Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 153, 1904

Sermon/Thoughts on 1 John

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

August 14, 1904

Previously unpublished.

1 John 3:1-4. This is the only definition of sin in the Scriptures, the transgression of the law. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 1

Verses 5-7. We are all of us addressed by John, and also by Christ as His little children, Christ’s little children, and therefore we are to be under control to God as little children are under control to their parents. For our present and eternal good, we are to know the will of God. We are highly favored with the privilege of this Book, the Bible. It is our instructor. You cannot afford to drop out the Scriptures that define the plan of salvation and tell us what we must do in order to be saved. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 2

If one soul is worth more than the whole world, I ask you why should we not be intensely interested to know how to carry ourselves here in this world, that we shall obtain an inheritance in the world to come? If we abide in Him, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And more than that, we shall have a life that measures with the life of God. Can you comprehend it? Everlasting life. If God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, (note the conditions) that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, we want to understand the plan. We want to understand the conditions, that we may fulfill them. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 3

It will not answer for us in this day, right on the very eve of the last experience that can be given to parents and to children, for us to keep our mouths closed. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 4

I thank God that there is a tent here, that we can have the free air of heaven, and yet we can be accommodated with a chance to hear. Now let us hear as for eternity. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 5

We want to know the very terms of salvation. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” [Verse 3.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 6

I ask you, Why did Christ come in such a humble way? The Jews did not like it at all. They thought He was coming with force of arms to break the yoke of bondage upon them, and that they were to stand out as kings and priests. As the Lord had promised, when He comes to His people; if they would be obedient and keep His commandments, they should be as kings and priests unto God. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 7

Now, that is a great promise. Here Christ could not come to us at all unless He decided to lay off His kingly crown, lay aside His royal robe, clothe His divinity with humanity, humble Himself as a little child, and come up from childhood to unite with His father and mother in doing the common duties of life that belong to every family on the face of the earth. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 8

If any should feel that it is a great privilege to do nothing, they are the most wretched beings in the world. Our Saviour came as our example, that He might teach everyone how they might have happiness here in the very family circle, and how they should enter into happiness hereafter. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 9

It is the truth that makes us free, and we want no bondage; we want to be free in Jesus Christ. Here He came in the form of humanity, He took His position right by the side of humanity, at the head of humanity. His human arm reaches to every living soul in humanity, and then with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. Our Saviour was tempted in all points like as we are. For our sakes He came as a man. What if He had come with all His glory into our world? We should all have been extinguished. He has said, “No man can see My face and live.” [Exodus 33:20.] Yet He stands there for years in this world, from childhood to manhood, and He came that every one of us in this world might be overcomers as He was an overcomer. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 10

How was He an overcomer? He was tempted of the enemy as we are tempted. But He overcame as we must overcome, and then He educated those that were around Him in the very life that they must follow, in the words and actions that they must practice. Why? That they might know the language of the heavenly country, that they might understand the characters of everyone who shall enter in through the gates into the city, that they shall have life eternal, and they must understand how to educate the mind. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 11

None of us have any too much talent. Be very careful with what you have. Do not in any way weaken the talent God has given you. It is everything to us, and we want to know the way, and then travel that way, and light others in the way. That is the very light that came to the world, to shine upon the world. He is the Light of the world. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 12

He has His truth in the world. And He has the glory of God to represent it to the world through His disciples. He came as a mighty Healer. He went from place to place to heal the bodies of the afflicted and the suffering. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 13

We found there was importance in establishing institutions to bring the sick and the suffering to these institutions not only to treat them with science as medical missionaries, but the soul. All the medical missionary work that is done in truth and righteousness covers the whole responsibility that we must educate, educate, educate at every step. We must put in operation, in every place where we can get entrance, institutions for education and training in the Bible, the precious Bible, that they may understand what saith the Scriptures. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 14

The lawyer asked Christ, What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? That question was asked, that they might get something from the lips of Christ that they might condemn, and take His life. Christ turns that question right over to the lawyer. “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” He [the lawyer] understood very well. He stated, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with”—one quarter of your heart? With one half of your soul? No. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Christ replied, “Thou hast answered right. This do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 15

It was not just the life that we have here that he was asking about. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Verse 25.] “Blessed are they that do His commandments,” Christ says, “that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] Here are the conditions. The lawyer was a little bit dissatisfied. He thought that was a great arrangement, to love thy neighbor as thyself. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 16

