Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 13, 1894

Talk at the Australian Bible School Chapel

Melbourne, Australia

February 20, 1894, 9:00 a.m.

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 324. +Note

I was thinking of that which Brother Starr has presented in regard to the work that is going on in the different places. Perhaps we do not all feel in regard to this matter as we ought to, because as individuals we are not engaged in active warfare, and it may be that we do not take any particular burden or responsibility upon our individual selves. What are we to take? Who are we to take? What is our business and work? Well, we claim to stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel as His soldiers—to war. And we war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers. The rulers, you see—the rulers of the darkness of this world—and against spiritual wickedness in high places. You see that means a great deal. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 1

Now, every one of us who has enlisted to be followers of Jesus Christ are real soldiers, to fight in the Lord’s army. Well then, how is it with us? Do we feel the need of earnest prayer? Do we feel our accountability to put away everything that would hinder? I am speaking to the students and to everyone in the room. Put away everything that is an offense to God, whether it is an open transgression or a secret sin. It becomes us to place ourselves as though warring, fighting the battle of the Lord in the sight of the whole heavenly universe. All heaven is looking down to see what kind of progress we are making, what character we are forming, and what we are doing day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is in the sight of heaven. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 2

I rose up this morning about half past two and I could not rest. I will tell you something of the train of thought that I had. It was this: There were the Israelites in Joshua’s day brought up where they were in active warfare with the enemy of Ai. They had not thought but that they would have the victory and perhaps we may think so today in this conflict that is going on. We may think that we have the truth and it will come out all right. Well, Joshua had high expectations that they were to have the victory, but lo, at the very first opening of the battle, the very first conflict, Israel was driven back. True, the numbers of Israel were not equal to the numbers of the enemy, but neither had they been in many encounters, so that they expected the victory although they were fewer in number. But thirty of Israel are slain. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 3

What was the trouble? Joshua did not know. He threw himself on his face in an agony of distress. “And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their back before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round about, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do for thy great name? And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up: wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hast sinned and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and they have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from amongst you. Up, sanctify the people and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” [Joshua 7:7-13.] 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 4

Now the point that I wanted to bring before you was this: God notices evils which do exist. If there is wrong practiced by anyone in this school, which is but winked at and passed over, would the students consider it a gracious thing to do? There are some that might consider it so, but still God does not take it thus. If God has placed men in responsible positions, then it becomes everyone that has the responsibility of this position of trust to be faithful sentinels; to be guarding the fort lest there shall be things brought in which shall be an offense to God. God looks at sins that are even as Achan’s, and He says, “I will not be with you any more.” [Verse 12.] 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 5

We want the students to take this individually. We are living in a solemn time. We are living where there is opposition, where we must meet principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Will the truth of God lose its power upon the mind of the people, will God leave us so that the enemy of truth shall apparently triumph and obtain the victory? 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 6

What we want is to speak to you individually. You have a case open between you and your God. How is it with you and your God? Are you seeking earnestly for the glory of God and the success of His cause, and are you putting away everything that is offensive to God? Are you making straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way? God is in earnest with us. We are serving a jealous God, one that cannot look upon iniquity, and that cannot be pleased and let iniquity pass right along without being exposed. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 7

It may look like a terrible thing that the Lord said that Achan should be destroyed; but the very same principles that controlled Achan had been brought into his family, and this influence would have been dangerous to the children of Israel. Everything like falsehood, everything like dissembling, everything like dishonesty is a terrible thing in the sight of God. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 8

We want you to arouse your minds [to] see that it is the duty of every one of you to hold the fort. It is an important fort. It is very important that every youth should make an entire consecration of himself, soul and body to God, and say, “Not what I wilt but thy will be done. I am ready to hear.” You may have a conscience and that conscience may bring conviction to you, but the question is, Is that conviction a working agent? Does that conviction reach your heart and the doings of the inner man? Is there a purification of the soul temple of its defilement? That is what we want, because it is a time such as it was in the days of the children of Israel; and if there are any sins upon you, do not stop till they are corrected and put away. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 9

There are some that have been brought up in their homes to have what they please and do what they like. When they come to our school to obtain an education, in order to have a right kind of education they must have a mold upon their character that is after the divine similitude. The conscience must be to a purpose because there will be a surrender. All your convictions are not worth a straw unless they reach to the heart. Have you that faith that works by love and purifies the soul? 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 10

Some think they have a great wealth of affection because if anyone does wrong, they cover it up and do not make anything of it. They cover it up and make as light of it as possible because it will hurt their feelings. There is danger on both sides. There is danger of not placing the twin sister of love beside her. God is love and God is justice and these two must blend. They must touch, they must unite together, and then God wants the school to be after the order of the schools of the prophets. We want the divine similitude to be seen in those that are being educated. You may obtain all the knowledge that is in the world, but this is not the education that is most profiting to those that obtain it—it is the love of God and the purity of the soul running through the life like threads of gold. It is here that you are receiving the education that you will take to the other world. We want an education that can be taken to the other world. I do not want an education that I have to leave half of it here. We want an education that can to taken to the other world. Ye are complete in Him who gave His life to save us, and is now sat down with the Father on His throne. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 11

Well, if there is any straight dealing, some are so full of what they call affection, but it is very cheap affection. It is very cheap affection when they will say “peace” when there is no peace. [Jeremiah 6:14.] This is the affection that will plaster over everything that God will send to strike the mind. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 12

