Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 17, 1894

Sermon/The Power of God and His Truth

North Brighton Tent, Australia

March 3, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 334; 2MCP 578-579, 670, 794-795. +Note

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” [1 Peter 1:1, 2.] That is a wonderful verse. “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” How much we want it. Grace and peace and the light and presence of God. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” [Verses 3-5.] 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 1

That is right where we are. That is the very revelation we need. That is the thing we must have. It is the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. We want it. Now is the time when Satan has come down with power and he works with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. He works in them that perish. What for? That he may send his human agent with suggestions to every soul who would have a desire to serve and glorify God. “Who are kept by the power of God.” [Verse 5.] Nothing else will keep us. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 2

We had better be on Christ’s side than on Satan’s side because if we are on the side of Satan we are not kept by the power of God, but we are agents to work and let Satan work through us to be a temptation and trial and to deceive. We cannot afford to do that. We want the truth because it is truth. We want a truth that will elevate, a truth that will ennoble and refine. We want a truth that proceeds from God, and we are sanctified by the truth. We are “kept by the power of God through faith.” [Verse 5.] We are not to drift and be tossed just like the waves of the sea, which are moved by the wind. No, it is by faith we stand. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 3

We want a right hold from above. We want our souls riveted on the eternal rock, Christ Jesus. Well, it is faith, faith that we must keep in exercise. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] We want that faith that can lay hold of the promise of God. Is there anything that will try to hinder us? Yes, it is Satan’s special work to cast his hellish shadow across our pathway and every soul must have their eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith. Look, look unto Jesus. That is where our help comes from. He is not in Joseph’s new tomb. He rose from the tomb in triumph, and over the rent sepulcher of Joseph He proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 4

He is a living Saviour. God sent Him to be a propitiation for our sins, that through faith in Him we should have that salvation that is more abundantly revealed in the last time. Why? It is because the power of the enemy is stronger and he is working more mightily as he sees his time is short. Therefore he gathers all his forces and puts them upon the tracks of every soul, and he sees just where you are taken up with worldly attractions and worldly fascinations. Unless you are connected with God and are one with Jesus Christ and let your light shine, the world that is in darkness will not be enlightened. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 5

It is the duty of everyone that has a connection with God to live by faith, and have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Anyone that claims to have faith, and has envy and evil surmisings and bitterness of spirit, [has] not that faith. [He has] not that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. What we want is a faith that works. It is a living, active principle and moves the whole system. How? Why, when the converting power of God takes hold of a man it brings every organ, every power, every ability into conformity with the will of God. And then what? Why, then the salt has its savor. But if the salt loses its savor wherewith shall it be salted? How shall the world be saved? We cannot afford to disconnect from Jesus Christ. We want the living principle of truth circulating through our minds and through the entire body. We want to see aright. We want to see as God sees, for Satan is constantly trying to convert the things our eyes rest upon in order that we may see through his medium. We want our eyes sanctified. We want to be just as it is described by the prophet. “Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger?” [Isaiah 42:19.] What kind of blindness is this? It is a blindness that will not allow our eyes to contemplate evil. It will not allow our eyes to rest upon iniquity. It will not grasp the things of sight and lose eternity out of its reckoning. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 6

There are eternal interests before us, and every day we are determining our eternal destiny. We are working on God’s side or we are working on the side of the enemy. We are working in conformity to the will of God, or we are working on the side of disobedience, in conformity to the will of another leader. We want the transforming grace of God to take right hold of our thinking powers. We may think evil, we may continue to keep our minds upon objectionable things, but what does this do for us? It conforms our entire experience to that which we are looking upon. But by beholding Jesus we become changed into His likeness. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 7

The servant of the living God sees to some purpose. The eyes are sanctified and the ears are sanctified, and those [who] will close their eyes and ears to evil will become changed. But if they will listen to those who will address them and try to lead their thoughts away from God and their eternal interests, then their whole senses are perverted by that which their eyes rest upon. Jesus says, “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” [Matthew 6:22, 23.] 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 8

