Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

205/315

Ms 18, 1894

Sermon/Laborers together with God

Williamstown, Australia

March 4, 1894, 3:00 p.m.

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 72; 6BC 1093.

“And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” [Ephesians 2:1, 2.] When they were dead in trespasses and sins they walked according to the power of this world. Who is that? Jesus? No. It is the enemy of God. It is Satan, the prince of the power of the air. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” [Verse 4.] Everyone who has tasted of the love of God and the power of the world to come, praise Him for this rich and glorious assurance of His promise. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 1

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved through faith): And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Verses 5, 6.] Now what is it for? What are these blessings so richly bestowed on us for? For we are dead in trespasses and sin. But the chain was long enough for His love to reach to the very lowest depths of human woe and misery. It is in Jesus Christ that we have this blessing. What is it all for? “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness to us through Christ Jesus.” [Verse 7.] 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 2

What are we doing? Those that profess to be Christians, what are you doing? Are you talking of the power of Christ or are you talking of the hellish shadow of Satan? Are you telling how difficult it is for you to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil? Is that the way you are talking? Well Christ presents to us a different story. If He has given us a new heart, if He has shown us the exceeding riches of His glory, if He has put a new song in our mouths, out of the treasures of our heart will we bring forth praise and thankfulness and honor to our God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 3

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] How shall we see the fruit? The works [fruits] testify the character of the tree. The words we utter decide the character of the treasure in our heart. If the Spirit of God moves in our heart, we will bring forth treasures, new and old, because the Spirit of God has lifted us up from the slough of despond and wickedness and sin and made us to sit together with Christ Jesus in heavenly places. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 4

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:8.] We cannot even manufacture faith ourselves. “It is the gift of God.” The whole of our salvation comes through the gift of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How glad I am. It comes from such a source that we cannot doubt it. And He is “the author”—does it stop there? Does it stop there? “The author and finisher of our faith.” [Hebrews 12:2.] Thank God! He attends us every step of the way through, if we are willing to be saved in Christ’s appointed way, through obedience to His requirements. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 5

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” What does this mean? Is it a contradiction? Let us see what the last of it says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Praise God. Now who will be discouraged? Who is going to faint? 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 6

It is not committed to us weak, feeble mortals to work out our own salvation in our own line. It is Christ that worketh in you. And this is the privilege of every son and daughter of Adam. But we are to work. We are not to be idle. We are put here in this world to work. We are not put here to fold our arms. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 7

We hear some people say, “If I can get my children saved.” It is all for my own. Well, I want my children to be saved. I want them to be workers together with God. I want their names to be written in the books of heaven. “Ye are laborers together with God” [1 Corinthians 3:9], and I do labor and pray and most earnestly do I keep my children before God, but in doing so I feel just as great an interest for other children. Their souls are just as precious in God’s sight as my children’s are. He paid the same price for my soul that He paid for other souls. And therefore we are to work in every line, in our words and actions and with our influence, to bring souls to the side of Christ. And then what will we do? We will show forth the praise of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 8

God sent Christ to be a representative of the Father. Men do not know Christ. They have their attention carried away by the various business things of this life. They have lost sight of eternity, and in the place of feeling that they are fighting against principalities and powers, they have forgotten God. What does it mean by principalities and powers? It is the synagogue of Satan. “Principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] This is why men have been overcome. They have fallen under the powers of darkness. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 9

This is the work we have to do—labor earnestly for the salvation of the souls for whom Christ has died. This is the very work Christ is doing. He is working with your efforts. The heavenly intelligences are right by your side that you may not stumble but walk securely, that the light of the righteousness of Jesus Christ may come right to you and shine upon you. We want Jesus. We want to understand the peril the world is in, but this we can only do by taking hold of Him. Then we shall understand the enemy that is ruling like a rod of iron in our land. We shall understand that Satan is working to control man’s brain power, and to obliterate the image of God in man, to take away his sense and to rule him soul and body. Then have we not something to do here? 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 10

Those that profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, are you laborers together with God to restore the moral image of God in the human agent? Will fathers tell their children the story of how Christ fasted forty days and forty nights that He might break the power of appetite upon the human agents and work out for them a glorious victory, that they might in their own act, and on their own behalf, take the work with the divine intelligence co-operating with them, that they might stand not only in their own moral integrity as man, but free from all the slavery of perverted appetite and passion. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 11

We long for men to lay down the weapons of their warfare against God. He dies to redeem them, the whole human family. He dies that He might restore the moral image of God in man. But here is man working with all the power and influence he has to counteract the influence of the work of God upon the human instrument. How does Heaven look upon this thing? How do the heavenly intelligences regard it? He that gave to the world all heaven in one gift, how does He regard it? “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 12

