Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 35, 1908

Sermon/Conflict and Victory

Oakland, California

March 7, 1908

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 07/09/1908.

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Revelation 3:1-5.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 1

The expression “he that overcometh” indicates that there is something for every one of us to overcome. The overcomer is to be clothed in the white raiment of Christ’s righteousness, and of him it is written, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” Oh, what a privilege it is to be an overcomer, and to have our names presented before the Father by the Saviour Himself! And when, as overcomers, we shall be “clothed in white raiment,” the Lord will acknowledge our faithfulness as verily as He acknowledged the “few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments;” and we shall walk with Him in white, for through His atoning sacrifice we shall be accounted worthy. [Verses 4, 5.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 2

My dear friends, in view of these encouraging promises, how earnestly should we strive to perfect a character that will enable us to stand before the Son of God! Only those who are clothed in the garments of His righteousness will be able to endure the glory of His presence when He shall appear with “power and great glory.” [Matthew 24:30.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 3

It means much to be an overcomer. The besetments of the enemy and all his evil agencies must be firmly resisted. Every moment we must be on guard. Not for one instant are we to lose sight of Christ and of His power to save in the hour of trial. Our hand must be placed in His, that we may be upheld by the power of His might. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 4

We read further: “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” [Revelation 3:7-9.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 5

A battle is continually going on between the forces for good and the forces for evil, between the angels of God and the fallen angels. We are beset before and behind, on the right hand and on the left. The conflict that we are passing through is the last that we shall have in this world. We are now in the midst of it. Two parties are striving for the supremacy. In this conflict we cannot be neutral. We must stand either on one side or on the other. If we take our position on the side of Christ, if we acknowledge Him before the world in word and work, we are bearing a living testimony as to whom we have chosen to serve and honor. In this important period of earth’s history, we cannot afford to leave any one in uncertainty as to whose side we are on. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 6

The True Witness declares: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door.” [Verse 8.] Let us thank God with heart and soul and voice; and let us learn to approach unto Him as through an open door, believing that we may come freely with our petitions, and that He will hear and answer. It is by a living faith in His power to help that we shall receive strength to fight the battles of the Lord with the confident assurance of victory. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 7

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” [Verse 10.] We are now in this great hour of temptation that is to try all the world. In order to gain the victory over every besetment of the enemy, we must lay hold on a power out of and beyond ourselves. If we are self-sufficient, and think that we may go on just as we please, and yet hope to come out on the right side finally, we shall find that we have made a terrible mistake. As those who hope to receive the overcomer’s reward, we must press forward in the Christian warfare. At every advance, we shall meet with opposition. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 8

“Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Verse 11.] Here again we are admonished to faithfulness, in view of the conflict. We must not yield any point that we have already gained. From now on till Jesus comes, the battle will wax fiercer and still fiercer. We shall have to meet and resist men who are regarded as very wise and learned, but who are not spiritually wise unto salvation. Our only hope of saving our own souls and of helping others to be saved is to receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 9

In this Scripture is brought to view the hour of temptation that is to try them that dwell upon the earth. There is no escape for any one from this conflict. If in your life there are defective traits of character that you are not striving to overcome, you may be assured that the enemy will take advantage; for he is watching vigilantly, seeking to spoil the faith of every one. We must maintain a constant, living connection with Christ, who has power to give victory to every soul that will maintain an attitude of faith and humility. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 10

We are seeking for a crown, a crown of glory that fadeth not away. As overcomers, we are to reign with Christ in the heavenly courts; and we are to overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 11

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verses 12, 13.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 12

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” [Verses 14-16.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 13

Those who profess to serve Christ, while in life they deny Him, are not thoroughly converted and are regarded by Christ as very offensive. Of every such one, He says, “I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 14

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verses 16-22.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 15

It will profit us to study carefully the book of Revelation. There are in this book many precious truths that we should bring into our living, daily experience. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 16

We are not to rest quietly, with the thought that the devil will have nothing to do with us; but we can have the assurance that we shall not be left helpless, to be overcome by him. Yet if we, like many others, put forth no special effort to resist him, he will work to lead us away from the truth. If we give him the least encouragement, he will not wait for an invitation to come into our hearts. He will take possession of the mind, and then, although we may even think that we are being wonderfully led by the Lord, we shall be deceived. Our minds have been bought with an infinite price, and we cannot afford to give them over to the control of the enemy. We have no right to follow impulse and regard it as the guidance of heaven. We must have evidence that we are receiving the stamp of the divine character, such as will be acknowledged in the heavenly courts. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 17

The Lord desires us to know what is our work in this world. Those who have come into right relation to God will have a living experience in carrying out His purposes. They will be enabled to help those who are tempted. Angels of God will open the way before them; and as they follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit, they will work for their neighbors and friends. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 18

If, while professing to know the truth, we lead others away from Christ by our example, there rests upon us a terrible accountability. It is a sad truth that some are carrying out plans and methods of their own devising, believing these to be right, when in reality they are sadly deceived. Because they fail of maintaining a living connection with God, they are led by a spirit that is at enmity with God and His work. O that these deceived souls may yet repent and be converted! 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 19

