Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 12, 1894

Sermon/This Is Life Eternal that They Might Know Thee.

Prahran, Australia

February 18, 1894, 4:00 p.m.

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 239-249.

“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hath sent.” John 17:2, 3. Here is the greatest knowledge and the most essential for every individual to know. You may, everyone of you put forth all your efforts; you may expend money, you may go [to] the highest institutions of learning to obtain an education, and yet if you do not feel the necessity of [becoming] acquainted with God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, all the knowledge that you obtain cannot give you eternal life. We have traveled extensively and seen many going from place to place, from east to west, to Europe and back again, and traveling over the world. What were they after? They wanted to prolong their life. We saw one poor human being suffering in distress, such distress—a large tumor on his head, increasing till it bowed his head down to his breast. He believed in Jesus, but he said, “Give me something to prolong my life.” Even in suffering and distress, such a tenacious hold on life. He wanted life. We tried to talk with him about the life which measures with the life of God. We tried to talk with him about that life which runs parallel with the life of Jehovah. It is a life without sigh and without sin, a life without bereavement, without infirmities, and without affliction, and with no fear of death. What a life that is! Well, here are the conditions whether you shall have that life or not. “This is life eternal, to know the true and living God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” [Verse 3.] 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 1

Why then is the world not filled with the glory of God? Why do you not find human beings that are making it their aim and object to know God and to know Jesus Christ whom He hath sent? Why do you not see the instruction coming from parents to children? Why has it not been in past generations that the instruction has come from parents to children, and thus children have been trained and disciplined and educated so that the first lessons they shall teach their children will be lessons of God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent? They must know this or they will never know what eternal life is. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 2

How wicked it is for parents by precept and example to show by their conversation and practice that this world absorbs all their mind. Who gave you your mind? Why it was God. He gave you your intellect and He gave you that mind that it should be educated, that it should be trained, that it should be disciplined. He alone can do it. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 3

When parents give the lessons to their children from their babyhood, should it not be God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent? And when the words of life, the lessons of Jesus Christ are familiar to their own mind, the treasures of the heart are molded by the treasures of the God of Heaven, and they are teaching their children to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Not to know Him as children have been taught in generations back—that He is a spy upon them and that God is a stern judge. No, you do not want to teach them that. You want to weave love into your own character, and you want to bring it into the character of your children. You want true Christian courtesy in your own life, and you want to bring it into the lives of your children. You want it in the lives of your children. You want to keep before them that they are living in the sight of God, that they are living in the sight of Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 4

Cherubims and seraphims, angels and archangels, are watching the battle that is going on in this life. Between whom? The Prince of life and the power of darkness. And what does God do? He shows us how we must do, He shows us how we must conduct the battle. He left the royal courts, laid aside His royal robe, and clothed His humanity with divinity. He became a man among the sons of men, and here He walked the world as what? A representative of the love of God, an example that we may study, a character that we may imitate every phase of, that we may see that He did not live to glorify Himself, but He lived to point to God. He came to live the law of God, because Satan was bringing his power to bear upon men, and his lying fallacies were all the time pressing upon them. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 5

You cannot keep the law. No. It is impossible for man of himself to keep the law. He cannot do it. But what can he do? Lay hold by living faith of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and present to the Father the righteousness of Christ; and the fragrance of His character is brought into his life. Here Satan is dethroned, he is emptied out of the house, and the vacuum is supplied by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christ sits enthroned in the human soul. Christ never wars against Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 6

And Christ 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.] Then it is plainly expressed what His will and work are, in the 14th chapter of John and the twelfth verse. It is believing on Jesus Christ who is able to save you to the utmost. He came to this world to bring fallen man moral power, that he might keep the commandments of God and be a partaker in the divine nature, overcoming the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is the privilege of every one of us. When God has done so much for us in giving His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life, we are persons of hope. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 7

We may everyone lay hold on the hope that is set before us. “He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also,” and He says, “I kept My Father’s commandments.” [John 14:12; 15:10.] The Pharisees said when the disciples rubbed the ears of corn as they went through the wheat fields, “He has broken the Sabbath.” [Matthew 12:2.] Could they have fastened that upon Him, then what? They would not have had to get false witnesses to speak against Him. They would have condemned Him as a Sabbath-breaker. But He said, “Ye do not know what this means, I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” or ye would not have condemned the guiltless. [Verse 7.] 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 8

Who dares to say Christ is a Sabbath-breaker? He made the Sabbath Himself. He is the one that spoke the law from Sinai. He is the one who was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and therefore He said, “Ye are ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] Why? Because they covered it all up with their maxims and traditions, which had been handed down from rabbi to rabbi, and repeated and enlarged till the specifications of the law of God were buried in a mass of rubbish, and till the people were not certain that they were keeping the law or not, for the law is the transcript of the Father’s character. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 9

