Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23

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Ms 92, 1908

Talk/Lessons From the Fifteenth Chapter of John

Glendale, California

August 22, 1908

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7BC 982; 8MR 290; 9MR 381. +Note

(Parlor Talk, Glendale Sanitarium, Glendale, California, Sabbath, August 22, 1908.) 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 1

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” [John 15:1, 2.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 2

When trials and difficulties come, and we feel that we are having a hard time, let us remember these words. The eye of God is upon us. The trials we are called upon to pass through leave us in a more favorable position than they found us. And why?—Because the Lord is leading us into a position where we may sustain a right relationship toward Him, with minds centered on the great privileges we have through Christ Jesus our Lord. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 3

When assailed by trials, let us be careful not to take the position of complainers, because by means of trials God is working to perfect in us a Christian character, that we may be qualified and fitted through the righteousness of Jesus Christ to enjoy His presence in the heavenly kingdom after our work here on the earth shall have been ended. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 4

If we study and heed the instruction that Christ has given us in His Word, we shall certainly be fruitful branches of the True Vine, for the Saviour has said: 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 5

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” Vs. 3-5. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 6

In time of perplexing trial, we need to open our heart to the Saviour and seek Him earnestly. By faith we are to lay hold on the precious promises He has given us and appropriate them to our own individual cases in our necessities. Then how important it is that we do not allow our minds in any way to become careless and frivolous. It is important that we fix them upon the One who is able and willing and ready to assist us in every trying perplexity, and to give us the very impressions of His Holy Spirit that we need to sustain us under the trials we must meet. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 7

“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” [Verses 6, 7.] Precious promise! Grasp it by faith. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 8

When abiding in Christ and learning of Him, you will not want anything that is inconsistent with the will of God. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 9

“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Vs. 8-11. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 10

In these Scriptures we have presented before us every encouragement to take all our trials and perplexities to the Lord in prayer, instead of running to some neighbor or other human being. As we go direct to the Lord Jesus and tell Him all about our troubles, relief will come to our hearts, and there will be left on the mind an impression that is healthful and saving to our souls. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 11

When we learn of Jesus the lessons He desires to teach us, we shall know what He means when He speaks of our bearing fruit to His glory. We shall then be looking about for some one whom we can help and bless. When abiding in Christ, we have something to say to those who are not abiding in Him. We have a work to do, and that work is to draw with Christ, constantly working to His name’s glory. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 12

Let us guard against allowing anything to escape our lips that is offensive to spirituality and that drives people away from us. There are too many who are ready to speak unadvisedly with their lips. If everything does not agree with their ideas, they speak hastily. At such times silence is eloquence. Let us not allow the lips to speak things that are objectionable and that will cause others trial and annoyance, or leave an impression that is not helpful. Every one of us is in this world to receive the counsel of Christ and to help every other one; and if we have experienced the life of Christ in the soul, and we are brought under affliction, and know not which way to turn, let us not seek to lay our burden of affliction upon some other human heart. Christ has told us to bring all our afflictions to Him. Go apart by yourself, and pray in simplicity, saying, “Here I am, Lord. I do not know what to do. I am Thy child. I have been bought with a price. I desire to glorify God, and not dishonor Him. And now I ask Thee to give me special grace and help, that I may keep my lips silent, so that I shall not utter one expression that would cast a shadow on another’s mind.” If we do this, we shall become laborers together with God. And that is a wonderful position to be in. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 13

We know not how long our lives may be spared. We know not what difficulties are lying in our pathway. But if we are seeking in humility and meekness of mind to represent Christ Jesus in character, we are laborers together with God. Wherever we may be, whether with believers or unbelievers, we are to live so that Christ will be revealed through us, and so that others will take knowledge of us, that we have been with Jesus, and learned of Him. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 14

There is one verse in this chapter that I read without comment; but it is so wonderful that we must not pass it by without further study: “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.” [Verse 9.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 15

Has not our Saviour given evidence of His love for us? Did He not lay off His royal robe and kingly crown, and come to our world to wrestle, like every human being that lives, under the temptations of the enemy? Tempted, indeed, He was, in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Thus He has conquered the foe with whom we have to deal. Through faith in His Father’s power, He overcame every trial and was victorious even to the close of His earthly ministry. In taking upon Himself the nature of a man, and in subjecting Himself to all the temptations wherewith we are tempted, Christ demonstrated His love for the human race and gave us an example of what we may do through the grace that God is ever ready to impart. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 16

And so, when trials come, we can understand that there is One who has passed through similar trials, and has gained complete victory; and through the power He grants, we may also be victorious. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 17

All through the ages ever since the fall, Satan has sought to thwart the purposes of God and to set up on this earth a rebellious kingdom; and when Christ appeared on earth as a divine-human being, He was pitilessly assailed by the prince of darkness. As we contemplate the terrible severity of the temptations that were brought upon the Son of God, we begin to comprehend something of the meaning of the words: “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.” “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verses 9, 11.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 18

