Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)

274/370

Ms 66, 1905

Talk/The Need of Home Religion

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 25, 1905

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 06/22/1905, 06/29/1905. +Note

“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” [1 John 3:1-6.] It is impossible for us to have Christ abiding in our hearts unless we constantly behold Him. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 1

“Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God cannot commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” [Verses 7-9.] 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 2

In the second chapter of his epistle, John says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:1, 2.] 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 3

This means that we have a world on our hands. It is of no use for us to think that we can follow our preferences or natural tendencies. We have a world on our hands, and we are to make known the saving principles of our Lord Jesus Christ—the principles that have been committed to us to impart to the world. God wants us to be faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 4

“Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” [1 John 3:1.] It does not understand the principles that underlie our course of action. We must stand before God with a conscience void of offense. There are wonderful privileges for every one of us. God never places before us a requirement without giving us the power to perform it. He never asks us to take one step in advance of Him. He leads the way, and we are to follow after. Following Him, we are in no danger of going astray. Thus only can we perfect a Christian character as stewards of the grace of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 5

To us have been entrusted the truths of the gospel for this time. It is a wonderful, wonderful treasure, and the Lord desires us to have our eyes enlightened and our hearts quickened. He desires us to be nerved and strengthened by the power that He will give us if we will only be true to Him. He desires every one of us to perfect a character after the divine similitude. The Christian who does not do this casts reflection on God. He dishonors his Saviour. Those who have access to the words written in the Scripture are without excuse if they do not apply these words to themselves, if they do not thus cleanse their hearts from sin. By the lights shining from the throne of God upon our pathway, we shall be judged at the last great day. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 6

“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida!” Christ said; “for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.” [Matthew 11:21, 22.] 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 7

To have light shining upon the pathway in the clearness of the gospel of Christ, as it has shone upon our pathway, is a fearful responsibility. We are to follow on step by step, with our eyes fixed upon our Leader. He will not lead us one step out of the right way. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 8

God gave Christ to our world to save us from eternal death. Behold Him, behold Him! Keep looking upon Him till you reflect His image. Do not accept the words of any man, unless you can see that he is conformed to the divine image, because if you do, you sustain him in doing wrong; you sustain him by asking his counsel and following his directions. What we need is the word “pure” from the Holy Bible. Christ has bidden us conform our lives to His life. We are to know what it means to keep the commandments of God in truth and righteousness. The love that was in the heart of Christ is to be in our hearts, that we may reveal it to those around us. We need to be daily strengthened by the deep love of God and to let this love shine forth to those around us. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 9

Brethren and sisters, you are to reveal this love from the very beginning of the married life. It is to be the guiding principle in the family. Let your children see that you are controlled by the Spirit of God. Every member of the family is to be brought under subjection to the will and way of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 10

I want you to think of the education that is to be given in the home. This education begins with the parents. They are to build the home after the pattern that Christ has given them. They are to teach what Christ taught, to bless what Christ blessed, and to correct what Christ corrected. Sin is not to dwell in the mortal bodies of those who have committed themselves, body and soul, to Christ. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 11

There is no middle ground presented before us. The cross of Calvary is the great center of the plan of salvation; and we are to begin to crucify self at once, that we may be preparing for a place in the redeemed family in the heavenly courts. What we need is the saving power of the grace of Christ day by day. This saving grace is to begin its work in our homes. Not an angry word is to fall from the lips of parents. They are to be constantly under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They are to realize that they are the teachers of their children and that they are to reveal the kindness, tenderness, and love of Christ. And yet they are not to overlook the faults of their children. They are not to gratify their wishes simply because they desire gratification. This is not the way to train children for God. Children are made happy by being brought under right control. The most unhappy children I have ever seen were those who had never been brought under control. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 12

You may talk to your children about bringing them under the control of God, but it will not have any influence on them unless you first teach them to obey you, and unless they can see that you yourselves are under the control of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 13

