Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 38a, 1905

Sermon/“Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?”

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 1, 1905

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 105; Te 29, 59, 119, 130-131, 163.

Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White, Sanitarium, Cal., April 1, 1905.

“Behold, I will send My messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s sope: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 1

“Then”—after this purging—“then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you in judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 3:1-5.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 2

Those who profess to be sons and daughters of God should represent Him in character. As we read these words of Malachi, calling attention to the judgment work, we are impressed with the truth that there are unseen agencies who faithfully record in the books of heaven all our words and all our actions. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 3

Opportunity is now given us to form characters that will fit us for an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Those who keep the commandments of God will have a right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates into the city. In love, God has given us a law, that we may know and put away those traits of character that cannot be tolerated in heaven. No one can enter there to whom is charged robbery, adultery, evil speaking, or false dealing; for this would lead to another warfare in heaven. The law of God was given to lead men away from these practices, that their characters might be fashioned after the character of God. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 4

To follow the ever-changing fashions of this world is the chief study of many today. Should we not be as diligent to fashion our characters after the pattern given us in the Word of God? Do not think that you can conform to the world now, lay up your treasures here below, and then, merely because you have made a profession of faith, be among those who enter the city of God. We cannot be in harmony with the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven unless we first conform to those laws here below. It is high time for us all to give our hearts unreservedly to God and serve Him intelligently as obedient children. His Holy Spirit can mold and fashion us after the divine similitude. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 5

The members of the heavenly family are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ—heirs to the treasures of heaven. They will not follow the ambition and madness of this world, to heap up treasures here below, even at the loss of a Christian character that would insure them a life that measures with the life of God, a life free from sin, sickness, sorrow, and death. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 6

Many are today being led away from the simplicity of true religion by the study of so-called science. There is a true science, the science of eternal life. When Jesus came to our world, He might have opened to the minds of men a vast storehouse of scientific knowledge. But He did not do this. He devoted His life to the teaching of those truths that pertain to the salvation of the soul. Much of the so-called science of today is not that sanctified science that will live in the heavenly courts; and many are, at the loss of their souls, devoting their minds to a study of the science of laying up treasures in this world. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 7

The most important question before us is, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This question was asked by a lawyer at the instigation of the Pharisees, who hoped that they might entangle the Saviour in His words. But Jesus referred the question back to the lawyer. “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” [Luke 10:25, 26.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 8

The lawyer was well acquainted with the requirements of the Scriptures, and he replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” To these words Jesus answered, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Verses 27, 28.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 9

God has claims upon every power of our being. His service demands the action of the whole man—all the heart, all the soul, all the strength, and all the mind. How to render this complete service to God is the only subject of any value in this life. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 10

God wants us to serve Him intelligently. We should respect the brainpower that He has given to us. The use of liquor or tobacco destroys the sensitive nerves of the brain and benumbs the sensibilities. Under their influence crimes are committed that would have been left undone had the mind been clear and free from the influence of stimulants or narcotics. Sometimes in the courts of justice a man will plead, when accused of some crime, that he was drunk—as though the sin were therefore excusable. Let us never partake of a glass of alcoholic liquor. Let us never touch it. And those who sell the liquor will be held accountable to God for the agony and the suffering that are caused by its use, for the poverty and the wretchedness of the wives and the children of those who are destroyed because of intemperance. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 11

The Lord has a remedy for every man who is beset by a strong appetite for strong drink or tobacco, or any other hurtful thing which destroys the brainpower and defiles the body. He bids us come out from among them and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. We are to set an example of Christian temperance. We are to do all in our power by self-denial and self-sacrifice to control the appetite. And having done all, He bids us stand—stand in His strength. He desires us to be victorious in every conflict with the enemy of our souls. He desires us to act understandingly, as wise generals in an army, as men who have perfect control over themselves. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 12

Those who control themselves are fitted to labor for the weak and erring. They will deal with them tenderly and patiently. By their own example, they will show what is right, and then they will seek to place the erring where they will be under good influences. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 13

“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” [Malachi 3:7.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 14

If any of you find others who are in uncertainty as to what they should do, you are to show them. Every one should be engaged in the work of soul-saving. Every one should be prepared to give instruction in regard to the science of salvation. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 15

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.” [Verses 8, 9.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 16