You will read in the tenth chapter of Luke all about it. He brought up that poor, sad soul, whom some robber had met and cut and wounded apparently unto death. A priest came and looked at him, but he passed over on the other side. A Levite came and looked at him. Now it was the business of the Levites to attend to all such concerns as that, but it was so forbidding, he went away and left him. But one came there, and he was a Samaritan, and he looked at him, and he got off his horse, and examined him, and bound up his wounds, and then he took him and placed him on his own beast. And then he walked by his side, until he came to some hotel, and he said, “Take care of him” and he paid them some money, and said, “When I come again, if there is a larger price, I will pay you.” Now the question was asked, Who was neighbor to him that fell among thieves? [Verses 30-36.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 17

As the lawyer got his lips ready to answer, they had got so wrought up by this parable, that they forgot their prejudice, and there were a score of voices that cried out, “He that had mercy on him.” [Verse 37.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 18

This is keeping the law, and we want that every soul of you that is here today shall all have an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. We want you to have a crown placed upon your brow. We want you to have the welcome, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] We want that every one shall take the golden harp and sing, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb, that died that we might live.” He lives a triumphant conqueror, and there their voices echo and re-echo to the praise and to the glory of God. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 19

Now after they have glorified God, there is an intent looking. They see a countenance. It was you that told me how I must be saved. It was you who made sacrifices in my behalf. And there are those that have unselfishly and devotedly, as God’s missionaries for soul and body, knelt down at the bedside of the sick and offered up their petitions that God would bless every effort they were making to restore and relieve the suffering and the sick. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 20

This is a work that we want to establish in every place where we can, and we want that there should be attention upon strict temperance. Tobacco that man is using is stupefying the brain, lessening his vitality. Let him remember that Christ has bought him. Ye are bought with a price, ye are not your own, you are bought with a price. And what a price! Now as His servant, I must not put anything into my lips that will becloud my brain, because there is the enemy, a mighty army that fell from heaven, because apostasy commenced there, and Satan wanted to be first. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 21

Oh, how many are wrestling in this world to get a standing above somebody else, when they would be happy if they would be humble, meek, and lowly. Christ said, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 22

Think of the change He made from Commander in the heavenly courts, honored by legions of angels, yet He humbled Himself utterly, took upon Him the great sacrifice of coming into this world, because He appreciated every soul of you a great deal more than you appreciate yourselves. If you appreciated yourselves as Christ appreciated you, you would never let a glass of liquor pass your lips, you would be temperate in every sense of the word. You would discard everything that would interpose between your success of getting into heaven. You cannot afford it. I must have all the brain I have. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 23

The devil is seducing souls, first by one temptation, and then by another. We must have that living connection with God so that we can interpret his temptations, and know who it is, and say, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” We cannot afford to listen to his voice. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 24

Oh, the wonderful sophistry that is coming in, the masterly sophistry—that God is an essence. We have got a God, a personal God and a personal Saviour, and Satan is seeking with all his wiles to seduce men and women to become as gods themselves and flattering them to have a higher and higher class of education. But we want the lower class. That is the highest for us to obtain, because self lives. What we want is to deny self, and take up the cross and follow Christ. Our body must be kept under control of reason, because we want health; we want all the health we can get. Those that have fallen into wrong habits do not need to abide there. Cling to the mighty One. He has purchased us with the price of His blood. He says, “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 25

The man who would be an overcomer has something to overcome, and if he sings the song of redemption in the kingdom of glory, it will be because he understands what it is to be a partaker with Christ of His self-denial, of His self-sacrifice, and he is willing to humble his soul and walk in meekness and lowliness. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 26

“Come unto Me,” He says, “all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” [Matthew 11:28.] Do not run to that dramshop. Do not try to get a glass of liquor which robs you of your senses, so that you do not know what you are doing. You cannot afford it. It is too expensive a business. If you want to live through eternal ages, you must begin now to take hold to deny self. Heaven is worth everything. What do you gain? An eternal weight of glory, and you cannot afford to run any risk in this matter. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 27

Christ said to His disciples as He looked upon them, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] What a message to Christians! What a message to those who have their Bibles. “What will a man give in exchange for his soul.” [Matthew 16:26.] If you gain the whole world, and lose your own soul, what do you gain by it? 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 28

What we want here is to know that there is a power in us, so that we can work for the salvation of men and women. You can deliver them from the power of Satan by laboring with your Bible in your hand as we labored in Australia. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 29

What shall we do, says one, when the Sunday law is passed? Why, said I, devote that day to God. Take your students and go right into the bush, as they call it, go right into the woods, and from house to house carry your Bible, and there teach them the way of life. Kneel down and pray. Ask them to come to Jesus. Teach them the way. Then say to them, just as Christ has said, “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] “Now,” said I, “you teach them every Sunday; teach them on the Sabbath, of course, but every Sunday donate to God, and teach them how they can find the way to heaven.” 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 30

