Sermons and Talks, vol. 1


Lessons From the Visions of Ezekiel

Part One: Exhortation to Faithfulness—In visions of the night I seemed to be speaking with great earnestness before an assembly of people. A heavy burden was upon my soul. I was presenting before those gathered together the message of the prophet Ezekiel regarding the duties of the Lord's watchmen. 1SAT 384.1

[Ezekiel 33:1-11 quoted.] 1SAT 384.2

The prophet had by the command of God ceased from prophesying to the Jews just at the time when the news came that Jerusalem was invaded and siege laid to her. In the twenty-fourth chapter Ezekiel records the representation that was given to him of the punishment that would come upon all who would refuse the word of the Lord. The people were removed from Jerusalem and punished by death and captivity. No lot was to fall upon it to determine who should be saved and who destroyed. 1SAT 384.3

[Ezekiel 24:6, 7, 9, 10, 12-24 quoted.] 1SAT 384.4

I am instructed to present these words before those who have had light and evidence, but who have walked directly contrary to the light. The Lord will make the punishment of those who will not receive His admonitions and warnings as broad as the wrong has been. The purposes of those who have tried to cover their wrong while they have secretly worked against the purposes of God will be fully revealed. Truth will be vindicated. God will make manifest that He is God. 1SAT 384.5

There is a spirit of wickedness at work in the church that is striving at every opportunity to make void the law of God. While the Lord may not punish unto death those who have carried their rebellion to great lengths, the light will never again shine with such convincing power upon the stubborn opposers of truth. Sufficient evidence is given to every soul regarding what is truth and what is error. But the deceptive power of evil upon some is so great that they will not receive the evidence and respond to it by repentance. 1SAT 385.1

A long-continued resistance of truth will harden the most impressionable heart. Those who reject the Spirit of truth place themselves under the control of a spirit that is opposed to the word and work of God. For a time they may continue to teach some phases of the truth, but their refusal to accept all the light God sends will after a time place them where they will do the work of a false watchman. 1SAT 385.2

The interests of the cause of present truth demand that those who profess to stand on the Lord's side shall bring into exercise all their powers to vindicate the advent message, the most important message that will ever come to the world. For those who stand as representatives of present truth to use time and energy now in attempting to answer the questions of the doubting ones, will be an unwise use of their time. It will not remove the doubts. The burden of our work now is not to labor for those who, although they have had abundant light and evidence, still continue on the unbelieving side. God bids us give our time and strength to the work of preaching to the people the messages that stirred men and women in 1843 and 1844. 1SAT 385.3

We are now to labor unceasingly to get the truth before Jew and Gentile. Instead of going over and over the same ground to establish the faith of those who should never have accepted a doubt regarding the third angel's message, let our efforts be given to making known the truth to those who have never heard it. God calls upon us to make known to all men the truths that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists. 1SAT 385.4

God is speaking to His people today as He spoke to Israel through Moses, saying, “Who is on the Lord's side?” My brethren, take your position where God bids you. Leave alone those who, after light has been repeatedly given them, have taken a stand on the opposite side. You are not to spend precious time in repeating to them what they already know and thus lose your opportunities of entering new fields with the message of present truth. Take up the work which has been given us. With the Word of God as your message, stand on the platform of truth and proclaim the soon coming of Christ. Truth, eternal truth, will prevail. 1SAT 386.1

For more than half a century the different points of present truth have been questioned and opposed. New theories have been advanced as truth, which were not truth, and the Spirit of God revealed their error. As the great pillars of our faith have been presented, the Holy Spirit has borne witness to them, and especially is this so regarding the truths of the sanctuary question. Over and over again the Holy Spirit has in a marked manner endorsed the preaching of this doctrine. But today, as in the past, some will be led to form new theories and to deny the truths upon which the Spirit of God has placed His approval. 1SAT 386.2

Any man who seeks to present theories which would lead us from the light that has come to us on the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary should not be accepted as a teacher. A true understanding of the sanctuary question means much to us as a people. When we were earnestly seeking the Lord for light on that question, light came. In vision I was given such a view of the heavenly sanctuary and the ministration connection with the Holy Place, that for many days I could not speak of it. 1SAT 386.3

I know from the light that God has given me that there should be a revival of the messages that have been given in the past, because men will seek to bring in new theories and will try to prove that these theories are Scriptural, whereas they are error which if allowed a place will undermine faith in the truth. We are not to accept these suppositions and pass them along as truth. No, no. We must not move from the platform of truth on which we have been established. 1SAT 387.1

There will always be those who are seeking for something new and who stretch and strain the Word of God to make it support their ideas and theories. Let us, brethren, take the things that God has given us, and which His Spirit has taught us is truth, and believe them, leaving alone those theories which His Spirit has not endorsed. 1SAT 387.2

Part Two: Warning Against Rebellion—Ezekiel again writes: [Ezekiel 28:1-26, quoted.] 1SAT 387.3

The first sinner was one whom God had greatly exalted. He is represented under the figure of the prince of Tyrus flourishing in might and magnificence. Little by little Satan came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” “Thou hast said in thine heart ... I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like the Most High” [Isaiah 14:13, 14]. Though all His glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father has invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. 1SAT 387.4

To the very close of the controversy in heaven, the great usurper continued to justify himself. When it was announced that with all his sympathizers he must be expelled from the abodes of bliss, then the rebel leader boldly avowed his contempt for the Creator's law. He denounced the divine statutes as a restriction of their liberty, and declared that it was his purpose to secure the abolition of law. With one accord, Satan and his host threw the blame of their rebellion wholly upon Christ, declaring that if they had not been reproved, they would never have rebelled. 1SAT 388.1

Satan's rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan's rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God's government and His law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and suffering its punishment. 1SAT 388.2

At any moment God can withdraw from the impenitent the tokens of His wonderful mercy and love. Oh, that human agencies might consider what will be the sure result of their ingratitude to Him and of their disregard of the infinite Gift of Christ to our world! If they continue to love transgression more than obedience, the present blessings and the great mercy of God that they now enjoy, but do not appreciate, will finally become the occasion of their eternal ruin. When it is too late for them to see and to understand that which they have slighted as a thing of naught, they will know what it means to be without God, without hope. Then they will realize what they have lost by choosing to be disloyal to God and to stand in rebellion to His commandments. 1SAT 389.1

In His great mercy, God has spoken words of encouragement to the children of men. To all who repent and turn to Him, He offers abundant pardon. Repentance for sin is the firstfruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects. In Christ all fullness dwells. He teaches us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This knowledge is the highest science that any man can reach. It is the sum of all true science. “This is life eternal.” Christ declared, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” [John 17:3]. 1SAT 389.2

The time has come when the righteous should understand that God's judgments are to fall on all who transgress His law, and that those who walk humbly with Him will triumph with holy gladness. As Jehovah is holy, He requires His people to be holy, pure, undefiled; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Those who worship Him in sincerity and truth will be accepted by Him. If church members will put away all self-worship, and will receive in their hearts the love for God and for one another that filled Christ's heart, our heavenly Father will constantly manifest His power through them. Let His people be drawn together with the cords of divine love. Then the world will recognize the miracle-working power of God, and will acknowledge that He is the Strength and the Helper of His commandment-keeping people.—Manuscript 125, 1907. (Written from Sanitarium, Calif., July 4, 1907; designated “to be read in Battle Creek, Oakland, Chicago, and other large churches.”) (MR 900.21) 1SAT 390.1