Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 103, 1902

Doing God’s Will


July 29, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 224; OHC 208; 5BC 1141; CG 23.

Doing God’s Will

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” [Revelation 2:7.] 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 1

Must we wait until we are translated before we eat of the leaves of the tree of life? He who receives into his heart the words of Christ knows that it means to eat the leaves of the tree of life. Christ declared, “The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto Him, Lord, ever more give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. ... This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, shall have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. ... I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread that I will give him is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. ... It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:33-35, 40, 51, 54-57, 63.] 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 2

When the believer, in the fellowship of the Spirit, can lay his hand upon truth itself, and appropriate it, he eats the bread that comes down from heaven. He enters into the life of Christ and appreciates the great sacrifice made in behalf of the sinful race. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 3

The knowledge that comes from God is the bread of life. It is the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. The current of spiritual life thrills the soul as the words of Christ are believed and practiced. Thus it is that we are made one with Christ. The experience that was weak and feeble becomes strong. It is eternal life to us if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 4

All truth is to be received as the life of Jesus. Truth cleanses us from all impurity and prepares the soul for Christ’s presence. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 5

When one surrenders fully to God, his faith becomes a saving faith. He enters into a vital relationship with Christ. He is identified with the Saviour. He rests in God’s love, committing the keeping of his soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. He has a sacred, sanctified freedom. He lives in the truth, and the truth lives in him. He is an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. He reveals patience, long-suffering, Christlike courtesy. There is seen in his life goodness, purity, sanctification. A holy dignity is possessed by every one who eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 6

Such Christians can say, “The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20.] The Christian possessing Christ is enriched with the heavenly endowment. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 7

To every man and every woman God has given a work. Daily we are to seek for more of the grace of Christ, never forgetting that we have been purged from our sins, and that we are not again to fall into transgression, because we have obtained freedom through the sacrifice of the Son of God. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 8

Christ invites us to learn of Him. “Come unto Me,” He says, “and I will give your rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] You may claim the promise, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] Ask and believe, and you will receive the end of your faith—the salvation of your soul. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 9

The Lord permits trials, sometimes severe, to come upon His people. In the fiery furnace He tries them, but it is in love, to make them nobler and purer, instruments more fit for His use. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 10

“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. ... 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 know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:17, 21, 23.] The powers of darkness stand a poor chance against believers who love one another as Christ has loved them, who refuse to create alienation and strife, who stand together, who are kind, courteous, and tender-hearted, cherishing the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We must have the Spirit of Christ, or we are none of His. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 11

Those who take part in the solemn ceremony of baptism pledge themselves, before the heavenly universe, to come out from the world. They have taken their position under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, to be laborers together with God, and as such to make known His will to those who are perishing in sin. They are to search the Scriptures diligently, feeling that it is of the highest importance that they understand what saith the Lord. Having learned His will, they are to do it heartily, remembering that the truth is the seed they must sow in hearts in order to reap a harvest for God. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 12

Many of those who claim to believe the truth are not striving as they should for perfection of character. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 13

“Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:12-14.] 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 14

In these words our work is plainly outlined. Those who represent Christ aright must obey God’s commandments; for Christ obeyed them. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 15

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Verses 16, 17.] 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 16

It is essential that those who pledge themselves to keep God’s commandments have an intelligent knowledge of the Scriptures. Thus we learn to deny self and to be strictly honest with God in using His goods. It was in order that we might understand the divine will that God gave us the Bible. We cannot obey His commandments until we know what these commandments are. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 17

Parents are without excuse if they fail to obtain a clear understanding of God’s will, that they may obey the laws of His kingdom. Only thus can they lead their children to heaven. My brethren and sisters, it is your duty to understand God’s requirements. How can you educate your children in the things of God unless you first know yourselves what is right and what is wrong, unless you realize that obedience means eternal life and disobedience eternal death? 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 18

We must make it our lifework to understand the will of God. Only as we do this can we train our children aright. Your every word and action is to be in accordance with the will of God, irrespective of the opinions and practices of those who refuse to obey God. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 19

Had the inhabitants of the old world kept God’s law, they would have continued to enjoy His favor. But they disobeyed, and their wickedness became unbearable to a sin-hating God. He decided to cleanse the world by a flood, but in mercy and love He gave the antediluvians a probation of one hundred and twenty years. During this time, while the ark was building, the voices of Noah, Enoch, and many others were heard in warning and entreaty. And every blow struck on the ark was a warning message. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 20

Jude’s words vividly portray the condition of the world in the time of Noah: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, ... clouds they are without water, carried about of winds, trees whose fruit withereth, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars, to whom is revealed the blackness of darkness forever.” [Jude 12, 13.] 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 21

Today the past is repeating itself. God is sending men plain warnings. The recent earthquakes show how quickly the ungodly will perish when the plagues of God fall upon the earth. Already, in flood and flame, His judgments are falling upon evildoers. All who refuse to repent will parish without hope and without the favor of God. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 22

Those parents who know the truth, but who do not fulfil the obligations resting upon them, must one day meet the result of their neglect. They do not perform the duties God gives them, because it is not convenient to be so particular, so different from the world. They are training their children to become more and more like the world and to parish in disobedience. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 23

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] The Lord has kept back nothing that is necessary for the enlightenment of His children. No one can plead in excuse for transgression, that he has left in ignorance, that the way to heaven was not clearly marked out. We have not been left to serve God in a vague, uncertain way. Those who are loyal to God will represent Him in the home life. They will look upon the training of their children as a sacred work, entrusted to them by the Most High. 17LtMs, Ms 103, 1902, par. 24