It makes every difference what we give our minds and souls to feed upon. We can let our minds dwell upon romance and castle-building, and what will it do for us? It will ruin us, soul and body. It is not only the soul, but the body. We cannot afford this. What we want is the deep movings of the Spirit of God. We want to have that power that will enable us to close our eyes to scenes that are not elevating, that are not ennobling, that will not purify and refine us; and we will then keep our ears closed to everything that is forbidden in God’s Word. He forbids us to imagine evil, to speak evil, and even to think evil. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 9

Our tongues must be sanctified. We want sanctified speech. When we come together, our time is altogether too important to be devoted to evil speaking, to be devoted to commonplace chitchat. We are in the sight of heavenly angels. The very same eye is upon us that was upon Belshazzar when in his feast he was praising the gods of silver and gold, and when he was desecrating the precious vessels they had taken from the house of the Lord. He was distressed when he saw the writing on the wall. “Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] Belshazzar’s kingdom was finished. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 10

It becomes us to be silent, and there are times when silence is golden. Our communications should be such as will administer grace to the hearer. We want to speak words that will help souls on the road that leads to eternity. God will help us. He says He will. “We are kept by the power of God.” Kept from what? Kept from the least desire to leave the paths of God. “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” [1 Peter 1:5.] Why, iniquity abounds and because of this the love of many will wax cold, because of what they see and hear. We want to talk in such a way that will help those to whom we talk, and a holy atmosphere surrounds us. An atmosphere surrounds every soul. It is a poisonous atmosphere, or [it] is an atmosphere that comes right from heaven. We want to be sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. All there is of us. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 11

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” 1 Peter 1:6. So he does not tell us that we shall not have any trials or temptations. We have got to go through this world with manifold temptations. And yet he says that we are kept by the power of God so we need not fall under temptations. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 12

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [Verse 7.] Why? Because we have not let go our hold of the divine power. We are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Here is an escape for us. We are not to fall under the trial because we have the invitation, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 13

Do not go to any human being to pour out your trials of mind and heart, but “Come to me.” Me, the precious Saviour. “Come unto me.” Do not go anywhere else. “I understand all your life and your temptation. I have weighed them.” He that balances the mountains in His hand knows the weight of every trial brought upon every soul, and how much we can endure of that trial that is brought upon us. He says, “Come unto me, for ye shall find rest unto your souls. Take my yoke upon you.” [Verses 28, 29.] And then He will lift our burdens. We may manufacture a yoke and put it upon our neck, and it galls wonderfully. But do not manufacture a yoke. Take the yoke of Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 14

Let us contemplate the things of God which are strength, and take the yoke of Christ. “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.” And then what? “Learn of me.” “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Verses 28, 29.] Anyone that is meek and lowly of heart is never looking for slights. They never want to be able to reprove this one’s course of action and that one’s course of action. That is not their business. This is the place where they are blind and deaf. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 15

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” [Verse 29.] Who will take the yoke of Christ and bear it daily and hourly? Every soul that consents to bear it will—there are no “ifs” about it—find rest to their souls. You need not go groaning up the road that is cast up for the ransomed, because somebody does not appreciate you. He says lifting the burden is meekness and lowliness and there is rest there. “For my yoke is easy.” [Verse 30.] Now if you are lifting the burden, throw it down. Just lay it off and exchange it for Christ’s yoke. Then He bears one end of the yoke and you bear the other. Shall we not let Him do it? Shall we wrestle ourselves along till we get the whole weight of the yoke? God forbid. There is a rest in Jesus. There is a peace in Him that passeth understanding. We cannot explain it any more than you can explain the wind that moves the leaves of the trees. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 16

The meekness and lowliness of Christ is seen in us as we wear His yoke. I am so thankful that we can do this. I am so thankful that we do not have to carry the heavy load and go groaning with distress and agony. We want to follow Him who is the light of the world. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 17

