Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 6, 1893

Sermon/Thoughts on Isaiah 58:1-3

Auckland, New Zealand

February 11, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 45; 2MCP 520, 583. +Note

Isaiah 58:1-3. This shows the condition of blindness in the church, and why prayers are not answered. But there is a recipe given, and we want you to appreciate it, without money—free in the Word of God. Verses 4-8. Now if you first observe that kind of a fast. Verse 8. That is thy righteousness. It is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. [But] have [we] that righteousness that goeth before us? The glory of the Lord is sure to be our rearward, because we do the works of Jesus Christ. Work in His lines; we are not working in our own lines; but we are working in the lines where Christ works. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 1

“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer.” [Verse 9.] What a statement! Verse 10. Not tearing to pieces. “Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” Light again. “And the Lord shall guide thee continually”; we will not have to follow our own judgment. Verse 11. Wonderful, Wonderful prescription! I bring it to this church in the name of the Lord God of Israel. It is a prescription for the sickness and maladies of the body, and for the sickness and maladies of the soul. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 2

The living water that fails not was presented to the woman of Samaria who was living contrary to the Word of God. See John 4:9-15. She did not see anything very flattering in Jesus. “Art thou greater than our father Jacob?” [Verse 12.] Now you can see it is the very same Scripture, “Whose waters fail not, springing up into everlasting life.” [Isaiah 58:11; John 4:14.] Nothing less than the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should sit at the feet of Jesus. “I am the bread of Life.” [John 6:35.] Learn constantly of Jesus Christ. Springing up in us into everlasting life. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 3

If this well of Water is in us springing up into everlasting life, our associates will know it. As Christ imparts to us the life-giving water, all around us will be refreshed as well. It is impossible to have Christ in our hearts and not to reveal it. There is a softening subduing influence that comes from us to them. Not in lifting up the finger unto vanity. Not in esteeming ourselves before everybody else. Neither are we to clothe ourselves with sackcloth and act before the world as if we had no hope. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 4

To what church or people do you belong, if Christ is formed within the hope of glory? What is that glory? Character. Not a hidden thing like the precious ointment that was sealed in the bottle that was never broken. We know not the sorrows that many have; heart troubles, home troubles. It takes more than four walls to constitute a happy family. Be careful to keep the treasure house. Do not pore over trouble. Speak only words that will heal, soothe, and bless. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 5

Sins must be put away. The Lord is coming, and you have but a little time to have that water that is springing up into everlasting life. Here are [the] heart-sick and sore that we should comfort. All the vacant seats in this church should be filled—and would be filled if the light that was in you was not darkness. Souls would come and acknowledge the truth. In your social meetings you should let it be understood that God is here, that heavenly intelligences are working upon human minds. You need not come to indulge in harsh and uncourteous words. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 6

Christ has ten-thousand times ten-thousand and thousands of thousands of angels working for the human family. The work that they have to do in the counsels of heaven is to see where we need help. None will have to fight the battles of the Lord in our own finite strength. Make room that Christ may be enthroned in the heart. <If you fill the whole space with your own spirit and self-sufficiency, then there is no room for Jesus.> Christ should shine through the human tenement. Then what? The glory of the Lord is your rearward. We carry the divine credentials. What is it? Why God has sent His Son into the world. John 3:16. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 7

There is work to be carried on right here in our world. It is important that the standard of truth be elevated which calls souls under its banner. Now the work that we have to do is to search the Scriptures. Precious Bible! Special directions are given. Colossians 3:1-3. If you have been buried with Him by baptism, you no longer live in sin. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What a precious refuge. We are not to talk of ourselves, our words, nor our actions. By abiding in Christ we reveal to a sinful world what Christ can do for us. Verses 4-8. You will not cling to one darling sin even if it is as closely allied to you as the right arm; you will die to it. Verse 9. Have you considered that your criticisms have been as splitting of hairs and <yet you thought > that you must ventilate it? And carry on such work where you invite the presence of angels, in the sight of the whole universe of heaven. Consider this matter. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 8

Unsanctified words should never be heard in this church that you have dedicated to God. Instead of this you should praise God. And when you worship God, talk of His love, and talk of His power. You have no right to treat one another with the least disrespect. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 9

