Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

332/345

Ms 159, 1904

Sermon/Thoughts on Revelation 1-3

Omaha, Nebraska

September 11, 1904

Previously unpublished.

Revelation 1:1-3. “Blessed is he that readeth.” Now consider this, whether you shall close the Revelation up and call it a sealed book, when it is just as it means, a revelation to those that are upon earth today. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 1

Verses 3-8. You notice who it is that wails. It is the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 2

Verses 8, 9. He had that testimony to bear in regard to the true Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, He whom wicked hands had taken and crucified. He kept repeating before the people the Bible, and the joy and peace of Christ. Now they wanted very much to stop that testimony and they tried to take his life will they did not dare to try again, and they thought they would take him away to that island and let him wear away his life among the rocks and the desolation there. He says, “for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” That is why he was there. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 3

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” [Verse 10.] What is that? The Sabbath of the Lord, which was given in Eden. The Sabbath of the Lord, which our God created. It is not the first day. This is the first day of the week, but it was the last day of the week that our Lord gave for the Sabbath. He had created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh day, and then He gave His blessing to the seventh day. He rested on that day, and was refreshed, and He blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 4

Verses 10-19. You want to know all about it, that you may know how to escape the perils of the last days which are upon us; that you may know where your dependence is; that you may make no gods before you of men, but that you shall worship the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Upon these two commandments, love to God and love to man, hang all the law and the prophets. Now we want to all understand that we hang upon these two great principles, love to God and love to man. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 5

Verse 20. The seven churches, bear that in mind. There are angels appointed over every church that claims to believe in the truth of Jesus Christ being the only begotten Son of God. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 6

Verse 20 continued. That is, they are to give light. The churches are not to be in darkness in regard to the Word of God and His commandments. The churches are to reflect light upon the world. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 7

Chapter 2:1-3. You see that is a splendid declaration. What can there be against that church? Verses 4, 5. Now what is the matter? The love which characterized the life of Jesus Christ they have let drop out of their life. They could be just, and have patience, and all this, but they have left that love of Christ which should characterize their life practice. They had dropped it out of their faith, and what then? When that love was lost—how is it when you lose the love of God out of the heart, how is it with you? Why, there is a defection everywhere. It is the love of Christ that is to be brought right into the life, right into the family. It is to work constantly for every soul that is in darkness, that you can reflect light. If you get careless about those that are defective and do not understand their position, and do not care about their position, you have lost your first love, the first love that is expressed toward Christ is to be expressed toward His followers. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 8

He says to those that are represented as coming up before Him—one class on the right hand, and one on the left—He tells them, I was sick and in prison, and ye came not unto Me. And then He tells them that He was hungry, and they fed Him not, and then He goes on and tells the class of work they had not done. Now we want to know of any of us are in that position: In prison, they say, and they came not unto Him? Why, when saw we Thee thus? He says, Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto one of these, my brethren, ye have not done it unto Me. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 9

Then again He says to those that are on the right hand, I was hungry and ye fed Me, thirsty and ye gave Me drink, sick and in prison and ye came unto Me. Then they ask, When saw we Thee thus, Lord? He answers, Inasmuch as ye have done these merciful things to any that you saw in these positions you have done it unto Me. [Matthew 25:34-40.] 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 10

Now, there is a blessing that we shall have in laboring for souls as they that must give an account. Every one of us is responsible for some gift which God has given us. To every man He has given his work. Therefore we have a work to do for the Master, and He has His eye upon us. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 11

Here are the angels waiting to minister His grace to the churches, if they will, every one, have an open heart to receive His grace. But if they are all buried up in the world, they cannot stop to pray in their family and they cannot stop to become acquainted with their sons and their daughters. They want to make money so much, and they want to figure all the fields they have a harvesting, and all this. But do they know that the prayers offered to Jesus Christ and to the Father in His name, do they know that the angels are present to give them the Spirit that they shall want in doing all this work? Can you be surprised that they make mistakes, that they lose much because they do not take with a firm hand right hold of the hand of Christ, and be led and taught and guided by Him in whatever business they are engaged? 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 12

If you are in a business where you must sacrifice the truth, in order, as you suppose, to make a success of that business, you make one of the greatest mistakes in your life. You cannot afford any such doing as that. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 13