“I am the light of the world.” [John 8:12.] Now, He says, “Learn of me.” [Matthew 11:29.] Do not go to anybody else. Do not go to any human channel. If we have been drinking of the turbid streams of the valley, it is because we have left the living springs of Lebanon. You cannot afford to do this. Your experience will be just in accordance with what you give your thirsty soul to drink. We want to drink the water of life. We want to eat the bread of salvation. And then our experience will be bright because we have eaten of the Bread of life which is the flesh and blood of the Son of God. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 18

I wish the world knew what religion was. I wish everyone of us knew what it was. I wish we would lay hold of it by living faith and I wish we could weave it into our lives, into our eyesight, our hearing, and our tongues. Then we would work to a purpose to represent Jesus Christ. I see in Jesus everything that is lovely, everything that is holy, everything that is uplifting and pure. Then why should I want to open my eyes wide to see everything that is disagreeable? By beholding we become changed. Let us look to Jesus and consider the loveliness of His character, and by beholding we shall become changed into the same likeness. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 19

If God tells us that in Him is peace, why do we not heed the invitation? Letters come to me clear from America, “I want you to tell me how to find Jesus.” But what ought they to do? Go and find Him right where they are. We need not go one thousand miles, we need not go outside of this tent. We can give our hearts to Him this very day. We can say, “Lord, I give myself to Thee; it is all that I can do.” And then by living faith grasp the hand of infinite power because it is your right. God gave His only begotten Son that you might have a legal bond or deed to the eternal weight of glory. How shall I get the deed? By doing the will of our Father which is in heaven. I wrote to these souls that they were to believe that Christ was their living personal Saviour. He had risen from Joseph’s new tomb, and stands before the Father as our Advocate, our Intercessor. He gathers up every child that will take Him as their Saviour and they are written upon the palms of His hands. How? By the marks of the crucifixion. They are His heritage. Then are we to wait till we have a blessed feeling here? I should not have many blessed feelings if I did. I have had the heart disease for nearly fifty years. They said fifty years ago, “She cannot live three months.” There is a pain there still, but when it gets almost unbearable, I come right to the promises of God. I leave my body right in His hands and He gives me strength to bear this affliction. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 20

Where is my hope? Not in emotion and not in feeling, but in the promises of God. You said it, Lord, and I believe you. You said that if I should come to You I would find rest. I have your pledged Word. I am accepted by Thy blood. [Not] apart from Him, but in Christ I am accepted. Satan need not throw his hellish shadow across my pathway, for I do not look at it. I see by faith and cleave right through it into the place where Christ is making intercession for me. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 21

Jesus is making intercession for every one of us and He wants us to come to Him and see the power and grace of a living Saviour. He is my Saviour, and He saves me today. I believe in Him today. I commit the keeping of my soul to Him today and I am kept by the power of God, through faith unto the salvation that is to be revealed in the last time. If that salvation is revealed, I mean to see it. I know I have got a living Saviour. I know He has bought me with an infinite price, and I am not going to disappoint Him. I am going to count myself on the Lord’s side, that my name may be graven on His hands. That is what I mean to do. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 22

When the devil comes with his doubts and unbeliefs, shut the door of your heart. Shut your eyes so that you will not dwell upon his hellish shadow. Lift them up where they can behold the things which are eternal, and you will have strength every hour. “The trial of your faith is much more precious than gold.” [1 Peter 1:7.] It makes you strong in faith. It makes you valiant to fight the battle of the Lord. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] Satan claims the world. And then shall we give him that claim that he claims us as his? No. I am somebody else’s property. I have been bought with a price and my business is to glorify God in my body and spirit. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 23

I have no time to talk unbelief. It is faith that I must talk. I must strengthen faith by exercise. And then my faith grows as I venture upon the promises of God, and I can grasp more and more. Blessed, blessed Jesus. I love Him because He is comfort and hope and opportunity and resource to me—individual me and individual you. I want that you will consider yourself His property. Set your face as a flint toward Mount Zion. Be determined that there is a treasure there that you can get. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 24