Why should we be so particular in regard to our life conduct? Oh, there is a world lying in darkness, waiting for the Light of life, a world for whom Christ has given His life! In His plan for the redemption of the fallen race, Jesus came to the earth and was subject to the same temptations wherewith man is beset. No one will be called to pass through temptations so severe as were those our Saviour endured. Because of this, our great High Priest knows how to succor those who are tempted. He knows how to sympathize with them when in their great need they call for help. There are severe trials before every one of us, yet we need not fail. In the hour of temptation, Christ will not leave His children, but will send His angels to minister unto them. He will answer their prayers for deliverance. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 20

The Lord desires us to pray much. He desires us to maintain a firm hold on His divine power. His blessings are to be sought, not merely for our own benefit, but for the benefit of our fellow men. In view of the power of our influence for good or ill, we cannot afford to deviate from the right way; for if we do wrong, we may lead some one else astray. “Make straight paths for your feet,” writes the apostle Paul, “lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” [Hebrews 12:13.] If with clear, sanctified vision we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, and walk by faith, we shall not stumble and fall. By beholding, we shall become changed into the likeness of the divine. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 21

Our Saviour laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and left the glories of heaven to come to this world. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He designed that fallen humanity might touch His humanity and receive from Him power to be partakers of the divine nature and to overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. He is our pattern, and I beseech of you, my brethren, to lay hold of the power that is ours through the union of the divine and the human in Christ. He overcame for us, and we may claim His merits. We may plead His power, His virtue. And as we co-operate with Him, and live in harmony with His law, He will cleanse our natures from sin and impart to us His righteousness. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 22

The world is to be warned of the impending judgments of God that will precede the second coming of Christ. Those who know the truth should be taught to labor earnestly for their neighbors and friends. Special efforts must be put forth in behalf of those who do not know the truth. As we ourselves learn more and more how to overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of our testimony, we shall labor to help those who are weak, and who have been unable to overcome. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 23

There are many who have never heard from the Word the reasons for our faith. And yet some of our ministers feel a burden to hover over little companies of believers in an effort to hold them together. The best way to hold them together is to induce them to maintain a living connection with God and to exert their influence in seeking to draw others to Him. It is our work to help others to place their feet upon the right foundation and to understand their duty through a prayerful study of the Scriptures. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 24

Satan knows that his time is short, and he will put forth every effort in his power to destroy our faith in God and in His Word. His agencies are following us constantly, seeking to induce us to follow his plans, to take a wrong course in word and deed. But if we will grasp the power that Christ offers, seeking the Lord diligently and watching unto prayer, we shall have all power and wisdom to meet the attacks of the enemy. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 25

Many of our people do not seem to realize that the time has come for every one to take his stand positively on the side of Jesus Christ and the heavenly angels. By their indifference, by carelessness in word and act, they leave themselves open to the molding influence of the enemy. They seem asleep as regards the issues that are now before the world. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 26

I wish to read to you the description of a scene that passed before me not many years ago. This is published in (Testimonies for the Church 8:41-47), under the title “A View of the Conflict”: 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 27

“In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world's insignia; the other was led by the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust, as company after company from the Lord's army joined the foe, and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God. An angel flying in the midst of heaven put the standard of Emmanuel into many hands, while a mighty general cried out with a loud voice: ‘Come into line. Let those who are loyal to the commandments of God and the testimony of Christ now take their position. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters. Let all who will, come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.’ 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 28

“The battle raged. Victory alternated from side to side. Now the soldiers of the cross gave way, ‘as when a standard-bearer fainteth.’ Isaiah 10:18. But their apparent retreat was but to gain a more advantageous position. Shouts of joy were heard. A song of praise to God went up, and angel voices united in the song, as Christ’s soldiers planted His banner on the walls of fortresses till then held by the enemy. The Captain of our salvation was ordering the battle, and sending support to His soldiers. His power was mightily displayed, encouraging them to press the battle to the gates. He taught them terrible things in righteousness as He led them on step by step, conquering and to conquer. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 29

“At last the victory was gained. The army following the banner with the inscription, ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus’ [Revelation 14:12], was gloriously triumphant. The soldiers of Christ were close beside the gates of the city, and with joy the city received her King. The kingdom of peace and joy and everlasting righteousness was established. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 30

“Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in midnight darkness, almost wholly given ever to idolatry. But the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving—the robe of Christ’s righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven-fold greater than it is now. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming, ‘There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.’ [See Revelation 21:4.] 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 31

“This is the scene that is presented to me. But the church must and will fight against seen and unseen foes. Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy seat, and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is no time for the people of God to be weaklings. We cannot afford to be off our guard for one moment. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 32

“‘Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the spiritual rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith wherewith, ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ Ephesians 6:10-17. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 33

“‘This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ Philippians 1:9-11. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 34

“‘Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ; ... stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries; which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.’ Philippians 1:27-29. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 35

