Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 20, 1894

Sermon/Our Father’s Care for His Children

Williamstown, Australia

March 18, 1894, 3:00 p.m.

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 243-244; TDG 86; Te 30; SD 59, 141.

“Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” [Matthew 6:19.] Now remember, it is not Sister White that is speaking; it is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Why, He came to our earth to give us these lessons lest our feet should stumble, lest they should stray in forbidden paths. He has given us His words and He has given [them] in clear lines. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 1

“But lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Verses 20, 21.] Now contemplate that a moment. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 2

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” [Verse 22.] Single. What does that mean? It means that you have nothing interposing between Jesus Christ and yourself. The salvation of your soul is the great thing for every living mortal, every son and daughter of Adam. You cannot afford to have a double eye. One eye for the world and the other for Christ. You should have your will and all your intellect subservient to Jesus Christ and then everything that you have will have His blessing. It will have His blessing upon it because you have consecrated it to the Lord. You will look for your treasure, your wages, your recompense of reward, when the conflict is over. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 3

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”—if that is all the light you have. [Verse 23.] Christ came to our world that He might reveal to the human intelligences what was of true value, that they should not make a mistake, that they should not be deceived and believe the falsehoods of Satan and go into the paths of disobedience and transgression. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 4

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Verse 24.] There is something that He wants you to hear. He wants you to open the chambers of your mind and receive the things that He is bringing before you. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 5

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” [Verse 25.] What life is He talking about? Is He talking about this temporal life? This life that we know not how long it will last? We know not today how soon the arrow of death shall be aimed at our vitals; we know not how soon our last record will pass into eternity and then it will be too late for us to correct our mistakes. The very character that we have when we go down into the grave we will have when we come up. There is no change of character, but of the mortal body. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 6

If we will indeed believe that Christ is our personal Saviour and that He made an infinite sacrifice that we might have the gift of everlasting life, then our life is hid with Christ in God. And although we may go down into the grave, we shall not stop there. We shall not remain there, for the Lifegiver is coming and the trumpet is to sound, and the dead are to come forth, for Jesus said He was going to prepare mansions for those that loved Him. [John 14:2.] They shall come forth from their graves to a glorious immortality. Then had we not better begin to calculate about that life? Had we not better look well and see where our hope is grounded? Had we not better see whether it is placed upon Jesus; whether He is the center of our life and affections? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 7

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” [Matthew 6:25.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 8

Do not think that if you take your position for the Bible truth you will lose your position. [You] had better lose your position than lose Jesus. [You] had better be partakers of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of the Lord than to go in your own way, seeking to gather to yourself the treasures of this life. You cannot carry any of it into the grave. You will come up from the grave without anything, but if you have Jesus, you will have everything. He is all that [you] will require to stand the test of the day of God, and is not this enough for you? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 9

But, [you say,] “I cannot take my position to keep the Sabbath, or I cannot take my position to serve the Lord because, if I do that, I am spoiled for the world.” Then be spoiled. Never can we fill our position in this world unless we have a connection with the living God and with Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Well now, isn’t His life, eternal life, more than meat? What will you have? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 10

We read right here in Romans something about that. “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” [Romans 2:2-4.] Do any of us despise the riches of God? Do we turn away from the goodness of God? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 11

“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:” Let us see what this life is. “To seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” [Verses 5-7.] Who is seeking for it here? Eternal life! Can we comprehend it? A life which runs parallel with the life of Jehovah. Oh, how hard it is for our minds to reach [out] and lay hold and appreciate it as it is! 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 12

“But to them that are contentious and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath.” [This] is being presented before you now. “Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” [Verses 8-11.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 13

Now that is the life that is presented to us: “Glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” [Verse 7.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 14

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” [Matthew 6:27.] Think it over. You may think and think and think how you can grow. Christ has that in His charge. He does not require you to take that on yourself. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 15

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Verses 28, 29.] Now, if we can find anything that is more glorious than Solomon—and he was considered the wisest king that ever swayed the scepter. He was considered a man after God’s own heart. But what about Solomon? What about the king that had so much glory and so much riches? What about him? The one that at the dedication of the temple prayed that their hearts might not be divided, but that the worshipers might be true to the service of God, what about him? Oh, it is a mournful history. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 16

In gathering the riches that were to compose the temple, [Solomon] built temples and brought gold from Ophir and silver from Tyre and the most precious woods, and everything that would enrich his kingdom as well as the temple, but was he a happy man? Why is there discontent in his heart? Look at the beauty of his kingdom. Every rare plant and shrub was brought to beautify his kingdom. There were young men clad in garments that glittered with gold and silver, that waited upon and ministered to the king. But what can you see? You can see disappointment, unhappiness and discontent. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 17

