Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 7—How To Become True Ministers of Christ

Manuscript 4, 1888

[Remarks made at Kansas City, Missouri, October 8, 1888.]

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 2SAT 48.1

Well, if nothing more were said, this is a whole discourse. It is something that we can contemplate, that we can pray over, that we can take to our homes, and that we can practice in our everyday life. It is for the cleansing of ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the sight of God. 2SAT 48.2

I am thankful this morning to see so many of our brethren and sisters that we did not expect to see when coming so slowly over the plains, and it was the delay of the cars that has thrown us with you. I would greet you heartily this morning; and my earnest wish is that your souls may be in prosperity. This should be our most important question, “Is it well with my soul?” As we see everyone busy in this life we see that everyone has an object. Some have their eyes turned away from the law of God to things of minor interest; but yet God presents before us the love of His infinite Son. He presents before us that which He has given for the salvation of the fallen world. 2SAT 48.3

And He tells us the world did not know Him. And why? Because the cares of this world occupy all the faculties of the mind. The affections are centered just where the mind is. So notwithstanding the love of God that was manifested for us, notwithstanding He did not withhold His only begotten Son that our affections might be centered on things above, notwithstanding all the sacrifice that has been made for the fallen race, notwithstanding He has placed before each of us a crown of immortality that shall not fade away, that He has promised us a place where Christ and angels shall meet us, notwithstanding there is an eternal weight of glory waiting the faithful; yet notwithstanding all this, for the fleeting pleasures of this earth, the world throws away these things of eternal interest. 2SAT 48.4

Brethren and sisters, my faith is as strong as ever that the things of this world are about to close. It is stronger than when I saw you last. We can see the waymarks that are all along the way. When we are traveling along a road alone, and see a guide board; if we can read we know that we are at such a place; so it is if our minds are active and so consecrated to God that we can understand His workings, we can know just where we are in this world's history. Things we spoke of 25 years ago are just working up. The powers of darkness are working with an intensity from within, but God has been working for us, and He will work for us that Christ shall not have died in vain, that we may have of the life that runs parallel with the life of Jehovah. It is this little, little atom of a world that is absorbing all our force. 2SAT 48.5

Is there not something that will have a reviving influence on [our] lives? Should we not study the Word of God, and when duty is made known, meet every objection to it with a “thus saith the Lord”? Should we not search out the truths that are clustered about the truths of God? We have no time to fold our hands, brethren; the Lord is soon coming, and we have heard the note of warning till we have consoled ourselves and a sleep has taken hold of us, of the life and the character. There is nothing about us to show the world that we have the most sacred truth that has ever been given to man. 2SAT 49.1

We want to know where we are in history. We want to be like men and women who are sensible, that are waiting for their Lord who, when He shall return, shall take them to Himself. Every one of us can do something. Many feel that the whole duty rests on the minister; but there are eternal truths that are to take hold on our souls, that are to be practiced by every one of us, so that the world can see that this people know and believe that the Lord is coming, that what we preach is not an idle fancy; but that it is the word of God that has taken hold of our lives and souls, and that light from the Holy Bible shines all along the pathway of this people. 2SAT 49.2

There was a man in a deep well the other day, and the well caved in. But he had taken hold of the platform in some way, and there he was hanging, and they were trying to rescue him. Men came from places all around to help save that man. Well, he was saved, and when he came to the surface, what shouts of joy! what rejoicings! It was heralded far and near that a life had been saved. But here are souls that are in danger of losing the life that may run parallel with the life of Jehovah. Then have we not each a work to do? Should we not cast our lives at the feet of Jesus, and show to the world that we have been brought into that living connection with God and Jesus Christ, that we act as beings who know that Christ has died for us, and that at last we may cast our crowns at the feet of our Redeemer? 2SAT 49.3

Brethren and sisters, are we half as full as we ought to be of gratitude to God? Should not our souls be in that condition that every chord of the harp of our being shall vibrate with praises to God when touched by the finger of His love! Should we not be in that nearness to God, and have that fullness of Jesus, that our souls shall be elevated, and our attention be ever directed to the grace of God, and we be led to meditate on heaven and heavenly things? 2SAT 50.1