Parents, you have a church in your home, and God demands that you bring into this church the grace of heaven, which is beyond computation, and the power of heaven, which is without measure. You can have this grace and this power if you will. But you must educate yourselves in accordance with your baptismal vows. When you took these vows, you pledged yourself, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that you would live unto God, and you have no right to break this pledge. The help of the three great powers is placed at your disposal. When in the name of Christ you ask for grace to overcome, it will be given unto you; for the promise is, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] Yes, seek God for aid. If you are in perplexity, do not go to your neighbors. Learn to carry your troubles to God. If you seek, you will find; if you knock, it shall be opened unto you. But this means faith, faith, faith. Exercise living faith in Christ, and do not, I beg of you, step aside out of the right way. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 14

Your home is to be an example of what a Christian home should be. You are to bring your children up in the nature and admonition of the Lord. You are to overcome the faults which wrestle for the victory, and which, unless overcome, will separate you from God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 15

The father and mother are to be respected in the Christian home. The father is the priest and house-band of the home. The mother is the teacher of the little ones from their babyhood and the queen of the household. Never is she to be slighted. Never are careless, indifferent words to be spoken to her before the children. She is their teacher. In thought and word and deed the father is to reveal the religion of Christ, that his children may see plainly that he has a knowledge of what it means to be a Christian. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 16

Brethren and sisters, are you doing your God-given work in the home? Are you allowing your sons and daughters to shun the responsibilities that properly belong to them? Does your daughter sit at a musical instrument while the mother does the cooking? Do the little ones go to the mother for everything when the older ones ought to be taught to share the burden of caring for them? that the mother may have time to rest? Many mothers die years before their time because they have had to carry the burdens that ought to have been willingly borne by younger shoulders. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 17

Children are to be educated to deny themselves. At one time, when I was speaking in Nashville, the Lord gave me light on this matter. It flashed upon me with great force that in every home there should be a self-denial box, and that into this box the children should be taught to put the pennies they would otherwise spend for candy and other unnecessary things. They are to be taught that there is a great work to be done for a needy, suffering people, even the colored people of the southern states. To them we should present the truth for this time. We are to take up intelligently the work of helping them. A good work has already been done with these self-denial boxes, and let no one lift a finger to hinder this work. Let no one speak a discouraging word in regard to it; for it is God’s plan, and thus He has said that help should be sent to the work for the colored people. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 18

You will find that as the children place their pennies in these boxes, they will gain a great blessing. They will tell the children of neighboring families what they are doing, and the way will open for these boxes to be placed in other homes. We are not to do anything to discourage this work. Every member of the family, from the oldest to the youngest, should practice self-denial. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 19

As the children of such families grow up, they understand something about mission work, because they are taught what it means to deny self in order that souls may be brought into the truth. They are taught that the money which they save by denying themselves goes to relieve a race whom the great majority of people in this country seem largely to have forgotten. The colored people need help and education and training, and we are going to work to the point until a great work is accomplished. So long as God gives me breath, I shall bear my testimony regarding this matter. I thank God that He has ways and means by which self-denial can be taught in the family. Thus His people are to be taught how to do missionary work, how to go out, and in simplicity open the Word of God to others. When questioned about their faith, they will be able to state plainly and clearly the reasons of their faith. Such families bring into the church the influence of their home training. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 20

What we need is home religion—the sanctification of the truth in the home life. We know in whom we have believed, but we do not half express it; and when we fail to give expression to our faith, we lose half the sense of what it means to give ourselves to God. To live for Him means sacrifice at every step. It means self-denial in the matter of dress. Much money is spent in the adornment of the person that ought to be devoted to the proclamation of the truth for this time. A world had been committed to us, and in the name of Christ Jesus, I ask you, my sisters, to dress plainly and neatly, but not for display. Do not try to follow every fashion. Get a good fashion, and keep it. Let all see that you have a nobler aim in life than following the ever-changing fashions of the world, that you are preparing for the higher life in the kingdom of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 21