How could the king that prayed for wisdom to rule his kingdom wisely become a despot and a tyrant? He laid a heavy yoke upon his people because his extravagance demanded it. The extravagance that he entered into in houses and palaces. What made him do it? Because he did that which God told him not to. Just as many are keeping the first day of the week when God had never given a syllable in favor of it. God said, “Ye shall not intermarry with heathen nations.” They will turn away your heart from serving me and you will return to idols. But that great king intermarried and had many wives. What did they lead him to do? Right down in the days of Christ, right across from the Mount of Olives was the Mount of Offence, and what was there there that peered up above the olive groves and the forest trees? The idols that Solomon worshiped. They had been broken by a faithful king but there were the remnants of them and it was called the Mount of Offence. Now you see what dependence can be placed upon the wisest king when he goes contrary to what God says. “Christ said,” and we are not to turn away from what He says, to follow any other mind or will. We want to know what the Scriptures say. We want to know what is the will of God, and understand all about it. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 18

Solomon was at that age when he ought to have been an example and counselor and he ought to have been one that would not take the first step when God had said, “Thou shalt not.” The responsibility of a nation was upon him. The responsibility of the chosen nation of God; but here when the car was rolled up the steep ascent, lo, the brake was not put on, and the car rolled back again down the hill. This is just how it will be. [To] every minister, every responsible man, God will give light if they will choose to take it, if their eye is single to the glory of God. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 19

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” [Verse 30.] Just see the care that God has given to the grass. I wish I had a bouquet here so that I could show the beauty of the flowers as God created them. Here are some flowers with the tints and coloring of God. He has given them beautiful tints and beautiful coloring. He clothed the earth, not in brown or in drab, but in a living green. There are the roses and the lilies and the pinks, all so beautiful. The artist seeks to imitate nature, but it is nothing but imitation. It is the imitation of the human artist, the copy of the works of the Great Teacher and Master Artist. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 20

Well then, that is the lesson God wants us to learn. He wants us to see the natural beauty in our world. He wants us to see this, and to educate our children to see that these are an expression of God’s love to man. Here is a voice speaking to you parents to soften and subdue your hearts. Keep ever before you the One that made heaven and earth, that clad the world with its green velvet carpet, that has given us the lofty trees and clad them in their green foliage. But instead of talking of the praise of the God that made all these, humanity talks of the things of human manufacture, and they think of their houses that are so beautiful, and their dresses that are so richly adorned. All this takes time and money and that means souls. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 21

God has given us money that we may expend it to His glory. Oh, if the curtain could be rolled back: if we could only get a sight of the love of God that passeth knowledge. I scarcely dare to mention the glory that is in reserve. For whom? Every soul that has been tested and tried and that has an eye single to the glory of God, that will be loyal to the truth of heaven. The world’s honor, the world’s glory, and the world’s applause are not worth anything to us. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 22

Every soul that believes in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, what then? Then the love flows from the heart of God to his heart. What does that heart do then? It turns to serve God and keep His commandments lest they will be found as Adam and Eve were after their transgression. We cannot afford that. We cannot afford to sin. Sin is an expensive business. The wages of sin is death. And what is sin? “Sin is the transgression of the law.” [1 John 3:4.] That is the only definition of sin in the Bible. We do not want to be found sinners. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 23

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” [Matthew 6:30.] Do you believe in God? Must you make very preparation to see the end from the beginning before you can trust the leadings of that God “who gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life”? [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 24

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” [Matthew 6:31.] We need not be anxious for that. If we would begin to store in a little of that living faith that is given us in the precious lessons of the Bible, it would be a great advantage to us. But too often the lessons that are heard do not profit them that hear, because they do not have faith. But, they say, “It is easy enough to talk, but not so easy to practice.” What are you doing? You are doubting God. You are distrusting your heavenly Father—the God that made the world, and clad the world in its green velvet carpet and fashioned the lofty trees. God has given you everything lovely in our world. How much more will He not clothe you, “O ye of little faith?” [Verse 30.] Had we not better begin to see whether we really believe God or not? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 25

“Therefore, take no thought for your life, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” [Verses 31, 32.] Listen to these precious, precious, assuring words. You see, it does not say God, but “your heavenly Father.” It places God in the relation of a tender, careful parent. “For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” If He has given us the gift of His precious Son, how much more will He not freely give us all things? Let us show that we will risk it. His word is pledged and we will believe Him. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 26