We want eternal life; and if we can indeed feel that we have a title to that immortal inheritance, should we not praise God? Why should we not have it? If we connect with the mighty God we can have it. If we connect with Jesus Christ we have all heaven to draw upon. There is not one here that needs to fall under temptation. Not one of you needs to be overcome by the powers of darkness because in Christ is all sufficiency. In Him all fullness dwells. Temptation may be all around us, on the right hand and on the left, behind and before us, but the channel is open as long as we will keep it open. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 13

Let your prayers force themselves through the hellish shadow, and not be swallowed up by it so that all you can think of [are] the terrible trials you have. You misrepresent Christ. He says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] Ask Isaiah what Christ is to us. He says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] Now you know just who He is. Is that not help enough? Do you want anything more? 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 14

I find that Christ is all sufficient. I take Him and place my hands in His hands and try to place my children’s hands in His. He will grasp their hands and hold them. He will never let them go. We are the purchase of the blood of Christ. And why then should we not be laborers together with Him? Why should we not labor with Him to save souls for a double purpose. And what is that? That their souls may be saved, that when He calls the roll in heaven they may answer to their names. I am willing to be a living instrument on Christ’s side. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 15

We must know what it is to labor and pray earnestly for our children. I have knelt by their side under temptation and discouragement and prayed for them from a little after sunset till about an hour before it rose. What for? That they might have the victory. It seemed as though the enemy was determined to have them in his power. But I said, “No.” I wrestled with God till their lips opened and I knew that just as soon as that son could say, “My Father,” the victory was won. He fell with his head upon my shoulder and said, “Mother, I thank you that you did not leave me under the oppressive power of Satan.” 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 16

As we see the feet of men traveling toward the synagogue of Satan, and going where the liquid poison is dealt out to them to destroy their reason, as we see the souls of men in danger, what are we doing to rescue them? What are you doing to bring them back? We want to work with more than human energy. We want to labor with the power that is in Jesus Christ. And in doing this, we work out our own salvation. The One that condescended to take human nature that He might walk a man among the children of men is the One [who] will show us how to conduct the battle. It is laying right hold of God through Jesus Christ that will gain the victory. I thank God for a Saviour. I have reason to thank Him, not only on my own account but on the account of many that have felt His power and uplifting from the degradation of sin. They can sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Glorify God! 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 17

Glorify Him for the matchless love that has been expressed to the human family in that Christ bore the temptation on the power of appetite in the wilderness. Now He has left the work in our hands, and we are to wrestle with God, and send up our supplications day and night for a power that is unseen. We are to endure like Moses the seeing of Him who is invisible, and then we shall come out more than conquerors through Him who hath loved us. We want the help of everyone. We want everyone to be temperance workers. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 18

But why should we not spend our money as we please? Who gave you the tact to earn money? Who gave it to you? It was the Lord God, your Maker. You are His by creation and by redemption and therefore all you have is His. The very air you breathe belongs to God. The very tables you sit at. It is God that provides the bounty. He is working with His miraculous power day and night. He works together with Jesus and we are to work with them and make the best of the blessings He has given us, that we may spend every power in His glory—our thoughts and all that there is of us—our talents of influence. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 19

There is more spent, a thousand times [more], for tobacco and liquor than there is devoted to seeking to rescue souls from the grasp of the tempter till the image of Jesus is brought back and Jesus reshapes [their] character and brings [them] where [they] have a living connection with the infinite God. We love Him because He first loved us. What then is our work? Is it to connect by one thread or string with any intemperate scheme that may be prolonged in our world? No, one hundred times no. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 20

Let every particle of your influence stand upon the side of Him who hath given His life. What for? That man might be elevated in the scale of moral influence. That man might stand in the merits of one who can make us complete in Him. Then we shall reflect His image in our world. We need it enough! The image of Satan is seen in the human agent. What are you going to do to bring back the moral image of God in man? Where is your money? Are you using it in tobacco and liquor? That is taking the underpinning right out of your houses. Will God work a miracle? You are trying to rule yourselves. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 21

May the God of all grace enlighten the eyes of every one of us. We want every particle of reason that we have got. We have not any to be thrown away on tobacco and liquor. We cannot afford to be lost through appetite. What God has given us in money, let us use with an eye single to His glory. Let it be used in the very lines God works in. Let it be used to elevate and ennoble. Take your children to your home. It is possible for them to take hold of immortality through Jesus Christ. Place them where they can have every opportunity that their lives may be given to God, that they may be partakers of the divine nature. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 22