Now the warning comes that they are making a wonderful mistake in losing their first love. They love one another because they loved Christ. They love the great Teacher, and they loved every one who believed in Him. Well, they did not carry out that principle, to watch for souls as they that must give an account. If one man is neglectful in his duty, he teaches another to be neglectful too. If one man is steadfast in his family—“Here are my children, here are those to whom God has given me the care. I must bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I must let no opportunity pass that I shall not give them the light, and that I shall not teach them how to pray and how to love God, and how to love one another, and how to be true and honest and kind and faithful”—he teaches another to be steadfast, too. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 14

Now I see that the children are looking at me very interestedly, some of them, and I want to tell you that is just what the Lord wants children to learn of their parents. God has given them their responsibilities. Every one of you, children, is to look to your parents to be educated, and God forbid that they should disappoint the Lord in giving the wrong mold to the character, of indulgence, because you children desire to have your own way. Now, obey your parents, children, and they will do faithfully by you. They do not want to cross your track, but they want you to walk in the right path, just as God wants His family that is here before me, the whole of them, to walk after His counsel, because that counsel will always lead them in the very track that leads them to the kingdom of glory. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 15

Your parents, if they love and serve God, will lead their children in the pathway of obedience. If children disobey their parents, they will not be brought under the control of their teachers in the educational line. They will not be brought under the control of their teachers in the ministerial work, and therefore they are left to drift. You cannot afford it, parents. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 16

You want to take your appointed work, and do it diligently. Every father, every mother, is responsible to God to let the light shine in the home, in the family, and to represent the teachings of Jesus Christ as full of light and blessing, and His restraining influence is to keep them from Satan’s power, so they will not yield to the temptations of the devil. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 17

The Lord wants to do a great work with all the parents that are here, so that this great camp meeting shall not be in vain unto you. He wants your heart to be brought where all the rubbish that has been placed before your heart is gone, so that when you hear the knock of Christ, in impressions to your duty in the Word which He gives you, you can throw the door wide open and say, Abide with me, and you will recognize the power of the grace of Christ that will carry you through your difficulties in the home. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 18

But you want a home of prayer. You want a home that is characterized by the sweetness of the grace of God. You want not an impatient word to escape your lips. You want to hold your mouth together and say, I will not say one word that shall irritate the mind of wife or children. You are accounted of God to be priests, as fathers, of the family, and you are accounted of Him to preserve the love of Christ in your heart and in your mind, to train your children that they will not touch tobacco, that they will not touch liquor, that they will not have anything to do with the sinful practices which are lessening the brain nerve strength and the brain power and the physical strength, so that the body and the mind and the soul is under the control of the power of darkness. He wants you to educate as priests. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 19

You are the house-band of the family. Bind them together. Bind them to your heart and bind your heart to them, and bring up these children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If they offend, take the work of Scripture, and sit right down and show them the consequence of it. Take it even if your wheat is neglected and your corn is neglected, or even if some mercantile enterprise is neglected. You cannot afford to lose you own souls that you shall come up to the gate of the city of God with your children, and you cannot get in, there is no room there. God forbid it should be thus. The Lord is in earnest with us. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 20

Now here the candlestick is be removed out of its place unless they repent. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 21

Revelation 3:1. Sardis was considered a very godless place. How many here are in that position? How many are not drinking of the living waters and eating of the bread of life every day, and fitting for translation to that world so that their life will measure with the life of God? 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 22

Verse 2. “... ready to die.” Fathers, that is your work. Mothers, what are the mothers? To be treated as queen in the home, to be treated as one that is to be respected before all your children old or young. What is she? The teacher, from their very babyhood to teach the children to respect the mother and to help her bear the burdens and the responsibilities that shall come upon the mother, that she shall not be laid in the grave prematurely and the children left orphans. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 23

The very work you are to do is to begin in your home, and then carry your children to the church of God, and respect there the authority, and you will find that your peace will be as a river. The righteousness of Christ will be represented. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 24

Verse 3. “and repent.” Do not give up the things that you have received and heard because they condemn your course of action. Hold fast, and respect the light that God has given you. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 25

Remainder of Verse 3. Do you know how many accidents you read about? Men are plunged right into death without a moment’s warning, and we know not what may happen to us unless the power of God protects us from these things. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 26

“Thou hast a few names, even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments.” Thank God that there are a few names even in Sardis, “and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” [Verse 4.] They were not defiled with the unbelief; they were not defiled with whatever corruption was around them, “and they shall walk with Me in white.” They have not defiled their garments. We will strive for that more than we have ever done before. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 27

