Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)

225/287

Ms 39, 1908

Sermon/Let Us Glorify God

Oakland, California

March 11, 1908

Portions of this manuscript are published in VSS 121-122, 132-133, 148; 8MR 343.

It will be profitable for us to consider some of the important truths contained in the last recorded prayer of Christ with His disciples just before His betrayal and crucifixion. From the seventeenth chapter of John we read: 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 1

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 2

“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.” [Verses 1-6.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 3

Important responsibilities are resting upon us. Let us be very careful lest we dishonor the work of Jesus Christ, regarding lightly the work of salvation which cost so much. In our course of action, and in our words, let us seek to glorify Him. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 4

“Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.” [Verses 7, 8.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 5

Then what is our work? We are to give to others the very words that Christ gave to His disciples. These words are of value both for time and for eternity. We are to glorify, not ourselves, but God. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 6

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.” [Verses 9, 10.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 7

To glorify God is a living experience that must be realized in every one of us. We are not to look to men for direction as to what we shall do. Our commission is to come from God. We are to receive our orders from Him, for if we always do as He bids us, we shall make no mistakes. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 8

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” [Verse 11.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 9

“One as We are”—one as the Father and the Son are one. If we realized that angels of God were looking upon us, would we not be less careless and indifferent? Let us be sure that all our works are wrought in God. Let us be careful of our words. O there is so much speech that is not for the glory of God. Would it not be much better if we should talk less and pray more? 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 10

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have”—perplexity, sorrow, or groaning?—No, no—“that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” [Verses 12, 13.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 11

God wants every one of us to be happy in living in harmony with Christ’s example. He wants us all to rejoice in the redemption that has been wrought for us. He wants us to lift up Christ before the people; to glorify Him in our words and in our actions. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 12

“I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” [Verses 14, 15.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 13

We shall have to associate with people of the world, but we may show a determination of character ever to keep in view the glory of God. Wherever we are, we have a work to do for the world. When we go out into the world, we are not to leave our religion at home. In all our association with men and women, we are to reveal the purity and gentleness of Christ’s character. Whenever we see an opportunity to speak a word in favor of Christ and His truth, let that word be spoken. There should rest upon us continually a burden to manifest Christ to the world. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 14

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” [Verses 16, 17.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 15

If we are to be sanctified through the truth, we must know what is truth. This sanctifying truth is revealed in the Bible, and in order to understand it we must have the help of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit will, if we are individually partakers of the divine nature, enable us to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. The light of the glory of God must shine into our hearts, that we may develop a pure and holy character. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 16

“As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [Verses 18, 19.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 17

Amid great obstacles and difficulties, we are to continue the special work that He began on earth. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 18

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their words; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [Verses 20, 21.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 19

Such unity is wonderful, too wonderful for us to comprehend fully. Let us never work at cross purposes with our brethren; for we must ever keep in view the glory of God. He is glorified, not by the counterworking of one and another, but by a unity that is based upon a belief of the truth. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 20

God is ready to do great things for us, if we will only reach the high standard that He has set before us. If we would live up to our privileges, hundreds more would be converted from darkness and error to a belief of the truth. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 21

We cannot afford to live a half-way religion; for unless we take a decided position on the right side, we shall be heavy losers. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 22

Christ said to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] To exert a converting influence is our mission in the world. We should feel a solemn obligation to fulfil our part of the terms of salvation and redemption, to reach such a condition of unity with God and with one another that the world may realize that we are in the love of the Father. We want to convince men that the Father loves them, even as He loves His own Son. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 23

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:24-26.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 24

Let every one of us come into a close relation to God. Let us seek the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Let us be men and women of prayer. The woman, while she is at work in her home, or the man, while he is about his daily business, may keep their minds in communion with God. Then He will let His light shine upon them, and that light will be reflected to others around them. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 25