My brethren, build plainly and solidly the houses that you put up. We have no fault to find with the buildings here. Our institutions are to be a representation of the characters that we are to form. Everything about them is to be solid. God will help us as we try to carry out His will in our character building. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 22

Christ came to our world without display. But today great displays are made every now and then. Thousands of dollars are expended right among our own people in such displays, and this God forbids. That is not the way to get the truth before the people. Christ could have come to this world accompanied by thousands of angels, but He did not do this. He stepped down from His high command, and laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He came to this world in the garb of humanity, to live a life of perfect obedience, that human beings, receiving Him as their Redeemer, might become partakers of the divine nature, and at last stand before God without spot or stain of sin. He died for us that we might be made worthy to enter through the gates of the holy city and hear the welcome, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 23

In our work we are not to strive to make an appearance. We are to look upon Christ, beholding what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. And what a joy, what a power will be with us as we do this! It will not be merely the excitement of feeling, but a deep abiding joy. We are to present the solid truths of the Word of God, that these truths may be impressed on the hearts of the people, and that men and women may be led to walk in the footsteps of the Redeemer. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 24

When the Pharisees complained because Christ and His disciples ate with publicans and sinners, the Saviour said, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. [Mark 2:17.] He accepted the invitations given Him to attend different gatherings, and every time He went to one of these places, He spoke words that reached forth to rescue the lost sheep. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 25

May God help us so to act that His converting power may be seen amongst us. Parents and children are to act as if they were under God’s discipline. In the home, under the direction of the great Counselor, they are to carry out the principles of heaven. God will be with them in their work, giving them victory after victory, if they will follow in the way of truth and righteousness. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 26

Oh, how my soul longs after God—to see Him with His people, to see His power revealed in the heart, in the character, and in the home. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 27

We need true religion in the church. It is God’s purpose that we shall show that we are born again and that we are working out in our lives the great, heavenborn principles of truth. Thus only can we gain eternal life in the kingdom of glory. But there are so few who are going out to proclaim the wonderful truth that we have received. Why do you not go out? Why do you not enter the different places that have not yet heard the truth? Do you say, I do not know how I should be supported? Christ told His disciples how they would be supported. He told them to go right into the homes of the people and eat at their tables. He wants His workers today to come so close to the people that those for whom they are working will be bound to the one who speaks to them the word of life. There might be a thousand more laborers than there are now if God’s people would deny themselves, and take up the cross, and follow Jesus. What we need is the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and we need it every day. What we need is men of prayer, men who in quietness and humility, without any display or excitement, are overcoming self. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 28

What we need at this meeting is to settle in to the living principles of present truth. Satan is creeping in with his sophistry to undermine the principles of our faith. You remember how when Paul and Silas were teaching in a certain place, a woman met them and cried, saying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.” [Acts 16:17.] This woman was possessed with a spirit of divination and by soothsaying brought her masters much gain. Her influence had helped to strengthen idolatry. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 29

“But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out that same hour.” [Verse 18.] 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 30

But, you say, she spoke good words, and why should Paul rebuke her? It was Satan speaking through her, hoping to mingle his sophistry with the truths taught by those who were proclaiming the Word of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 31

The same danger exists today. The enemy is trying to bring in his sophistry through those who ought to be on their knees before God, praying for an understanding of what saith the Scriptures, that they may stand against the evil influences that fill the world. God desires scientific sophistry to be purged from every heart. He desires us to rebuke every evil devising, every evil work. If we allow such devising to go unrebuked, we shall have to suffer the consequences. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 32

After the woman had been freed from the evil spirit, she became a follower of Christ. Her masters saw that their hope of gain was gone, and taking Paul and Silas, they brought them before the rulers, charging them with troubling the city. This caused an uproar. The multitude rose against the disciples, and the magistrates commanded that the prisoners should be beaten. They were then taken to prison, and their feet were placed in the stocks. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 33

Things looked very discouraging for the disciples, but angels of God were with them, and they sang the praises of God in the prison. Could we have sung under such circumstances? They did. While they were singing, “suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 34