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God.” That is the very first business of our lives. It is the very first lesson that we should teach to our children. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verse 33.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 27

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” [Verse 34.] Shall we heed these words? Shall we do it? The Lord will teach us lessons of trust. Here are fathers and mothers. Are you voicing the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to your children, or are you more particular about what you are to eat and drink, and put on? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 28

Christians should ask the question, “Have I given my life and will [to] the Lord? Have I given Him all the power He has given me? Have I given it back to Him?” Will you consider these things? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 29

If God has estimated man of such value that he would not withhold His only begotten Son that was one with the Father, but gave Him to the world for the world to insult—the Son of the Infinite God, the Majesty of heaven to be derided, He that was equal with the Father to be treated thus—if they treated Him so, how will they treat us? God said, “If they will receive my testimony, they will also receive yours. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have called me Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of your household.” [See John 15:20; Matthew 10:25.] We need not expect to sail to heaven without any trials and difficulties. Christ says, He that will come after me, let him indulge himself and have all the amusements that he wants? No. “Let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me and so shall he be my disciple.” [Mark 8:34.] Those are the conditions. Are you lifting the cross or are you trying to step over it? I ask you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Are you willing to be [a] partaker with Him in His suffering? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 30

There is a time coming when the Judgment shall set and the books shall be opened and we shall be set, some on the right hand and some on the left, and to those on the right hand, Christ will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.” [Matthew 25:34-36.] They were so imbued with the Spirit of God: they were so filled with the love that dwelt in the bosom of Jesus Christ for His brethren that they did what He would do. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 31

Christ had given them the love of the Father and it was springing up in them unto everlasting life. They were representatives of Jesus Christ and He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Verse 40.] Thus you see God places Himself on the same level as the sufferer for whom He died. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 32

If our life is hid with Christ in God, then “when Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:4.] But He says to them on the left hand, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger and ye took me not in: naked and ye clothed me not: sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.” “Then shall they also answer him saying, When saw we thee an hungered, or a stranger, or athirst, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me.” [Matthew 25:41-45.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 33

Then it is that they are separated from Christ. They have not hidden their lives with the Master. They had their mind filled with earthly treasures. They were saying, “What shall I eat, and what shall I [drink], and wherewithal shall I be clothed?” [Matthew 6:25.] They had made this the great absorbing study of their lives. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 34

Look at those that drink wine and beer and strong drink. Let them reckon up how much money they spend in this. How many thousands and millions of dollars have gone into the devil’s treasury to perpetuate wickedness, and to carry on dissolution, corruption, and crime? The world is steeped in sin. Reckon up the tobacco devotees. It takes the healthful color out of your face, it poisons the blood, it weakens the brain power. God has given you power that He will require of you again. God wants men that can think, men that have tact; men with clear perceptions; but they cannot have it unless they have an eye single to the glory of God. All these indulgences are weakening. How much have you given to God? You have [given] a tainted and corrupt offering. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 35

Christ was the Head of the whole Jewish economy and He Himself gave directions that no offering that was tainted or corrupt could be accepted of God. But why? It was an offering that symbolized the spotless character of Christ. Christ said that as the Father had sent Him into the world so He had sent us. [John 20:21.] What did He come to the world for? To represent the Father, and if a spot or corruption had been seen in His character, the world would have been lost. But He gave a spotless offering. The offering of Christ was of such value that He encircles the whole of humanity in His arms. Who will let Him encircle them? He is the propitiation for our sins. He will prepare us for the courts above. What is our work? We are laborers together with God. Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. I want you to consider that there is a solemn, sacred work before you. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 36

The habits of eating and drinking are the most difficult to overcome because Satan binds you securely to his chariot car. And then he laughs and says, “They cannot pray unless they have tobacco.” 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 37

Can you tell me why, with the Holy Word of God before you, they observe the first day of the week as their holy day when God said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God”? [Exodus 20:10.] He placed His sanctity upon this day and blessed it and hallowed it as a day of rest. What is the matter with the fourth commandment? It is the only commandment in the whole Decalogue that tells who God is. It places God in distinction with every other god. It says the God that made the heaven and the earth, the God that made the trees and the flowers and that created man, this is the God that you are to keep before your children, and you have only to point to the flowers and tell them that He made these and that He rested on the seventh day from all His labors. Tell them that the seventh day is a God-given memorial. God has given us the seventh day. But what is the matter with man? He is doing just what God told him not to do. God told him not to let his eye be evil, because then his body would get the victory over the nobler and higher powers of the mind. He told them that if their eye was single their whole body would be full of light. He would have us have a clear perception of the Word of God. He would have us believe that God’s Word is above the word of any ruler or king upon the face of the whole earth. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 38