“There are revealed in these last days visions of future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God, and these should be dear to His church. What sustained the Son of God in His betrayal and trial?—He saw of the travail of His soul, and was satisfied. He caught a view of the expanse of eternity, and saw the happiness of those who through His humiliation should receive pardon and everlasting life. He was wounded for their transgressions, bruised for their iniquities. The chastisement of their peace was upon Him, and with His stripes they were healed. His ear caught the shout of the redeemed. He heard the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.” 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 36


As I see representations of the terrible conflict that is now waging, and realize that those who are victorious will be with their Lord forevermore, I feel as if I cannot spare myself. I must do all I can to help others win the victory and the crown of life. I am now in my eighty-first year, and yet I cannot lay down the burden. My pen is in my hand almost constantly, excepting when I am in attendance at some meeting. I am always glad when I can have the privilege of speaking to a company of people in the hope that the words I speak will be received and will exert an influence for good upon life and character. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 37

Since my return from Australia, I have felt a great burden for the work in Oakland. Frequently the Lord has revealed to me, as an indication of unfaithfulness on the part of His people, the little that is being done in our large cities. In the camp-meetings and tent-meetings that have been held in Oakland, I have stood before our own people and with most earnest entreaties have labored to persuade them to give the truth to those who know it not. But many in our churches say, “We want your labors; we want you to preach to us.” Let those who believe the truth go out and preach it. Let them practice it before their neighbors. The Lord calls upon you, my brethren, to gain a deep, living experience in the things of God. There are sacrifices that we must make. Shall we let the multitudes who know nothing of the truth perish in their sins, unwarned? Satan is planning to hold these souls fast. He is seeking to hedge up our opportunities for reaching them. But the God of heaven is also at work in their behalf. As you seek to labor for them, His angels will go before you to prepare their hearts, and the same heavenly agencies will go with you as you visit them, to tell them of the sin-pardoning Saviour. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 38

Who will now carry this burden? In view of the great needs all about us, who can be content to hover over our own churches, neither gaining nor imparting strength? Let those who have a living connection with God go out and labor for unbelievers. We do not call for those who are half asleep to go in their present condition, but we beseech of them to awake, to lay hold of the arm of infinite strength, and then go forth, speaking the words of life. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 39

Let us now seek God with all the heart, that we may find Him. For your souls’ sake, I ask you to resist the devil. The promise is that he will flee from you. Put on the whole armor of righteousness, and press the battle to the gates. Heavenly angels will be with you to minister to your needs. You can speak the words of truth, and they will make an impression upon the heart. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 40

How many of those present will now take a position on the Lord’s side, enlisting to fight the good warfare? Ask the Saviour to anoint your eyes with the heavenly eyesalve, that you may have spiritual discernment. Break with the enemy, and come into line with the soldiers of Jesus Christ and with heavenly angels. Here is a world perishing in sin; and I beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to work along right lines. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 41

Are there those who will pledge themselves to live a life of prayer, ceasing to find fault, ceasing to criticize their brethren, and striving henceforth to be co-laborers with Christ Jesus? There are souls to be saved, and we cannot afford to lay stumbling blocks in one another’s way. Now we ask you to seek the Lord with all the heart. Will those who are determined to cut loose from every temptation of the enemy, and to seek for heaven above, signify such determination by rising to their feet. (Nearly all the congregation responded.) 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 42

We desire that every one of you shall be saved. We desire that for you the gates of the city of God shall swing back on their glittering hinges, and that you, with all the nations who have kept the truth, may enter in. There we shall give praise and thanksgiving and glory to Christ and to the Father evermore, even forever and ever. May God help us to be faithful in His service during the conflict, and overcome at last, and win the crown of life eternal. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 43

(Praying) My heavenly Father, I come to Thee at this time, just as I am, poor and needy, and dependent upon Thee. I ask Thee to give me and give this people the grace that perfects Christian character. Wilt Thou have compassion upon this people? Let Thy light shine into the chambers of the mind, and into the soul-temple. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 44

My Saviour, Thou hast given Thy life to purchase Thine inheritance, that, as overcomers, they may enter the kingdom of God, where they shall go no more out forever. Bless those who have signified their desire to serve Thee. Put Thy Spirit upon them. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 45

I ask Thee, heavenly Father, to let Thy Holy Spirit come to this people. May Thy salvation be revealed. Touch their hearts, and make them very tender. Soften them by Thy Holy Spirit, and help them to see the work to be done for their neighbors, and for souls that are perishing all around them. O awaken them to their responsibilities! May they wash their robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Wilt Thou encircle them in the arms of Thy mercy? Plead with them through the impressions of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may try to let their light shine to those that have not known the truth. Put Thy church in order, O Lord, that they may labor for souls. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 46

My Saviour, reveal Thyself to this people. Let Thy love be expressed—O let it be revealed! Hold Thy people, that Satan may not have his will and way with them. Help them to press through all opposition, that at last they may lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus in the city of God; and Thy name shall have all the glory. Amen. 23LtMs, Ms 35, 1908, par. 47