If the law could have been abolished, Christ need not have died, but He came, the only begotten Son, to die and suffer for the human family. Now He says, “Ye that believe in me the works that I do shall they do also, and greater works than these shall these do, because I go to my Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” [John 14:12, 13.] Please tell me, if you can, why you are so weak and helpless. Why, as professing Christians, are we so mixed and mingled with the world, till we lose sight of eternity, till we lose sight of Jesus Christ, and till we lose sight of the Father? 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 10

Why, I ask you, are there so many families destitute of the Spirit of God; why are there so many families that have so little of the life, and love and likeness of Jesus Christ? It is because they do not know God. If they knew God and if they would behold Him by faith in Jesus Christ who came to our world to die for man, they would see such matchless charms in the Son, that they by beholding would become changed [into] the same image. Now you see the wrong of conforming to the world. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 11

We have a little lifetime to live here, and we know not how soon the day may come when the arrow of death must strike our heart. We know not how soon the time may come when we shall have to give up the world and all interest in the world. Have we individually become acquainted with God, the governor of Heaven, the Lawgiver, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent into the world to represent Him? 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 12

The world could not bear Him. Just three years and a half of public ministry and then they got rid of Him. The heavenly vine was taken and transplanted on the other side of the wall. There the heavenly boughs hang over this side of the wall by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to man and here the communication is to be kept up between heaven and earth, between God and man. The communication is to be preserved lest man be overcome of the world. Christ says, “I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.] Why? On our behalf. That you may overcome as He overcame. Then our work is to seek God with all our hearts that we may find Him. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 13

Do not be afraid to be found on your knees acknowledging God as your Father. Acknowledge your dependence upon God. Acknowledge that you are acquainted with His power, that you want a vital connection with the God of Heaven. “Well,” you say, “they misinterpret me, and if I am in the world I must be of the world.” No, that does not necessarily follow. Christ says, “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine that they may see your good works,” and let them see that you are turning your eyes upon heaven. [Matthew 5:14, 16.] But it is not the fashion, and I am so sorry that it is not the fashion. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 14

We found that Moses was uplifting his hands towards Heaven when Israel and the opposing power were in warfare. Before all Israel he stood with his hands uplifted toward Heaven. But just as soon as they began to drop, the enemy gained the victory and every time his hands were uplifted toward Heaven the forces of Israel gained the victory. So Aaron and Hur stood on each side and held his hands toward heaven as a symbol, signifying that he was laying hold of the God of Heaven as they must do. They must stretch their arms toward heaven. Christ is their helper. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 15

Here we are in a world that is unfavorable to right and truth, and what shall we that want to serve God do? What shall we do? We must put our whole business into the business of serving God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] Because you have got a God who says, “If ye keep my commandments I will bless you in your fields, and flocks, and herds, and vineyards, and all that you put your hand unto.” The God of Heaven has placed a benediction upon them that keep the commandments of God. Shall we stand as a peculiar people of God or shall we trample upon the law of God and say it is not binding? God might just as well have abolished Himself. In the law every specification is the character of the infinite God. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 16

What are we to do? Study the Scriptures. Search the Scriptures. See whether you are obeying the law of God and the standard of His righteousness. Tell your children that you have disregarded the law of God. Tell them you feel as Ezra did. Here was Josiah so sorry to think that the law had been lost and that they had been careless and heedless of it. They bring it before him. There stands up one that reads it, and the people weep and mourn because they have not kept the law. But rejoice that you have the law now. We will keep it. Bring your offerings and gifts and offer praise to God with your tears and mourning. That is just what we want to do. If the light of the law of God comes to us and we see intelligently that we have been transgressing it, we can say, “Now I understand how it is that we have been in darkness and uncertainty. Now we will lay right hold of the commandments of God and we will keep them and live, ‘for the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’” [Psalm 19:7.] Why should God abolish a perfect thing? We want to use our intelligence to a purpose, and send back joy and rejoicing that you have found out that you were not loyal servants of the Lord of Heaven, but that you would be. You would not have it go up to the judgment that you were transgressing the law of God and putting Christ to an open shame before the world. Thinking good but not practicing will not answer. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 17

We want Christ and His obedience and we want to drink in of the Spirit of God. I want to be like Him. I want to practice His virtues and be a doer of the Word. And what did He say on the Mount? “Think not”—on their startled ears fell the words, their very thoughts unrolled before them—“think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.” He came to fulfill every specification of the law. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:17, 18.] I want you to take this. It is the Word of God. You will hear from the word of men that the law is abolished and that it is not binding upon men. And they act just so. But you cannot afford to work against God. “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] I would rather be a laborer with God than to be laboring counter to Him. I see in Him matchless charms. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 18