And let us be pleasant and agreeable. We need not go about with sorrowful faces, as though we were serving a tyrant. The Lord Jesus wants us to bear a pleasant countenance, and to speak kind, sympathetic words. Even if we are sick, or if we feel out of sorts, we need not tell others. If we will talk of the goodness of the Lord, this will act as a cure for sadness and grief. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 26

How thankful I am that at the age of eighty years I can speak to you. Every day I try to do all I can; for I know not how long my life may be spared. But it does not grieve me to think that my life may soon end. So long as God gives me a clear mind and physical strength, I shall endeavor to speak and to write the things He gives me. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 27

Brethren and sisters, the Lord is our God. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we have a hope in God that it is impossible for us to keep to ourselves. We will praise Him. We do not praise Him as much as we should. Whoso offers praise glorifies God. Now instead of speaking doleful words, and telling of our trials and afflictions, let us thank God that we can speak at all and resolve that we will endeavor to glorify His name. Let us take such a position that we may honor and glorify God upon the earth. Let this determination be expressed in our words and in all our business transactions. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 28

If I am to transact business with men, I will not do a dishonest or a shameful thing. I will not dishonor my Master. While I live, I will keep His praise in my heart. I will carry a cheerful countenance, that others may see that I am not under a yoke of bondage, but that the truth makes free. We are free indeed, if we work in harmony with the principles of truth. But we must constantly look to Jesus and weave His grace and His love into our words and actions. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 29

How must Christ regard professed Christians who act like quarrelsome children? O how His heart was grieved, when on earth, as He saw such a spirit manifested among His disciples! If we have a blessed hope in and through Jesus Christ, let us manifest it by our words. Let us not speak words that will, by grieving God’s children, grieve the Holy Spirit. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 30

We may at times be obliged to speak some very plain things, as I have had to do many times, when those who should stand as sentinels for God are not found in their lot and place. Such words must sometimes be spoken to show where we as Bible Christians stand, that we are on the side of Him who gave His life for us and can not countenance evil. But we may always speak the truth in love. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 31

I am so thankful that ever since I was fifteen years old the Lord has permitted me to have a part in His work. I am glad that my mind is still clear on Bible subjects. Alone in my room, in the early morning hours, while the other members of the family are sleeping, I write the messages that God gives me in representation. And the Lord has given me vivid representations of how He regards His church, and how willing He is to bless them if they will only repent and serve Him with their whole heart. But He cannot bless them if there is a constant clinging to their own imperfect ways, if they are careless and indifferent and unrepentant. God wants us to come into perfect harmony with Himself. Why should we not be spiritually minded? Christ tells us that we may be one with Him, even as He and the Father are one. Why should we not keep our eye fixed upon the Author and the Finisher of our faith? 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 32

It is painful to know that there are many church members who feel so little responsibility to make Christ known to their neighbors. If we all carried the love of Christ in the heart and the truth upon our lips, if we were diligent in opening the Word of life to those that are perishing about us, showing what Christ is to us, and what He is willing to be to them, hundreds more would believe and be rejoicing in the truth today. But we shut ourselves up within ourselves. We seem to think that it is well with us, but that it is not in our line to speak of Christ. Is He not all and in all to us? If we obtain any victories, is it not through His grace that they are wrought? Then why should we not lift Him up? 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 33

Christ in His prayer teaches that we should be one as He is one with the Father. Then what is our work? Are we to do honor to men who are finding fault with others men that are exalting themselves? Shall we encourage them as though God were truly leading them? No, we can not do that. We have a message for them, a message of reproof that we must faithfully bear. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 34

I began to bear my testimony when I was but fifteen years old. Now I am, as some might say, in my second childhood, and I feel that it is a proper time for me to continue to learn. I want to learn the lessons that Christ gives me, as a little child learns. There are others here who have gray hairs. What shall we do? Let us learn of the great Teacher, the greatest Teacher that ever came to our world. It is not yet too late for us to learn how to be thankful for a truth that purifies the soul. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 35

