Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Ms 73, 1909

Sermon/Lessons From the First Chapter of Daniel

Council Grove, Kansas

August 27, 1909

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2SAT 314-321.

Sermon delivered by Mrs. E. G. White, Sabbath, August 27, 1909, Council Grove, Kansas, camp-meeting.

The first chapter of Daniel teaches the lesson that what we eat and drink has an influence upon the powers of the mind, and that if we would have healthful bodies and clear minds, we must be careful of our diet. If we are careless in this matter, and eat simply to gratify taste, the digestive organs are impaired, and the brain is confused, and neither can act their part as fully as God intended they should. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 1

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat and with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 2

“Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my Lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? so shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 3

“Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat; and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away their portion of meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” [Verses 8-16.] 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 4

Daniel and his companions determined to banish from their dietary everything that would defile, and a power from above worked in harmony with their efforts. As a result they had the privilege of following their own course in the obtaining of their education. And the education they gained was better than that gained by any of the magicians, astrologers, or wise men in all the king’s realm. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 5

Those who desire to come into right relation to God need to study Daniel’s plan. That was a sum proved; you may take the sum and prove it also. There are many who think that those who adopt health reform suffer a loss of physical strength; but if these would test the matter for themselves, they would change their minds on this point. I have tested the value of health reform for thirty years, living just as simply as possible, and my physical ability at the age of 82 has been a surprise to many. In this journey I have taken, entailing five months of constant labor in the desk and out of the desk, my strength has been sustained. In my experience, health reform has given me a wonderful victory. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 6

The Lord does not want us to have irritable tempers and disturbed and confused minds. He wants us to do for ourselves just what these Hebrew youth did for themselves. We are to let alone the wine that excites and intoxicates. We see all around us too much of the results of its use. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 7

How earnestly should we plead for the benefits of the truth in this age of the world’s history. How greatly are its principles needed! Consider the city of San Francisco. What was it that brought the judgments of God upon that city? We read the answer in the revelations that have been made of corruption in those who stood in high office. Corruption and drunkenness and robbery are discovered on every hand. And this condition of wickedness is not in San Francisco alone. We who have the truth understand the meaning of these conditions and events. We are living in the last evening of this earth’s history. Is it not time that every soul place himself in right relation to God to act an individual part for the upbuilding of the kingdom of Christ? Is it not time that fathers and mothers do a special work in the family? Let there be no harsh words, no scoldings. This does not reform. Take your children apart when they do wrong, and show them the result of a wrong course of action. Pray with them. That prayer may make such an impression on their minds that they will see that you are not unreasonable. And if the children see that you are not unreasonable, you have gained a great victory. This is the work that is to be carried on in our family circles in these last days. Our children are a sacred responsibility. God requires that they be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 8

This lesson also teaches the effect of a simple diet upon the physical powers. Students attending school should have provided for them food that will not cause disturbances in the human organism. If you do not know how to provide such food, I ask you to learn how. We are fighting for a kingdom; we are to be laborers together with God, and we must learn to subdue our passions, lest we be shut out of the courts of heaven. If we do not perfect Christian characters here, we cannot enjoy the pleasures of eternal life. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 9

Daniel stood in a very responsible position in the kingdom of Babylon. There will always be those who will occupy positions of lesser responsibility; but whatever our work, our example may be such that it will lead others into right paths. We need to humble ourselves before God and pray to Him and trust in Him. We do not pray half enough in our families and alone with God. There is a world to be saved, and every talent should be used in the service of God. You may not be able to go outside your family, but you can still do a work for God; and by your own course of action you can encourage those who have missionary work to perform. We cannot afford to miss any opportunity for perfecting a Christian character. Whatever experience may come to others, remember that you, in your lot and place, will be tested by God. There will be times when you will be placed in unfavorable positions; but at such times plead with God, trust in Him, and walk in simple faith before the Lord. Then angels of heaven will impress your minds. Let not your minds be filled with self and self-interests. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 10

The Lord is looking upon us in mercy and love today. Who will follow out the will of the Lord? Who will study to overcome the hasty temper, remembering that the words they speak are spoken in the hearing of heavenly angels. These heavenly agencies are continually ministering to us; and they will speak through us and by us if we will walk humbly with God. They open for us opportunities to make known a knowledge of the God of heaven to others. Let us acknowledge God as the highest power. Let us cherish our Redeemer’s spirit of meekness and humility of mind. Let us study our lifework, that it may bear the test of the judgment. We shall then stand on vantage ground with Daniel and his companions, overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 11

In the third chapter of Daniel, we can read the record of God’s mighty work in behalf of the youth who would not bow to the image that the king had set up; and we may know that the same God is near to us as we stand in His power to honor His name in our experience. The form of the Fourth walked beside the Hebrews in the midst of the fiery furnace, because they refused to bow down to the image and to worship the work of men’s hands. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 12