Measure the cord, if you can, that has been let down <from heaven> to lift man up. The only estimate we can give you of <the length of> that chain is to point you to Calvary. Do not seek to oppress one another. God has not put the measuring tape in our hands. You want to love one another as Christ has loved you. When one once gives place to an angry <spirit>, he is just as much intoxicated as the man who has put the glass to his lips. Learn the eloquence of silence, and know that God respects the purchase of the blood of Christ. Educate yourselves: we must learn every day. We must come up higher and higher and closer to God. Clear the rubbish away from the King’s highway. Make a way that the King may walk in our midst. Put away filthy communications out of your mouth. See Colossians 3:8. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 10

Christ says many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able. See Matthew 7:21. And again, Lord, Lord have we not taught in thy streets? Some branches have never knitted to the true vine. They have died <in the process> and are to be taken away. Other dry branches have united fiber by fiber to the true vine, until they partake of the nurture of the parent stock, and they flourish. When religion comes into the heart and we put ourselves into <connection with Christ,> we can rise to the highest elevation of character. Do not say I do not know this. You must educate yourselves <until you do know this.> Many of us will stand before legislators, before kings and nobles. And we want to come to them in intelligence <of truth.> It will be a question of life unto life or of death unto death to them. Our way is pointed out so plainly. God wants you to go forward and upward, to reach the highest standard. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 11

(Related [the] story of [the] German lady [who] when eighty years old learned to read History of Sabbath and the English Bible by comparing [a] passage of German Scripture with one of English.) She reached her second childhood and began to work anew as a child would <to read the truth.> Now let us do what we can, and God will help us. Colossians 3:12. If you are the elect of God, do not make Him ashamed of you. Represent Him to the world. You are a new man in Christ Jesus. “Bowels of mercies, kindness.” Now that is what we want to act. We want to manifest this kindness in our homes before our children. If we humble ourselves God will exalt us. Here is the recipe to heal dissension which grieves God and Christ and the heavenly intelligences. Verse 13. What a powerful argument. If Christ should have no more forbearance <than the human agent does,> we should be extinguished. We do not sense it. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 12

At times you want to haul one another by a short bridle, [but] that will never answer in the world. When this church is converted, the world will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus. When the officers came to take Jesus, His disciples formed a circle around Him as they generally did when He was teaching them. This teaching has come from age to age to our own time. We have it all. As the officers came forward to take Christ, they stepped back. Never man [spake] like this man. Then they were taunted. But that is the impression they [the world] will get of Christians. You will represent [the] character of heaven. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 13

Talk of the country to which you are going. You are pilgrims and strangers here. We have to live in hired houses here. Do we show to the world that we are rich in faith and heirs according to the promise? Talk of heaven and heavenly things. Love the precious and the eternal. Away with your self-esteem. Learn lessons at the foot of Calvary’s cross. Communicate to whoever is around you. Now, your atmosphere is a heavenly or satanic one. I will hail the heavenly atmosphere. I will talk of the preciousness of truth. I will talk of His power, and by beholding, reflect light and become channels of light to others. Verse 14. Stand complete in Christ Jesus. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 14

You are bound by the golden chain of love to Jesus Christ. Verse 16. Express it in clear distinct tones. Know what the Scriptures say. You are to cultivate your knowledge that you may be sharp to discern in the garden of God. Not to relate any mournful stories. We are not Catholic priests. You are to go to Jesus Christ and tell Him; He understands your case fully. Matthew 11:28. “Here am I.” Will you live to that receipt? Here I am, ready to [do Your will.] Suppose that instead of passionate words we begin to use mild words. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 15

You cannot get too much knowledge. Do you dare to neglect it? Put on Christ. Put on His holiness, His loveliness. He reforms the nature. New men and women in Christ Jesus. He will put a new song on your lips, even praise to our God. Do not drop a word of stubbornness. God help us to sow in joyful notes. Come in with us, and we will do you good. But you cannot do good when you are in strife and confusion. What is this people going to do? Isaiah 58, verse 12. What is that? The broken law of God. [Verses] 13, 14. What is our work? You can be a restorer of the paths to dwell in. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 16

When the gates of the city of God will be opened will [we] be enabled to walk in? May our sins go beforehand to judgment. The investigative judgment takes place before Christ comes. We should weep between porch and altar crying, Spare thy people. Let them call upon the Lord. “Let the wicked forsake his way.” [Isaiah 55:7.] And he will have mercy upon him. Clear the king’s highway. Let your sins go beforehand to judgment. It is a case of life or death. May God let His blessing rest upon you that you may see light in His light and rejoice in His love. 8LtMs, Ms 6, 1893, par. 17