Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Ms 43, 1909

Sermon/Get Ready!

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 29, 1909

This manuscript is published in entirety in GCB 06/06/1909. +Note

May 29, 1909

Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, Sabbath morning,

“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.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 1

What a word of caution is this! How many of us can comprehend what it means? All through the Word of God, cautions are given and instruction is imparted that point out to us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis,” the Word continues, “which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” [Verse 4.] Who of this company gathered here today will be among those “few names”? Here is brought to view a little company that is confessed before the throne of God as “worthy.” They have not had a hit-and-miss religion, but an experience that has proved them as true to principle as the compass to the pole. Of such the Lord declares, “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.” [Verse 5.] 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 2

“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.” [Verses 14, 15.] 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 3

In the words spoken to the Laodicean church we can see the sure result of half-hearted service. There are many who claim to believe the truth who do not obey the truth in a way that the world can take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. This condition of lukewarmness is a pitiable condition in which to be. “I would thou wert cold or hot,” the Lord declares; “so then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, 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.” [Verses 15-18.] 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 4

Let none think that their understanding of the Scriptures, their knowledge of the truth for this time, will suffice to save them. Let none take the position before God that was taken by the people spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, who offered to God only outward service. “Wherefore have we fasted,” they said to God, “and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” God showed this people that their worship was unacceptable to Him because it lacked heart service. “Behold, in the day of your fast,” He said to them, “ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.” [Isaiah 58:3, 4.] 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 5

The Lord shows that there is something better for His people than mere outward worship. He demands of them a pure and undefiled religion. The gold He bids them buy of Him is the gold of character. The eyesalve is obtained by earnest seeking of the Lord. We are to come to God confessing our sins and humbling our hearts before Him. If ever there was a people who needed to pray most earnestly to God, if ever there was a people who needed to strip themselves of everything that is offensive to Him, it is this people who profess to keep the commandments of God and to have the faith of Jesus. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 6

The next words present something to be done. There are confessions to be made to one another and to God; and unless these confessions are made, we reveal that the door of the heart is closed. “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 on My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father on His throne.” [Revelation 3:19-21.] My brethren and sisters, I ask you, who among us is humbling the heart before God? Who is purifying the soul by obedience to the truth? Let us study this chapter on our bended knees, asking God to reveal to us our true character and to impress our mind with what we should be and what we should do lest we stand in the way of sinners and exert an influence that will be a hindrance to the work. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 7

A View of Christ’s Sufferings

Last Tuesday this Scripture was impressed upon me in a wonderful manner. I was awakened from sleep and given a view of the sufferings of Christ for men. His sacrifice, the mockery and derision He received at the hand of wicked men, his agony in the garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal and crucifixion—all were vividly portrayed before me. Three times the scenes passed before me. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 8

I saw Christ in the midst of a large company of people, a company much larger than we have here this morning. He was seeking to impress their minds with His teachings, but He was despised and rejected by them. Men were heaping upon Him abuse and shame. My distress was very great as I looked upon the scene. I pleaded with God, What is to be done with this congregation? Will none give up their exalted opinions of self and seek the Lord as little children? Will none break their hearts before God in repentance and confession? 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 9

There was presented to me Christ’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when the mysterious cup trembled in the Redeemer’s hand. “Father, if it be possible,” He prayed, “let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” [Matthew 26:39.] As He pleaded with the Father, great drops of blood fell from His face to the ground. The elements of darkness were gathered about the Saviour to discourage His soul. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 10

Rising from the ground, Christ went to the place where He had left His disciples, bidding them watch and pray with Him. He would see if they understood His agony; He needed their human sympathy; but He found them sleeping. Three times He went thus to them, and each time they were asleep. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 11

Three times Christ prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” It was here that the destiny of a lost world hung in the balance. Should He refuse to drink the cup, the result would be eternal ruin to the human race. But an angel from heaven strengthened the Son of God to accept the cup and drink its bitter woe. What if His request had been granted, and the cup had passed from Him? The scene that was presented before me as the result of such a decision made me for a time lose all consciousness. When I aroused, the scene was presented to me again and again until it had passed before me three times. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 12

For whom was all this agony and shame endured? It was for those who claim to be leaders in the church, those who claim to have an experience in religious lines, as well as for the open sinner. How few there are who realize that all this was borne for them individually; how few who say, It was for me, that I might form a character for the future immortal life. As these things were presented to me so vividly, I thought, I shall never be able to present it before the people as it is; and I have given you only a faint representation of what was shown me. As I have thought of that cup trembling in the hands of Christ; as I have realized that He might have refused to drink it and left the world to perish in its sin, I pledged that every energy of my life should be devoted to Christ, that I may win souls to Him. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 13

The Great Need for This Time

We cannot afford in the few days that we have here on earth to spend our time in trifling and nothingness. We cannot afford to waste our means in the multiplying of pictures. We need to have our souls humbled before God, that every heart may drink in the truth and let it work in the life a reformation that will convince the world that this is indeed the truth of God. Let the life be hid with Christ in God. Only when we seek the Lord as little children, when we cease picking flaws in our brethren and sisters, and in those who are seeking to carry faithfully the responsibilities of the work, and seek to get our own hearts right with God, can He use us to the glory of His name. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 14

When I think of the great work there is to be done, and see how few there are who realize the magnitude and importance of the work, and the shortness of time in which to do it, I feel that I must get right out as I did in my younger days. Then I labored when I was no stronger tan I am now, and I saw the power of God revealed in a remarkable manner. I have seen the room in which we were gathered filled with the glory of God, not one sitting in his seat, but all lying prostrate upon the floor. And when they were able to speak, the glory of God shone in their faces and the praise of God was upon their lips. It is not always the brightest talent that accomplishes the most for the cause of God. God can speak through a humble mind if that mind is consecrated to Him and to His service. When we catch the spirit of the message which is to lead souls to choose between life and death, we shall see a work done that we do not now dream of. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 15

We are to consider the needs of the cities of the East, where the first and second angels’ messages went with such power. The Lord wrought mightily in these places for rich and poor. I am made sad when I see those who have had such great light question whether they can send the light into the large cities. Do you not know, my brethren, that angels of God are promised to go with you in every undertaking for the spread of gospel truth? Go and speak the truth in its simplicity, and God will send power, and the truth will affect hearts, and many, many souls will come to a knowledge of its saving grace. In the place of stopping to question, let us consider the wide field for labor before this people. There are thousands who have never heard the message—not any part of the message. The delegates who are present—I am so thankful when I consider that they come from almost all parts of the world—are to remember that there are many other workers to be raised up to take a part in the work. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 16

We all need to come into a self-sacrificing position before God if our work is to be accepted by Him. We need to trim our lamps and keep them burning. There is none of us but has an accountability before God. Let us remember that profession is nothing unless we have the truth in the heart. We need the converting power of God to take hold of us, that we may understand the needs of a perishing world. Who among us is humbling the heart before God? Who are washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb? Let us awake from sleep, and pray as we have never prayed before, that the burden of souls may rest upon us. The burden of my message to you is, Get ready, get ready to meet the Lord. Trim your lamps, and let the light of truth shine forth into the byways and the hedges. There is a world to be warned of the near approach of the end of all things. 24LtMs, Ms 43, 1909, par. 17