“But,” you say, “the law cannot save anybody.” No, we are free through Christ, living in obedience to the law, through the merits and righteousness and virtues of His character. And when we lay hold of Him by living faith what shall we do? Keep the commandments of God and live His law as the apple of your eye. These are the words of inspiration, “Keep them and live.” [Leviticus 18:5.] You do not have anyone touch that part of your eye. You know how painful it is. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 19

Do you want to know just what to do? Say, “I rejoice that I have found out how defective I am and I am going to overcome sin and be a victor; for He says, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.’” [Revelation 3:21.] Will you overcome as Christ overcame? Shall we have the victory? Jesus Christ is our Saviour. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 20

We have a great work to do. Not to tell them that there is no law. No law to govern heavenly and human intelligences? Whoever picks that up is in Satan’s army and you cannot afford to be there. I beseech you to seek the Lord with all your heart that you may find him to be precious to your soul. Jesus died that you might have salvation, that you might go on, not linking hands with the world, not that you might know more and more of the world, but that you might know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 21

The law cannot save, you but it is the standard of character, and to represent the character of Jesus Christ you must live the law, for He lived the law in our world. Paul says, “I have taught them from house ... repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:20, 21.] This is the way. We behold Him for the perfection of His character and then we see the defects in our own character. Do you stand before God and say, “Cleanse us and change us”? You should flee to Jesus Christ and lay hold of the divine merits of the Son of God, and then you are washed from the defilements and stains of sin. There is not a stain in the character because God is enthroned in the heart and Christ does not war against Christ. Christ does not war against the Father. “I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30.] He was in the express image of the Father’s person, and we want to express the character of Jesus Christ. We must claim His sufficiency. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 22

Christ has died for us. Satan says, “You are a sinner and cannot make yourself any better.” Yes, I am a sinner and I need a saviour and I lay hold of the merits of Jesus Christ to save me from all transgression. We wash in the fountain that has been prepared for us, and we are cleansed from all the defilement of sin. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 23

There is matchless loveliness in Jesus Christ. I love Him because He first loved me. We want the purity that there is in Jesus Christ and He will save to the utmost all who come to Him. Then you see what Christ suffered for us. Are we willing to be partakers of His sufferings? He says if we are we will be partakers of His glory. How much have you suffered for Christ’s sake? Are you willing to be partakers with Him in His suffering? If you are, He will co-operate with you and you can co-operate with the heavenly intelligences to bring the lost sheep back to the fold. There are souls that are perishing out of Christ, and what we want is to bring God’s lost sheep back to Christ. May God help us to know what we must do. Christ loves us because we are helpless and dependent. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 24

We are lost without Christ, but God has given us something to bring us back to our loyalty. We want the deep movings of the Spirit of God on our hearts. We want to walk in the light as God is in the light and then we shall not walk in darkness. We shall have songs of praise and rejoicing, for we can tell the story of the love of Jesus toward man. He died on Calvary that we should not perish in our sin. Then cease from evil and follow on to know the Lord. Oh, the light and love and preciousness that there is in Jesus Christ! He will encircle us in the arms of His mercy and He will love us freely. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 25

God grant that we may seek the perishing and bring them back to the fold of God. We want to see sinners converted and we want to seek to expel sin from the world. God will deliver us, and we may represent the character of Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the whole world. Let us, everyone, learn of Jesus. Take His yoke. Love Him because He first loved you, and we shall have a most precious victory by and by. He will open the gates of the City of God and bid us come in. He will welcome us and give us a heavenly benediction. To [all] [who] have tested their obedience that they will obey the law of God, He says, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] What is that joy? The joy of seeing sinners converted. They will be brought to Jesus Christ, and this is His joy. We have been partakers with Jesus Christ. “Laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] And thus we see that we can indeed be partakers of His glory which shall be given to every faithful child of God. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 26

Let us take the robe of His righteousness woven in the loom of heaven. There is not a thread of humanity in that robe. It is the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Let us put it on right here. We want life. We want to give the example of what Christ is and what we may be. Oh, that we might manifest God to a fallen world. We may be purified so that we may wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness and the crown of immortality. God grant that this may be our lot, for Jesus loves us with a love that is infinite. He does not want that one of us should perish, but that every one may have that life that measures with the life of God. God grant that we may secure that blessed inheritance. 9LtMs, Ms 12, 1894, par. 27