Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 157, 1904

Sermon/Thoughts on Philippians 2

Battle Creek, Michigan

September 8, 1904

Previously unpublished.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, (and we know that there is,) if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better that themselves.” [Philippians 2:1-3.] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 1

Those who follow this instruction will not strive for the highest place. Men who follow the natural disposition to choose for themselves the highest place, will often find themselves in the lowest place. A revelation of the spirit of the self-exaltation renders a person untrustworthy, and incapable of carrying large responsibilities. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 2

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” [Verses 5-9.] 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 3

O how much we owe to our Lord Jesus Christ! As I think of the peace, the hopefulness, and the courage that He gives, I am so thankful for the privilege of serving Him. I do not desire the highest place. I only desire to be in a place where I can act my part as a humble servant of Jesus. Therefore I do not feel disappointed and cherish bitter feeling because some do not appreciate my work. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 4

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” [Verses 9, 10.] 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 5

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” [Verse 10.] We are not to exalt ourselves in any position, in any place. If we do anything that is acceptable to God, it is because He has given us the strength to do it. Let those here who are serving, remember that Christ was a servant. He came to serve, and His whole life was one service. Who was He? He was the King of glory; the One equal with the Father. When we consider this, we shall consider it as the highest honor to stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. We shall never feel that it is humiliating to be a servant of Jesus Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 6

Sometimes after speaking to a large congregation, as I was leaving, and was retiring to the tent, I have heard men ridicule some thing I had said. I thought of the words that had been spoken, and I thought, “You do not know who I am. I am a member of the royal family in the heavenly court. I am a child of the King, an heir of God, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ.” If you just remember that, you will not cherish bitter feelings even if your work is not appreciated. All the irritation will leave you and you will lift your voice in a song of praise to God for the privilege of being a member of the royal family. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 7

Angels of God are round about His children to impart meekness, lowliness of heart. Then be cheerful. Let the sunshine of Christ’s presence be seen upon your countenance. We want the peace of heaven, that peace which passeth all understanding. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 8

When difficulties arise, remember that it is your privilege as the hymn says to stand on “Christ the living Rock.” Don’t ever let your feet be moved from that Rock. If your feet are planted firmly upon the Rock of ages, then you have a hope fraught with immortality, and full of glory. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 9

I feel so grateful that it is our privilege to be children of God. We should avail ourselves of every opportunity to confess Christ, to lift up those that are cast down, to reach out a helping hand to every one that needs our help. We are not to fold our hands, and feel that we have nothing special to do. To every one of us is given his work. We can speak a word in season. We can speak words that will bring comfort to others, and in comforting others we ourselves will be comforted. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 10

But we can only give to others what we have received. If the Lord blesses us, are we to keep it for ourselves? We are to impart that blessing to others. Just as soon as you receive comfort and blessing from Christ, you will find someone whom you are to comfort and bless. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 11

Sometimes when you pray for God’s blessing, you do not realize it at the very moment that you ask for the blessing. But will you get up from your knees, and say, I have not received that for which I have prayed? No. Arise with confidence that you will receive that which you have asked of Jesus Christ, for He says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 12

“If any man lack wisdom”—and that means any man—“let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” [James 1:5.] He does not find fault with you, and He does not reprove you. Go to Him in your poverty of soul. If any one of you realizes a poverty of soul, you may know just where to go. Go to One who can cure that poverty, One who has the bread of eternal life. And what is that bread that you are to feed upon? “He that eateth the bread of life shall have eternal life.” What is that bread? He says, “It is my body.” It is My blood. That is the food that we are to eat, and if you eat such food as that, let me tell you, it will reveal itself in your disposition. “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life” [John 6:54], and if we have eternal life, we shall manifest that, not in a wavering sort of a way,—as though we do not know what we believe or what we think. We believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We take Him at His word. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 13

But you must receive it by faith. “He that doubteth and is unbelieving is just like a wave of the sea, tossed with the wind,” and he is an uncertain thing. [See James 1:6.] It is very moveable all the time. What we want is to have that sure faith that God has given us from the very first in 1844. And we have been receiving more and more and still more light. Now, this is the evidence of our being upon the rock, our being in harmony with Christ and in harmony with His followers. We want every one of you to understand that every pin, every pillar that God has established in our first experience after the passing of the time, we want you to understand that it was the Lord planting the rock upon which we are to stand. Not a particle of it is it to be moved. That is the truth that will stand the test of ages, and the test of trial that is coming upon us. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 14

