is the everlasting law of Jehovah, and it was the transgression of that [law] that brought the fall of man. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 16

Here it says, “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry.” [Verse 10.] What is this hungering? If there is not a hungering, a starving for the word of God, tell me? Then he says, “Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verses 10, 11.] Why, in living connection with the God of heaven we are drawing our support from the heavenly fountain. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 17

“And they that be of thee shall build.” Oh, there is something to build! “And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places, thou shalt raise up the foundation of many generations.” [Verse 12.] What is that? It is the law of Jehovah. They have been broken down, and somebody must build them up! “And they shall be called the repairer of the breach,” what breach? In the law of God. It has been trampled under foot of man, and it must be built up. Do you suppose God will see His work all spoiled and not be lashed into a fury about it? Why, He will set everything in heaven to work to accomplish His purpose. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 18

And they shall be called the repairer of the breach. Who has made a breach? Why, Satan, and he has been teaching that Christ came to abolish the law. But what did he come to do? To magnify it and make it honorable. And they shall be called the repairer of the breach. Who has been making a breach? The man of sin. He has said the fourth commandment was changed. But Christ came to make up the breach. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 19

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 13, 14.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 20

Well now, where is the breach made? In the law of God. Who has been making it? The man of sin. Now, shall we follow him or shall we follow those who are making it up? There are some who are making it up. They have picked out that commandment which says that God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, and [they] say it doesn’t make any difference which day you keep. But we have decided that it is best to be among the obedient. But there has been a breach made, and who is going to help to make up the breach? We call upon you in the name of the Lord God of heaven and ask you to help make it up. We are not afraid to stand before the whole world and ask you to help make up that breach that has been made in the law of the Lord God, Jehovah. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 21

We have not come here at this time to tell you it makes no difference whether you keep the law of God or not. It makes every difference, and we want to be obedient to the law of Jehovah, and we want to be in that position, raising up, what? The foundation of many generations. Who has broken it down? The man of sin. And we don’t want to be upon his side, but among those who are repairers of the breach which has been made in the law of Jehovah. This is the foundation of heaven and earth, and we will be loyal and true to it if we are loyal and true to the God of heaven. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 22

The law of Jehovah is the foundation of many generations, and we want to be found the repairers of the breach which the man of sin has made. What was the breach made in? The law of God. And what are we to lift up? The law of Jehovah, which is the foundation of many generations. This is our work, and if you can tell of a better work for us to engage in which will honor God more, we will take that work, but we intend to be loyal to the God of heaven. We expect the truth will meet with disfavor, but is it best for us to obey God or to listen to man? 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 23

We have decided that it is best to listen to God and raise up the foundation of many generations. And what is it? The law of God! Lift it up; and we calculate to do it as long as God gives us breath. But in lifting it up we find it doesn’t agree with everybody; but the question is, On whose side are you? Are you on the side of God, the side of those who are going to be repairers of the breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in, or on the side of those who are tearing it down? 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 24

We have chosen to be true, because it is best every time, and if we are in a minority here below, we are on the side of God, and God is a majority every time. Let me be in harmony with the heavenly host, then let the enemy throw out his bitterness and wrath as he ever has done. I will be loyal and true to God’s commandments. But if there are those who want to go in the other way and risk it, we don’t want to risk it. We have decided not to be transgressors of God’s law. We have decided to obey and live, and there is no power that can interpose between us and the God of heaven. We have decided to keep His law as the apple of the eye. Is the eye tender? We know it is; we know there cannot be a speck that gets into the eye without it pains the whole body, and we want to be just as loyal to the Lord as we would preserve the eye. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 25

I have been in this work for the last forty-five years, and I have been doing—what? Raising up the foundation of many generations. “Thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach.” [Verse 12.] What breach? There has been made a breach in the law of God, the fourth commandment dropped right out, makes no difference what day you keep! It does make every difference! And we have decided to keep His law as the apple of our eye. We keep our eyes carefully, and we want them to see as God sees, and we want to work in the line God works. How long have we been engaged in this work? Many, many years and we have been trying to raise up the foundation of many generations. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 26

“Thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath.” [Verses 12, 13.] All the men in creation may say the Sabbath is of no account; shall we believe them, or God? We have decided to believe God. I have been engaged in this work for the last forty-five years, what doing? Making up the breach. Who has made a breach? The man of sin. Now, men may raise up all the combativeness they please, but the commandments of God are the commandments of God still. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 27

We have decided to keep God’s commandments and live, and His law as the apple of our eye. Let men rail out against the law of God, and trample His commandment-keeping people under their feet. Can they do it? It is impossible. God has His measurement of character, and it is those who obey Him that live and those who keep His law as the apple of their eye that He preserves. Now if we want to preserve the apple of the eye, you see how careful we are of it, and that law is to be preserved as the apple of the eye. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 28

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath.” [Verse 13.] Then God has a Sabbath. What day is it? The one He rested upon in the beginning after He had worked six days. There is no other. “And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways (breaking the Sabbath), nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.” [Verse 13.] Then shalt thou act mournful and sorrowful? No indeed. “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” [Verse 14.] Well it must be now, right here in this world, right here in the conflict, and we will be kept as the apple of His eye right here. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 29

“And I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verse 14.] There it is. We take the words from God. We will let men do their work, but our work will be to keep the commandments of God, stand upon this eternal basis, and raise up the foundation of many generations. We are to keep His commandments and live, and His law as the apple of the eye, notwithstanding Satan is arrayed against it. 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 30

I know God is on our side, and the angels are on our side. We have ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels that are engaged in this work to help to make up the breach. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day” [Verse 13], that is God’s day, the one He instituted in Eden. Now we calculate to worship God upon His holy day, and we thank God it is our privilege to help to make up the breach. Who will unite with us? We are not ashamed of the work. We commenced this work in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and we will not be ashamed of it. “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verse 14.] 7LtMs, Ms 5, 1891, par. 31