Verse 5. “He that overcometh.” Now there is a work of overcoming evil, and this comes to us today in the strongest power, and we are to take note of this. Verse 5. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 28

O, that is a splendid position to be in, and we want—from the light God has given me—we want to take a higher standard than we have yet taken. You have got to realize the responsibility that rests upon you, that you must exercise toward your God, that you are to repent of evil, that you are to place yourself in right relation to God, that the truth of heavenly origin shall sanctify the entire man. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 29

Christ left the royal courts. He came to our world, that He might stand at the head of humanity, and in giving His life, this world that was divorced from God was drawn back into favor with God, because the righteousness of Christ bridged the gulf; and therefore we are bought with a price, and what a price! Shall we neglect such a salvation? Is not heaven worth anything to us? God grant that there may be a turning unto the Lord with heart and mind and soul. You cannot love Him too much. You cannot serve Him too devotedly. You will find that if you let your light shine, how? He says, Let your light shine to those that are around you, that by beholding your good works, they will glorify your Father which is in heaven. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 30

One scheming man who professes to be a Christian, O he will do so much harm! He will plant so many tares, he will bring on the foundation hay and wood and stubble and all that stuff, and all this is blocking the way to his own salvation, and all this is block the way to his family’s salvation. You cannot afford it. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 31

What is heaven? It is eternal life to us. And then I ask you to cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This is your work, whatsoever others may say of you. Whatever you may lose by the trickery of others, do not go into the same business yourself. You know how it feels to be robbed of anything; do not commit robbery yourselves. What you want is to represent the character of a faultless life that Christ came to this earth to show you in humanity what humanity can be. He was tempted of the devil in all points as you are, and yet there He stood unsullying in His dignity, not yielding one point, to teach you what humanity can be and what it should be. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 32

You want to preserve your mind. You do not want to take tobacco into your lips. You do not want to drink liquor. We have enough of it, and from the light God has given me, nine-tenths of the accidents that happen with loss of life are because of the liquor saloons, and it is because men will patronize them. God wants us, as Seventh-day Adventists, to take our position upon health reform, and to keep the brain power in a clear, healthful, strengthened position, to discern righteousness from unrighteousness, and to discern evil, so that we shall not come in the path of the destroyer. Now Christ looks upon such, and the whole heavenly host He has given to work for you. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 33

Angels of God are ascending and descending the ladder of shining brightness. And what is it for? It is to minister unto you who shall be heirs of salvation if you will accept the ministry. But if you go into your house and have a storming around in the house as a professed Christian, you are a servant of the devil, and the devil is working right through you. Now stop and consider that there is something for you to overcome, and God will give you strength and power from on high, and you will gain the victory. What you want is a pleasant, temperate household. What you want is a heart that can give thanksgiving and praise to God every day. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 34

How much praise do you give to the heavenly Father for His keeping power? How much praise do you give that He waters the earth, and causes the soil to produce its treasure and the trees of the field their fruit? I ask you, What do you give to God? When you harvest the fruit, do you say, “Praise the Lord”? “Children, let us bow right down here and praise God for the blessing that He has given us in fruits and grains.” 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 35

Can you wonder that with a family so ungrateful He brings them to reflection by giving them dearth and poverty? Can you wonder when the children of Israel were so unmindful of all that God was doing for them? Who was He? The Christ of God. He was in the cloud, giving directions, leading the children of Israel, and when they should stop, the cloud descended to show them where the tent should be, watching over them all the way through. When they should come up and go on their journey, the cloud lifted and every tent was in motion to continue their travels. But lo, there was a bitten company. He let the serpents loose; He did not restrain them. Then they began to call on Moses to pray that the plague might be staid. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 36

A serpent was lifted upon a pole, and there it was lifted before them. Christ uses is as a figure, that as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so Christ was to be lifted up. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 37

God is not pleased with such ingratitude as you give Him. He wants you to praise Him. Why can you not be polite to God? You are polite, and teach politeness, to one another, why can you not give thanksgiving to God for His mercies and blessings? Why can you not manifest a character that you appreciate the great favors that God gives you? 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 38

If you do these things you may be sure that the Lord will take notice of them, and will let His blessing rest upon you. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God. Do you not think it would be well in our households and in our fields to make it a business to send our praise to God, that He shall be glorified, and let Him know that His big family upon earth acknowledges His goodness, acknowledges what He has done for them? 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 39