What will a man give in exchange for his soul? And what will it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his own soul? There are thousands doing it every day. Oh, I wish that there were a thousand teachers where there is one right here in this city. God wants workmen. He calls for them. He will accept those who come. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you,” He invites you, “and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Now there is something that He gives them that they are to experience in doing just as He says. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Verses 28-30.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 31

We do not half give ourselves to the Saviour. If we are in trouble, we run to a neighbor. Christ says, “Come to Me.” He knows all about it. You just ask Him to help you. He will honor you if you come to Him with your difficulties. Send your feeble petition to God every time you are in trouble. Do not run to a neighbor. They have troubles as well as you. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 32

Educate your children to come right to Christ and tell Him their little troubles, and tell them that they will find relief every time. He loves little children. When the mothers came with their children, that Christ might put His hands upon their heads, the disciples said, “The Master is teaching, He cannot be interrupted.” Christ heard the words. Said He, Forbid them not. “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” [Mark 10:14.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 33

Just be little children. Let us all humble our souls before God, and when He sees us humbling our souls, let me tell you He will help you, every one of you. The meek and the lowly will have that experience that the burden is light, that the cross is light. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 34

Now we want to understand that there are two great powers in this world. Satan is working with all his hellish power to get in operation the indulgence of appetites and passions, and the saloons, and all these things to tempt the human appetite. When it comes to the judgment, everyone is judged according to the deeds that are done in the body, there they see how many drunkards they have made, how many murders these drunkards have committed, and the misery that has been brought in their homes. God has nothing to do to help that along. It is the devil. Now we want to understand how we shall escape the snares of the devil. Here is the precious, precious Word. You are to keep the commandments of God, and love His law as the apple of your eye. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 35

God has denominated us as His people, and when you went down into the water in baptism, what name were you baptized in? The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. That is the name you were baptized in. Now you profess to be dead to the world, and you have given your earthly history up to God, and God has pledged that the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost will give you all the heavenly advantages, that you shall have might and power to resist the devil so that he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you, and He will lift up a standard for you against the enemy so that you can resist him. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 36

Now we must consider that we are within that covenant. God pledged that if we would keep His commandments, the three powers in heaven would be at our command. Ask of God, and He will hear you when you are in perplexity and distress and pain. I know what it is to ask God and get relief. God will help the suffering ones. You may be where you cannot get to a sanitarium, but you can get to God; He is close by you. You can tell Him your troubles. Come unto Me, says our Redeemer, to Me, your Saviour. When you trust in Him and learn every day that He is at the first and the last and the best of everything, there is peace in your heart. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 37

There is peace in your home. And there are your little children that you are to educate and train for the future immortal life. Have you neglected them and just gone on your way as though you had no attention to give them in religious lines? You will be called to account when you come up to the city of God. “Where are those children I gave you, that you let them go into the enemy’s arms? Why did you not put them into My arms? Why did you not educate them to trust in Me?” That is the very work to begin for your children, when they are nothing but little children, to teach them how to help mother. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 38

The mother is to be the queen of the household, to educate her children, that they shall have the best of advantages in this life, and the future immortal life that measures with the life of God. Teach them these things—and the vanity and pride, you will find they will know how to overcome them. If you keep these children under your own influences, you will find that you can educate and train them to help you to do this. They may hinder you at first. You perhaps had rather do it alone, but you must educate them. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 39

And never say a word of complaint. If they ask if they are hindering you, tell them no. They are getting their education, and therefore you must educate and train them that they can be helpers with you. Encourage the older children to take the burden and care of the younger. You will find there were mothers, that if they had had that chance, they would not be lying in the grave today. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 40

The father is the house-band, remember that. But if he gets drunk every now and then he will not be a house-band by a great deal. But if he is the house-band to bind the whole family together, and the mother is the queen of the household, she gathers the children and asks Jesus morning and night to keep them, they are fitting for the heavenly courts to become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King. Then you can come up to the gates of the city, and can say, “Here am I and the children Thou hast given me.” [Hebrews 2:13.] You can see them all through eternity, thanking God and you that they were not left so that their souls were lost. You cannot afford it. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 41

More time is to be spent in the instruction of the children, but never let an impatient word escape your lips. Mother, you are a teacher, an educator. Father, you are the priest of the household, and you are to educate your children and discipline them. If you lose a considerable advantage in this world, God will work with you if you work and do your part, and He will help you, and His Holy Spirit will move upon the hearts of the children. You have a church in your own house. Take that church right into the church, and there they can bear their little testimonies, and they can reveal in the church that they have been disciplined in Bible truth. They can bear their little testimonies, and then they can grow up to be educators. You would find you had a thousand teachers if families would do this, where you have one. God help us that we may understand how to educate and work from the very foundation and carry it onward and upward. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 42

