Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

286/488

Ms 11, 1899

The Work at Newcastle

NP

February 21, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 501, 529; VSS 302. See RH 4/24/1900, 5/01/1900. +Note

Sunday afternoon, February 5, I spoke to a good congregation in the new meeting tent in Newcastle. The Lord enabled me to speak for three quarters of an hour. I crowded in all I could say in that time, and I longed to say more. The people sitting before me were intelligent and attentive, and how my heart yearned that they might be brought into living connection with Jesus Christ. I knew that the heavenly universe was looking with intense interest upon the people who filled the tent. These souls are Christ’s property, a part of the great whole. They have been bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God. The whole heavenly host was interested in that audience. And while I stood before them in my feebleness, scarcely able to stand upon my feet, I thought of what I could say that would be a blessing to them. God alone could impress their hearts. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 1

I spoke from the first chapter of Second Peter. “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verse 1.] If all could appreciate this great blessing, what an advantage it would be to them. We can obtain like precious faith with Peter and those who were his companions through only one source—the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who stood at the head of humanity as a sinbearer, overcoming in our behalf, that we might overcome in His strength. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 2

Man is given the privilege of being a laborer together with God in the saving of his own soul. He is to receive Christ as his personal Saviour, and is to continue to believe in Him. Receiving and believing is our part of the contract. This means abiding in Christ. Have faith in Him at all times and under all circumstances. This faith is a constant representation of Christ’s character, for it is a faith that works by love and purifies the soul from all defilement. Christ is the Author of this faith, and He demands that it be constantly exercised. Thus we receive a constant supply of grace. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of Christ and of Jesus our Lord.” [2 Peter 1:2.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 3

To be effectually saved, the truth of the Word must be inwrought in the soul. It is a power which works inwardly to bless the soul of the receiver and outwardly to prove a blessing to the souls of others. Take the Word just as it reads and be a doer of it. The Holy Spirit works with the consecrated soul who searches the Scriptures. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 4

Now, just now, is our great opportunity to study the Word of life. The hearts of many in the world, as well as many church members, are hungering for the bread of life and thirsting for the waters of salvation. They are interested in the service of song, but they are not longing for that or even prayer. They want to know the Scriptures, what saith the Word of God to me. The Holy Spirit is working on mind and heart, drawing them to the bread of life. They see everything round them changing. Human feelings, human ideas of what constitutes religion, change. They come to hear the Word just as it reads. They desire to build upon a firm foundation; therefore Christians are counselled to be always ready to give a reason of the hope that is in them with meekness and fear. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 5

Each individual must obtain an experience for himself. No one can depend for salvation on the experience or practice of any other man. We must each become acquainted with Christ ourselves in order to properly represent Him to our world. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” [Verse 3.] None of us need excuse our hasty temper, our misshapen characters, our selfishness, envy, jealousy, or any impurity of soul, body, or spirit. God has called us to glory and virtue. We are to obey the call. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 6

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [Verse 4.] Without divine aid we could not possibly escape the temptation and snares that Satan has prepared to deceive and allure human minds by falsehoods and misrepresentations, so that he may make error appear as truth. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 7

How shall we escape the power of one who was once an exalted angel in the heavenly courts, next to Christ? He had the blessing of powerful intellect. He was a being full of beauty, and personal charm. These were given him by God. Because of his exalted holiness, he thought himself equal with God. By his deception, he led astray some of the heavenly angels, and with these, his sympathizers, he was cast out of heaven. Then he set up a kingdom of his own, to allure the world to his own apostate banner. How can we resist his pretensions, and discern his false theory, which have captivated the world. It is only through the individual experience gained through receiving a knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. “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 hast sent.” [John 17:2, 3.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 8

We must learn of Christ. We must learn what He is to those He has ransomed. We must realize that it is our privilege through a belief on Christ to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. We <may> escape from all sin, all defects of character. <Christ> is the Sinbearer, and John pointed the people to Him, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] We need not retain one sinful propensity. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 9

“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: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:1-8.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 10

Christ says to us, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] We are ever to learn of Christ. Yoked up with Him in perfect restraint, we are to stay in the learner’s position our whole life long, and then we are indeed “laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We can be profitable teachers only as we daily learn Christ’s meekness and lowliness of heart. There is to be no halting in Christ’s school, no dwarfed experience. We are to receive that we may give. Constantly we are to learn more and more of the divine attributes. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 11

As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, and daily partaking of the divine nature, we co-operate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works and man works, that the sacred union may exist, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind may rest in peace and assurance in Jesus Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 12

Why then, we may ask, do we not have more of the Holy Spirit? Because we do not abide in Christ, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. All who eat the heavenly bread will have eternal life. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.” [1 John 2:6.] God has given us every facility, every grace. He has provided the very riches of heaven’s treasure, and it is our privilege to draw continually from the capital. But we do not avail ourselves of this privilege. The apostle exhorts us, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (which will demonstrate the purity and holiness of your character) and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” [2 Peter 1:5-7.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 13

Temperance is placed before patience. Can any one make a favorable impression upon an intemperate man? Satan spread a net for his feet, tempting him to take the liquid poison, and he sold his reason. Tobacco and liquor are both poison. Liquor is so drugged that by drinking it a man is made mad. He knows no more what he is doing than an insane man. How many cases are tried in court where theft, incendiarism, murder, were committed under the influence of liquor? 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 14