Just as soon as we get the saving power of the grace of God and the love of Christ burning on the altars of our hearts; as soon as we see of the love of the truth, then, let me say, there will be such a longing for the salvation of souls around you that you can make any sacrifice in order to save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins. 2SAT 50.2

Now you are going to your homes. What has this meeting done for you? Has it brought you to where you can see the peril that your souls and other souls are in? Do you feel that you must get home and engage in this work as you have never done before? That you should train and discipline your children? That you should take the Bible into your homes and simplify its truths so that your children may see the grandness and goodness of the truth and the love of God? And as they see the importance of it in your home, you should bring them up in the service of God, for everyone may be a missionary, in the home and neighborhood. We may have the whole truth and we may believe every principle of it, but we do not want to keep it in the outer court; we want it to come into the sanctuary of the soul that it may take hold on our lives and that we may have Christ in our hearts. 2SAT 50.3

If He is there we will talk of Him. What we prize the highest, that which is highest in our thoughts and mind, we shall most speak of. By our words and our deeds are we known. If we talk of God's glory, men will know that the hope of glory is before our eyes. And if we speak of the love of Christ, men and women will see that the love of Christ does something for us. 2SAT 50.4

Now, is it not best to believe on Christ? You say you do; but we can tell whether you do or not. If you do, Christ is formed within you, the hope of glory. If you have the love of God in your hearts, you will be led to sacrifice for those around you. He says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God.” Then He says, “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” While in the world we are to be the light of the world. We are to kindle our taper at the divine altar; it is to lay our souls before Him in surrender as did Jacob. Let His will prevail, and then you will have in your hearts a living connection with God, and you can tell of Christ to those around you. And you will do this, for you cannot hold your peace. There are many who are going to ruin all around us. Am I my brother's keeper? The truth of God, if presented in a right spirit, might save many. Carry it to them. 2SAT 50.5

Brethren and sisters, what we want is a living Saviour, one that will come into our everyday lives. [Jesus said], Unless ye eat My flesh and drink My blood ye have no part with Me. Unless we do this we shall have no part with Him in eternal life. Who is bringing Christ into his practical life? Why, He says, The word preached availeth nothing—it profiteth nothing—unless accompanied by faith. [See Hebrews 4:2.] 2SAT 51.1

It is the word which I give you which [something missing in transcript] ... and with this is life. 2SAT 51.2

Well, what shall we do? Shall we study and become conversant with the Bible? Or shall we have our minds occupied with things of minor importance, and with things of this world's business? Shall we not study to know whereof we believe? The time is just before us when you will have to stand before the kings, to be criticized by the learned men, and to give a reason of the hope that is within you. When asked for the reason of your hope, it will not do to say as some do, We keep the Sabbath because our father did. Do you know why you keep the Sabbath of the Lord your God? And if so, can you tell why you keep it? If so, you can plant your feet on the foundation, and be able to understand every principle of your faith so as to give an intelligent reason for the hope that is within you, with meekness and with fear. 2SAT 51.3

We want to be so wrapped up in Jesus Christ that our faith and confidence will show to others that, verily you will do as Jesus did, and you will have that humility, that sympathy, that brokenness of spirit that shows that the spirit of Jesus has been working on your heart. Thus you will have the truth that is in Christ Jesus, and our work will be covered all over and lighted up with the love of God. We should let the love of Christ prompt us for work. Too often our workers labor for souls as though they were making a great sacrifice for someone they may be doing missionary work for; they do not act as though they were doing it for Jesus. When a soul is converted, we do not rejoice one-half enough. How much gratitude do you send back to heaven for the conversion of a soul; when that soul is brought in living connection with heaven? Now, I beseech of you, brethren and sisters, do not sleep at your posts. Remember, you are fit servants of Christ. You are not to be filled with jealousy, evil surmisings, envy, and all that; but you are to act as though you are doing Christ's work. 2SAT 51.4