God means what He says, but the reason that men do not understand it is because their body is full of darkness, their eye is not single to the glory of God. The Lord wants us to see that we are responsible moral agents. But, you say, “It is not convenient for me to change in my family.” But are you going to set them a bad example because you have a family? Has it not been a succession of falls since the time of Adam? Do you want to perpetuate the disobedience that led to this fall and the transgression of Adam? Do you want your children to follow in your example? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 39

God has given us a message. He is proving every one of us to see if we will be obedient children in the kingdom of heaven. He has brought you here and made every provision that could be made to give you His strength and power and glory that you may be able to overcome and sit down with Him on His throne, and He says, “Blessed are they that do my commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] That is what I want to do. I want to believe the promise of God. What are you doing? 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 40

Are you on the side of Christ or the side of Satan? Are you disdaining the Word of God or are you building up the foundations of many generations that you may be called in the heavenly courts, “the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in”—the repairer of the breach that the man of sin has made in the law. [Isaiah 58:12.] God says, “The Sabbath shall be a sign between me and thee throughout thy generations.” [Exodus 31:13.] We want you to think of these things. We want you to have an eye single to the glory of God. God has given you reasoning powers and if they are corrupted by beer or wine or anything else you cannot help to restore the image of God in the human agent. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 41

God help you to take your stand because it is the truth and because it is right. “But,” you say, “this people is in the minority.” Go back and read what they said about Christ. Was there any truth in it? No? Neither is there any truth in the reports that are going about. We want you to turn away from everyone and go to God on your knees. It makes every difference whether you disobey or obey. Here is the Word of God. Every Word of it is truth. We want you to go to God in prayer. We want you to give your hearts to Him. Eternal life is worth everything to us. “But,” you say, “I cannot afford it.” Christ could afford to leave the courts above to come to our world and die for us. They charged Him with being a devil and a glutton and a winebibber. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 42

We would say to everyone in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, “Have an eye single to the glory of God. Do not look to yourself.” It was not convenient for Jesus to hang on the cross; it was not convenient for Him to endure the long fast in the wilderness. He did this for the human agent that [he] might be ennobled and elevated and obtain the crown of everlasting life. He hung upon the cross of Calvary and breathed out His last there. He died for you and me. And can we study our convenience? Was it convenient for Him to bear all this for you and me? It was not convenient, but it was expedient and He suffered all this that we might have everlasting life in the Kingdom of Glory; and that I mean to have. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 43

I want to follow Jesus the precious Saviour, so that He shall not have died for me in vain. He longs to encircle us with the arms of His mercy. What have you sacrificed for Jesus? What have you done for the man of Calvary? O that you would teach Him in your family and represent Him as He represented the Father. He said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” [John 15:10.] And He set us an example in all things. I invite you to come over on the Lord’s side. I invite you to have your souls riveted to the eternal Rock. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 44

Do you think I feel ashamed because of the persecution and falsehood that is pointed against me because I keep the commandments of God? No, indeed. I know in whom I have believed and I come to you with no idle tales. I come to you with the sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well to take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. The earth is covered with darkness and sin like the very pall of darkness. But Christ is coming and sin is to have an end. The dross will be consumed by the fire of God from heaven. No, that is not the character of my loving, heavenly Father. “Thou shalt diligently consider his way and it shall not be.” [Psalm 37:10.] 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 45

But we want to enter the gates of the eternal city. When the pearly gates are thrown back we want to hear the voice of welcome. We want to have the crown of immortal glory placed upon our brow. We want that robe that is woven in the loom of heaven, white as no fuller on earth can white it. We want to see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms. Then who will be in the majority? Is not God in the majority? I want to stand on the side of God and then I will be in the majority. I want to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. I want to cry, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb.” I must be there, and I want you to be there, so that when your name is called you may answer, “I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.” 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 46

You will cast your glittering crown at His feet and touch your golden harp and fill all heaven with rich music. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below.” I beg of you to lay up your treasures in heaven. Rid yourself of everything that will so confuse your mind that you will not be able to distinguish between the sacred and the common and you will take the common day and place it where the seventh ought to be. God help us to have an single eye to His glory, that we shall not be found [a] transgressor of His law when He shall come in power and glory. 9LtMs, Ms 20, 1894, par. 47