Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 118, 1904

Talk/Union With Christ

Riverside, California

December 11, 1904

This manuscript is published in entirety in PC 314-319. +Note

Christ had been giving His disciples the instruction contained in the fourteenth chapter of John. Then He led them from the upper chamber out through the city to the Mount of Olives. On their way they passed a beautiful vine; and the disciples, charmed with its loveliness, called the Saviour’s attention to it. As they looked upon it, Christ said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” [John 15:1, 2.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 1

God allows trouble to come upon us, that He may test and try us. The pruning will cause pain, but it is God who applies the knife. The divine husbandman prunes away the harmful growth, that the fruit may be richer and more abundant. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 2

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” [Verses 4, 5.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 3

“Abide in Me, and I in you.” [Verse 4.] How are we to abide in Christ? By a daily, hourly faith. We are not safe in any other position. A man may have his name on the church books, and make a high profession, but this avails nothing unless he has a living connection with Christ, unless his spirit, his words, his deportment, his business transactions with believers and unbelievers reveal the virtues that come from such a union. A man who is thus united with Christ has a living faith, which takes hold upon divine power; and he is enabled to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 4

“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” [Verses 6, 7.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 5

In thought, word, and deed show that you are abiding in Christ. Let your speech reveal this. Speech is a precious talent. Our words are to be words that God and the holy angels can hear with approval. Our minds are to be storehouses filled with the treasures of the Bible. Let the walls of memory’s hall be hung with the treasures of God’s Word, with His precious promises. Store up these promises, that in time of need you may be able to give them to the weary and heavy laden. You are God’s missionary just as soon as you take your stand under His banner. You are to be a laborer together with Him. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 6

“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” [Verse 8.] What is the fruit that ye are to bear?—The fruit of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Galatians 5:22, 23.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 7

“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” [John 15:9, 10.] He keeps us in connection with Him as He is in connection with the Father. What possibilities, what strength there is in that promise! Why do we not believe it? If there are hindrances in our way, and if we meet with difficulties, let us not give up in despair, but keep fast hold of the promises. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 8

“These things have I spoken unto you”—that you may be sad and discouraged, refusing to believe that you can live the Christian life? No! “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verse 11.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 9

Although you may be in trouble, you can go forward with confidence, knowing that you have an abiding Christ. He tells those who are in trouble and perplexity to bring their burdens to Him. He does not tell them to go to their neighbors and talk the matter over. To those who are weary and heavy laden He says, “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you 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.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 10

Do not wear a yoke of human manufacture; such yokes are heavy and galling. When we learn of Christ’s meekness and lowliness, and lay our burdens upon Him, rest will come to us. He is ever ready to help us. The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts unto their children. How full, how broad, this statement! 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 11

But often we take ourselves in our own hands, thinking that we can arrange matters in a way that will bring us peace and rest. Do we succeed? No! We get into more trouble than before. When things arise to perplex our minds, we fret and worry and begin to accuse others and to find fault with them. What ought we to do? Christ tells us: “Verily, verily I say unto you,” He declares, “Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you. 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.” [John 6:53-57.] “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verse 63.] These words are clearly explained in (John 5:24), “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and he shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 12

Do not talk of the faults of others. Take care of your own garden. See that your own heart is cleansed by the power of God. When trouble comes, instead of getting out of patience, instead of fretting and worrying, go to the Lord, and tell Him all about it. Has He not said, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you?” [Matthew 7:7.] Go right to the Lord, and in humility of mind, tell Him about your trouble. Do not go to human friends; for they have all the burdens they can bear. Go to the One who gave His life for you. You have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are His. Do not walk in self-sufficiency, thinking that you are capable of guiding yourself aright. “Learn of Me,” Christ says, “For I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 13

Kneel before the Lord, and ask Him to be a help to you. Tell Him your heart is burdened, and ask Him to remove the load. Night after night I have told Him this, when for hours I have been unable to sleep, because of the thought of what must be done here and elsewhere to lead our people to realize the glorious probabilities and possibilities before those who engage wholeheartedly in the Lord’s work and to get them to take up this load. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 14

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: For what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For the Father riseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son; That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” [John 5:19-23.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 15

Do not think that by placing your burdens on others you can find relief. Come right to the Burden-bearer, and tell Him about them. Believe that He is able and willing to meet the circumstances of your case. When in contrition you come to the foot of the cross, when you have faith in the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour, you will receive power through Him. As you cast your helpless soul upon Him, He gives you peace and joy and strength and courage. Then you are able to tell some one else how precious Christ is to you. You can say, “I sought Him and found Him precious to my soul.” 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 16