“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto him, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and”—the king’s countenance turns pale as he continues—“the form of the Fourth is like the Son of God.” [Verses 24, 25.] 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 13

Going to the mouth of the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar calls the youth to come forth. “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither,” he says. “And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire and no power, nor was any hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake and said, Blessed by the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent His angel, and delivered His servants that trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no God that can deliver after this sort.” [Verses 26-29.] 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 14

The God of the Hebrews is our God. Let us seek to stand in right relation to Him. We have souls to save or to lose, and it depends upon our individual selves whether we save or lose. If we lose, we carry others with us to destruction. All heaven is looking upon us to see what course we will pursue—whether we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb or be careless and indifferent, going on as we please, filling our days with the pleasures of the world and our minds with the foolish novel, while God’s work is neglected and His Word cast aside. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 15

I ask you to consider these things as you have never yet considered them. I present before you Christ as your only hope. “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.] I present Christ’s character before you. Study it carefully. There is no higher education to be gained than that which you gather from the Word of God. Those who will may gain from it an intelligence and an understanding that is as enduring and as reliable as that which Daniel had, and which preserved him and carried him safely through test and trial. Christ will give judgment to the student of His Word today, as He gave the Hebrew youth judgment. These young men were found to have more wisdom than all the wise men in all the realm of Babylon. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 16

When the heart is in right condition before God, we shall deny self. Did not God give Jesus, His only begotten Son?—He who was equal with the Father in the making of man. What are you doing to make yourself acceptable before God? Are you cultivating your reasoning powers? Are you preserving your physical powers by a wise and careful diet? Let the wine alone, and everything of the kind. We need to adopt a simple diet if we would have a clear understanding of our duty. Let us remember that we are living in review before God, that we shall have tests to bear, and that our faith in God is to be so cultivated that we can reach up to Heaven in full confidence for sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 17

We need that living faith that will take hold of God; and we can have this if we will study the will of the Lord in all things. In times of poverty and sickness and suffering, it is our privilege to go to the Saviour and tell Him our necessities and ask Him for His help. And if we will rely upon the Word of God, we shall see the fulfillment of His promises. Every day we are meeting temptation and trial in one form or another; but if we walk humbly with God and do our best, seeking daily to come into close relation to Him, He will work in our behalf. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 18

Study the record of the life and activities of Christ. The Saviour knew that He could do little if He remained in one place. Therefore he moved from city to city and village to village, the crowds often following Him in great multitudes. He gave these followers instruction, teaching them of Himself from the words of the Old Testament Scriptures. As he would present old truths in a new light before them, the people would listen as to something they had never before heard of. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 19

On one occasion the people gathered about the Saviour until there were 5,000 men, besides women and children. All day they had listened to the great Teacher; and now as evening drew on, the Master said to His disciples, These must be weary; they should have rest and food. But the inquiry arose, Where shall we find food for so great a company? The Saviour asked, How much have you? The disciples replied, Five barley loaves, and a few small fishes. Bid them sit down on the ground, the Saviour commanded. Then breaking the bread, He gave to His disciples and the disciples to the multitudes. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 20

When the people were satisfied, the Saviour gave the command to his disciples, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost.” [John 6:12.] Here Christ taught a precious lesson, one that was to come clear down through the ages to our time. There is an economy that Christ wants each to weave into our experience. There are wants and necessities on every hand to be supplied; there are needy and suffering ones to help. When we stand in right relation to God, we will stand in right relation to the principles of economy. We will know by experience what it means to deny self. We will be willing to sacrifice for the sake of others. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 21

“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.] Christ accepted the office laid upon Him. Seeing the needs of men, He laid aside His royal robe and crown and came to earth to minister to mankind. And day by day in His life on earth, He was preparing for greater tests to come with stronger power. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 22

Just before His crucifixion He took His disciples apart that they might pray with Him, that He and they might receive strength to endure. It was here in His agony in the garden of Gethsemane that the cup trembled in His hand. Should He drink it, and thus be separated from God? Should He take the sins of the world upon Him? The woes of a lost race rose up before Him, and He said, “Father, if this cup may not pass from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” [Matthew 26:42.] Then a mighty angel from glory came to His side and strengthened Him to go through the awful trial. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 23

He was laid in the tomb, and a great stone was rolled up before the door of the tomb. But when the day of His release came, a mighty angel from heaven came and rolled back the stone as it had been a pebble. And Jesus came forth, and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] He revealed Himself to Mary and to His disciples, bringing rejoicing to their hearts. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 24

God sent His Son into the world that He might learn by actual experience the needs of humanity. Through humanity combined with divinity He must reach man and enable him to lay hold upon the divine nature. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 25