“And the keeper of the prison, awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 35

“And he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto Him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 36

“And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into the house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” [Verses 26-34.] It looked as if their effort had been a failure, when they were in jail, with their feet in the stocks. But their effort resulted in the conversion of the jailer and all his household. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 37

What we need is to hold fast to the living principles of the truth, whatever may be the consequences to us. We are not to accept one thread of sophistry from any doctor or minister or any one else. God is our teacher. And yet we are bound to unify. Christ has declared that we are to be one, even as He is one with the Father. But we are not to pick up sophistry from men whose lives are full of failures and mistakes and underhand working. God wants us to go to Him for light and to carry His presence with us wherever we go. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 38

May the Lord impress His people that there is good religion in good management in the home. When this is done, we shall have men and women who understand the meaning of good management in the church. We shall have those who will stand as firm as a rock to principle. They will not try to gain all the advantages for a certain place, because they have an interest in that place. What God wants is men who are as true as steel to principle. Unless we have such men, we shall not know when the devising of the enemy comes. We shall not know when Satan speaks as he spoke through the woman in Paul’s day. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 39

We are to bring sound principles into the home and into the church. Every member of the family is to exert a right influence in the home, in the church, and in the world. Parents, I ask you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to begin to work in God’s lines in your home. We desire to see the salvation of the Lord revealed in every home. I desire your homes to be such that angels of God can enter them and work with you and your children. But if by harsh words and angry words you are constantly sinning against God, the angels cannot enter your home. Sadly they turn away, grieved that those for whom Christ has done so much should thus dishonor their Redeemer. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 40

If parents have not a reformation to make in their homes, God has never spoken by me. They need to be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 41

This is the last Sabbath that we shall be here together, and I want to know how many in this congregation are ready to take hold of the work of the Lord in advance lines, ready to spend their time hunting and fishing for souls. Christ did not place His fishermen-disciples in a school to be educated for His work. He took them to Himself, bidding them follow Him. They asked no questions, but followed Him. Today men will go straight from our churches to work in the harvest field. They may never have had laid on them the hands of ordination, but they will do a work for God, and none are to forbid them. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 42

The time has come when the Jews are to be given light. The Lord wants us to encourage and sustain men who shall labor in right lines for this people; for there are to be a multitude convinced of the truth, who will take their position for God. The time is coming when there will be as many converted in a day as there were on the day of Pentecost, after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 43

The Jews are to be a power to labor for the Jews; and we are to see the salvation of God. We are altogether too narrow. We need to be broader-minded. God wants us to carry out the principles of truth and righteousness. His work is to go forward in cities and towns and villages. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 44

I wish to ask how many are willing to reconsecrate their hearts to God today. How many are willing to take the stand that they will no longer be lukewarm in their religious experience? Christ wants you to be where the virtue of His life is taken into your life. How many during this meeting have been impressed by the truth and are determined to obey it? 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 45

(The entire congregation arose.) 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 46

Will you in the name of the Lord take steps upward? Christ has placed one end of the ladder firmly on the earth. The ladder reaches to heaven, and you may climb round by round until at last you step off the topmost round into the kingdom of God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 47

I want you to remember that you have today pledged yourselves to live wholly for God. You have declared your determination to serve Him. Let your lives be so pure and holy that Christ will not be ashamed to call you brethren. In such a day as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Get ready to meet Him in peace. Theories are being presented that say, My Lord delayeth His coming. But look at the world, at its wickedness. The life of no one is safe, except for God’s protection. The world is fast becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah. It is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. We are to be as wholly consecrated to Christ and His service as the world is wholly given over to evil. The enemy will present his sophistries, with little fibers that would take hold of your experience and undermine your faith. I pray that your eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, that you may discern what is truth and what is error. We need to put on the white garments of Christ’s righteousness. We need to walk and talk with God. 20LtMs, Ms 66, 1905, par. 48