“Ye shall find rest.” [Matthew 11:29.] How? By living experience. Because Christ’s yoke is a yoke of patience and gentleness and longsuffering. He, the Prince of the heavenly host, humbled Himself. He took upon Himself human nature and stood at the head of humanity, that He might teach fallen man how to be a partaker of the divine nature. Those who learn His meekness and lowliness learn also how to love one another as He has loved them. They will reach the place where they refuse to criticize and condemn others. They learn that there is committed to them a work that no one else can do for them—the work of learning of Christ. When we place ourselves in His hands, He shows us the possibilities and probabilities before us and bids us go for help to One infinitely higher than erring human beings. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 17

Christ is our efficiency. How do I know this? I know it by experience. For a while, many years ago, I was in despair. Then I cast myself on the mercy and love of the Saviour, and His power came upon me. At one time those who were working over me thought me dead. But all at once I raised my voice in prayer. The power of God was upon me all night long, and henceforth I understood that I must look to Christ and not to any human being for relief. I had been praying and praying for help, and all the time my Saviour was standing by my side, waiting for me to recognize Him as my sufficiency, my strength, my grace. I learned the lesson, and after that, when I kneeled down to pray, I believed that I would receive an answer, whether I felt as if I would or not. Feeling is not to be our guide. Feeling is not faith, but it is as widely separated from faith as the east is from the west. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 18

Why should we have [doubt] and question as to whether we shall receive the promised blessing? God does not alter the word that has gone forth out of His mouth. When we trust in Him, our hearts will be filled with peace and joy. When irritating words are spoken to us, we do not retaliate; but when opportunity offers, we tell how good the Lord is and what He is willing to do for those who trust in Him. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 19

God wants every one of us to come to Him as little children come to their parents. He wants us to ask Him in faith, nothing doubting, for grace to supply our needs. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5.] 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 20

We are God’s little children, but let us not forget that He expects us to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. Let us talk of God’s goodness and tell of His power, putting away gloom and unbelief. Let us talk faith. God wants us to be strong in His strength. He died to save us, and He wants us to reach the high standard that He holds before us. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 21

We are not to stand still in the Christian life. There is an advancement for us to make. We are to lay hold of Him who has all power, remembering that every hour, every moment we need His help. We are to be always ready to speak to others in regard to the grace and the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the privilege of every one to grow in grace, daily reaching higher attainments in the Christian life. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 22

Oh, how I wish that we would honor Christ by realizing what He wants to do for us and taking Him at His Word. If we would do this, we should be sunshiny Christians. By beholding Christ, we would be changed into His likeness. But we shall never grow in grace by beholding the faults and mistakes and defects of some one else. Instead, we will become spiritually dwarfed and enfeebled. Let us keep looking to Christ, thinking of what He has done for us and of what He has promised to do. Thus we shall be changed into His likeness. This is true religion. In the future we shall have to contend with difficulties tenfold greater than any we have yet had. Do you ask why I say this? Do you not realize that <Satan’s> time is very short? He is working and planning with intensity of effort to place obstacles in the way of God’s people and to hinder their progress. We have the powers of darkness to meet. At this time, more than ever before, willing, unquestioning obedience is needed if we come off conquerors. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 23

“This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” [John 15:12.] My dear friends, for Christ’s sake take your stand on higher ground. Every feature of our faith is to be tested in the way that is the most trying. The pillars of our faith are to be tested. Sophistry will be brought in as it was to Adam and Eve. You will be strongly tempted; and unless you have firm faith in the principles of the truth for this time, you will be led astray. Look to Christ as your helper. Take Him into your heart as an abiding friend. As you do this, His blessing will rest upon you in large measure. You will be kept by the power of God. The enemy will not be able to lead you to swerve from your allegiance. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 24

My dear friends, I want to ask you in conclusion to do what you can to help in the establishment of the Glendale Sanitarium. You may have to make a sacrifice in order to respond to this call, but God will richly bless you in so doing. Those who have the work in hand are doing their best, but they are in great need of funds. This institution must be furnished. First give yourselves to the Lord, and then bring your offerings to Him. We want to see the Glendale Sanitarium put in working order, so that the sick who come for treatment may hear the truth. Often we meet those who first heard and became interested in the truth while at one of our sanitariums and who have been keeping the Sabbath ever since. 19LtMs, Ms 118, 1904, par. 25