Many seem to think if they are not treated as they should be that a proper course is for them to say, Well, I am not going to work any longer, I am going to lay off from duty for awhile. Is not God your Father? and is it not Him you are serving? Are we not to serve Him in our disappointments, as well as in prosperity? If we keep our eye single to the glory of God, we shall not be troubled with these days of darkness and gloom. We are to have our eyes fixed on the sacrifice that Christ has made for us, on the beams of His righteousness that are let fall on us through faith in that sacrifice, and then His hand shall brush away the cloud that comes between Him and us. We should not stumble over these small trials, and tell them over to others. Look up! Look up! We do not get any encouragement or strength by looking down. 2SAT 52.1

Remember, now is the time to work with God. Enoch was translated because he walked with God. Now as we approach the end of time we must walk with God as did Enoch. We must feel that He is at our right hand, that He knows the thoughts of my heart, that He knows whether we are loyal and true in our business. He knows all our conduct. We must feel that we have a witness, a watcher that is dear, one who knows our motives, and one who knows [whether] our manner of life is holy, and whether we are clean and ready for the white linen, which is the righteousness of Christ; He knows whether it is imputed to me; He knows whether I am prepared to join company with the holy angels in the kingdom of glory. 2SAT 52.2

“Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” Well, every man can have that hope. We have it, then what should we do? Is it every man that professeth to have the hope? No, there are those who talk about it, but they have not the love of Jesus and are in a worse condition than the unbeliever. They understand, but do they hold themselves as the light of the world? What is it to be a light to the world?—It is to recognize Christ as our example. It is to show Christian politeness, never to scold and fret, but to be in a condition where we can constantly carry the minds of others upward. This is the work of everyone who names the name of Christ. It is to depart from the works of iniquity; it is to wash our garments in the blood of the Lamb. We are in the washing and ironing time. Now we are to have every sin and iniquity taken from us, and the white linen put upon us, the wedding garment. 2SAT 52.3

Oh, that every one of us may humble ourselves before God, that we may have [the] living power of His grace! My heart pants for Him; I want Him in my home; I want to tell of Him to my neighbors; I want to hold Him up as the man of Calvary, as the man of sorrows acquainted with grief, before my neighbors. 2SAT 53.1

Not one of us should be discouraged. You should desire to know Jesus. He stands at the door of your hearts. “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 sup with him, and he with Me.” Well, what is the matter? There is something that you must do. You must clear the way and open the doors of your hearts. Perhaps you have a sin of self-indulgence to remove; perhaps some member should be removed, and it is better to enter into life maimed than to perish with all your members. The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember, when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, that God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate. 2SAT 53.2

Why do we not get rid of these habits? Jesus Christ will help us. He is not in Joseph's tomb. He is a living Saviour, and we can plead His blood now, in 1888; and that same Saviour is He who said, What ye ask in My name will I give you. If I take His promises today, and believe that He will fulfill them because He said He would, and present His name to the Father, saying, Father, I believe on Him whom Thou hast sent, His righteousness is pledged for me. 2SAT 53.3

His righteousness, His purity of character, are mine to accept, and I accept His love, His kindness, and His goodness. If we ask, claim His promises, and pray the Father in the name of Jesus to sanctify us soul and body and spirit, we may claim the promises as ours. He is my Saviour, and He will be your Saviour. Why do we not accept Him? Our Saviour is active in regard to other worlds which God has created. 2SAT 53.4

Here is the work going on, measuring the temple and its worshipers to see who will stand in the last day. Those who stand fast shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we are doing our work, remember there is One who is watching the spirit in which we are doing it. Shall we not bring the Saviour into our everyday lives, into our secular work and domestic duties? Then in the name of God we want to leave behind everything that is not necessary, all gossiping or unprofitable visiting, and present ourselves as servants of the living God. 2SAT 53.5

We want, as we enter houses, to approach the inmates in a spirit that will show to them that we do not mean them harm. This is the example that Christ laid down, and we are to do as He did. “We are co-laborers together with Christ.” My heart yearns for you today; I know there is a work for you to do. I know that there are persons here who are not converted, and that, when they are, there will be a light in their countenances that we do not see now. You must put away from you the cheap, low talk; get hold of Jesus Christ; search the Scriptures until they will dwell in your memory, and until you get your conversation away from the cheap gossip, and tattling, and talking about those who expect to meet their Lord in a little while. 2SAT 54.1