We want you to feel that you are responsible for the success of the school. You need not think that it depends upon those that have the management of it to make the school successful. It depends upon the students. What kind of timber are you putting into your character? We want you to consider how God treated Achan and how God treated Israel because that sin was committed in their midst and that He knew all about it. He was offended because by His mighty power He did a great and glorious work for Israel, but here were sins that barred His way so that He could not do what He would. You know it is stated that the world’s Redeemer could not do many mighty works in certain places because of their unbelief. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 13

What is our school good for without discipline? We must have it in the school. What is heaven good for if we are not to keep the commandments when there? We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. God is only waiting for you to clear the way. Christ, the Saviour of the world, was coming to introduce His mission, but John was sent before Him to prepare the way. And what did he do? He called them to repentance. That work was done so that Christ’s words would find a lodgment in the human heart. While we will treat every soul with all the compassion that Jesus manifested to us, we want to feel in harmony with God and hate the sin but love the sinner. And we want to call things by their right name, and put sins away from us. When we <begin to> tamper with sin, it does not seem so sinful to us. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 14

Everyone of you can have a deep and rich and glorious experience in the things of God. Everyone can feel that it is a test and trial of his faith to bring this school up in interest, bring it up in godliness, bring it up in purity and integrity. But the heads of the school cannot do it without your co-operation. All the heavenly universe is watching the inhabitants of the earth; they are watching the human agents, waiting for an entire surrender to the God of Heaven. Just as soon as that is made, the heavenly intelligences go to work upon that agent and he becomes a living channel of light. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 15

You will think after a time what kind of an influence you exerted in the school, and you will think whether you tried to make yourself what God designed you should be. He has given us precious light and brought us every opportunity and every privilege that you could be complete in Jesus Christ. Oh, do not make a low standard, or you will never reach higher than your own standard. We want a complete character. We want to rise as high as it is possible for us to rise. The experience that you gain here, if it is of the right kind, is going to be more valuable to you than gold and silver and precious stones. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 16

It is going to be of the highest consequence to you as to how you stand in the sight of God: “Am I where God’s Holy Spirit can mold me?” You are not to try and mold the Holy Spirit, but it is the Holy Spirit that is to mold you. It is to take out everything that is like disorder, everything that is lax and loose and slipshod in character. It is to bring you where you shall have a well balanced mind. It is to bring you where you can feel that it is a place where God’s honor loves to dwell. Right here in the school. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 17

I want to address the students. We are heaven bound. There is a strife in which we are to engage. You may profess the religion of Jesus Christ from now until the judgment, but it will do you no good unless you work in harmony with Jesus Christ to keep the law of God, which Achan did not. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 18

Do you think Satan wants this school to be carried on where his word cannot be carried out, where you will perfect Christian characters? Does he want that? Every student here has an influence, and there is an unconscious influence that surrounds every one of you. It is as poisonous as hell, or it is from Jesus Christ. The fragrance of Christ’s character makes you a savor of life unto life. We want Jesus to abide with us, and we open our soul temple and invite him in. He says, “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” [John 15:7.] There is the promise, and the condition. Can you do just as you please and think that you can come to Christ at any time and ask Him for anything that you want? No, you do not know how to pray. What we want is to know how to pray intelligently, how to speak intelligently and how to live intelligently as in the sight of God and the whole universe of Heaven. And God will help everyone of us. We need not to be destitute of His help, for God will give us grace upon grace. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 19

We are acting upon the plan of multiplication as brought to view in the first chapter of Second Peter, and he tells us to work upon the plan of addition. As you work upon that plan, God applies His grace and you have grace and light and it molds and fashions your heart. “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.” [Verses 5-7.] Not tied on the outside. If they be in you and abide, they make you that ye shall not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. “And this is eternal life that ye know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” [John 17:3.] To know Him is to represent His character. You have grace and you gather more grace so that your talents and influence are constantly increasing. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 20

O, I love Jesus. I behold in Him matchless charms. I woke up last Sunday morning and it was as though a voice spoke to me, “By beholding, ye become changed into the same image.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] “Looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.” [Hebrews 12:2.] Will you look, dear students? Will you keep your mind just as though God were by your side? Will you consider that He is right by your side [and] is longing to give you grace and help? So grasp Him by living faith, [saying,] I must be an overcomer. I will press the battle to the gates and keep working. “Looking unto Jesus, ... who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.” [Verse 2.] He says a little after this, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood.” [Verse 4.] You have not lost blood in the battle yet, and there are not many here that have. I think we can lean more firmly upon the arm of the Lord till we obtain the victory, till we can say, “A new song hath he put in my mouth.” [Psalm 40:3.] 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 21

We want you to know that all the universe of Heaven longs to co-operate with you that you “may be more than conquerors through him that hath loved you.” [Romans 8:37.] Let us fight manfully the battle of the Lord, and then we shall wear the crown of immortal glory. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 22

Here are the different places where the truth and error are brought into collision. If we are true soldiers of Jesus Christ, we will watch, we will pray, we will empty our soul temple of every defilement so that if we cannot do anything else we can pray. If there is an increased opposition, which we may expect, do you want to be found on the side of the enemy? Do you feel that Christ’s glory is involved and that you want to be an encouragement to everyone that is bearing burdens in the school and working far beyond their strength to get the truth before the people? You can make their hearts glad by not showing a spirit that is not under the control of God. This is discouraging because they see that their efforts are vain. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 23

We want all of you to get together in your rooms and pray for those that are working for the truth. Let every one of you feel responsible for the success of the school. Hold the fort that nothing [may] come into your heart that will be a discouragement to the school, but that you stand as students that are serving, loving and glorifying the Lord. 9LtMs, Ms 13, 1894, par. 24