“If these things be in you and abound,” the apostle continues, “they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Verse 8.] But a profession of faith without corresponding works is nothing. “He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [Verse 9.] This is a true description of a professed Christian who lives his old life of sin. He grieves the Lord Jesus, and puts Him to open shame because he manifests a character after the similitude of Satan. He retains the same objectionable traits of character that he had before he claimed to receive Christ. By indulging his corrupt tendencies he forgot to be a doer of the Word. He did not eat the flesh or drink the blood of the Son of God. He did not practice Christ’s words or do His works. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 15

Then comes the conclusion, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This is the life insurance policy that every one may have. The apostle says, “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” [Verses 10-13.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 16

A clear, faithful testimony must be borne by every shepherd of the flock of God. The state of the heart is to be our first earnest concern. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:10.] But mere speech is nothing. Preaching the Word, and then working contrary to the Word, makes that Word of none effect. Lip knowledge, forms and ceremonies, are of little value while Christ is not abiding in the soul. We are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. We must sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. Then we shall be men and women of faith, prayer, and power. There is a great work to be done. The heart must be faithfully sentineled, else pride and rebellion will bear rule within. Evils without will awaken evils within, and the soul will wander in its own homemade fog, all the time charging upon some one else the result of its own unchristian course of action. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 17

The Word of God must dwell in us richly, else we can never sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. We must live by the Word of God, and take self in hand, closely examining ourselves to see if we are in the love of God or bound up in our own conceit; for every heart that is not subdued by grace is treacherous, and will lead to ruin. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 18

The price of heaven is Christ. The way to heaven is obedience to the command, Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow me. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of God, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” “He that cometh unto me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” [John 6:53, 35.] In Christ there is inexhaustible fulness. As we follow on to know the Lord, we shall lead souls to the Word of God. With us they will know that his going forth is prepared as the morning. As man works on the plan of addition, adding grace to grace, God works on the plan of multiplication. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” [2 Peter 1:2, 3.] The mass of rubbish of vanity and self-love, of evil-thinking and evil-speaking, that we carry with us keeps us powerless and inefficient. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 19

With self cherished, self petted, self exalted, we cannot work out our own salvation in harmony with the character of Christ. The service of Christ demands prompt obedience. We are to walk as He walked, learning His meekness, His loveliness, following in His footsteps. How can two walk together except they be agreed? The service of Christ is pure and elevated. The path He travelled was not one of self-pleasing, of self-gratification. He speaks to His disciples, saying, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. So shall he be my disciple.” [See Mark 8:34.] The way [that] Jesus journeyed, we must journey, for that path leads to where Jesus is preparing mansions for us. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 20

O, what privileges are ours if we will only believe and walk humbly before God, ever learning the will of God concerning us. The graces of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness. This is the fruit that a life hid in Christ will produce. As a people who have had great light, we should be far advanced in spirituality and holiness. “Neither pray I for these alone,” Christ said, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:20-23.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 21

It is our privilege to so fully partake of the divine nature that we may be one with Christ as He is one with the Father. When this is so, Christ can confess His people before His Father and before the heavenly angels. By our love and unity we show to the world the credentials that God sent His Son to this earth to save the human race. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 22

We have need of all the spiritual help possible, that we may do the work to be done in our world. We are to work the works of Christ. He prayed for His disciples and for us, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [Verses 17, 18.] Satan is taking the world captive through the use of liquor and tobacco, tea and coffee. The God-given mind, which should be kept clear, is perverted by the use of narcotics. The brain is no longer able to distinguish correctly. The enemy has control. Man has sold his reason for that which makes him mad. He has no sense of what is right. Yet the liquor curse is legalized, and works untold ruin in the hands of those who love to tamper with that which not only ruins the poor victim but his whole family. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 23

The curse of liquor-drinking is demonstrated by the awful murders that take place. Intemperance is widespread. How much man’s senses are perverted by intoxicating drugs it is impossible to say. Judges, senators, lawyers, who frame the laws of the land, are many of them working under the stimulus of liquor. What safety is there in their management, their judgment? Are the men who command the great ocean steamers, who have the management of railways, strict temperance men? Is their brain free from the influence of intoxicants. If not, the accidents that occur under their management will be charged to them by the God of heaven, whose property men are. No confidence can be placed in the judgment of liquor drinkers. Satan presents before them false scenes, false ideas of things. The liquor drinker is under the destroying influence of Satan. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 24

As the time draws near that will decide the destiny of every soul, Satan will make strenuous efforts to corrupt the souls of the human family. But Christ gave His life to save human beings. He pledged His divine word that He might work in behalf of humanity. He encircled the race with His long human arm, while with His divine arm He laid hold of the throne of the infinite God. He was commander of the heavenly hosts, but He left the royal courts. He stepped down from His exalted throne, laid off His kingly crown and royal robe, that He might stand at the head of humanity and pay the ransom for souls with His own life. 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 25

Yes; Christ gave His life for the life of the world. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] He sent His Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the world. How many appreciate the sacrifice sufficiently to touch not, taste not, handle not, accursed, intoxicating beverages? Who is co-operating with Christ by using all their power to practice self-abstinence in their lives, to keep their tables free from all drinks that will intoxicate? 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 26

The Lord calls for men who are partakers of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God would have every man step forth in His God-given manhood and every woman in her God-given womanhood. He would have them stand like faithful sentinels to keep back the tide of moral woe, to break the fetters that are binding human beings in chains of slavery. God calls for His ministers to do faithful work in presenting the great curse that man himself is manufacturing. In every pulpit the voice should be heard, “Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” [1 Peter 2:11.] 14LtMs, Ms 11, 1899, par. 27