Satan connects with everyone that will connect with him. If he can get those that have had an experience in religion, they are his most effectual agents to reach just such men and compass their souls with unbelief. You cannot afford to let any doubts come into your mind. Do not please the devil enough to tell about the terrible burdens you are carrying. Every time you do it, Satan laughs that his soul can control you, and that you have lost sight of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 25

God will put a new song [on] your lips when you surrender your will and way to Him. Give yourself without reserve to God. Do not make a single reserve. Not a single compromise with the prince of darkness. Wrench yourself away from him. Cut loose from all that binds you to Satan’s chariot wheels. Do you know what it is to be free in Jesus Christ? I have experienced it. A new heart will He give you and a new song will He put [on] your lips, even praise to God. When Satan tells you to groan, begin to sing. When he tells you to pour out your doubts to him, praise God. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 26

I was writing to one that was a backslider once about the matchless depths of the Saviour’s love. He said, “I was listening to the driest discourse I ever heard in my life. I thought I would like to get my soul free and speak for Jesus Christ. I never would tell such a dry story as I have been listening to today. A voice came to me, ‘Why do you not give yourself to Jesus Christ now?’ But my business? I have got to see myself out of my business. ‘But why not give yourself today, just as you are?’” Said he, “It seemed like a ray of light from the throne of God came to me as I said, ‘I will, today. I will come to Him just as I am,’ and then everything was changed. I expected to have to fast and pray and labor, but Jesus took me and He has reigned in my heart ever since.” 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 27

I am so thankful that we have a Saviour that can take us just as we are. Here is an opportunity to get that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. When we fail He will redeem us, and instead of groaning we ought to glorify and praise God. “Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” [1 Peter 1:8.] They were appointed to glorify Jesus Christ. To praise Him with their voices, and to praise Him with their whole being. If we do not do this, we do not meet the mind and the expectations of God. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 28

“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” [Verse 9.] Well, then, will we talk darkness when we have come out of the slough of despond? Where there was no light in the inner chamber, now the sunshine is flashing all through it. Then shall we talk darkness? Come up out of the slough into the upper chamber and talk light. I am going to talk hope and I am going to talk courage, and God grant that the words may sink into some heart that needs hope and courage and grace. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 29

How many of us have taken into consideration that we are to show forth Him who hath called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light? It is by living faith that we rest in that [light]. It is by living faith that we rejoice in that light every day. We are not to talk our doubts and trials because they grow bigger every time we talk them. Every time we talk them, Satan has gained the victory; but when we say, “I will commit the keeping of my soul unto Him, as unto a faithful witness,” then we testify that we have given ourselves to Jesus Christ without any reservation, and then God gives [us] light and [we] rejoice in Him. We want to place ourselves under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness and then we shall be a light in the world. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though yet ye see him not, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” [Verse 8.] 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 30

When they are walking in darkness they are bewildered and know not whither they go, because the darkness hath blinded their eyes. We want to understand that there is a distinction between our brethren and the world. We must love those that have not the truth, but those that are connected with Jesus Christ, those that are of the household of faith, we are bound by the most sacred injunction to love them and to seek to be a help and blessing to them in every way. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” [1 John 4:11.] Write this upon the tables of your heart. Obey the Word of God. “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” [Verses 12, 13.] We want to love our brethren, and jealously guard every brother and sister, and then we are working in harmony with Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 31

It frightens me when I see human beings that are subject to temptation fasten upon a brother or sister and pour out upon them words of condemnation and reproof. I am afraid for their souls. We do not want to be doing that. We should not be doing that. If we do not love God whom we have not seen, how shall we love our brethren and sisters? We want to love our brethren and sisters and walk in perfect harmony. God help us that we may walk in harmony and glorify Jesus Christ. Then we will have a faith that will purify our soul. 9LtMs, Ms 17, 1894, par. 32