Think of the thousands and millions of dollars that are invested in drink that will make a man like a brute and destroy his reason. Think of the thousands and millions of dollars that are spent needlessly for dress and trimmings, to follow the vanity and idle fashions of the day. All this money could accomplish untold good if it were used in the support of missions in the dark places of our world. God is being robbed of that which is rightfully His. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 17

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Verse 10.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 18

God enters into contract relation with every one. But the enemy has so taken control of the minds of men that many do not serve and glorify God; they do not fulfil the conditions that would insure them the blessings God has promised. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 19

“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Verses 11, 12.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 20

“Your words have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against Thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?” [Verses 13, 14.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 21

Who has told any one to walk mournfully before the Lord of hosts? Those who are connected with the Lord Jesus Christ, who follow a path of obedience, will find that they have chosen a pathway of gladness and cheerfulness. They will eat of the leaves of the tree of life. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 22

Those who engage in this conversation with the Lord are those who are trying to work out their own plans and are following a course of their own choosing. They complain because the Lord does not bless them, but they are unwilling to place themselves where the Lord can impart to them of His blessing. They find fault with God and with their brethren. As they see their own wretched condition, they continue their lamentation. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 23

“And now we call the proud happy; yea, ... they that tempt God are even delivered.” [Verse 15.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 24

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” [Verses 16-18.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 25

There is a large amount of money in our world, but it is heaped up. Men in their selfishness have so contrived that but a few are benefitted, while many suffer for food and clothing. The money that is unnecessarily spent might, if properly used, relieve the distress of poverty. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 26

Often in the night seasons, as I think of the great work to be done, I am greatly troubled. I plead with God to provide laborers and means. Were it not for my age, and my work of writing, I could not consent to remain here while there are those all around us who have never heard the precious truths for this time. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 27

The Lord is ready to work, if we can only arouse our brethren and sisters to do their part. Are there not some here who can fit themselves as evangelists and work in these places where the people know not the truth? You may have to walk by faith, but God has promised you your sustenance, and He will give it to you. If you are hungry in His service, remember that Christ suffered from hunger. He toiled unceasingly; and if our people were to follow His example, the cities would soon be warned, and the gospel would soon be carried to all parts of the world. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 28

Appeals for help come from many places. One writes, Can you not send us more laborers? Another pleads for money with which to erect a sanitarium or a school or a meetinghouse. Others are in need of literature and means wherewith to carry on aggressive work. The president of the General Conference writes that they have sent all the money they can raise, and some of them have sent of their own wages to help in the necessities of the destitute fields. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 29

Suppose a faithful tithe were paid by all church members. There would be a constant stream flowing in to the treasury, and God would richly bless those who were faithful to Him. But God calls not only for tithes, but for gifts and offerings, that the work of preparing a people for His coming may be quickly finished. Let not one of us be guilty of robbing God in tithes and offerings. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 30

I know that you have responded liberally to the calls that have been made for means to advance various phases of the Lord’s work. Some here have given according to their power, and even beyond their power, and the Lord will bless them in it, because there is a necessity. I have so felt the necessity, that I have felt constrained to borrow money and am paying a heavy interest today on money I have borrowed to invest in the work of the Lord. Recently I have helped in the establishment of a sanitarium at San Diego, and I am rejoiced as I hear of the blessings that attend the work of that institution. At Los Angeles also, a sanitarium has been opened, and it is filled with patients. We desire the tourists that flock to these cities to have an opportunity to hear the Word of the Lord. I thank the Lord that these two places have been secured. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 31

We are glad that although the calls for means are frequent, our people always respond liberally. We wish to see them continue to respond, that they may receive the blessing of the Lord. Let us all do what we can, remembering that this life is but a preparation for the eternal life in the kingdom of God. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 32

I felt constrained to bring these things before you. I had promised the Lord that I would bring you this message, if He would give me strength. Yesterday morning the strength came, and I awoke refreshed, as when I was a young girl. I felt the Spirit of the Lord upon me with healing power, and I am grateful to be able to stand here today and to see so many before me. I will not hold you longer, but I ask you to study carefully the third chapter of Malachi. I have presented it to you, not merely that you yourselves may obey the Word of God, but that you may be teachers, to instruct others how they may receive the blessing of God. That is our calling; we are to be educators. And when we all come into harmonious action, we shall certainly see of the salvation of God. God has promised to bless us financially, and He will bless us spiritually, if we will deal faithfully with Him. 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 33

Let us keep our eyes fixed firmly upon the Author and Finisher of our faith, that we may finally hear the words spoken to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 20LtMs, Ms 38a, 1905, par. 34