We shall have a test of trial in more ways than one. We read that many shall depart from the faith, and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Now we want to be in the faith, and know that we are there. We want to know that the rock on which we stand is the rock of ages. Let every one of us draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to us. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 15

Every day He will put a new song of praise into our mouth. Can you tell us why we are so impolite to God? Can you understand it? You receive a favor from a friend and you express all your gratitude and your thankfulness for that gift. Why, I ask, do you not encourage the gratitude of soul that shall flow forth like a living stream because you are drinking of that stream? May the Lord God of heaven open our understanding to realize that whoso offereth praise glorifieth God. Now if we want to glorify God, let us have the gratitude offering to present to Him, and let us present it to one another, and when we take the hand of a brother or a friend and they ask us how we are, thank God we are aware that we have His blessing, and His blessing is upon us, and we will praise Him and let the praise of God be in our heart and in our mind. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 16

If we are in trouble and perplexity, it is no use for us to run to somebody else, because Christ has said, “Come unto me ... lowly in heart.” When you get in that position you will know how to appreciate His blessing. Then He tells you, “For my yoke ... light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 17

We are fitting for heaven. Every one of us should keep that in view. I must not speak wrathfully. I must not speak unadvisedly. I must not in any sense offend my Redeemer, for He has given His life for me. There must not be one mark in the books of heaven to show that I am a delinquent. I must show that I appreciate the gift of everlasting life, and Christ has promised to give it to me if I will follow on to know the Lord, to know that His going forth is prepared as the morning, and therefore the light that seems dim in the morning increases until the noonday, and then you have the full brightness of the sun. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 18

That is what we want, the Sun of Righteousness, and if we will encourage the praise of God in our hearts, we will have the stamp of that praise in our countenance, and wherever you serve you will be prepared to magnify the Lord in the very expression of your countenance. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 19

God wants every one of us to be preparing for the home above. He wants us to have such a character that we can enter in through the gates into the city. He wants us to have a right to the tree of life. Blessed are they that do His commandments, for they shall enter in through the gates into the city, and shall have right to the tree of life. Well, what is that? It is for the healing of the nations. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 20

When we are hurt and when we are crowded and pushed, I am glad there are the leaves of the tree of life in His Word that He is willing to give for the healing of all these wounds, and then we begin to sing His praises. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 21

When Christ was upon earth His feelings were often wounded. They would find fault with Him because He was so particular in doing His work, because it reproved their work. They would say, “You are slow, you do not go ahead fast enough.” He would look at every piece, put it in just as it would be a perfect fit, for He was a carpenter. He learned the trade of His father. Yet He was the Majesty of heaven. Who was He? The King of glory. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might be tempted in all points like as humanity is tempted and that He might impart to humanity His divinity, as they should need it to resist the temptations of the enemy. We want to be clothed with His salvation. We want every day to know that we are gaining victories more and more. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 22

May the blessing of God rest upon every one that is here. I read, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him ... that at the name of Jesus”—speak it often—“every knee should bow”—to the glory of whom? His Father in heaven. To the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:9-11.] 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 23

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed,—as lights in the world.” [Verses 12, 15.] Glory to God for that! I thank God that we can shine. Let us catch the divine rays of light from glory, and let us reflect that light upon the pathway of others, holding forth the Word of life, that we may rejoice in the day of Christ that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. Why? Why? Because they have recommended Christ in their character, they have represented Him in their kindness, in their cheerfulness, in their happiness, in trying in everything to lift up fallen humanity, and to bring them into the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. Now he says, “I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Verse 16.] If you knew what a comfort you could give to the ministers and to the medical missionaries by showing your progress, by showing that every effort that is made to benefit and bless them, they will reveal the light. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 24

“Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice, and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” [Verse 17.] We want these Scriptures to be in our hearts. Eat them. Christ says, “The flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] That is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 25

God wants us on every occasion to praise Him. Let us begin the thanksgiving of God. The day was when we had a little company in a room and when the blessing of God came upon them, and the praise of God went forth from their lips. We do not know what the Lord has done that we should not have some praise and glory that should come forth from human lips to Him. Let us educate our hearts to praise and glorify God. 19LtMs, Ms 157, 1904, par. 26