Let us work with all the influence we have to save souls from perdition. See that man go into the saloon? What is the matter with him when he comes out? His brain power is lost in liquor, and therefore the communications of the electrical fluids do not find their way to the limbs. Is not that enough—to see that sight over and over and over again? Shall we let these things rule them and their families and make no effort to save them? God help us that we may awake from our death slumber. We can do more to help to put away the evil by our example. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 23

Here are your children after they claim to have been converted, after they claim to have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Can you offer them your tobacco? Can you offer them your beer and cider? “But I cannot give them up.” What is the matter? They have the control of your mind and will. But does not Jesus say that if ye abide in Him and His words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you? “It is my Father’s good pleasure that you bear much fruit.” He tells us that He is the Vine and we are the branches, and we are to take the sap that flows through the Vine and bear like fruit with Jesus Christ. [John 15:7, 8, 5.] 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 24

We have no time to spend on the enemy’s side. We have no time to devote to the enemy’s service. We must be laborers together with God. Laborers, only think of it. Laborers together with Him who stands as our Intercessor. He is not in Joseph’s new tomb. He is risen, He is risen! We have a living, risen Saviour. He burst the fetters of the tomb after He had lain there three days, and in triumph He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 25

And He is coming. Are we getting ready for Him? Are we ready so that if we shall fall asleep, we can do so with hope in Jesus Christ? Are you laboring for the salvation of your brothers and sisters? The Lifegiver is soon to come. The Lifegiver is coming to break the fetters of the tomb. He is to bring forth the captives and proclaim, “I am the resurrection, and the Life.” [Verse 25.] There stands the risen host. The last thought was of death and its pangs. The last thoughts they had were of the grave and the tomb, but now they proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” [1 Corinthians 15:55.] The pangs of death was the last thing they felt. “O death, where is thy sting?” The last thing they acknowledged were the pangs of death. When they awake the pain is all gone. “O grave, where is thy victory?” 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 26

Here they stand, and the finishing touch of immortality is put upon them, and they go up to meet their Lord in the air. The gates of the City of God swing back upon their hinges, and the nations that have kept the truth enter in. There are the columns of angels on either side, and the ransomed of God walk in through the cherubims and seraphims. Christ bids them welcome and puts upon them His benediction. “Well done, good and faithful servants, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] What is that joy? He sees the travail of His soul and is satisfied. That is what we labor for. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 27

Here is one, who in the night season we plead[ed] with God on [his] behalf. There is one that we talked with on [his] dying bed, and [he] hung [his] helpless soul upon Jesus. Here is one who was a poor drunkard. We tried to get his eyes fixed upon Him who is mighty to save and we told him that Christ could give him the victory. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 28

There [are] the crowns of immortal glory upon their heads, and then the redeemed cast their glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus. Then the angelic choir strikes the note of victory and the angels in the two columns take up the song and the redeemed host join as though they had been singing the song on the earth, and they had been. Oh, what music! There is not an inharmonious note. Every voice proclaims, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and lives again.” [Revelation 5:12.] “He sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied.” [Isaiah 53:11.] Do you think anyone there will take time to tell of [his] trials and terrible difficulties? “The former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” [Isaiah 65:17.] “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Revelation 21:4.] 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 29

Do you not want to be there? Is there one here whose name shall be called then and no response be made? Is there one present who has not learned the song of triumph through Jesus Christ? If you have not learned it, try to get your eyes fixed upon Jesus and be complete in Him. You see from the text the might and power and grace and salvation that shall be brought to you through Jesus Christ. Will you still continue to refuse to be saved? God grant that you may do it soon. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 30

I want you to educate your children. They do not know the way and unless you show them by your own example to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, and teach them obedience to God’s requirements as God Himself told Moses to teach the children of Israel to do, they will forget God. That is what the devil wants. He wants to sweep away the commandments of God so that the people will be disobedient, unthankful, and unholy, but thank God He has placed the burden upon His servants who have tasted of the power of the world to come. We want parents and children to feel the converting power of the Spirit of God. We want you to come on the side of God. We want you to be in the kingdom of God and sing the song of triumph. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 31

What if the human agent would glorify God now? Would it not lead the world to see that there is a power in the religion of Christ? Put your money in the treasury of heaven. Educate your children, and teach them to regard the love of God. I see in Jesus matchless charms. I love Him because He first loved me. I must go no more out from His presence. I must have life, eternal life. And I want to see you in the kingdom of glory and hear you sing the song of the redeemed. Will you be there? I might stand here and talk to you for hours, although when I left home, I felt as though I could scarcely stand upon my feet. But God has given me strength. He will be to us all we desire. Will you make a surrender to Him? Will you say, “Take me as I am; take me and wash me in Thy blood”? If you can do this, you will make many more to meet you in the kingdom of glory and sing the song of redeeming love. 9LtMs, Ms 18, 1894, par. 32