Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 148, 1905

Sermon/The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Mountain View, California

February 21, 1905

Portions of this manuscript are published in CL 23, 29.

After the resurrection, Jesus gave “commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: to whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. ... Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:2-5, 8.] 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 1

The disciples sought diligently for a preparation for the work before them. “They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” [Verse 14.] Everything that had caused division and strife among them was put away, and “when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” [Acts 2:1.] 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 2

To us also is given the promise of the Spirit. We need its power. We have but a short time in which to do a great work in proclaiming to a fallen world the last message of mercy. O if we would, like the disciples, spend more time in prayer and less time in criticizing one another’s faults, God would be better pleased. He wants us to have sanctified tongues and sanctified minds. Let us pray for the Holy Ghost, and let us pray that we may be prepared to receive it. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 3

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” [Verses 1-5.] 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 4

At this time there was a great gathering in Jerusalem. It was the providence of God that this occasion should be a time when powerful evidence should be given to these multitudes that Jesus was the Son of God, that He had been raised from the dead and had ascended to heaven. Many of the people there had seen and heard Jesus and had been convinced of His divine mission. But others had intimidated them, and they had not dared openly to acknowledge Him as the Messiah. Such were now moved by the Spirit to act as fearlessly upon their convictions. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 5

I would emphasize the thought that for a time the disciples were commanded to remain in Jerusalem, but God did not desire them to settle there permanently. There was a work to be done by them in bringing to the point of decision many who had heretofore lacked courage and the determination to walk in the light as they had seen it. When we place ourselves in the channel of the Spirit, when His power comes upon us, we shall be able to give the message that God has given us in such a clear, forcible manner, that many who now stand in fearful hesitation will boldly take their stand with the people of God. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 6

But many of the early church, having seen how God had wrought for them in Jerusalem, seemed to think that the city must be made a great center for their work. They continued to remain there, when God desired them to preach His gospel in other parts of the world. The Lord was not pleased to see them settling down in satisfied indifference. Persecution was permitted to come upon them; they were scattered abroad; and “they went everywhere, preaching the gospel.” [Acts 8:4.] 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 7

Some have wondered why our office of publication should be moved from Oakland to Mountain View. God has been calling upon His people to leave the cities. The youth who are connected with our institutions should not be exposed to the temptations and the corruption to be found in the large cities. Mountain View has seemed to be a favorable location for the printing office. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 8

Our people are not, however, to regard Mountain View as a Jerusalem center. Let them not think, because a number of our brethren are called here to connect with the publishing work, that this is a place for large numbers of our people to settle with their families. And let every one connected with the office hold himself in readiness to leave, if God shall call him to some new place. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 9

Let all work for the reformation of the unconverted. When in the company of unbelievers, look for opportunities to help them. Wherever you are, be ready to speak a word in season. You may drop a word that will start in some mind a train of thought that will lead to a searching of the Scriptures. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 10

It is not necessary for us to attack the position of those with whom we do not agree. Give them simple Bible truth. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 11

What can I do or what can I say to lead our people to realize that even though they are not ordained ministers, yet they may impart the truth to others. Some may labor from house to house, introducing our books. They may thus find an entrance to many homes, become acquainted with the people, sing and pray with them, and, by speaking and acting wisely, awaken in their hearts an interest to hear the truth. Others may go from place to place as evangelists. Sabbath after Sabbath or Sunday after Sunday, some will find opportunity to speak to congregations. Many will be glad to listen to what they say. The minds of many are greatly stirred and troubled because of the wickedness of men and the judgments of God that are abroad in the land. And well they may be troubled, for He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 12

We feel intensely over the situation; for we desire to see the work of God advanced into places where as yet nothing has been accomplished. Why, think you, that God has entrusted you with the truth?—It is that you may become His messenger, that you may carry light to those with whom you are thrown in contact. All should become acquainted with their neighbors. How will you feel in the day of judgment, if they shall ask you, “Why did you not tell us of the things that pertained to our salvation?” 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 13

Let us go from this meeting with a deeper consecration than we have ever experienced before. Let us put away all evil speaking. And let us labor for God more earnestly, more devotedly than we have ever done before. 20LtMs, Ms 148, 1905, par. 14