What we want is to take up our neglected duties, and my message is: to go to work on this point. Now this is the work that has been neglected. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 40

Verse 5. Do you not all want your name confessed? 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 41

Verses 6, 7. “no man shutteth.” Consider that. There is not a man upon earth that can shut the door between you and your God. There is an open entrance that you can have if you will, if you will send your petition within the open door. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 42

“And shutteth, and no man openeth.” [Verse 7.] When that door is shut, when mercy’s sweet voice shall no more he heard in invitations, all the sympathy of the world and friends can never open that door, but it is open today, and we want to open the heart to the rich grace of God. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 43

Verse 8. O, the name of Christ is going to be denied in a much bolder manner that it is today. The name of Christ, here He is our only hope. It is His name that gives us access to the Father. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 44

Verses 9, 10. The hour of temptation is coming upon the world in a far stronger light, but the judgments of God are also coming upon the world. And we shall find that soon there shall be a time of trouble as never was since there was a nation, for thus saith the God of Israel. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 45

Verse 11. For half a century God has been giving light to His people through His Word just where they were standing in prophecy. We will have the sophistry of the last days to meet. We shall have masters of sophistry, and we shall have them come in to do away with the light and the grace and power of God. But we want to say, You can be an overcomer because Christ loves us. They need not overcome you, but you that have had the truth be sure that you hold fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 46

Don’t let loose a single peg, and don’t try to move a single pillar, because God has established it, and He wants every soul to be steadfast in the faith that He has given to you. “Many shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” [1 Timothy 4:1.] But you are to stand holding the beginning of your confidence. Don’t let it go. You know God was with you there. You know you were helped there, and don’t let loose the truth of God that comes from any man’s lips that will try to sway you off from the real foundation of what is truth. It is true today just as much as when you were baptized with the Holy Spirit. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 47

You went down into the water, and you claimed to be dead unto the world. And then the three great powers, the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, were the names that you were baptized in, and when in trial and when in perplexity you come right to these, and say, My Father, I plead with Thee for Thy Holy Spirit, that when You gave these to our world, You gave all heaven to the world in the three great powers that were in the heavenly courts. Now this is the plea that you are to make with God. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 48

You are to take your position on the Lord’s side, as His property, as His blood-bought heritage, and God forbid that you should crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame by denying your faith. You cannot afford it. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 49

[Revelation 3] Verses 12 to 16. If they were cold there was some hope of reaching them. But when they were neither cold nor hot, though professing to be a child of God, but they were not influenced by His Spirit, the warm love of God was not in their hearts; they were insensible to His mercy and to His kindness and to His love. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 50

God wants this people to be converted, to come right to His feet, and He wants you there to humble your souls before Him, to confess and forsake your sins, and then you will become warm; you will let alone all things that are offensive in His sight. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 51

Verse 16. What does that mean? He takes our names right into His lips, and He tells His Father, Here are My hands; they are written, graven upon the palms of My hands, and He gives our names to the Father, and we must be kept from Satan’s snares. Angels of God are sent to keep us from falling. But He cannot take a lukewarm person in His mouth. They have no religion. They do not show it at home or in the church or in their gifts and offerings. Their selfishness is such that Christ cannot endure them—the world perishing in sin, and they, as it were, satisfied and asleep. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 52

Verse 17. Now this position He presents to us as a most offensive thing in the church; and you will find, when some of them are in heaven, that some of them are ministers; and when the work is to be finished in certain lands, you will find that persons have their feet on the brake, and they will hold the gospel carriage from rolling because there is a little expense involved. What you want is to be wide-awake. You want to have your camp meetings where there are unbelievers, and where they can have the knowledge of what we are. We are not afraid if we live for Christ. Christ will bear witness of us in impressing the minds of unbelievers. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 53

Verse 18. (It is the gold of Christ’s character)—verse 21. Now you see Christ overcame, and we must overcome through the merits of Jesus Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 54

Verse 22. Now I have the following, on the close of this history, in another discourse, and I will leave you now with the exhortations that I have given. Study that chapter, and these things that John saw and was told to write in a book and send to the churches. And every church in every place who reads these things, to see what it means if they will be faithful, shall have Jesus Christ to blot out their sins and their transgressions if they will stay faithful and true and righteous till He shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory to take His faithful children unto Himself. 19LtMs, Ms 159, 1904, par. 55