Let us not turn from the representation because we cannot be one with the world and at the same time be one with Christ. We do not deserve heaven if we come to Christ in that way. Let us make an entire surrender to God. God wants us to withdraw from association with those who would lead us to withdraw from Him. He wants His people to lay hold with strong determination to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. He wants them to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, to consecrate themselves to God, to bear the suffering part of religion as well as to share its joys. If they cannot do this, they cannot enter the gates of the city of God and have right to the tree of life. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 26

Let us ever remember that eternal life has been secured for us at the cost of God’s only begotten Son. Considering this, should we not study to know what sacrifices we can make for His cause, what part we can act in advancing the glory of God for the great hereafter? Humanity can grasp the divinity of Christ. This is for us if we will lay hold of it by an intelligent faith. Let us learn what it means to deny self as Christ denied self. He laid aside all that He had with the Father and, clothing His divinity with humanity, came to earth that He might teach men and women how they might overcome. We are living in a time of test. Shall we not decide to stand on the side of Christ in this matter. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 27

Do you not want the gates of the city of God to be opened freely to you, and you be welcomed in with your children? Do you not want the crown of glory placed upon your brow? Do you not want that life that measures with the life of God? If we enjoy these eternal blessings, we have sacrifices to make in this life. We must reveal that we possess a faith that lays hold upon the living God and a righteousness that overcomes sin. May God bless us here today. How much are we willing to sacrifice in order to co-operate with Jesus Christ in our individual salvation? What are we willing to do that we may be enlightened and may enlighten others? Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to set in operation means by which to bring suffering upon God’s people. Let us cultivate the simplicity of true godliness. Let us in our human nature take hold of the divine, that that nature may mold our life, our character, our words and works. Then we shall go straight forward in the name of Jesus Christ. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 28

There are souls to be saved from their sin. We must lay hold of them by living faith and give them every chance to overcome. I ask you, will you not accept the truth I have presented before you today? Will you not seek to come into harmony with the spirit of this work, that you may have a part in it? Will you not make the effort to put away folly and indulgence and do all in your power to save the souls that are perishing? 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 29

We need help for the work to be done in different parts of the great missionary field. In Portland, Maine, where the truth was preached with power in 1842-44, our brethren and sisters have need of a little meetinghouse. Very little labor has been given to the city of Portland. There are a few Sabbathkeepers there, but they have no house of worship. We do not hesitate to ask you to help in the erection of this house of worship by giving us of your means; for by so doing you will be laying up in the heavens a treasure that faileth not. We want you to have a part in carrying the message of mercy to the world. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 30

We hope to have a large company of believers in Portland, Maine. The power of God was felt at the camp-meeting held there recently; and we hope that many souls will be revived as a result of its work, and that many more will lay hold of the truth of the gospel. Now, if you want to help, do so, and the Lord will let His blessing rest upon you. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 31

And there are other places in similar need. It is represented to me that there are hundreds of places needing our help. The work of God is a work of self-sacrifice. Who among us is willing to unite in labor for the saving of souls? Those who will here determine to do this, rise to your feet. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 32

(Congregation rises.) (Praying): My heavenly Father, I have tried to present in my weakness those things that Thou hast presented before me again and again to congregations that I have not seen assembled; and this is one of them. I ask Thee now to make the impression upon the human mind. Thou canst do it; for Thou art God, and beside Thee there is none else. Thou hast given Thine only begotten Son to make plain the way constantly beset with temptations by the enemy. I ask Thee, Lord, to bless this people here today. Sweep back every mist and cloud of darkness, and let the sunlight of Thy glory in. Work by Thy Holy Spirit upon the minds of parents and children, that all may labor together for the spread of the knowledge of the truth. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 33

God, the living God, souls are perishing, and Satan is working to call the attention of the people to nothingness and folly. Wilt Thou not go with this people, as they leave this meeting, and teach them daily to lay hold of the merits of the precious Redeemer. Thou hast given so much for these souls; help them to make a covenant with Thee by sacrifice, that they may have a part in that life that measures with the life of God. We want them to have the crown of glory and to strike the harp of gold. Lord, take this people; baptize them with Thy Holy Spirit. Let them see light in Thy light and rejoice in Thy truth. There is a heaven for them to win, a hell for them to shun. Grant that they may be crowned in the kingdom of glory, never again to go out into a sin-cursed world, where all is renewed by Thy sacrifice, our blessed Redeemer. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 34

Take these souls into Thy keeping. Make the impression upon their minds that heaven must be won by them, that they must withstand the tests of Satan. Bless them this day. Thou hast blessed them. Bless mind, and soul, and body, and help each to arouse to earnest labor for others. Make them laborers together with God in the work of salvation, and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory. 24LtMs, Ms 73, 1909, par. 35