We are to love the Word. Do not fall into a passion if some one in his words crosses your track. If some one says something that stirs you up, and you feel the words are unjust, show him by a well-ordered life and a godly conversation that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Remember that silence is eloquence. You can best stop the talk by making no response to it. If you speak wrongly to a brother, do not go right on, too proud to confess it. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 36

Let us talk more of heaven, more of Christ. When you go to visit your neighbors, ask them if they will spend a few minutes with you in prayer. You need not pray at great length; but as you offer a few words of prayer, angels of God will be around you to hear and to make a right impression. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 37

God wants us to come into line. For our own good, and for the good of others, He desires us to acknowledge Him and to walk in the path that leads heavenward. This is a straight path, and we must follow that straight path, looking constantly to the Author and Finisher of our faith. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 38

Study what Christ endured. He might have brought with Him into our world myriads of heavenly angels. But this He did not do. He came as a man, taking upon Himself humanity, that He might in His humanity wrestle with evil. We read that He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. [Hebrews 4:15.] He gained victory after victory in our behalf. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 39

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I ask you, What victories are you gaining? Sometimes what you may regard as a very small victory is really a great victory, for the enemy was working right with you; and if he could have induced you to yield even a small point, a great loss would have been yours. We cannot afford any losses, for they give advantage to the enemy. We are seeking for the crown of everlasting life that is to be given to the overcomer. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 40

If all those who profess to be believers were indeed overcomers, there would be no disagreement among them. But there are many, even among God’s professed people, who must humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt them in due time. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 41

O I am so grateful that we have a Saviour. I feel to praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice for His great salvation. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 42

In the last chapter of Revelation is pictured the reward of the overcomer. Let us read: 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 43

“He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.” [Revelation 22:1-3.] And now is the time to begin earnestly and determinedly the work of serving Him. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 44

And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign forever and ever.” [Verses 4, 5.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 45

What is our little lifetime of service here?—A few brief years devoted to the service of God, and then to come into possession of everlasting life, everlasting happiness. No more trials, no more griefs, no more temptations. Is not this a wonderful prospect—eternal life—to live forever and ever? 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 46

We cannot afford to sin. We cannot afford to be negligent or reckless in this matter of our soul’s eternal interest. The time that we are in this world is in comparison to eternity very brief. A life that measures with the life of God is presented to us for a brief life of sanctified obedience to the will and Word of God. Then, for Christ’s sake, let us reach a higher and still higher standard. Let us plead with God till we have in our hearts the sanctification of His Spirit. But shall we be overcomers? My dear brethren and sisters, it is worth our while to try. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 47

“And He said unto me, These things are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 48

“Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” [Verses 6, 7.] O let us keep them. Let us keep them in our hearts. Let us teach and stimulate others to keep them. When we think of eternal life, why do we not feel a determined interest to try to open the Word before souls perishing and dying in their sins? Let us talk with them of the wonderful blessings that await the children of God. God will help us in doing this. We need the simplicity of Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 49

“Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Verse 12.] Then can we afford to be careless or indifferent? Dare we serve our own unsanctified will? We must work the works of God here in this life, if we would live with Him in the future life and wear the crown of glory. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 50

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 51

I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Verses 13-17.] 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 52

Here are words to encourage our hearts. But we do not, as we should, build ourselves up in the most holy faith. With seeming indifference, we see sinners going down to perdition. The world is seeing a very faulty example in many professed Christians. As these things are revealed to me, my heart is so burdened that I cannot sleep. I feel an untold agony of mind. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 53

Let us all arise. Let us lay hold of the promise which is given us, and hold it fast by living faith. By living works, by a living sanctification, let us reveal that we do believe the truth, that we believe in Jesus Christ, and that we are running with patience the race that is set before us. Then we shall have right—O that right is worth everything to us—we shall have right to the tree of life, and to enter in through the gates into the city. 23LtMs, Ms 39, 1908, par. 54