Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 92, 1901

Lessons from the Third of Revelation

Healdsburg, California

September 5, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in SD 351; 5BC 1110; 7BC 937-938, 957, 959-961; 7MR 125-126. +Note

A talk at the Church School Teachers’ Institute. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 1

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful (this is highly important), and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die (we cannot do this, unless we first obtain the strength): for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Revelation 3:1, 2.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 2

“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” [Verse 3.] Those who have been born again remember with what joy and gladness they received the light of heaven, and how eager they were to tell everybody of their happiness. When I received Christ in my heart, I thought no one could help believing what I told them. My soul was aglow with the love of God, and everything that I saw and heard seemed to be praising the Lord. Never before had nature appeared so beautiful. It seemed as though the very trees, the birds, the flowers, were expressing the love of God. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 3

“Hold fast.” [Verse 3.] This does not mean, Hold fast to your sins; but, Hold fast to the comfort, the faith, the hope, that God has given you in His Word. Never be discouraged. A discouraged man can do nothing. Satan is seeking to discourage you, telling you it is of no use to serve God, that it does not pay, and that it is just as well to have pleasure and enjoyment in this world. But “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36.] You may have worldly pleasure at the expense of the future world, but can you afford to pay such a price? 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 4

We are to “hold fast” and live up to all the light we receive from heaven. Why? Because God wants us to grasp the eternal truth, and act as His helping hand by communicating the light to those who are not acquainted with His love for them. When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the three great personal dignitaries of heaven. “Hold fast” to this pledge. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 5

“And repent.” [Revelation 3:3.] The life we live is to be one of continual repentance and humility. We need to repent constantly, that we may be constantly victorious. When we have true humility, we have victory. The enemy never can take out of the hand of Christ the one who is simply trusting in His promises. If the soul is trusting and working obediently, the mind is susceptible to divine impressions, and the light of God shines in, enlightening the understanding. What privileges we have in Christ Jesus! 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 6

A true sense of repentance before God does not hold us in bondage, causing us to feel like persons in a funeral procession. We are to be cheerful, not sorrowful. But all the time we are to be sorry that after Christ had given His precious life for us, we gave so many years of our lives to the powers of darkness. We are to feel sorrow of heart as we remember that after Christ had given His all for our redemption, we used in the service of the enemy some of the time and capabilities which the Lord entrusted to us as talents to use to His name’s glory. We are to repent because we have not endeavored in every way possible to become acquainted with the precious truth which enables us to exercise that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 7

As we see souls out of Christ, we are to put ourselves in their place, and in their behalf feel repentance before God, resting not until we bring them to repentance. If we do everything we can for them, and yet they do not repent, the sin lies at their door; but we are still to feel sorrow of heart because of their condition, showing them how to repent, and trying to lead them step by step to Jesus Christ. Let us tell them that His arms are open to receive them, and that His promise is, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 8

“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:3, 4.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 9

If we desire to be of that number who will be accounted worthy, we should hold ourselves in such consecration, devotion, and humility that the enemy cannot take control of our minds. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” [1 Peter 5:6; James 4:8.] Draw nigh to Him by prayer, by contemplation, by reading His Word. When He draws nigh to you, He lifts up for you a standard against the enemy. Let us take courage, for the enemy cannot pass this standard. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 10

All the powers of darkness are arrayed against us, but the promise is, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Revelation 3:5, 6.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 11

What precious words are these! Our names are all in the book of life. If we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, Christ will at last present to each of us a crown of life. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 12

Shall we not dig for and gather up these hidden treasures, and praise God for them? Since Christ’s words are, as it were, the leaves of the tree of life, how foolish it is to obtain a worldly education, and yet know but little of the Bible. When so-called men of learning talk of higher education, they do not know about what they are talking. They need to become fools in the sight of the world in order that they may be wise in regard to the mystery of godliness. Let us dig deep, and lay a sure foundation upon the Rock so that the coming tempest will beat against us in vain. The Bible is to be the foundation of our faith and of our life. It is by practicing Christ’s words in the daily life, that we are cleansed and sanctified. God wants us to grow by studying His Word—eating His flesh and drinking His blood. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 13

How are we redeemed? By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ. He has told us that this is eternal life. “The flesh profiteth nothing,” He declares; “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] In studying the Scriptures, we are eating the words of Christ—the leaves of the tree of life, which are “for the healing of the nations.” [Revelation 22:2.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 14

If we confess Christ before men, He will confess us before His Father and the angels. Then let there be no light, trivial conversation. Continually we are to uplift our souls to God our Creator, contemplating the highest subjects. Our spirit, our words, our actions, our interests in life, are telling those with whom we come in contact whether we are on the side of Christ or on the side of the enemy. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 15

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” [Revelation 3:7.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 16

Notwithstanding the opposition of the strongest powers of darkness, there is One able to open the door. This is the same door that was opened at the baptism of Christ. After the Saviour had taken the steps in conversion requisite for every sinner to take in order to be saved—repentance, faith, and baptism—thus entering into covenant relation with God, He kneeled on the bank of the Jordan and prayed. And the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove of burnished gold, hovered over the Son of Man, enshrouding Him in light, while a voice from the highest heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16, 17.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 17