If we desire to have a living connection with heaven, if we desire to have the wisdom that Christ is willing to bestow upon us, we are privileged to pray in our weakness, wherever we may be, and we shall be heard. Then let us learn to take all our trials to Jesus. When we take them to our friends and neighbors, we weaken our own experience and receive no real benefit. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 19

My brother, my sister, when tempted to unburden your heart before another human being, keep silent. Go before the Lord as a little child, and pray: “Let Thy Holy Spirit come upon me. I need Thee, O Christ, I need Thee.” As you prayer and believe, you become a partaker of the divine nature and have gained a wonderful victory. You are advancing from light to greater light. You are bearing responsibilities, and the light of heaven is resting upon you. Heaven is full of blessings, and the angels are all around us. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 20

“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verse 11.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 21

Jesus wants you to carry your troubles to Him—the One who left the royal courts and came down to our world to meet and overcome the oppression of Satan. He stood forth as God’s representative in the world, to show that man in his humanity may take hold of divinity, and through that divine nature have power to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 22

“This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” [Verse 12.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 23

Think of it! “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] This was the only hope for the race; therefore Christ accepted the terms. For our sakes He bore the temptations of Satan on every point. He would never listen to Satan’s reasoning. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 24

Here is one point I want you to bear in mind: Christ had hungered and thirsted; and after He had been without food for forty days and forty nights, the devil thought there was a good chance for him. So he came and said, “If”—remember that “if.” What if Christ had accepted that “if”? God does not wants us to accept any “ifs.” When we have a work to do for the Master, we are to take the affirmative and keep to it. “If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone (it was just the shape of a loaf of bread) that it be made bread.” [Luke 4:3.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 25

What did Christ answer? “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”—always on the affirmative, showing the power of His grace in humanity. [Matthew 4:4.] As He revealed that power in His humanity, so we are to reveal it in our humanity, and thus make effectual His death for us. We are to see, in the lessons of Christ, how we can fulfil the Word. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 26

In one of his temptations, Satan took Christ and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said, “Cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” [Verse 6.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 27

Then what did Jesus answer?—“It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” [Verse 7.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 28

But Satan left out something from the saying he attempted to quote. What was it?—“To keep Thee in all Thy ways;” that is, in the ways laid out for His feet. [Psalm 91:11.] And Jesus will keep us if we follow in the way He has planned for us to go, according to the light given us through His holy Word. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 29

Then Satan took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, saying, “All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore will worship me, all shall be Thine.” [Luke 4:6, 7.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 30

Then it was that the divinity of Christ came to the aid of His humanity. With divine authority He commanded, “Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 8.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 31

Satan was baffled by the constant affirmative of the Word. He could not say anything and left the field of temptation defeated. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 32

Many, when they are called to meet an opponent, have little success because they spend too much time in answering objections. This virtually takes them over on to Satan’s ground; it is the very thing that Satan wants them to do. Instead of trying to answer every objection, keep to the affirmative; strengthen your soul by quoting the promises; present the light and the salvation that Christ has given in the Word; for there is reason in faith, there is light, there is power. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 33

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” [John 15:13-15.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 34

Here is a work we all need to do—to connect ourselves with Christ in that close relationship of friends. But we fail to do this. We shall be tempted, but we need not yield to temptation. Our work is to represent the character of Christ to those around us, to speak words of hope and faith to sinners. Thus we shall bear fruit to the glory of God. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 35

“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” [Psalm 97:11.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 36

Let us encourage ourselves by reading and studying the Word. It is full of blessed promises, and the Lord Jesus will give us grace and strength and the light of His countenance. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 37

There is a heaven to win, a hell to shun; and Satan is using every act and power conceivable to obtain the victory over human minds. God help us that we may resist the enemy, and that the glory of God may be revealed. May we be in a position to manifest the Light of the world to those that are around us, because the Christ-life abides in us and shines forth in goods works. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 38

A heaven to win! a heaven to win! Keep saying it, and let the light of heaven shine into the chambers of the mind, into the soul-temple. Then you will be prepared to give light to others in good works. And they are all written in the book. You will meet the record by and by. You will want to find good deeds written there; and you will want the crown of life. Yes, a crown of life will be given to every overcomer. Christ laid off His crown and His glory and came into this world as a man, to wrestle with the problems of Satan’s devising and to overcome him. Through faith man may lay hold of His strength and obtain the victory. 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 39

What a song that will be when the ransomed of the Lord meet at the gate of the holy city, which is thrown back on its glittering hinges, and the nations that have kept His word—His commandments—enter <into the city, the crown of the overcomer is placed upon their heads,> and the golden harps are placed in their hands! All heaven is filled with rich music, and with songs of praise to the Lamb. Saved, everlastingly saved, in the kingdom of glory! To have a life that measures with the life of God—that is the reward. Just think of it! “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 23LtMs, Ms 92, 1908, par. 40