Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 49, 1908

Sermon/Lessons from the Experiences of Pentecost

Lodi, California

May 9, 1908

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 391-396.

“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 upon 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. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 1

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying one to another, Behold are not all these which speak Galileans? And how here we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” [Acts 2:1-11.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 2

At this time there was in Jerusalem a great religious festival, and God used His disciples on this occasion to give to the multitudes assembled there the message of the risen Saviour. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 3

In preparation for this important work, the disciples had for several days been together, confessing their sins and praying for the Holy Spirit. Jesus had told them that they were not to depart from Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father. “Ye shall receive power,” He had told them, “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 parts of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] The second chapter of Acts records the experiences that came to the disciples when they received the Holy Ghost. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 4

Some who heard the disciples tried to say something that would counteract the influence of their preaching. “They were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 5

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words; for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Verses 12-21.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 6

If this prophecy of Joel met a partial fulfilment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God. He will so bestow His Spirit upon His people that they will become a light amid the moral darkness; and great light will be reflected in all parts of the world. O that our faith might be increased, that the Lord might work mightily with His people. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 7

We all need the Holy Spirit. Our ministers need it. Our medical and educational institutions and our churches need it. We need a thorough, living experience in the work of the Lord. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 8

We thank the Lord that here at this meeting there has been seen some of the moving of the Spirit of God, and that some of these young people and children have been given a desire to obtain an experience in religious things. I was glad, as I saw them coming forward the other day, that they were not living in wicked cities such as San Francisco and Oakland, but that they are here in the country, where they may be kept free from evil associations, and many of the temptations that come with life in the cities. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 9

“It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Acts 2:21.] This is a comforting promise. Can we grasp it by faith? Shall we not by our actions show that we appreciate the rich provisions of the Word of God? 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 10

Peter continues, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” [Verses 22, 23.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 11

It took courage to bear this straight testimony. This courage and boldness in speaking the truth had come in answer to the united prayer of the disciples, while they had been together in the upper chamber. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 12

Peter then speaks of the resurrection of Jesus: “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope; because Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” [Verses 24-27.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 13

Thank God, we all have a hope that reaches to the grave. When we die, we do not go immediately to heaven. But if the Lord calls us to die, and we have been faithful in His service, we may lie down with the expectation that when Christ comes to raise the dead, we shall hear His voice, and be brought out of our graves. Our flesh may rest in hope. When the righteous shall come forth from their graves, what a rejoicing there will be! 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 14

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 15

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” [Verses 32-39.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 16

These promises are for our children as well as for us. We can bring them to Christ. It will require great watchfulness on the part of parents; but if they are faithful, they may keep their children from being spoiled by the vanity and the corruptions that are in the world. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 17

“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” [Verse 40.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 18

This exhortation has a special application to us. We are living in the generation, concerning which it is said, “As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they are eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage.” [Matthew 24:37, 38.] If any of us are to be among the overcomers, we must be diligent to keep ourselves free from the corruptions of the age. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 19

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” [Acts 2:41, 42.] 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 20

The Holy Spirit has not been diminished since the days of Pentecost. It will be given today to every soul that will seek for it. The Lord is willing to send His Holy Spirit into all our institutions. We want a spirit of prayer. Let us take hold of God by living faith. Let us believe that He will do all that He says He will do, and let us prepare our hearts to receive what He has promised for us. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 21

In many places we have established our educational institutions. Our schools and our sanitariums are to reach a high standard. The Bible is to be made the great educational book. It is the Book of books, that gives us a knowledge of Him whom to know aright is life eternal. It is to be made the foundation of all true education. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 22

We are not to aim for a lower standard than that which Christ has laid out for His people. But there are many things included in what is commonly called a higher education that we do not need. John the Baptist received a training for his life work, not in the schools of the rabbis, but in the wilderness, alone with God and His Word. As he prayed, the Scriptures were opened before him in a wonderful manner. And today God is just as willing to instruct those who will humbly seek for that wisdom which cometh from above. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 23

We need experienced workers in the cause of God. It is not necessary that they all know several languages, but they do all need an experience in the things of God. Some who go to foreign countries will need to learn a language, but all need not spend time in learning languages that they will never use. We have not time to spend years in studying subjects that will be of no practical value. We are not to think that we must climb to the highest rounds of knowledge on every science. Time is short, and we must labor earnestly to save souls. If we will take the Word of God, and study it diligently and prayerfully, we will find the light and the knowledge that we need. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 24

In our sanitariums, we advocate the use of simple remedies. We discourage the use of drugs, for they poison the current of the blood. In these institutions sensible instruction should be given, how to eat, how to drink, how to dress, and how to live so that the health may be preserved. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 25

Before there were any sanitariums amongst us, my husband and I began work in medical missionary lines. We would bring to our house cases that had been given up by the physicians to die. When we knew not what to do for them, we would pray to God most earnestly, and He always sent His blessing. He is the mighty Healer, and He worked with us. We never had time or opportunity to take a medical course, but we had success as we moved out in the fear of God and sought Him for wisdom at every step. This gave us courage in the Lord. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 26

Thus we combined prayer and labor. We used the simple water treatments, and then tried to fasten the eyes of the patients on to the great Healer. We told them what He could do for them. If we can inspire the patients with hope, this is greatly to their advantage. We want all that have any part to act in our sanitariums to have a firm grasp on the power of the Infinite. We believe in Him and in the power of His Word. When we do our best for the recovery of the sick, we may then look for Him to be with us, that we may see of His salvation. We put too little confidence in the power of the hand that rules the world. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 27

The Lord instructed us that we should have a place where the sick might come and be treated in a rational way. In harmony with this instruction the sanitarium at Battle Creek was built. Now we have many of these medical institutions, and the Lord is blessing their work. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 28

We believe in the living God, and in the simplicity of true godliness. It is important that those who are treating the sick shall have a living connection with the source of all life and healing. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 29

Somehow, we often seem to carry on our meetings in a tame, lifeless way. We need a revival of the Spirit of God. Every one is to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. If you will all plant your feet upon the living Word of God, believing it, and acting in harmony with it, confessing your sins in all humility, and following Christ, we shall see among us more of the working of His mighty power. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 30

Let us prepare for that life which measures with the life of God. We have not before us the prospect of lying in our graves. Some of us may be translated without tasting of death. Who will not deny themselves, in order that they may help to send the truth where it will be received? We have now but a very little time in which we can work, so let us deny ourselves in every way possible, that we may give the light of truth to all that can be reached. Every penny that we will invest in this work will be returned to us with large interest. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 31

Let us take hold in faith. Let us pray. Let us believe. Let us act, and the Lord will encourage and strengthen us in the way. I want to see the salvation of God revealed in this meeting. He has power to give us. There is no lack of power on His part, but there is a lack of faith and of humility on the part of His people. Many of us would not know how to use that power if we were to receive it. Let us learn of the great Teacher, what it means to walk in humility, as Christ walked in humility. 23LtMs, Ms 49, 1908, par. 32