Christ laid aside His crown and royal robe, stepped down from His high command, clothed His divinity with humanity, and for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might inherit the heavenly treasure. He placed Himself at the head of humanity. If we walk in His footsteps, we are accepted by God. By Christ’s sacrifice we are “accepted in the Beloved.” [Ephesians 1:6.] As the prayers of Christ ascended to His Father, notwithstanding the dark shadow of the powers of darkness through which they passed, so will our prayers cleave through the hellish shadow of Satan and enter the sanctuary above. The same glory which flashed from the threshold of heaven at the time of Christ’s baptism is revealed to every earnest seeker of Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 18

Since we are thus accepted in the Beloved, although we ourselves are weak, why should not we be strong in the hope that is set before us in the gospel? Why should not we lay hold of the power which saves to the uttermost all who come unto Him? When we come in God’s appointed way, fulfilling every requirement that He has given us, why should we not claim the richest promise, saying, “God has promised it to me, it is for me; therefore it is mine, and I take it; for I love Him and believe in His Word”? We have every reason to be thankful to God. Let us press to the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus, and thus glorify our Master. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 19

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” [Revelation 3:8, 9.] 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 20

Whenever tempted, we have this open door to behold. No power can hide from us the light of the glory which shines from the threshold of heaven along the whole length of the ladder we are to climb; for the Lord has given us strength in His strength, courage in His courage, light in His light. When the powers of darkness are overcome, when the light of the glory of God floods the world, we shall see and understand more clearly than we do today. If we only realized that the glory of God is round about us, that heaven is nearer earth than we suppose, we should have a heaven in our homes while preparing for the heaven above. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 21

The following verse tells us why God desires us to keep His commandments, and live; and His law as the apple of our eye: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Verses 10, 11.] We need to heed this admonition. Our greatest desire should be to follow submissively our precious Saviour; for a crown of glory that fadeth not away is laid up for the faithful overcomer. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 22

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” [Verse 12.] Precious, precious promises are these! 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 23

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verse 13.] If you “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” and meditate upon the instruction given to them, your ears will be closed to the folly and nonsense which surround you. You will neither hear and repeat these things, nor will you ever hanker after them. When Christ satisfies the soul-hunger, these trivialities are to you distasteful and disgusting. You have no desire to feast upon them, but choose instead the bread of heaven. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 24

Eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, that you may have His Spirit and His life. “Be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:4.] Then you will have no appetite for the corruption that is in the world. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 25

Christ said, “I am that bread of life. ... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. ... Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:48, 50, 54.] Their life is precious in God’s sight; for it is hid with Christ in God—with Him “who hath brought life and immortality to light.” [2 Timothy 1:10.] Over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] He broke the fetters of the tomb that every one of us might rise to newness of life. Die to the world, be buried with your Lord in baptism, and rise as a new creature in Christ Jesus. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. ... For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:1, 3.] The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that they will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged to those who by their baptismal vows have entered into a covenant with God. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 26

As soon as our minds harmonize with the mind of God, we are in touch with an Intelligence that can communicate to each of us every lesson that will be beneficial in the education of the youth entrusted to us. In telling to children the precious story of the cross, our own souls will be lifted from despondency, gloom, and darkness. In considering the Redeemer’s infinite sacrifice, we shall lose all desire for the things of this world. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 27

Church school teachers should carry a burden for souls—not that they themselves can save souls, but as God’s helping hand you have the privilege of winning them to Christ. The words that you speak may be very precious. Let there be no folly in your conversation. In the schools you shall undertake to conduct, set a proper example before the children by presenting them to God in prayer every morning. Then look to Him for strength every hour, and believe that He is working, and that you are representing Him. When you do this, you gain the affection of the children. It is not such hard work to manage children, thank God. We have a Helper, One altogether above ourselves. O, I am so thankful that we do not have to depend upon our poor, miserable selves, but that we can depend upon the strength which comes from God. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 28

Teachers, if your life is hid with Christ in God, a Helper will stand by your side, and you will be one with Christ and one with those you are teaching. Never exalt self, for this shows that you are not humbling yourself before God. Exalt Him, glorify Him, honor Him before the world. Say, “I stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have left the banner of the powers of darkness and am wholly on the Lord’s side.” 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 29

When I am speaking before the people, I never feel that I myself am making an impression. I never carry that idea for it is not so. It is the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ—the Christ-power—that impresses the heart. The Holy Spirit is sent to abide with us alway. We have nothing for which we can lift up our souls unto vanity. There is nothing good in us which Christ has not given. Then why do not we magnify the name of the Lord and praise Him more than we do? We have every reason to praise Him who has opened to us a door which no man can shut. Let us glorify His name more. Let His praise be continually on our lips. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 30

May the Spirit of God rest upon every one of you and bring you into a sacred nearness to your Saviour. Seek Him with all the heart, and you will find Him, and He will be very precious to your soul. In Him you have all for which you could ask—joy, pleasure, satisfaction—everything. He is life eternal, and He will give you a place in His kingdom of glory. 16LtMs, Ms 92, 1901, par. 31