Says one, I have learned in regard to the highest education. What is it? A mass of sophistry. They do away with my Christ. They do away with the foundation of the truth upon which we have been established for more than fifty years, the commandments and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to take us to Himself. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 43

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.] Thank God. I want to praise Him every time I read these words. Then let us be determined that we will understand what the will of the Lord is concerning us. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 44

Here it says in the [seventh] verse: “Little children, let no man deceive you.” We grow up like little children. Sometimes the grown-up children do not have patience with the smaller children. There should not be any speech that will dishonor God in the home, but let us have pleasantness. Carry a pleasant countenance. You can make sunshine or you can make clouds. It is best to have a sunshiny countenance. It will not blister your lips at all to have pleasant words. It will give life and brightness and joy and gladness all through the house. Let us see how much light we can manufacture. Christ said, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 45

Now the light is doing a great deal, and what we want is to let the light shine amid the moral darkness of this world, and we must draw together all the forces possible that shall come to the light. The powers of darkness are increasing in intensity and determination, but God is all-powerful, and He will give us His power from on high if we will just look to Him and expect it, and His light will shine into our hearts and into the chambers of the mind. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 46

I have taken children into my family and have educated them, traveling from east to west nearly all over the globe, and Oh, I have had such satisfaction. One says, “I cannot do a thing with my child. He is 14, and stronger than I am. I cannot manage him. Here is the sister two years younger.” I said, “Give them to me. I will take them right home.” And there I helped him, and these children became useful. One has worked in printing offices as head man and in different positions. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 47

I met one that came into our family, a driver of horses on the towpath. Someone said, Do take pity on him. See what you can do with him, Sister White. I took him into my family, and he was converted, and he sat in the type rooms. He was the head man there. Another has the machinery. He has taken charge of the machinery in Battle Creek. He is getting old now, and I met him in Nashville at my son’s. He is just as bright and sharp and interested in the Scriptures. They have made him an elder of the church. He is almost as old as I am now, but he was a young man when we took him into our house. Let us help one another. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 48

Let us strengthen one another. If you feel that someone has hurt your feelings, do not go with a sour face. Go right to him and if there is anything you have done, take it out of the way. Do not let it spoil your Christian experience. We want a character that Christ can commend. We want Him to say, “Well done,” to us. [Matthew 25:21.] 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 49

Now is our opportunity, and God wants us to have the riches of His glory. I will read a little further. 1 John 2:1. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 50

Now if you see sinners around you, you praise God with all your heart that we have an Advocate with the Father, and there is hope for the sinner. Therefore, we will work for his salvation. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 51

Verse 2. What a pity that we Christians have not worked more faithfully, that the devil has grasped so many that it seems as though the world was given up to him. We cannot afford it. Win them back for Christ’s sake. There is no excuse for us in the world. We have His life history, and we can walk even as He walked. We can be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 52

2 Peter 1:1, 2. That is what the devil is going to get out of our sight, if possible—get God out of our sight—to make Him a nonentity, so we cannot identify Himself and the Lord God of heaven and our all-powerful God, with His people. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 53

Verses 3, 4. I tell you the devil cannot have much room in the heart where Christ reigns. If we are partakers of the divine nature, and are following out the interests of Christ, there is no room for Satan there. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 54

God wants us to come to our senses. Let us treasure the “exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” [Verse 4.] You want to be familiar with these promises. You want to understand them. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 55

Verses 5-9. If we are not adding these things, we are lacking of being what God designed us to be. We want the Bible truth to stand as a recommendation of Christ. The power of Christ is redeeming men and women from all ungodliness to true righteousness. Now here there is a multiplication of grace and peace spoken of. You act on the plan of addition, and Christ will work on the plan of multiplication, and you will see the grace of God will fit you as laborers together with God. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 56

Verse 10. Is there an election? Certainly. Not that you will be elected, whether you are overcomers or not, but that you will make your calling and election sure, by words, by actions, by an excellent character, that you may live in the family as God would have you live. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 57

Verse 11. “If ye do these things you shall never fall.” 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 58

Have you got your life insurance policy? Here it is. Here is the eternal life insurance policy, and we want that. That is the election that Christ wants us to have. We shall never fall, but we shall have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 59

Verse 12. Thank God for the Bible. I want to say, Christ wants every one of you to seek Him a great deal more than you do. He wants you to trust Him as little children, and then to teach the same lesson to your little children and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and you will have a crown of life in the kingdom of glory, and touch the golden harp, and fill all heaven with rich music and with songs to the Lamb. 19LtMs, Ms 153, 1904, par. 60