Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 11, 1896

Sermon/Address Given by Mrs. E. G. White at Avondale


March 4, 1896

Previously unpublished.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” [Revelation 22:1-4.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 1

“They shall see his face.” [Verse 4.] Moses pled with God, saying, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” But God said, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18, 20-23.] Moses could not behold the revelation of the glory of the face of God and live; but here is a promise given to us, “They shall see his face.” 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 2

When Moses came down from the mount where he had been given a sight of the glory of God, his face was so lighted up that Aaron and all the children of Israel “were afraid to come nigh him.” “And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him, and Moses talked with them.” “And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail upon his face.” [Exodus 34:30, 31, 33.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 3

Many today have veils upon their faces, but it is a veil of sympathy with the customs and practices of the world, and it hides from them the glory of the Lord. God would have us keep our eyes fixed on Him, that we may lose sight of the things of this world. We have but a little time in which to work; there is no time for slothfulness, no time for any one of us to delay that preparation which will enable us to see the face of God. In order to see His face by and by, we must become Christlike here, knowing Him as a present and personal Saviour. All things earthly, which would interpose themselves between our souls and God, must be severed from us, even though it be like cutting off the right hand or plucking out the right eye. And as we draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us, encouraging and strengthening us for our conflict. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 4

We have no time now to consult our own inconvenience. Christ did not consult His convenience when He left the royal throne of God, and came to this earth, to be crucified by the people whom He came to save. Wonder, O heaven, and be astonished, O earth, that He, who came to win a crown of immortality for humanity, was discarded, and a murderer chosen in His place. At His trial Christ was placed side by side with Barabbas—Christ with His countenance expressive of the Father’s image, and Barabbas, a thief and a murderer. Whom will ye that release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus? Asked Pilate, and like the bellowing of wild beasts the answer came, “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.” [Luke 23:18.] “What shall I do with Christ?” “Crucify him, crucify him,” echoed and re-echoed through the company, “let him be crucified.” [Luke 23:21; Matthew 27:22.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 5

Today, by our associates, by our life, by our character, we are choosing whom we will have as our king. Heavenly intelligences are seeking to draw us to Christ. Will we respond to their drawing, saying, I will follow on to know the Lord, that I may know that “his going forth is prepared as the morning” [Hosea 6:3], or will we let all responsibility drop from our shoulders, forgetful that our own souls are hanging in the balance. God would have us fight manfully the battles of the Lord, wrestling for the victory day by day, that we may keep the faith once delivered to the saints. The Holy Spirit works with those who will be worked, molds those who will be molded, fashions those who will be fashioned. Day by day we are shaping our destiny for eternal life or for perdition. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 6

Christ has made every provision for the encouragement of His followers. To all who believe in Him He says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he 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.] Why need the followers of Christ mourn and be discouraged, when God has said that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children? 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 7

By the power of the Holy Spirit, we may do the works of Christ. “If any man lack wisdom,” He says again, “Let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith.” [James 1:5, 6.] That is the only condition. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] Though we are transgressors of the law of God, yet if we repent in faith, God can work through us the works of Christ. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 8

Christ came to our world to bring life and immortality to light, and He would have us rejoice in this. In the place of wasting our lives over the pleasures of this world, He would have us understand His work and character; by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, He would have us one with Him, as He is one with the Father. To the promise, “If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it,” He adds, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:14, 15.] There are many who profess to keep God’s commandments, and yet break them. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] Do not stumble into perdition through self-sufficiency. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 9

“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] The presence of God in the heart is worth more than all else in the world. Only by receiving Him here, will we be able to see Him face to face. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 10

When Christ ascended on high He sent His representative as a Comforter. This representative is by our side wherever we may be, a watcher and a witness to all that is said or done, standing ready to protect us from the assaults of the enemy if we will but place ourselves under His protection. But we must act our part, and then God will act His part. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 11

When we are brought into trial and affliction for His sake, the Comforter will stand by our side, bringing to our remembrance the words and teaching of Christ. “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” [John 14:17, 18.] With this promise before us, what excuse is there for sin, what excuse for continuing in opposition to God. If we continue in sin, what excuse will there be for us to be present in the day when we stand before God to answer for the deeds done in the body? 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 12

Are you ready for the judgment? Is your name written in the book of life? Only by looking to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and following in His steps, can you prepare to meet God. Follow Him, and you will one day walk the golden streets of the city of God; and see Him who laid aside His royal garments and His kingly crown, and disguising Himself with humanity, came to our world and bore your sins, that He might lift you up and give you a revelation of His glory and majesty. We shall see Him face to face if we now give ourselves up to be molded and fashioned by Him, prepared for a place in the kingdom of God. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 13

Those who consecrate their lives to the service of God will live with Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. “God himself will be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neighbor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” “And they shall reign for ever and ever.” [Revelation 21:3, 4; 22:4, 5.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 14

“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [John 14:21.] Christ knew that Satan would continue the work begun in the Paradise of God, striving to persuade men to transfer their allegiance from God by transgressing His law. He knew that His followers would be tempted on all sides, and for their encouragement and hope, He promised, I will manifest myself to them. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 15

I have realized this manifestation again and again. I have realized when surrounded by a mob who were determined to break up our meeting. The Spirit of the Lord came to our help, and those who had assembled, intent on doing us harm, went away declaring that we had spoken the words of the Lord. 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 16

When the Lord brought me from the depths of despair, and acknowledged me as His child, His peace filled my soul. I have had sorrows and bereavements since then. My eldest child, the highest branch of the family tree, was broken off; my babe was taken from my arms; and I have folded my husband’s arms over his breast and laid him away to rest till the last trump shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise. Did I go to his grave to weep? No; the Lord gave me strength to say, He has done his work; let him rest till the morning of the resurrection, and then I shall see him again. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 17

The presence and comfort of the Holy Spirit has been with me. The Lord has manifested himself to me. I have not time to mourn over the dead. Time is short, and I must entreat the living to seek the Lord while He may be found. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] I desire to do the work God has given my to do; “for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” [Hebrews 10:37.] 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 18

“And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.” [Revelation 22:4.] Their minds were given to God in this world, they served Him with their intellect and with their heart, and now He can put His name in their foreheads. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.” [Verse 5.] They do not go in as those that beg a place there. Christ says to them, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the earth.” [Matthew 25:34.] He takes them in as His children, saying, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. The crown of immortality is placed on the brow of the overcomers. They take their crowns and cast them at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, they fill all heaven with rich music in songs of praise to the Lamb. Then they “shall see his face,” “and his name shall be in their foreheads.” 11LtMs, Ms 11, 1896, par. 19