Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24

132/196

Ms 49, 1909

Sermon/Partakers of the Divine Nature

Takoma Park, Maryland

June 6, 1909

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 280; 17MR 32; 6Bio 197.

Closing sermon at the General Conference Session, Sunday afternoon, June 6, 1909. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 1

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 2

“And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [2 Peter 1:1-9.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 3

The apostle sets before the believer an earnest work to be done. He is to live on the plan of addition, adding grace to grace. The virtue which is in Jesus Christ is for every soul for the perfecting of a Christian character. A precious promise is given to those who accept the conditions: 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 4

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verses 10, 11.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 5

An eternal life insurance policy is granted to us. We need not go to the world to get our lives insured; we may come right to the promises of God, and take Him at His word, receiving the assurance that we need never fall. If we will live on the plan of addition, adding virtue to virtue and grace to grace, we shall be granted eternal life in God’s everlasting kingdom. It is our privilege to live in such close union with God in this life, that when we come to the gates of the city of God, He can welcome us there because we have become like Him in character. There we shall see the One who gave His life for us. Christ will welcome us to the city of God and place upon our heads the immortal crown. I want to share this joy; I want each of you to share it. I hope that none who are here will miss that great salvation. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 6

“Wherefore I will not be negligent,” the apostle continues, “to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.” [Verses 12-18.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 7

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” [Verses 19-21.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 8

Shall we live on the plan of addition, or on the plan of subtraction? We have had many precious meetings here, and we need to make the very best account of our privileges. We shall very probably never all meet again on this earth; but I want to meet this people in the kingdom of God. We plead with you for Christ’s sake to bear in mind your high calling. Never forget that you are to live on the plan of addition. You are to keep adding grace to grace, constantly overcoming the tendencies to evil that are in your nature, constantly resisting the temptations of the world that will press continually upon you in these last days. For this work the promise of grace is given you: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” [Verse 2.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 9

Individually we need the salvation of God, and to stand in right relation to Him, and to have His Holy Spirit with us day by day. We are to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. Let us be ascending, ascending the ladder of Christian experience. Its base rests upon the earth, and its top reaches to the highest heaven. Let us climb round after round until Christ appears, when we shall be prepared to step from this ladder into the kingdom of God. This we shall do if we are ready for His appearing. My brethren and sisters, we have a large work to do, a very large work. Let us not make any mistake. Let us try to live up to the precious promises God has given, keeping in view the crown of life that awaits all who faithfully persevere in the work of perfecting Christian character. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 10

Let us consider the sacrifice of God and of Christ in our behalf. So great was the interest of God in our world that He gave His only begotten Son to come to the earth as a little child and to live a life like that of every human being, that through Him humanity might reach divinity. Christ suffered abuse and rejection and was finally crucified at the hands of wicked men; but through His sinless life and atoning death, He made it possible for humanity to lay hold of divinity and become partakers of the divine nature, and to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 11

Are we responding to the demands which this sacrifice makes upon us? Are we seeking to come into right relation to God? The apostle exhorts us: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.” [1 Peter 4:1-5.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 12

“For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” [Verses 6-10.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 13

From the light that God has given me, I know that we do not realize how near is the end of all things. We do not sense as we should the need of being daily overcomers and of securing the eternal reward. It is those who overcome the temptations that are in the world through lust, who are partakers of the divine nature. The sacrifice has been made for us. Will we accept it? May the Lord help us to make a covenant with Him by sacrifice and to lay hold of the promises of His Word. May He help us to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 14

It requires prayer, it requires faith, it requires understanding to become a partaker of the divine nature. But as we obtain this experience, we are not benefiting ourselves alone; we are giving to all around us an evidence that all may be partakers of the divine nature, all may be overcomers. My brethren and sisters, let us determine to be victorious. Let us seek for a large measure of divine grace. I feel deeply, very deeply the need of our revealing the truth in our lives. If we will lay hold of the promises, eternal life will be given us at the end of the warfare. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 15

The question is often asked, What does Sister White say the higher education is? The higher education is to become a partaker of the divine nature. It is to copy the life and character of Christ, so that we shall stand on vantage ground as we fight the battles of life. It is to learn to gain daily victories over sin. As we seek for this education, angels of God are our companions; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for us against the enemy. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 16

Let us not be swayed by the elements of the world, but let us show that we are determined to be overcomers day by day and hour by hour. Angels of God are watching us every day. They are present in this meeting to impress on human hearts the truths spoken. I pray that those who shall go from this meeting to other places shall take the angels of God with them. Some have come long distances, that they might attend this conference. May the blessing of the Lord rest upon these, is my prayer. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 17

Let us go forth to clear the King’s highway. God is waiting to bestow His richest blessings on human hearts in response to our ministry. God help us to carry to the souls who are in darkness the light of truth that will convince them of sin and lead them to righteousness. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 18

The apostle Peter, in referring to his work as an elder of the church, declares that he is “a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” [1 Peter 5:1.] This is the glory of which he speaks when he says: “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” [2 Peter 1:3.] It is this glory of which we may all be partakers as faithful ministers. But those who share in this glory must give earnest heed to the apostles’ exhortation: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 19

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.” [1 Peter 5:2-11.] 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 20

May the Lord help us to live in accordance with His Word. We all need the truth as it is in Jesus. Let us represent Christ and the truth wherever we go, that we may stand in that position where we can glorify God. My brethren and sisters, Jesus loves to make intercession for you. Cling to Jesus. Strive to be overcomers, that the Saviour may welcome you to the city of God, where you can sing the triumphs of redeeming grace. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 21

O what a scene of rejoicing it will be when the Lamb of God shall place upon the heads of the redeemed the victor’s crown! Never, nevermore will you be led into temptation and sin. You will see the King in His beauty. And those whom you have helped heavenward will meet you there. They will throw their arms about you and acknowledge what you have done for them. “You watched over me,” they will say; “you prayed for me; you helped me to gain heaven.” God grant that all who are here may hear the Saviour’s words of welcome, and hear the grateful thanks of souls whom they have labored for in this life. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 22

Brethren, we shall separate for a little while, but let us not forget what we have heard at this meeting. Let us go forward in the strength of the Mighty One, considering the joy that is set before us of seeing His face in the kingdom of God and of going out no more forever. Let us remember that we are to be partakers of the divine nature, and that angels of God are right around us, that we need not be overcome by sin. Let us send our petitions to the throne of God in time of temptation and in faith lay hold of His divine power. I pray God that this may be the experience of each one of us and that in the great day of God we all may be glorified together. 24LtMs, Ms 49, 1909, par. 23