We are to be here only a little longer. Our citizenship is above. It will not unfit you for the earth to have a little more of heaven; it will afford you more enjoyment here, but you must draw near to God, and throw open the doors of your heart and let the sunlight of heaven in. How necessary that we put away iniquity. If we ever indulge it in our hearts, God will leave us. We want to hate sin as the hateful thing that it is. We want that change of heart, that purity of life, that when the world sees us it will know that we are not of them. They will know that we are not like the world. Our business transactions and all our conduct will be ennobling. Brethren and sisters, we need the converting power of God and His truth to light our hearts, that we may lead those who are around us to the light. 2SAT 54.2

Have we not been seeking our own path of duty? Have we not been asleep to the things of God? Shall we not awake now, and shall we not get a living connection with the God of heaven? Shall we not now place our feet in the path of duty? We are almost home. We are tired, and many are groaning under the burden as they see the conflicts that are yet before; but, brethren, look up as you journey, for yet a little while and we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 2SAT 54.3

Oh, we shall see Him in His matchless charms. Why not then live in an atmosphere of heaven in your own homes? You must be getting ready for that pure and holy heaven. We must be found without guile in our mouths. Those are they who stand before the throne of God. All this cheap and low conversation and actions must be put away. 2SAT 54.4

Shall we not join in united effort to press back the tide of evil that is making our world a Sodom? Shall we not put away all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the sight of God? That is what we want to do. We hear much of holiness and sanctification; but it is a tainted holiness, one that tramples on the law of God. It does not teach obedience to God's holy law. But we law-keepers are the ones who need to perfect holiness in the sight of God, to reveal to the world. The way to reveal God to the world is to rejoice, and praise Him for what He has done for you. 2SAT 55.1

“Those who confess Me in this wicked and adulterous generation, him will I confess before My Father and the holy angels.” This means that in your conduct, in your thoughts and faculties, and character, and everything, that you deport yourselves as Christians. You crucify Him afresh by your disloyal conduct. It is time that we were purifying ourselves as He is pure. Our human nature is to be as pure in our sphere as God is in His divine sphere. It is to be without spot. He sent His Son to sanctify and take us to Himself, and in that gift He sent down all heaven to honor us with eternal life. What a gift is this! May God help us to come up to the mark of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. 2SAT 55.2

Sisters, go to work for your children. Will you show that you have a well ordered family? Then will you go to work for your neighbors? Will you then be a light and power in the church, because you have the light of the power of God? Oh, shall we not all realize the claims that heaven has upon us! God grant that Christ shall not have died in vain for us. 2SAT 55.3

You have been talking too much of your profits, and have not been talking of God and His love and His power, and His influence is not in your hearts. By praying to Him for living faith, we become conformed to Him. All seams are to be brushed away from our brows, and our eyes are no longer to look dim; the love of God will be seen in our expression, and we shall be with the angels of God, in a little way from this. Then elevate the life, elevate the character, elevate the love of Jesus, and talk of heaven and the goodness of God. 2SAT 55.4

We want to study our Bibles more; then we shall not be simply those who have Bibles, but we shall be ministers, the ministers of Jesus Christ. We can help to hold up the hands of those who are discouraged, to talk and pray, and seek to elevate those for whom Christ died—then we will be Christ's ministers. 2SAT 55.5

God help us; for it is those who shall enter in through the gates into the city, who shall hear the benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord.” What is that joy? Why, it is to see souls saved in the kingdom of God. He sees the travail of His soul and is satisfied. What has your life been? Are you the minister of Christ? Why, what are you doing? What are you building on? Is it on hay, wood, and stubble? Or what? Or is it the gold, the silver, and the precious stones—something that the fires of the last days will not consume? I ask you again, What is your life work? God help you to bring in the gold, silver, and precious stones, that you may see in the kingdom of God souls saved through our instrumentality, and we may enter into the joy of our Lord.—Ms 4, 1888 (MR 900.57). 2SAT 55.6